What should a diabetic diet consist of?


4 Answers

Garrett Hnatiuk Profile
Garrett Hnatiuk answered

To get the best advice for use on your situation the best bet would be to talk to your doctor in order to take a diabetes management class.

Emily Rivers Profile
Emily Rivers answered

Hi there Ross,

I did some research on what a diabetic diet should consist of on the Diabetes UK website, and I was surprised to find that it doesn't have to be much different from my diet!

It is important for people with diabetes to maintain a healthy, balanced lifestyle. You should be able to consult a dietitian who will be able to tell you exactly how much you should have of each of the five food groups:

  • starchy foods
  • fruit and vegetables
  • dairy products
  • meat, fish, eggs and pulses
  • foods high in fat and sugar.

Starchy Foods

Carbohydrates are a main part of a person's diet. They are in foods such as bread, rice, pasta and potatoes - you can choose carbohydrates that are lower GI because they are more slowly absorbed and won't affect your blood sugar levels as much. A third of your diet should be carbohydrates, so you should have 5 to 14 portions of these per day. A portion is something like 2-3 tablespoons of rice, pasta or couscous.

Fruit and Vegetables

Fruit and veg are low in calories and high in vitamins, minerals and fibre. Everyone knows you should eat 5 portions a day. For a diabetic diet, I would recommend trying to eat more vegetables as they have less sugar in them - this is what my diabetic friend does, but again, speak to a dietitian or doctor.

Dairy Products

Dairy products such as milk, cheese and yoghurt are calcium-rich, so these are really important for bone and teeth strength. They also have a lot of protein in them. Watch out for the ones that are high in fat, and try to choose a low-fat alternative if you can, but make sure the fat isn't replaced with loads of sugar. You should have about 3 portions a day.

Meat, fish, eggs and pulses

These foods are really important, because they're super-high in protein. You need protein to build and replace cells in the body. They also contain iron which is very important for making red blood cells. Beans, pulses, lentils and tofu are good for vegetarians. You should have 2-3 portions a day.

Foods high in fat and sugar

We can really do without these! But of course it's a bit more important for diabetics to make sure that they are keeping check on what sugary foods they're eating. They can be enjoyed as part of a healthy, balanced diet, but try to make sure you choose diet or low-calorie options because you want to try to keep your blood glucose as low as possible. You should only eat 0-4 portions of these a day, sadly :(

So that's a rough idea of what a diabetic diet should consist of. Remember though, you should talk to a dietitian or doctor about tailoring your diet to suit your diabetes. I also found these videos on the Diabetes UK website, here's one below about adapting recipes for healthier cooking:

Hope this helps - you can find more info on http://www.diabetes.org.uk/Guide-to-diabetes/Managing-your-diabetes/Healthy-eating/. Enjoy!

Paul Small Profile
Paul Small answered

  Focus on leaner meats, green veggies, eggs, nuts, lentils, sugar-free
puddings, and diet soda.  Minimize potatoes, bread, pasta, fruit,
sweets, and milk.  It's all about balance to keep those carbs low.

Melissa  Tower Profile
Melissa Tower answered

I should prefer always, you can go your doctor and get advise about your diabetic diet.

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