The ideal diet for a diabetic is one that consists of complex carbohydrates, non-starchy foods and lean meat for every meal. Your diet should also exclude unhealthy foods such as simple carbohydrates found in white flour products, processed food and desserts, saturated fat and trans fat. Complex carbohydrates and lots of fiber is recommended for your diet due to its slow breakdown during digestion, which helps manage your blood sugar level. According to MedicineNet.com your blood sugar level should be between the low- to mid-100s throughout the day, with a low of 80 in the morning and before meals.
A high complex carbohydrate diet includes foods such as whole-grain pasta and bread, brown rice, beans, oat bran and oatmeal while excluding processed foods and refined foods. According to the American Diabetes Association, your meals should consist of mostly starches using the organization's plate method. The plate method creates a line down the middle of your meal plate, with one reserved for complex carbohydrates and the other side cut in half and assigned to non-starchy foods and lean meat such as fish, skinless poultry, turkey or extra-lean ground beef. Non-starchy foods include vegetables such as tomatoes, celery, cucumbers, beets, okra, spinach and peppers.
A high-fiber diet includes insoluble fiber such as whole-wheat bread and soluble fiber found in citrus fruits, oats and barley. Soluble fiber lowers glucose levels when consumed daily by delaying digestion, according to Maureen Keane and Daniella Chace, authors of "What to Eat if You Have Diabetes." This causes you to feel full longer than you would had you consumed simple carbohydrates. Insoluble fiber helps relieve constipation caused by diabetes by increasing the speed of food passing through your stomach. Eat equal amounts of soluble fiber and insoluble fiber along with lean meat to stabilize your blood sugar level.
Avoid unhealthy fats, which include saturated fat and trans fat. Saturated fat is carbon atoms saturated in hydrogen atoms. At room temperature they become a solid, which can increase your blood glucose levels and increase cholesterol in your blood. They are found in animal meat, dairy products, fried food and baked goods. Purchase extra lean meat and remove the skin from poultry to cut down on saturated fat, and switch from whole milk dairy products to low- or non-fat dairy. Trans fat is partially hydrogenated oil that comes from adding hydrogen to vegetable oils. When consumed trans fat increases cholesterol and increases your risk of diabetes, and raises your blood glucose levels. Desserts, cookies, fried food and baked goods often contain trans fat, and should be avoided at all costs to maintain a healthy blood sugar level. Trans fat can also be found in butter, and can be replaced with vegetable oil when cooking to cut down on fat consumption.