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5 Tips for Eating Healthy with Diabetes

AllClear Team
Last updated 21 March 2021
Diabetes and Eating Healthy

It is essential to manage what you eat no matter what type of Diabetes you have! Food has a huge impact not only your blood sugar levels and weight but also on your general well being.

Whilst Diet management is crucial, it can be difficult, especially if you don’t know where to start. The main thing is to remember, is that eating a balanced diet is key, it will also enable you to still find food that you will love and enjoy.

For recipes, information and advice about eating well. Check out the Diabetes UK recipe finder.

The Diabetes Diet Myth

Many websites are promoting the ‘diabetic diet’ which offers the promise of cutting out the research and continuous diet management that is part of everyday life for every diabetic. Food labelling terms indicating suitability for diabetics are not specifically permitted under food law and the Department of Health considers them to be not helpful and possibly misleading. For trustworthy advice regarding your diet, see your doctor or visit diabetes.org.uk.

The Main Food Groups

A great starting point for healthy eating is knowing how to eat a balanced diet. A balanced diet is all about variety and choosing different foods from each of the main food groups every day.

  • Dairy and alternatives, such as Almond milk & Greek Yoghurt
  • Starchy foods, like pasta and bread
  • Protein such as beans, eggs, meat and fish
  • Oils and spreads
  • Fruit and veg

The Pleasure of Food

When it comes to the terms ‘diet‘ or ‘healthy eating‘, many will envision bland salads and flavourless meals. However, this simply isn’t the case! Eating healthy shouldn’t mean you have to sacrifice the pleasure of food and taste.

Diabetes UK is supporting Phil Vicky, one of Britain’s best-loved TV chefs, with his mission to produce flavoursome meals for those suffering from Diabetes, to help them achieve a healthy balanced diet. His new book, ‘Phil Vickery’s Ultimate Diabetes Cookbook‘ contains a wide range of recipes from Roast -Cooked lamb to pancakes, so you are sure to find something you’ll love.

To make cooking easier, his book contains traffic light labelling, useful food group information and nutritional analysis, to help guide you through the process.

You can purchase his book from the Diabetes UK Shop. 

5 Tips for Eating Healthy with Diabetes

  • Reduce your salt Intake. By eating too much salt, you are increasing your risk of high blood pressure, which in turn increase your risk of a Stroke or Heart Attack. Try to stick to fresh foods, as pre-cooked meals tend to have higher salt levels.
  • Swap Red Meat for Fish. Swapping Red Meat, which is associated which various health conditions for fish, can be an effective alternative. If you are not a fan of fish, try alternatives such as Beans, peas, lentils and dhal are high in fibre, have little effect on blood glucose levels.
  • Be Snack Smart. You don’t have to stop snacking, but instead of crisps and chocolate, opt for fruit, vegetables and yoghurts, just remember to keep an eye on portions size.
  • Drink Responsibly. This goes for everyone, not just those with Diabetes. What is important to remember is that alcohol is high in calories, so avoid binge drinking.
  • Swop to Wholewheat. A simple switch can make a difference. You can still eat pasta, rice and bread but opt for the whole wheat options instead.

Whilst there are no specific Diabetes diets, there are many different recipes out there to help you with diet management, check out the Diabetes UK recipe finder to find the foods you will love.

If you have Diabetes and have any top tips for eating healthy, let us know in the comments.

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