Is eating better to manage your diabetes one of your New Year’s resolutions? If so, eat a variety of healthy foods from all the food groups - vegetables, fruits, grains, protein, and dairy - in the amount a meal plan you create prescribes.
When food shopping, keep in mind the “superstar foods”  the American Diabetes Association (ADA) recommends for diabetes because of their abundance of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and fiber:
- Beans: Beans such as kidney, navy or black are high in fiber and packed with vitamins and minerals.
- Dark green leafy vegetables: Dark green leafy vegetables are low in carbohydrates and calories. They provide a range of vitamins and minerals, such as vitamins A, C, E and K.
- Citrus fruit: Take advantage of the fiber, vitamin C, folate, and potassium available in citrus fruits.
- Berries: Blueberries, strawberries, blackberries, and more are packed with antioxidants, vitamins, and fiber.
- Tomatoes: In salads or sauce, tomatoes provide vital nutrients – vitamins C and E and potassium.
- Fish: You want fish that is high in Omega-3 fats, such as salmon and albacore tuna, to lower the risk of heart disease and inflammation.
- Nuts: Nuts offer healthy fats and magnesium and fiber.
- Whole grains: Whole grains rich in vitamins like B provide a range of minerals and are a great source of fiber.
- Milk and yogurt: In addition to providing calcium, many milk and yogurt products are fortified with vitamin D. Choose yogurt products that are lower in fat and added sugar.
Since not all carbs are created equal, understand the different types and their impact on blood sugar. To begin with, your body breaks down digestible carbs into sugar, which then enter the bloodstream. There are three main types of carbohydrates: sugars, starches, and fibers.
Sugar: Sugar also is referred to as simple carbohydrates. Simple carbs can cause blood sugars to rise very quickly. The two main types of sugar are naturally occurring, such as those in milk or fruit, and added sugars to processed foods, for example.
Starch: Starches are complex carbohydrates. They are crucial in providing a nutritious well-balanced diet because they provide glucose. Glucose is a simple monosaccharide sugar and the main energy source for every cell.
Fiber: Fiber is the indigestible carbohydrate that is found in plant-based foods. Dietary fiber can be soluble or insoluble and passes through the body without being fully digested. It does not provide energy but it has a beneficial role in digestion and metabolism. Fiber is mostly found in vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and legumes. Fiber can help slow down the body’s absorption of sugar, helping to prevent blood sugar spikes after meals.
On packaged foods, you can find total carb grams on the Nutrition Facts label. For diabetes meal planning, 1 carb serving is about 15 grams of carbs, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). If a product does not have a food label, such as a whole piece of fruit or a vegetable, there are apps and other tools to help you calculate.
CDC advises you should try to eat about the same amount of carbs at each meal to keep your blood sugar levels steady throughout the day. The amount you can eat and stay in your target blood sugar range depends on your age, weight, activity level, and other factors. 
Get the New Year off to a good start with the right eating to manage your diabetes. Work with a dietitian or diabetes care and education specialist to help you create an eating plan that works for your unique needs and lifestyle.
 “What superstar foods are good for diabetes?” American Diabetes Association (ADA), Accessed December 28, 2022. https://diabetes.org/healthy-living/recipes-nutrition/eating-well/diabetes-superstar-foods
 Newman, Tim, “Why do we need dietary fiber,” Medical News Today, April 27, 2020. https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/146935
 “Carb Counting,” CDC, Accessed November 5, 2022. https://www.cdc.gov/diabetes/managing/eat-well/diabetes-and-carbohydrates.html