Restock Your Fridge and Pantry For Spring

Get your kitchen diabetes friendly for now and the rest of the year.

Health Monitor Staff

Sprucing up your home this season? Don’t forget to freshen your kitchen, too! Find out the key foods to stock in your refrigerator and cabinets for diabetes-friendly cooking and snacking. Stocking up on these basics can help you make healthy, delicious meals in a cinch.

Health benefit: May help lower LDL (bad) cholesterol and improve blood sugar control

  • Unsalted, raw or dry-roasted almonds, walnuts, pecans, peanuts, pistachios

Health benefit: High in heart-healthy monounsaturated fats

  • Extra-virgin olive oil—best for  making dressings
  • Safflower oil—best for sautéing
  • Canola oil—for baking and stir-frying

Health benefit: Packed with protein and fiber

  • Black, pinto, garbanzo (chickpea) and red kidney beans


  • Sweet cherries—High in fiber and antioxidants, they’re also low in calories.
  • Apricots—Provide a boost of beta-carotene, potassium, vitamin C and fiber. Add to jams, salsas and salads.
  • Mangoes—High in fiber and vitamin C. Use in salsas or blend for smoothies.
  • Avocados—Rich in healthy fats, potassium and vitamin K. Spread about a tablespoon on your sandwich for a healthier condiment. Or mix with lemon juice and red onions to make fresh guacamole.


  • Asparagus—Low in fat and high in fiber, these stalks are a good source of iron, B vitamins and vitamin C. Roast, grill or lightly sauté in olive oil.
  • Artichokes—Good source of fiber, iron, magnesium and folate. Serve in dips or bake and toss in pastas and salads.
  • Sugar snap peas, snow peas—Low in fat and packed with fiber and protein. Toss in salads or serve as a side dish.
  • Radishes—This root vegetable is a great source of vitamin C. Add to soups, condiments and cooked dishes.

Whole grains
Health benefit: Improve body’s response to insulin

  • Brown rice
  • Whole-grain pasta
  • Quinoa

Health benefit: Provide blood sugar-stabilizing protein

  • Skinless chicken white and dark meat
  • Ground white-meat turkey and chicken
  • 93% lean ground beef
  • Salmon
January 2013