Even though there are free foods on a diabetic diet it doesn't mean that you don't have to pay for them. What it does mean is you can eat them freely without considering them an exchange or counting them as carbohydrates. These are the kinds of foods that you are going to want around the house in abundance for times when you are hungry and meal time is still too far away to eat.
Free foods have little to no affect on blood sugars and that is why they can be eaten in without counting them as part of a meal. Your diabetes educator or dietician will provide you with a complete list but here are a few items that are normally considered free foods:
- Water and other water-based drinks (such as coffee and tea) that are sugar free
- Bouillon (beef or chicken broth)
- Sugar-free gelatin (flavored or not)
- Cream Cheese
- Unsweetened cocoa powder
Many condiments are considered free foods too. When you are planning a snack or a meal add some of the free foods such as salsa or cream cheese for variety or extra flavor.
Depending on your dietician, he or she may consider most vegetables as part of the free foods group too. Vegetables that do not qualify include potatoes, corn, peas, and carrots as they are considered starchy and have higher carbohydrate content. If your dietician does allow you to have vegetables in between meals, make sure to clarify the kinds you can have and if there is a certain amount you should have.
A diabetic diet can feel restrictive at times. It is nice to have some items that you can have whenever you want without having to account for them in one way or another.