High-Protein Foods for Diabetics

By Jody Braverman

Diabetics need to monitor their carbohydrate intake to keep their blood sugar under control, and manage their weight to prevent overweight and obesity. High-protein diets have been shown to be effective in both improving blood sugar regulation and for losing weight. The key is to choose lean sources of animal protein to control your saturated fat and also to incorporate plant proteins into your diet. Always discuss your diet with your doctor before making any changes.

Lean, High-Protein Foods

Fish, seafood, chicken, turkey, cheese, eggs and plant-based proteins are the best choices for diabetics, according to the American Diabetes Association. Plant-based proteins provide quality protein, healthy fats and dietary fiber, which helps regulate blood sugar. They include beans and bean products like hummus; lentils; soybeans, soy nuts and tofu; peas; nuts and nut butters; and tempeh, made with fermented soybeans. Mock meat products like "chicken" nuggets can also supply protein, but check the labels because these products can be high in fat and carbs.

The ADA recommends eating seafood at least twice a week because it supplies healthy omega-3 fatty acids. Good choices are salmon, tuna, trout, halibut, flounder, tilapia, clams, lobster, crabs and shrimp.

Remove the skin from poultry, and choose low-fat cheese and egg whites and egg substitutes. You can also occasionally have wild game such as venison and buffalo. If you are going to eat red meat, choose lean sources such as Select or Choice grades of beef trimmed of fat. Leaner cuts include rump roast, chuck, round, sirloin, flank, cubed, porterhouse, T-bone steak and tenderloin.

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