Medically Reviewed By: Tom Iarocci, MD

Do you ever wonder what other foods you could add to your current diet to help you manage your diabetes? Would you be surprised to learn that eggs and beef are not forbidden? Here are some fresh ideas on 7 foods that can be included as part of a healthy diabetes-friendly meal plan.

1.) Barley

When people think about friendly starches, they might think of buckwheat or wild rice, but barley may actually be a great choice as well, especially if you suffer from diabetes. Barley is a great source of fiber, it slows your digestion and therefore you absorb the sugars in the carbohydrate more slowly, which keeps blood sugars much more manageable. Researchers are looking into the specific fibers found in barley kernels that might generate favorable health effects such as reducing the appetite and combatting inflammation.

2.) Beans

They're called the magical fruit for a reason, and having them in your food twice a week can really help you keep you blood sugar levels in check. Beans contain highly soluble fiber, and are also rich in proteins and vitamins that help your body get what it needs without sacrificing glucose control.

3.) Beef Dishes

People with diabetes are often advised to reduce their intake of beef and other red meets, as the best choices tend to be chicken and fish. However, if you include red meat in a meal, the American Diabetes Association recommends selecting clean, lean cuts of meat, trimmed of fat, including trimmed of fat including: chuck, rib, rump roast, round, sirloin, cubed, flank, porterhouse, T-bone steak, and tenderloin. If going for pork, Canadian bacon, center loin chop, ham, and tenderloin are leaner options. You can enjoy portions that are one quarter of your dinner plate and feel fully satisfied at the end of your meal.

4.) Berries

For a sweet treat, choose a handful of berries, whether they are blackberries, blueberries or raspberries. These delicious natural morsels are loaded with antioxidants, vitamins and minerals that your body needs. If you eat them in the correct amounts, you can also help lower your blood sugar through the production of insulin. Berries are great in the morning, as a snack, or in a salad for dinner, but don't over indulge.

5.) Broccoli

You might turn your nose up at this bushy green vegetable at first, but broccoli is full of fiber and antioxidants, and has your entire daily requirement for vitamin C nestled in it's delicious green buds. It can help control blood sugar levels and it is great in pasta, salad, as a side, or in a casserole. You can also try it on pizza or in stir fry, but watch the sauces that you add to these as some can be loaded with sugar.

6.) Eggs

One of nature's masterpieces, the humble egg is high in protein. Eggs keep you feeling full, and don’t affect your blood sugar in the slightest. An egg or two in the morning or at night for your meal can help you beat the snack attack, and will give you the energy you require to get through the day.

7.) Flax Seeds

Flax seeds have quickly become one of the most popular heart-friendly foods on the market. Since diabetes puts you at risk for heart disease, you want to do all you can to reduce your risk, and the bonus is that flax seeds are generally good for your diabetes as well. They are full of fiber to help with digestion but aren’t loaded with the sugary starch that carbohydrates bring to the table. Sprinkle ground flax on oatmeal, or stir it into a morning smoothie.