Food Lists for Dr. Bernstein’s Diabetes Diet

The following lists will help you know what you cannot and what you can eat on Dr. Bernsteins’ Diabetes Diet.

Forbidden Foods List

On Dr. Bernstein’s program, foods that produce a rapid blood glucose rise are out. Forbidden foods include the following:

Sweets and Sweeteners:

  • Sugar, honey, fructose, corn syrup, molasses, etc, or foods which contain them such as candy and regular soda
  • Foods containing other ingredients which are types of sugar (see Sugar’s Many Disguises)
  • Sugar alcohols such as maltitol, sorbitol, etc., or foods which contain them, including sugar-free candy and other “diet” or “sugar-free” foods
  • Most desserts – pies, cakes, cookies, etc.
  • Powdered artificial sweeteners add carbs(see section on artificial sweeteners in the “Allowed Foods” section)

Grains and Grain Products:

Any product made from wheat, barley, corn, rice, quinoa, rye, etc., including:

  • Breads
  • Crackers
  • Other products made with flour
  • Cereal, including oatmeal
  • Pasta
  • Pancakes and waffles

Sweet or Starchy Vegetables:

  • Potatoes
  • Parsnips
  • Winter squash
  • Beets
  • Carrots
  • Corn
  • Yellow Bell Peppers
  • Legumes
  • Onions (except in small amounts)
  • Raw Tomatoes (except in small amounts)
  • Cooked tomatoes, tomato paste, tomato sauce
  • Packaged vegetables containing sugars or flour

For Carb Counts in Vegetables, see this Low-Carb Vegetable List

Fruits or Fruit Juices:

All, except, for some people, tomato juice in a Bloody Mary if it doesn’t cause blood glucose rise

Dairy Products:

  • Milk
  • Sweetened yogurts
  • Most low-fat and nonfat yogurts have added carbs
  • Cottage cheese, except in small amounts
  • Powdered milk substitutes and coffee lighteners
  • Evaporated or condensed milk

Other Foods:

  • Nuts except in small amounts (count the carbs)
  • Most processed and prepared foods, snack foods, etc.
  • Most condiments, including balsamic vinegar

Allowed Foods List

Most meats and protein foods, unless carbs are added – see Low Carb Meats

Vegetables not on the forbidden list – count 1 cup raw, 2/3 cup cooked, or 1/4 cup pureed or mashed as 6 grams of carb – see Low Carb Vegetables

Dairy Products:

  • Cheeses – count one gram of carb per ounce for most
  • Yogurt – full fat, unsweetened – 11 grams of carb
  • Cream – half a gram of carb per Tablespoon
  • Unsweetened soymilk can be used as a milk substitute
  • Butter or Margarine

Grain substitutes:

  • Soy flour has 7.5 grams of carbohydrate per 1/4 cup
  • Certain bran crackers (read labels)

Artificial Sweeteners are allowed unless they have added sugar (usually in the form of dextrose or maltodextrin), as most powdered sweeteners do. Exceptions are liquid sources of artificial sweeteners or those which come in small tablets.

Nuts – allowed, but count carbs and Know Thyself, as many people can’t get themselves to stop.  Consider counting out servings ahead of time, and storing nuts in the freezer.

Condiments and flavorings – those without sugar are fine, including spices, herbs, mustard, sugar-free/low carb salad dressings, and sugar-free flavorings and extracts. Check out this list of Low Carb Condiments

Beverages – include water, sparkling water, club soda, diet soda, coffee, and tea. Also, low carb alcoholic beverages in moderate amounts.


  • Ready made Sugar-free Jell-O Brand Gelatin or other truly sugar-free brands of gelatin – check especially for maltodextrin. The powdered kinds are more apt to have maltodextrin.
  • Sugar-free puddings can be made with low carb dairy alternatives and can count as six grams of carbs as part of your meal plan
  • Homemade Low Carb Desserts such as are in Bernstein’s book or on this index of Low Carb Dessert Recipes.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

error: Content is protected !!