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By Toby Smithson, Alan L. Rubin

Part of Diabetes Meal Planning & Nutrition For Dummies Cheat Sheet

One trick to eating healthier is keeping diabetic-friendly choices available at all times. You can fight the urge to hit the fast-food drive-through and instead whip up a convenient and healthy breakfast, lunch, dinner, or snack if you keep the right foods handy. Some healthy foods to always have on hand in your pantry include:

  • Olive oil or canola oil for healthy, unsaturated fats

  • Egg substitute for the high-quality egg white protein without the fat and cholesterol

  • Frozen fruits and vegetables for healthy choices at every meal

  • Herbs and spices, fresh or dried, to replace salt with intense flavors

  • Whole-grain, high-fiber tortillas for sandwich-like lunches without the full amount of carbohydrates in bread

  • Canned tuna (in water) to have healthy seafood available anytime — aim to eat seafood twice each week

  • Almonds, walnuts, or peanuts for healthy fats

  • Black beans (or your favorite beans) for healthy carbohydrate, protein, and soluble fiber Buy no-added-salt varieties of canned beans

  • Low-fat dairy products, including 1 percent or skim milk, and no-fat regular or Greek yogurt. Remember that milk products include carbohydrates

  • Tea, for relaxation and powerful phytonutrients