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Here's some good news: You can still enjoy the Latino foods you love, or have yet to discover, even though you may suffer from diabetes or are prediabetic. Life doesn't have to be boring! There are many staple foods in the Latino diet that are good for your health, from black beans and fresh tomatoes to tropical fruits and whole grain corn. Many common Latino dishes, however, are also fried and prepared with refined grains, and those should be limited. Yet there are many ways to enjoy those dishes by simply substituting certain ingredients, like sugar for a natural sweetener, for example; or by changing the manner of cooking, from fried to baked, for instance, as we can do so easily with our beloved empanadas.

More from MamásLatinas: 40 foods that are good for you if you have high cholesterol

Knowing what is safe to eat or not, especially when eating out, relieves some of the stress and concern when dealing with diabetes or prediabetes. My grandmother, who lived in Perú, had diabetes; and I remember going with her to the doctor and dietician. Learning about the different foods available to her gave us a huge sense of security.

We've compiled a list of 40 foods that are safe for diabetics. The list includes delicious recipes for Latino dishes but also several tropical fruits, which can serve as perfect snacks. There are also ideas for drinks like refreshing aguas frescas, and even a cocktail or two, even some sans alcohol, but that still look so yummy and appetizing. Are you ready to have your mouth water?!

Delicious Peruvian ceviche is perfect for diabetics! 1

Delicious Peruvian ceviche is perfect for diabetics!

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I hope you've had Peruvian ceviche, and if not, please give it a try! And if you love to cook, it couldn't be easier to make.

Get the full recipe at TravelwithG.

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Mexican pozole is a soup to die for! 2

Mexican pozole is a soup to die for!

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The first time I had Mexican pozole, I was hooked. This is a nourishing and delicious soup that you top off with sliced radishes, avocado, fresh onions, and jalapeños, if you're adventurous!

Get the full recipe at CDC Diabetes Prevention.

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Perfect for a mid-morning snack: A yummy papaya smoothie. 3

Perfect for a mid-morning snack: A yummy papaya smoothie.

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Papaya is good for diabetics because it's rich in fiber and antioxidants. You can eat it by itself with a little lime juice, or you can make a quick and filling smoothie with almond milk.

Get the smoothie recipe at MamásLatinas.

Yes, you can have creamy chicken enchiladas! 4

Yes, you can have creamy chicken enchiladas!

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This is a traditional Mexican dish that pleases most palates. Having lived in Mexico, I can attest to its deliciousness! 

Get the full recipe at Diabetic Living.

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A quick and easy appetizer of shrimp and cucumber salad with avocado dressing. 5

A quick and easy appetizer of shrimp and cucumber salad with avocado dressing.

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This appetizer is super quick and easy, delicious, and good for you at the same time. A definite winner. I usually keep high-quality frozen shrimp in the freezer and avocados are a staple in my house.

Get the full recipe at EatingWell.

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Carnitas especially created for diabetics. 6

Carnitas especially created for diabetics.

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Traditionally, carnitas are deep fried in lard, which wouldn't work for diabetics. But we found a perfect recipe where they are not and will taste delicious! 

Get the full recipe at Diabetic Living.

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You cannot go wrong with aguadito de pollo, Peruvian cilantro chicken soup. 7

This soup is known in Perú as "levanta muertos." Basically, it will bring you back to life and it is totally safe for diabetics.

Get the full recipe at Peru Delights.

Say cheers with a sangria-style cooler, colorful and refreshing any time of day. 8

Say cheers with a sangria-style cooler, colorful and refreshing any time of day.

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Ginger ale and grapefruit take the place of wine in this concoction, yet it is still delicious and fun to drink. Be adventurous and come up with your own flavors!

Get the full recipe at EatingWell.

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You have to try these cilantro chicken chilaquiles topped with queso fresco! 9

You have to try these cilantro chicken chilaquiles topped with queso fresco!

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Queso fresco is a good cheese for diabetics because it’s lower in fat, yet still full of flavor. The recipe for this typical Mexican dish sounds easy and delicious to make.

Get the full recipe at Diabetic Living Online.

You can have dessert! Flan is one of the most traditional Latino desserts that you shouldn’t go without. 10

You can have dessert! Flan is one of the most traditional Latino desserts that you shouldn’t go without.

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Why not indulge in a little dessert without the worry? This recipe will show you how to make this simple but delicious dessert in a healthy way.

Get the full recipe at One How to.

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Mexican corn soup is the perfect light lunch or snack. 11

Mexican corn soup is the perfect light lunch or snack.

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There is a misconception that diabetics cannot have corn. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention of Diabetes recommends having starch in smaller portions, and corn is an approved food. You can cook corn in hundreds of ways; and corn soup is an easy way to include this versatile ingredient in your diet.
 
Get the full recipe at Diabetic Living Online.

Venezuelan arepas with a healthy twist. 12

Venezuelan arepas with a healthy twist.

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Have you had arepas? Whether from Venezuela or Colombia, I think they are the most perfect snacks. Baptist Health Hospital in Miami came up with a healthy version using chia seeds!

Find the full recipe at Baptist Health Hospital.

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The quintessential and versatile Spanish omelette is a go-to in many Latino households. 13

The quintessential and versatile Spanish omelette is a go-to in many Latino households.

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My aunt taught me how to make this, and I prepare it a few times a month. It can be a filling snack, appetizer, or a whole meal!
 
Get the full recipe at CDC Diabetes Prevention.

If you’re crazy about avocado toast, then you’ll love avocado tacos. 14

If you’re crazy about avocado toast, then you’ll love avocado tacos.

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Sounds basic, but it is delicious. You can spruce your avocado taco with all sorts of crunchy veggies, even grilled shrimp, chicken, or a lean meat. 
 
Check out this easy recipe at CDC Diabetes Prevention.
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Top your pupusas, empanadas, chilaquiles, or basically anything else with curtido salvadoreño. 15

Top your pupusas, empanadas, chilaquiles, or basically anything else with curtido salvadoreño.

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This pickled cole slaw is a definite must-have in Salvadorean cuisine, but you can have it with any foods, in my opinion. The vinegar makes it tangy, some people even add a little jalapeño to make it spicy.
 
Get the full recipe at University of Illinois Extension.

Try a mango kiwi chia seed smoothie that is to die for! 16

Try a mango kiwi chia seed smoothie that is to die for!

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Mango and kiwi are excellent tropical fruits to combine in a perfect smoothie. Plus, by now, we all know the amazing benefits of chia seeds. We're sharing a recipe that you're sure to love!

Get the full recipe at MamásLatinas.

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Just for fun, here's another recipe using chia seeds. 17

Just for fun, here's another recipe using chia seeds.

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Did anyone say blueberry pudding for breakfast?! Count me in. This blueberry and vanilla chia seed pudding couldn't be easier to make. And it is so tasty!

Get the full recipe at MamásLatinas.

Passion fruit is packed with antioxidants and tastes amazing. 18

Passion fruit is packed with antioxidants and tastes amazing.

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Not only are antioxidants good for the skin, this is also a safe fruit to eat for people with diabetes. We're sharing a refreshing and easy recipe for the perfect drink below.

Get the full recipe at MamásLatinas.

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Eat apples, as recommended by the doctor... but in a dessert! Try this yummy apple crisp. 19

Eat apples, as recommended by the doctor... but in a dessert! Try this yummy apple crisp.

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Apples have pectin, a form of carbohydrate that helps control blood sugar by releasing it more slowly into the bloodstream. Yes, you can eat apples raw, but why not make a diabetic-safe dessert instead?

Get the full recipe at Diabetic Gourmet.

Every Latino country has them, and they’re all delicious: tamales! 20

Every Latino country has them, and they’re all delicious: tamales!

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You might have thought you couldn’t have tamales, but we’ve found a recipe for red chile tamales that sounds super yummy. Give it a try!
 
Get the full recipe at Diabetes Forecast
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How does Caribbean red snapper sound to you? 21

How does Caribbean red snapper sound to you?

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Fish is a great source of nutrients and protein in any diet. Red snapper or pargo rojo is a light fish that you can bake easily for a filling lunch or dinner.
 
Get the full recipe at CDC Diabetes Prevention.

Ceviche doesn’t only come from Perú. Try this equally yummy Mexican ceviche. 22

Ceviche doesn’t only come from Perú. Try this equally yummy Mexican ceviche.

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The rivalry among countries on who has the best ceviche is not unknown. I say, who cares?! I think the avocado and tomatoes just add to the freshness of this dish. And it is super healthy and good for you, too!
 
Get the full recipe at Genius Kitchen.
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A super refreshing recipe for watermelon agua fresca. 23

A super refreshing recipe for watermelon agua fresca.

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Having lived in Mexico, I got used to drinking aguas frescas on a daily basis. There are no limits on how many variations you can make. We’re giving you the recipe for one with watermelon, which is sure to be a hit!

Get the full recipe at MamásLatinas.

You won't be dissapointed with this recipe for Peruvian chicken. Yum! 24

You won't be dissapointed with this recipe for Peruvian chicken. Yum!

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Pollo a la brasa is known worldwide for its perfect combination of flavors, and it is safe to eat for diabetics. We're sharing a recipe that is sure to satisfy any palate.

Get the full recipe at Diabetes.Org

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Here's an easy no-cook fresh salsa to top your favorite dishes. 25

Here's an easy no-cook fresh salsa to top your favorite dishes.

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What can be easier than fresh salsa? And I think you'll agree that it is much better when it's homemade. This is totally safe for diabetics, and you can add as much or little heat as you want.

Get the full recipe at MamásLatinas.

Watermelon is the perfect palate cleanser and snack. 26

Watermelon is the perfect palate cleanser and snack.

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The glycemic level in watermelons is low, which prevents sugar levels from increasing. It is also a great fruit for people with diabetes as it has no fat or cholesterol and its packed with vitamins and minerals.

Oh! And you can eat the seeds! Find out how to safely eat the seeds at MamásLatinas.

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Mexican street corn is safe to eat for diabetics. But make it at home! 27

Mexican street corn is safe to eat for diabetics. But make it at home!

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This is probably one of my favorite ways to eat corn. Use reduced fat mayo and low-fat feta cheese, and you'll be amazed how good it tastes.

Ge the full recipe at Diabetes Forecast.

Who would have thought it? You can have candied yams! 28

Who would have thought it? You can have candied yams!

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Baked yams caramelize and become sweeter, so this is a side dish that is sure to satisfy any sweet cravings. Yams are a definite staple in Latino cuisine. Leave the raisins out if you want to lower the sugar content.

Get the full recipe at Diabetic Gourmet.

 

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What can be more satisfying than chicken soup? Here's a Mexican recipe that it is sure to delight. 29

What can be more satisfying than chicken soup? Here's a Mexican recipe that it is sure to delight.

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All Latino countries have their own version of sopa de pollo. This chicken soup will definitely warm your belly.

Get the full recipe at Diabetic Gourmet.

 

You don’t need to deep-fry your empanadas. You can bake them! 30

You don’t need to deep-fry your empanadas. You can bake them!

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For a perfect appetizer or snack, try some baked beef empanadas. Every Latino country has them, in one form or another, and baked empanadas are also delicious.
 
Get the full recipe at Diabetic Gourmet.
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Guava is a delicious Latino tropical fruit and good for you, too! 31

Guava is a delicious Latino tropical fruit and good for you, too!

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Guava is an exotic fruit and has amazing flavor. One of the easiest ways to include it in a diet specific for diabetics is to make a refreshing juice. Just mix the pulp with water.

You can find out more about this perfect fruit at MamásLatinas.

Adding fresh mango to a no-cook salsa is a must! 32

Adding fresh mango to a no-cook salsa is a must!

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Mangoes are a great addition to salsas, especially if you add a little heat. And, they're perfectly safe for diabetics. Try this recipe out!

Get the full recipe at MamásLatinas.

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A true traditional Latino ingredient that is a must in many homes: beans! 33

A true traditional Latino ingredient that is a must in many homes: beans!

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Beans are not only good for diabetics, they're versatile and delicious. A great source of protein, they also have essential vitamins and minerals. Cuban-style black beans are probably my favorite. We're sharing a great recipe below.

Get the full recipe at Diabetic Gourmet.

These Colmobian tostones are baked instead of fried, yet still delicious! 34

These Colmobian tostones are baked instead of fried, yet still delicious!

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Tostones, or fried plantains, are a definite staple in many Latino households. The good news is that you can have these by baking them instead of frying them!

Get the full recipe at Country Life City Wife.

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It's always a good time for piña colada, don't you think? 35

It's always a good time for piña colada, don't you think?

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This drink will absolutely satisfy you. Creamy with coconut and pinneaple, this piña colada will not disappoint. And the best news, it is totally safe to drink for people with diabetes.

Get the full recipe at Diabetic Gourmet.

You will love this tapioca pudding; it's healthy and super good for you! 36

You will love this tapioca pudding; it's healthy and super good for you!

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Tapioca is a starch extracted from the cassava or yuca root. It is used as a thickening agent, and you can also utilize it to make a delicious, satisfying, and nutrient-rich pudding for breakfast or as a snack.

Get the full recipe at Diabetes Care Net.

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One more agua fresca recipe, and we think you'll love it! 37

One more agua fresca recipe, and we think you'll love it!

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Strawberries and coconuts are delicious fruits that are easily available. Combine them together with water and ice, and add mint leaves for a light and flavorful drink that is good any time of the day.

Get full recipe at MamásLatinas.

Shrimp taco salad is healthy, easy and delicious either for a light lunch or snack. 38

Shrimp taco salad is healthy, easy and delicious either for a light lunch or snack.

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Shrimp and avocado are excellent ingredients, which are safe for diabetics. Combine them together for a perfect taco salad lunch.

Get the full recipe at University of Illinois Extension.

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Another way to make red snapper, this time Veracruz style. 39

Another way to make red snapper, this time Veracruz style.

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Huachinango or red snapper a la Veracruzana is a delicious fish made with olives, tomatoes and jalapeño. You can make it as spicy as you want!

Get the full recipe at American Diabetes Association.

Arroz con pollo, a traditional Latino dish made with whole grain rice. 40

Arroz con pollo, a traditional Latino dish made with whole grain rice.

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This recipe for arroz con pollo sounds delicious, and it is made healthy and safe for diabetics by using whole grain rice, low-fat chicken stock, and by removing the skin from the chicken breast. 

Get the full recipe at CDC Diabetes Prevention.