Diabetic foods free list

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Free foods have been an important part of the diabetes exchange list system since the beginning. “Free foods” are those foods or drinks that have less than 20 calories per serving and no more than 5 grams of carbohydrate per serving. They are considered free because you may eat them up to 3 times a day in reasonable amounts without significantly raising your blood sugar. Here is a sampling of the free foods available:


  • Asparagus, cooked
  • Beans, green, cooked
  • Broccoli, cooked
  • Celery
  • Cucumber
  • Lettuce, iceberg
  • Olives, canned ripe
  • Peppers, sweet red
  • Radishes
  • Scallions (green onions)
  • Spinach, cooked
  • Tomatoes
  • Tomato juice


  • Avocados
  • Raspberries
  • Strawberries


Eggs and Dairy

  • Butter
  • Cheese, cheddar
  • Cheese, Swiss
  • Cream cheese
  • Cottage cheese, 2% milkfat
  • Eggs
  • Half and half
  • Mayonnaise
  • Milk, 1% milkfat, added solids
  • Soy milk
  • Yogurt, plain, whole milk


  • Coffee (without cream or sugar)
  • Diet soda
  • Tea (without milk or sugar)
  • Water
Calorie Count can help you determine what constitutes a serving of each of these foods. A more complete listing of free/low carbohydrates foods is available from the American Dietetic Association.


American Dietetic Association. Exchange List for Diabetes. Accessed June 23, 2009.

Diabetic Exchange Diet. Drugs.com. Accessed June 23, 2009.

2010-02-15 13:20:26 by NewMeAt38

I prefer more "whole food" options...

The ones you list frequently use processed foods, etc., so mine might be a little out of your comfort zone.
I try to cook from organic and fresh as much as possible, and watch calories for weight loss. I also keep an eye on carbs. I'm not a vegetarian, but some of the sites I use frequently focus on veggies, and I add meat as needed.
Some of my faves:

Why you should eat fruit -- not drink it -- to lower diabetes risk  — Today.com
Consuming whole fruits at least three times a week may lower your risk of developing type 2 diabetes, according to a new long-term study published Thursday in the British Medical Journal.

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