Foods Allowed In Diabetes

Soups and broths made of meat of any kind without vegetables, ox-tail and turtle soup, gumbo, curry.

Eggs in any form.

Crustaceans, crabs, lobsters, shrimp.

Fresh fish of all kinds and fish roe. Caviare, anchovies. Salt fish, cod, mackerel, and herring may be allowed, unless they increase thirst too much.

Fresh meat, fowl and game of all kinds. Ham, bacon, smoked beef, tongue, sweetbreads, kidneys.


Olive oil and all animal fats and oils, such as butter, cream, cod-liver oil, bone marrow. Some authorities, however, exclude all fats. Senator objects to them on the ground that they form glycerin. Cantani excludes butter because it may contain some milk sugar. But usually such rigidity is unnecessary. In some diabetic patients the power of fat digestion is apparently increased, so that they tolerate larger quantities than in health. (See Appendix).


Spinach, cress, sorrel, chicory, romaine, dandelions, beet tops, horseradish, radishes, celery, sea-kale, artichokes, vegetable marrow, okra, lettuce, endives, pickles, cucumbers, gherkins, cranberries. The following vegetables are allowed by some writers, prohibited by others: green French string beans, asparagus, sum-mer squash, onions, leeks, carrots, cauliflower, cabbage, sauerkraut, kohlrabi, parsley, parsnips, eggplant, tomatoes.

Because potatoes contain somewhat less starch than is found in bread they may sometimes be allowed in moderation when the latter is found to disagree. Germain See gives five ounces of potato meal daily as a substitute for bread.

The following statement made by Fagge is useful: "The general rule is that all white parts of vegetables in which chlorophyll has not been developed by exposure to sunlight contain no sugar, and are not harmful. But by boiling in a large quantity of water, even the forbidden kinds of vegetables, if they contain sugar only and not starch, may be rendered much less injurious." There is a decided advantage in using such green vegetables as are allowed in diabetic diet on account of their adding to the bulk of waste matter in the intestine and preventing constipation, which almost inevitably results from a meat diet.


Kidneys, tripe, pig's feet, truffles, mushrooms, sweetbreads, terrapin.

Cheese, cream cheese, milk curds.

Jellies made of gelatin, calf's foot, with wine, but unsweetened except with saccharin, coffee jelly, lemon jelly.

Fruits, if acid, not sweet. In England, where gooseberries are eaten much more than in this country, they, as well as apples, red currants, and sour cherries, are sometimes allowed. Many of these fruits contain more levulose than grape sugar. Sour oranges, lemons, grape fruit, olives, sour apples, peaches in brandy (without sugar), raspberries, and strawberries are allowed by some, but are usually forbidden. Muskmelons and watermelons may sometimes be eaten.


Oily nuts, such as almonds, walnuts, Brazil nuts, hazelnuts, filberts, pecan nuts, butternuts, cocoanuts.

The articles above enumerated afford considerable choice, and it is to be distinctly understood that only so many of them are to be allowed at a time as may serve to divert the craving of the patient from his chief enemy - concentrated hydrocarbons. Some patients will be found who can eat any of the above articles with impunity, while others can take but very few, and others can consume certain foods for a short time without increasing their sugar elimination, which suddenly will be found to agree no longer, when some other food must be at once substituted.

It is apparently true that there are some individuals for whom one or two articles of starchy food can be found which do not produce sugar in the urine. Fothergill reported several cases of this kind. One of his patients passed urine free from sugar while eating vermicelli pudding and arrowroot. Another one took raspberry jam with impunity. When such cases are thoroughly investigated, however, it is usually found that they have reached an intermittent period in the activity of the disease which is not infrequent in this chronic affection, and in which for the time being the patient is very much better, and the urine remains for a little while practically normal. Such instances occur in the milder types of cases.