Kent Peterson, senior editor, has also produced award-winning work in television and radio.

You’ve probably heard many myths about strict diet restrictions that supposedly come with diabetes: No fruit. No flour. And forget about dessert. You might think you’ll have to give up all the foods you like.

Good news: a healthy diabetes diet can be about adding foods, not eliminating them. Eating right may add more delicious variety to your meals than ever—and you don’t have to completely give up your favorite treats. Many doctors and experts now say that a little bit of any food can fit into your meal plan once in a while.

The biggest difference in a diabetes diet is that you need to limit how many carbs you eat to keep your blood sugar in a healthy range. Our list can help. We’ve gathered 350 foods that are low in carbohydrates and widely available. Most are easy on your food budget, too.

Making smart choices

Other than watching your carbs, a healthy diabetes diet is a lot like a healthy non-diabetes diet. Everyone needs to eat a variety of wholesome foods that provide all the different nutrients we need. When you fill up on these good-for-you foods, you automatically eat fewer processed foods that have little nutritional value and too much sugar, salt, fat, and calories.

Remember to watch your portion sizes, though. Just because a food is low in carbs doesn’t mean you can eat as much as you want. Carbs add up, and so do calories.

The U. S. Department of Agriculture’s Choose My Plate program can help you learn what a well-balanced dinner plate should look like.

350 low-carb foods

Each of the following foods has no more than 15 grams of carbs for the serving size specified. There are a lot of other low-carb foods out there, but this list should have enough ideas to help you answer the “What can I eat?” question whenever it strikes.

Foods that are similar but not on this list may have a lot more carbs. For example, we’ve included several kinds of squash, but some others have much more than 15 grams of carbs per serving. When in doubt, ask Google! Also, bear in mind that different brands of processed foods may vary in carbs. Check the Nutrition Facts label to be sure.


Club soda—0 g per cup
Coconut water—9 g per cup
Coffee, regular or decaffeinated (black)—0 g per 6-ounce serving
Coffee, instant, regular or decaffeinated (black)—0.6 g per 6-ounce serving
Crystal Light, raspberry ice flavor—0 g per cup
Diet soda—0 g per 12-ounce serving
Propel Fitness Water, berry flavor—3 g per cup
Red Bull Sugar Free energy drink—3 g per 8.4-ounce can
Tea, black—0.7 g per cup
Tea, green—0.5 g per cup
Tea, oolong—0 g per cup
Vitamin Water Zero, lemonade flavor—1.9 g per cup
Water (plain)—0 g per cup

Alcoholic beverages:
Beer, regular—15 g per 12-ounce bottle or can
Beer, light—3 to 6 g per 12-ounce bottle or can
Bourbon—0 g per 1.5-ounce serving
Brandy—0 g per 1.5-ounce serving
Cognac—0 g per 1.5-ounce serving
Gin—0 g per 1.5-ounce serving
Rum—0 to 1.8 g per 1.5-ounce serving
Scotch—0 g per 1.5-ounce serving
Sherry, dry—12 g per 3.5-ounce serving
Sherry, sweet or cream—14 g per 3.5-ounce serving
Tequila—0 g per 1.5-ounce serving
Vermouth wine, dry—12 g per 3.5-ounce serving
Vermouth wine, sweet—14.1 g per 3.5-ounce serving
Vodka—0 g per 1.5-ounce serving
Whiskey—0 g per 1.5-ounce serving
Wine, red—2.7 g per 3.5-ounce serving
Wine, white—0.8 g per 3.5-ounce serving

Condiments, Dips, and Dressings

Barbecue sauce—7 g per tablespoon
Bleu cheese dressing—1.1 g per tablespoon
Caesar dressing, creamy—1 g per tablespoon
French dressing—2.5 g per tablespoon
Guacamole—4.5 g per 2 tablespoons
Italian dressing—1.8 g per tablespoon
Jams and preserves (no sugar added)—7.5 g per tablespoon
Lay’s Creamy Ranch dip—0.5 g per tablespoon
Mayonnaise—0 g per tablespoon
Mayonnaise, light—1 g per tablespoon
Mustard, yellow—1 g per teaspoon
Pancake syrup (sugar free)—12 g per 2-ounce serving
Ranch dressing—1 g per tablespoon
Salsa—4 g per 2-ounce serving
Smucker’s Sugar-Free Grape Jelly—5 g per tablespoon
Soy sauce—1.2 g per tablespoon
Thousand island dressing—2.6 g per tablespoon

Dairy, Eggs, and Alternatives

Almond milk—8 g per cup
Butter—0 g per tablespoon
Coconut milk—7 g per cup
Cool Whip whipped topping—2 g per 2 tablespoons
Egg (large)—0.4 g per egg
Egg Beaters egg substitute—0.9 g per 3-tablespoon serving
Half and half cream—1.3 g per ounce
Heavy cream—0.8 g per ounce
Ice cream substitute: Breyer’s No Sugar Added vanilla frozen dairy dessert—13 g per half cup
Ice cream substitute: Dreyer’s Slow Churned No Sugar Added vanilla frozen dairy dessert—14 g per half cup
Margarine, hard or soft—0 g per tablespoon
Margarine, 70 percent vegetable oil spread—0.2 g per tablespoon
Milk (whole)—11 g per cup
Milk (1 or 2 percent fat, or nonfat)—12 g per cup
Sour cream—0.5 g per tablespoon
Soy milk—8 g per cup
Whipped cream (unsweetened)—0.4 g per tablespoon
Yogurt, Greek (plain, nonfat)—6 g per 6-ounce cup
Yogurt, regular (plain, whole milk)—11.4 g per 8-ounce cup
Yogurt, Dannon Light & Fit strawberry nonfat—13 g per 5.3-ounce cup

American cheese—1 g per ounce
Asiago—0.9 g per ounce
Blue cheese—0.7 g per ounce
Brick cheese—0.8 g per ounce
Brie—0.1 g per ounce
Camembert—0.1 g per ounce
Cheddar cheese—0.4 g per ounce
Colby cheese—0.7 g per ounce
Colby-Jack cheese—1 g per ounce
Cottage cheese, 1 percent milkfat—6.1 g per cup
Cream cheese—0.6 g per tablespoon
Edam—0.4 g per ounce
Feta—1.2 g per ounce
Gouda—0.6 g per ounce
Goat cheese, hard—0.6 g per ounce
Goat cheese, soft—0.3 g per ounce
Gorgonzola (crumbled)—0.7 g per tablespoon
Havarti—1 g per ounce
Monterey Jack cheese—0.2 g per ounce
Mozzarella cheese, low-moisture, part-skim milk—0.8 g per ounce
Mozzarella cheese, whole milk—0.6 g per ounce
Muenster—0.3 g per ounce
Parmesan cheese (grated)—0.2 g per tablespoon
Pepper Jack cheese—1 g per ounce
Provolone—0.6 g per ounce
Ricotta, part skim milk—13 g per cup
Ricotta, whole milk—7 g per cup
Romano cheese—1 g per ounce
Roquefort—0.6 g per ounce
String cheese—1 g per 1-ounce stick
Swiss cheese—1.5 g per ounce

Fish and Seafood

Catfish—0 g per 3-ounce serving
Clams—4.4 g per 3-ounce serving
Cod—0 g per 3-ounce serving
Crab—0 g per 3-ounce serving (Dungeness has 0.8 g per serving)
Crayfish (also called crawfish or crawdads)—0 g per 3-ounce serving
Haddock—0 g per 3-ounce serving
Halibut—0 g per 3-ounce serving
Herring—0 g per 3-ounce serving
Lobster—0 g per 3-ounce serving
Mussels—0 g per 3-ounce serving
Oysters—0 g per 3-ounce serving (about 6 medium)
Salmon—0 g per 3-ounce serving
Sardines—0 g per 3-ounce serving (about 7)
Scallops—4.6 g per 3-ounce serving (about 6 large or 15 small)
Shrimp—0 g per 3-ounce serving
Trout—0 g per 3-ounce serving
Tuna—0 g per 3-ounce serving


Apples (small, 2½-inch diameter)—14.7 g apiece
Apricots—3.9 g apiece
Blackberries—14.7 g per cup
Blueberries—10.3 g per half cup
Cantaloupe—14.8 g per cup
Coconut (shredded, unsweetened)—10.8 g per half cup
Grapefruit (half of a 3-3/4-inch-diameter fruit)—9.3 g
Grapes (red or green, seedless)—13.7 g per half cup
Kiwis—11.3 g apiece
Mangos (sliced) —14.1 g per half cup
Oranges (small, 2 3/8-inch diameter)—11.3 g apiece
Papayas (cubed)—13.7 g per cup
Peaches (medium, 2 ½-inch diameter) 10.9 g apiece
Pineapple (diced)—9.6 g per half cup
Plums (medium, 2 1/8-inch diameter)—8 g apiece
Raspberries—14.2 g per cup
Strawberries—10.7 g per cup
Sweet cherries (with pits)—9.4 g per half cup
Watermelon (diced)—11.5 g per cup

Grains, Breads, Cereals

Bagel (Lender’s plain small)—15 g per half bagel
Biscuit (2¼-inch diameter)—11.6 g apiece
Corn tortilla (6-inch diameter) 11.6 g apiece
English muffin—13 g per half muffin
Melba toast—3.8 g apiece
Oyster crackers—11 g per 22 crackers
Pancake (4-inch diameter)—13.9 g apiece
Puffed millet cereal (Arrowhead Mills)—11 g per cup
Puffed rice (Quaker, unsweetened) 12 g per cup
Rice cake—7.3 g apiece
Saltine crackers—2 g apiece
Waffle (round, 4-inch diameter)—14.2 g apiece
Whole-wheat bread (Sara Lee Soft & Smooth 100 Percent)—13 g per slice
Whole-wheat bread (Nature’s Own 100 Percent 20-ounce loaf)—11 g per slice

Herbs and Spices

Allspice (ground)—1.4 g per teaspoon
Anise seed—1.1 g per teaspoon
Basil (dried)—0.9 g per teaspoon
Basil (fresh)—0.1 g per tablespoon
Bay leaves (crumbled)—0.4 g per teaspoon
Black pepper (ground)—1.5 g per teaspoon
Caraway seed—1 g per teaspoon
Cardamom (ground)—1.4 g per teaspoon
Celery seed—0.8 g per teaspoon
Chili powder—1.4 g per teaspoon
Cinnamon (ground)—1.8 g per teaspoon
Cloves (ground) 1.3 g per teaspoon
Coriander (dried leaves)—1 g per teaspoon
Coriander seed—1 g per teaspoon
Cumin seed—0.9 g per teaspoon
Curry powder—1.2 g per teaspoon
Dill seed—1.2 g per teaspoon
Dill weed (dried)—0.6 g per teaspoon
Dill weed (fresh)—0.1 g per 5 sprigs
Fennel seed—1 g per teaspoon
Fenugreek seed—2.2 g per teaspoon
Garlic (powder)—2 g per teaspoon
Ginger (ground)—1.3 g per teaspoon
Horseradish (prepared)—0.6 g per teaspoon
Marjoram (dried)—0.4 g per teaspoon
Mustard seed, yellow—1.2 g per teaspoon
Nutmeg (ground)—1.1 g per teaspoon
Onion powder—1.9 g per teaspoon
Oregano (dried)—1.2 g per teaspoon
Paprika—1.2 g per teaspoon
Parsley (dried)—0.3 g per teaspoon
Peppermint (fresh)—0.1 g per teaspoon
Poppy seed—0.7 g per teaspoon
Poultry seasoning—1 g per teaspoon
Pumpkin pie spice—1.2 g per teaspoon
Red pepper—1 g per teaspoon
Rosemary (dried)—0.8 g per teaspoon
Rosemary (fresh)—0.1 g per teaspoon
Saffron—0.5 g per teaspoon
Sage (ground)—0.4 g per teaspoon
Salt—0 g per teaspoon
Spearmint (dried)—0.3 g per teaspoon
Spearmint (fresh)—0.2 g per teaspoon
Tarragon (ground)—0.8 g per teaspoon
Thyme (fresh)—0.2 g per teaspoon
Thyme (ground)—0.9 g per teaspoon
Turmeric (ground)—1.4 g per teaspoon
Vanilla extract—0.5 g per teaspoon

Meat and Poultry

Beef jerky—3.1 g per ounce (some flavored varieties may be higher)
Bottom round roast—0 g per 3.5-ounce serving
Brisket—0 g per 3.5-ounce serving
Chuck roast—0 g per 3.5-ounce serving
Eye of round roast—0 g per 3.5-ounce serving
Filet mignon—0 g per 3.5-ounce serving
Flank steak—0 g per 3.5-ounce serving
Flat iron (also called top-blade) steak—0 g per 3.5-ounce serving
Ground beef—0 g per 4-ounce serving
Hanger steak—0 g per 3.5-ounce serving
New York strip (also called top loin steak)—0 g per 3.5-ounce serving
Porterhouse—0 g per 3.5-ounce serving
Ribeye—0 g per 3.5-ounce serving
Rib roast—0 g per 3.5-ounce serving
Short ribs—0 g per 3.5-ounce serving
Sirloin (including top sirloin, sirloin butt)—0 g per 3.5-ounce serving
Skirt steak—0 g per 3.5-ounce serving
T-bone—0 g per 3.5-ounce serving
Tenderloin—0 g per 3.5-ounce serving
Top round (also called London broil)—0 g per 3.5-ounce serving
Tri-tip (also called bottom sirloin)—0 g per 3.5-ounce serving
Veal—0 g per 3.5-ounce serving

Chuck—0 g per 3.5-ounce serving
Ground meat—0 g per 4-ounce serving
Ribeye—0 g per 3.5-ounce serving
Sirloin tip roast—0 g per 3.5-ounce serving
Top sirloin—0 g per 3.5-ounce serving
Top round—0 g per 3.5-ounce serving

Louis Rich turkey bologna—1.4 g per slice
Oscar Meyer beef bologna—0.7 g per slice
Oscar Meyer bologna with chicken and pork—0.7 g per slice
Pork bologna—0.2 g per slice

White or dark meat—0 g per 3.5-ounce serving

One-half of a duck—0 g

Ground lamb—0 g per 4-ounce serving
Leg—0 g per 3.5-ounce serving
Loin chop—0 g per 3.5-ounce serving
Rack—0 g per 3.5-ounce serving
Ribs—0 g per 3.5-ounce serving
Shank—0 g per 3.5-ounce serving
Shoulder chop—0 g per 3.5-ounce serving

Baby-back ribs—0 g per 3.5-ounce serving
Bacon—0 g per slice (but read nutrition label; some have added sugar)
Country-style ribs—0 g per 3.5-ounce serving
Ground pork—0 g per 4-ounce serving
Ham—0 g per 3.5-ounce serving
Pork belly—0 g per 3.5-ounce serving
Pork chop—0 g per 3.5-ounce serving
Pork loin—0 g per 3.5-ounce serving
Pork ribs—0 g per 3.5-ounce serving
Pork sausage—0 g per 3.5-ounce serving
Pork shoulder (also called pork butt)
Pork tenderloin—0 g per 3.5-ounce serving
Spare ribs—0 g per 3.5-ounce serving

White or dark meat—0 g per 3.5-ounce serving

Chop—0 g per 3.5-ounce serving
Chuck—0 g per 3.5-ounce serving
Cutlets—0 g per 3.5-ounce serving
Flank—0 g per 3.5-ounce serving
Heart—0 g per 3.5-ounce serving
Loin—0 g per 3.5-ounce serving
Osso Buco—0 g per 3.5-ounce serving
Ribs—0 g per 3.5-ounce serving
Roast—0 g per 3.5-ounce serving
Shank—0 g per 3.5-ounce serving
Sirloin—0 g per 3.5-ounce serving
Tenderloin—0 g per 3.5-ounce serving


Chocolate, dark (70 to 85 percent cocoa)—13 g per ounce
Chocolate, dark (60 to 69 percent cocoa) 14.9 g per ounce
Jell-O gelatin (sugar free)—0 g per half cup
Jell-O pudding (sugar free)—8 g per half cup
Mushrooms (pieces)—2.3 g per cup (fresh)
Popcorn—6.3 g per cup
Vinegar, apple cider—0.1 g per tablespoon
Vinegar, balsamic—2.7 g per tablespoon
Vinegar, distilled white—0 g per tablespoon
Vinegar, red wine—0 g per tablespoon

Nuts, Beans, Legumes, and Seeds

Almonds—6 g per ounce
Almond butter—6.8 g per 2 tablespoons
Almond flour—6 g per quarter cup
Cashews—9.3 g per ounce
Cashew butter—8.8 g per 2 tablespoons
Chia seeds—10 g per 2 tablespoons
Flax seed meal—8 g per quarter cup
Green beans (cut)—10 g per cup
Hazelnuts—4.7 g per ounce
Hemp seeds (shelled)—2 g per 2 tablespoons
Hummus—4 g per 2 tablespoons
Macadamia nuts—3.8 g per ounce
Peanuts—6.1 g per ounce
Peanut butter (creamy or crunchy)—7 g per 2 tablespoons
Peas—9.9 g per half cup
Pecans—3.9 g per ounce
Pistachios—7.6 g per ounce (47 kernels)
Snap peas—4.8 g per cup
Snow peas—5 g per cup
Walnuts—3.9 g per ounce

Oils and Fats

Canola oil—0 g per tablespoon
Coconut oil—0 g per tablespoon
Corn oil—0 g per tablespoon
Cottonseed oil—0 g per tablespoon
Extra-virgin olive oil—0 g per tablespoon
Lard—0 g per tablespoon
Peanut oil—0 g per tablespoon
Safflower oil—0 g per tablespoon
Soybean oil—0 g per tablespoon
Sunflower oil—0 g per tablespoon
Vegetable oil—0 g per tablespoon

Vegan-Friendly Soy Protein

Edamame—15 g per cup
Tempeh—10.8 g per 4-ounce serving
Tofu—4.6 g per cup
Soy nuts—9 g per ounce

Vegetables (raw)

Some of these foods are technically fruits, but they are listed here because most people think of them as vegetables.

Acorn squash (cubed)—14.6 g per cup
Alfalfa sprouts—1.2 g per cup
Artichoke, medium—13.5 g apiece
Arugula—0.7 g per cup
Asparagus—6.1 g per cup
Avocado—6.0 g per half avocado (Hass)
Black olives (pitted)—1 g per 5 medium olives
Bok choy (shredded)—2 g per cup
Broccoli—4.6 g per cup
Brussels sprouts—7.9 g per cup
Cabbage (chopped) 4.8 g per cup
Carrots (sliced)—11.6 g per cup
Cauliflower—5.2 g per cup
Celery (diced)—4.4 g per cup
Chicory (chopped)—1.7 g per cup
Collard greens (chopped)—2 g per cup
Corn kernels—14.7 g per half cup
Cucumber (sliced)—2.6 g per cup
Eggplant (cubed)—5 g per cup
Endive (chopped)—1.7 g per cup
Fennel (sliced)—6.3 g per cup
Green olives, pimiento stuffed—1 g per 5 medium olives
Green onions—1 g per stalk
Green bell peppers (chopped)—9.1 g per cup
Iceberg lettuce (chopped)—1.6 g per cup
Jicama (sliced)—10.6 g per cup
Kale (chopped)—7.3 g per cup
Kohlrabi—8.4 g per cup
Leeks—12.6 g per cup
Okra—12.6 g per cup
Onions (chopped)—13.8 g per cup
Pumpkin, canned (pureed)—9.0 g per half cup
Radicchio—1.8 g per cup
Radishes—3.9 g per cup
Rhubarb (diced)—5.5 g per cup
Romaine lettuce (shredded) 1.3 g per cup
Spaghetti squash (cubed)—10 g per cup
Sauerkraut—10.1 g per cup
Spinach—1.1 g per cup
Summer squash (sliced)—3.8 g per cup
Swiss chard (chopped)—7.2 g per cup
Tomato, medium—5.7 g apiece Turnips (cubed)—8.4 g per cup
Tomatoes, grape—6.0 g per 3 ounces (about 12 tomatoes)
Zucchini (sliced)—7.1 g per cup

As you can see, there are plenty of delicious, healthy foods to choose from that can help you manage diabetes and feel your best. Want to check the carbs in a food that’s not on our list? Try the nutrition calculator at SparkPeople.