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21 Hints and Tips For Eating Well With Diabetes
Reader's Digest
21 Hints and Tips For Eating Well With Diabetes

It’s one thing to aim for consistently healthy eating.

Putting it into practice takes more than just discipline – it takes clever thinking and specific actions.

With that in mind, here is a collection of hints and tips to help you on your road to eating well with diabetes.

  1. Have regular meals, preferably of a similar size each day.
  2. Keep to the amounts as recommended by your dietitian or diabetes health-care professionals.
  3. Missing meals will affect your blood glucose and undereating can make you suddenly feel hungry and reach for a snack of less healthy foods.
  4. Eat plenty of fruit and vegetables each day. The health benefits are important, and if you are watching your weight these foods can help to fill you up at a low-joule cost.
  5. Include carbohydrate-containing foods in each meal.
  6. Make sure the portion size of these meals is not too large and does not vary too much throughout the day.
  7. Plan meals ahead when possible, have healthy foods to hand, and less healthy foods out of sight.
  8. Limit the fat you eat, particularly saturated (animal) fats, as this type of fat is linked to heart disease.
  9. Choose mono-unsaturated fats, such as olive oil and canola oil.
  10. Eating less fat and fatty foods will also help you to lose weight.
  11. Use less butter, margarine, cheese and fatty meats.
  12. Choose low-fat dairy foods, such as low-fat milk and low-fat yogurt.
  13. Use low-fat cooking methods: bake, grill, roast without fat, microwave, steam, poach, chargrill, stir-fry and grill.
  14. Limit sugar and sugary foods. This does not mean that your diet has to be sugar-free. Sugar can be used as an ingredient in foods and in baking as part of a healthy diet. But keep to sugar-free or diet drinks.
  15. Eat more fish, and try to choose oily fish (such as herring, salmon and mackerel) twice a week.
  16. Opt for foods high in fibre. For bulk and fibre, choose starchy foods such as potatoes in their skins, pasta and basmati rice, and wholegrain bread and cereals.
  17. Try to get to a healthy weight and stay there.
  18. If you have a food craving, it can help to know that it will pass. The longer you can resist the craving, the weaker it will become. Think how you might deal with a similar situation differently next time. For instance, have at hand some healthy nibbles such as carrots, melon and strawberries. Sugar-free jelly, a glass of tomato juice, a chilled sugar-free drink or a mug of low-kilojoule soup can also be helpful.
  19. Enhance the natural flavours in your cooking with herbs, spices, garlic, chilli, lemon or lime juice, flavoured vinegars, tomato purée (passata), a splash of wine, Tabasco, capers, a few olives or mustard. These will add flavour so you can reduce the need for added salt.
  20. Drink alcohol in moderation only – the guidelines are four or fewer standard units of alcohol a day for men and two or fewer standard drinks a day for women. For example, a 100 ml glass of wine or a 300 ml glass of normal-strength beer is one standard drink.
  21. Never drink on an empty stomach, as alcohol can make hypoglycaemia (low blood glucose levels) more likely to occur.
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