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Diabetes Food and Diet

Eating a healthy, balanced diet is essential to managing diabetes.

The daily diet of a person with diabetes should be the same as that of anyone else looking to live a healthy, active life – e.g. one that is low in fat, sugar and salt, but high in fibre and includes plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables.

If you have been diagnosed with diabetes you should receive healthy eating advice from a dietician.

Diabetes meal plans

They will help put together a plan that suits your individual needs, taking into account your condition and whether you’re receiving insulin treatment or not, your eating habits, physique, occupation, culture and religious beliefs.

As well as diet changes, they will also encourage lifestyle changes such as regular exercise to ensure you reach and maintain a healthy weight (if you are overweight or obese).

The main aim of dietary education for people with diabetes mellitus is to help them understand their condition better and achieve independence in management.

  The following are general dietary tips for people with diabetes

  • Increase your intake of complex carbohydrate / fibre rich foods
  • Choose carbohydrate foods with a low glycaemic index (GI)
  • Avoid eating too many high GI foods, especially in between meals
  • Have regular meals and eat healthy snacks in between meals, e.g. fruit, yoghurts, etc.
  • Don’t skip meals
  • Avoid eating fried foods, takeouts and baked goods
  • Choose low-fat dairy products such as semi-skimmed milk and low-fat yoghurts
  • Avoid fatty meats and processed meat products
  • Choose lean meat and remove any skin and fat before cooking
  • Check food labels for fat, salt and sugar content
  • Drink plenty of water and other healthy drinks – carry a bottle of water with you whenever you leave home.
  • Drink alcohol sensibly - avoid binge drinking, drinking too quickly or drinking on an empty stomach

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