As a diabetic, eating well and balancing blood sugars can be a daily battle. Keeping your blood sugar and A1C numbers low is critical to your long term health, but daily choices can be a struggle. You know that sugar and carbohydrate-rich foods can contribute to a rise in blood sugar, and you should avoid foods like pasta, bread, cereal and desserts; but what can you eat instead?

Perhaps instead of focusing on all of the foods you can’t eat, you should begin taking a look at the foods you can eat. Finding healthy, beneficial foods appetizing can be the key to making a lifestyle change that puts your diabetes in its place. Included here are a few foods that can help you control your diabetes and eat well.

Eat Your Veggies

Ever since childhood we have been instructed to eat our veggies, but how many adults actually follow this wise advice? With the wide availability of processed, packaged foods, fresh veggies can seem a little less enticing when you crave a snack. Fortunately, it doesn’t have to be this way, and you can turn veggies into a snack you crave.

Consider branching out from your normal carrots and celery. The first step is visiting your local grocery store, or farmer’s market, and seeing what all there is to offer. If you haven’t tried a veggie, pick it up and bring it home. Diversifying your diet is critical to your health and can make meal time more interesting. Enjoy your veggies raw or roasted to preserve nutrients and vitamins.

Get Your Greens

In addition to your regular bright-colored veggies, you will need to be consuming more leafy greens. The trick here is in diversifying once again. Consider making a lightly roasted kale chip, strawberry/spinach salad, or a lightly wilted chard. Greens offer incredible health benefits while being low in calories and should always be present on your plate.

Stop the Soda

Of all the drinks in America, soda is just about the worst thing for your health. Loaded with sugar and empty calories, soda causes crazy blood sugar spikes and increases your abdominal fat. While almost everyone should be drinking more water, the plain flavor may get to you after awhile. To mix up your drink, consider brewing homemade tea and sweetening it lightly. If you absolutely must have carbonation, consider doing a cold-steep of tea in carbonated water or drink kombucha.

Power Up on Protein

For healthy snacks, eating more protein is critical to feeling full and focused. Simple snacks like Greek yogurt, hard-boiled eggs, and cottage cheese can be great dairy items. Additionally, munching on celery sticks with peanut butter, string cheese, and low-sodium beef jerky can be tasty treats.