If you have diabetes, it is vitally important for you to control your blood-glucose levels. Doctors tell diabetic patients that there are three ways to keep their blood glucose in the right range: diet, exercise and medication. According to the Mayo Clinic, people with diabetes need to adhere to a diet that is low in fat and high in nutrients. This type of diet features foods like fruits and vegetables and whole grains. As a matter of fact, the kind of diet that a dietitian would recommend for a person with diabetes, is a prescription for healthy eating for everyone.

Healthful carbohydrates are an integral part of your diet if you have diabetes. These are the complex carbohydrates that are digested slowly and provide energy for the body. Foods rich in complex carbohydrates include whole grains, fruits, vegetables and dairy products that are low in fat. Some whole grain foods include wheat, rye and oats while examples of low-fat dairy products are skim milk, 1% milk and non-fat and low-fat yogurt. Healthful carbohydrates are different from the simple carbohydrates found in cakes and candy. These digest quickly and can cause spikes in your blood sugar level.

A diet tailored to someone with diabetes should also include fish as a source of protein. Relative to poultry and meat, fish like tuna, halibut and cod are lower in cholesterol and saturated fat. Fish is also a source of omega-3 fatty acids. There is good scientific evidence that omega-3 fatty acids can reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease.

Another important part of a diabetes diet is a sufficient amount of fiber each day. Fiber can be soluble in water or insoluble in water. Soluble fiber like that found in oats, carrots, beans, citrus fruits, apples and peas helps you to lower your blood glucose and cholesterol.

Fat is an essential nutrient, and you need to get it from your diet. A good approach to fat if you have diabetes is to limit the saturated kind found in foods like hot dogs, sausage and bacon and emphasize mononunsaturated and polyunsaturated fats. Unsaturated or “good” fats are found in walnuts, almonds, avocados and olive oil.

A diet that helps you control your blood sugar also comes with other benefits. If can help you achieve a healthy weight, and it can lower your risk of cardiovascular diseases and some kinds of cancer.