What should I eat if I have diabetes and want to avoid high blood pressure?

Jessica Crandall
Nutrition & Dietetics

Eating a well-balanced meal with the appropriate carbohydrate ratio can help as a diabetic. In order to avoid high blood pressure, try to eat whole grains, fruits, and veggies. Avoid processed food that contains high amounts of sodium. Whenever possible choose low sodium food items. Look at labels to be sure the sodium levels are not high. Consult with a Registered Dietitian to work out a plan that is individualized to fit your needs.

Ruth Frechman
Nutrition & Dietetics

With a little information you can control your blood sugar and avoid complications. First of all, learn how to count your carbs. 15 grams = 1 carb. Keep track of the amount of carbs consumed. Then two hours after you eat, test your blood sugar. If it's more than 180 mg/dl, cut back on the amount of carbs. For example, if you eat a 6-inch tuna sub and your blood sugar is 225 mg/dl two hours after you eat, next time tear off some of the bread to eat fewer carbs. If you have high blood pressure, limit the amount of sodium to 1,500 mg. All the information you need is on the food label. The food label is your friend, when you have diabetes and high blood pressure.

Make wise food choices to help prevent high blood pressure:
  • Eat a serving of fruit at each meal.
  • Eat one or two servings of vegetables at lunch and at dinner.
  • Switch to low-fat or fat-free dairy products (such as low-fat cheese and skim milk).
  • Eat whole-grain breads (such as whole-wheat bread) and cereals.
  • Eat nuts or peanut butter sometimes.
  • Choose lean meats and meat substitutes (such as chicken without the skin, fish, lean beef, such as flank steak or chuck roast, boiled ham, or pork tenderloin).
  • Cook using low-fat methods such as baking, roasting, broiling, or grilling.
  • Add little or no salt to your food at the table and during cooking.
  • Try herbs and spices instead of salt.
  • Check food labels and choose foods with less than 400 mg (milligrams) of sodium per serving.

Continue Learning about Diabetes


Diabetes mellitus (MEL-ih-tus), often referred to as diabetes, is characterized by high blood glucose (sugar) levels that result from the body’s inability to produce enough insulin and/or effectively utilize the insulin. Diabetes ...

is a serious, life-long condition and the sixth leading cause of death in the United States. Diabetes is a disorder of metabolism (the body's way of digesting food and converting it into energy). There are three forms of diabetes. Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease that accounts for five- to 10-percent of all diagnosed cases of diabetes. Type 2 diabetes may account for 90- to 95-percent of all diagnosed cases. The third type of diabetes occurs in pregnancy and is referred to as gestational diabetes. Left untreated, gestational diabetes can cause health issues for pregnant women and their babies. People with diabetes can take preventive steps to control this disease and decrease the risk of further complications.

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.