Healthy Eating

Part of a successful diabetes management plan requires you to keep your blood glucose level under control by watching what you eat and exercising regularly. Here are some tips to guide you along.

Healthy Eating

When you have diabetes, it’s important to understand how the foods you eat can affect your blood glucose:
  • Starchy carbohydrates such as whole meal bread or pasta are broken down into sugars and absorbed slowly, helping to keep your blood sugar level smooth throughout the day.
  • Sugary foods, such as cakes and sweets, are absorbed quickly. This causes your blood glucose to rise more rapidly.

Choose the Right Foods

In addition to starchy carbohydrates, you need to eat:
  • Fruit and vegetables. Try to spread them out over the day to avoid any sudden rises in your blood glucose level.
  • Meat, fish and protein alternatives such as tofu. Eat a variety and choose low fat options wherever possible.
  • Low fat milk and dairy foods such as yoghurt and milk which contain calcium for healthy bones and teeth.
  • Small amounts of fats, sugars and salt. Don’t cut out fats completely but do keep your intake to a minimum. Use herbs instead of salt for flavour and cut down on sugar wherever you can.

Avoid and Reduce Your Risks

  • Cut down on excessive salt as it can cause your blood pressure to rise.
  • Eat less foods that are high in saturated fat. These have been linked to increased cholesterol levels which can magnify your risk for heart disease and cause weight gain.
  • While being overweight can create its own health risks, it also affects your diabetes control. Generally the more weight you carry, the more insulin you may need to inject. If you are lighter, you should also need less insulin. It is therefore crucial for you to test your blood glucose when on a diet.
References: 1. Joslin’s Diabetes Mellitus, 14th Edition 2005, New York Ovid Technologies. 2. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases of the National Institutes of Health Bethesda, Mol. NIDOK. 3. Kronenberg: Williams Textbook of Endocrinology 11th Edition 2008.

Please consult your healthcare professional before making any changes.