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Keep It or Toss It? A List of Smart Food Swaps to Keep Blood Glucose in Check

Food swaps photo man pouring olive oil

Despite what you might imagine, managing type 2 diabetes isn’t about adopting a strict, limited diet and it doesn’t mean you no longer get to enjoy flavorful foods. In fact, it’s really about learning what works best for your body. And fairly often, you can actually just swap a food that works well for your body with a food that doesn’t work so well.
Level2 has an entire list of common food swaps that will keep your stomach happy and your blood glucose in check. Check out our list — including items to keep in your pantry or refrigerator and items to toss.

Keep This…
Toss That…
Olive oil
Corn oil, “Vegetable” oil Monounsaturated fat is better for your heart
Soft spreads
Margarine which is “hydrogenated” or hard Try to avoid saturated and trans fat as it may increase your blood fats (cholesterol and triglycerides)
Low sugar pasta sauces
Pasta sauce with added sugar or cream  To decrease your intake of sugar and “hidden” carbohydrates and fat
Nut butters/cashew and almond butter
Cream cheese spreads To increase protein and decrease fat
Canned fruit in its own juice
Canned fruit packed in corn syrup Fewer carbohydrates and sugar
Whole wheat crackers
Soda crackers More fiber to improve glucose control
Whole wheat pasta
Regular pasta Increased fiber
Brown rice & Quinoa
White rice Increased fiber
Nuts-almonds, walnuts, soy nuts, cashews, pumpkin and chia seeds
Chips More fiber, protein and nutrients to balance the blood sugar
Whole wheat flour
White flour More fiber
Whole fruit/frozen fruit
Fruit juice Fruit juice can be good to treat low blood sugars but whole fruit is better to obtain daily control of your glucose levels. The added fiber is the key.
Vinaigrette salad dressings
Creamy salad dressings Cutting down on fat, calories and hidden carbs
Hard and string cheese
Processed cheese Less artificial additives and sometimes less sodium
Sockeye salmon, sardines and tuna
Canned tuna packed in oil To decrease fat in the diet
Unsweetened green tea, chamomile and black tea
Soda  Regular soda is loaded with sugar and will increase your blood glucose levels. Diet soda has artificial sweeteners recommended only in moderation
Low fat cottage cheese
Avocado dip
Creamy dips Less fat more nutrition
Baked chips like kale and beets
Low-fat popcorn
Regular chips Less fat and carbohydrates