10 tips to eat well with diabetes

Diabetes can sometimes be tricky to manage, especially when you are unsure on what your diet should look like. Type 2 diabetes is more common than type 1. With a type 2 diabetes diet, there is nothing you can’t eat, however, you will have to limit certain foods in your diabetic diet.

Symptoms of diabetes are caused when some or all of the glucose remains in the blood. This means that it is not being used as fuel for energy, therefore, a diabetes nutrition plan is important.

There are ways to ease your symptoms such as incorporating healthy food into your diet and ensuring it is balanced. What you eat daily is important if you are diabetic.

You will learn how to reduce your blood sugar levels through practice and how to raise your blood sugar levels instantly when required.

Ensuring you keep a healthy balanced diet tailored to your condition will help you to manage your diabetes. Here are 10 tips…

  1. 1. Cut down your daily sugar intake

Cutting down on the amount of sugar you consume can help you manage your blood glucose levels and your weight. When it comes to food and drink, try to avoid ones without added sugar. Where possible opt for low or zero-calorie sweeteners to help you cut back.

How to raise blood sugar levels instantly

On the other hand, if you need to treat severely low blood sugar levels the best thing to do is consume a fast-acting source of sugar (fruit, fruit juice, honey, jelly and a tablespoon of sugar in water).

After the fast-acting sugar has been consumed it is advised that you eat a long-acting source of sugar (carbohydrates or sandwiches with meat and cheese and crackers).

  1. a diabetic diet should limit red meat

    2. Cut down on red and processed meat

In a diabetic diet, red and processed meat should be eaten sparingly. Meats such as beef, bacon, sausages and lamb can put you at risk of heart disease.

You should be aiming to eat no more than 18 ounces of cooked red meat per week. Sticking to these portion sizes can help you keep your red meat consumption in safe limits.

What meats can you eat?

Making simple swaps can help people with diabetes. You can switch your red meat for seafood such as tuna, salmon and cod. You can also include chicken and turkey in your diet as a substitute for red meat.

  1. 3. Be sensible with alcohol

Alcohol affects diabetics by making it more likely for you to have a hypo. Alcohol interferes with your blood sugar levels. It can also affect your weight too due to alcoholic drinks being calorie dense.

What alcohol can you drink with diabetes?

When drinking alcohol you should opt for spirits, dry wines and prosecco. They don’t increase your blood sugar levels as much as beers, ales and ciders do.

4. Eat more fruit and vegetables

As a diabetic you might be worried about fruit. However, it doesn’t mean you have to avoid it. Fruit and veg should be included in the foods you eat as part of eating a healthy, balanced diet.

Fruit and vegetables are full of vitamins and minerals, offering you a range of health benefits. Adding more greens to your diet reduces the risk of stroke, heart disease and high blood pressure.

When you have diabetes you’re more at risk of developing these conditions. Your heart health will thank you for incorporating more fruit and veg in your diet.

What is a balanced diet in diabetes?

A balanced diet is recommended for everyone. You can tailor your diet plan depending on which type of diabetes you have.

People with type 1 diabetes can eat all types of food, however, it is a good idea to ensure you are including carbohydrates in each meal. You should opt for healthier carbs.

Those with type 2 diabetes should focus more on whole foods and include more non-starchy vegetables in their diet.

5. Choose healthier snacks

Everybody loves a snack. When you are choosing your snacks on a diabetic diet you should aim to swap your snacks for yoghurts, fruit and unsalted nuts. Opting for healthier snacks can help you stick to your diabetic diet.

You should still keep an eye on how many snacks you consume. If you are snacking too much it can hinder your progress if you are in the process of losing weight.

6. Eat less salt

Excess salt is a risk factor of high blood pressure. This can then lead to other health problems. You should try and limit yourself to one teaspoon of salt per day.

Lots of pre-packed food already has a high salt content. Make sure you are checking your food labels.

What can you replace salt with?

You can swap your salt for other herbs and spices to add flavour to your food. Turmeric is a good spice to choose as it can help to control your blood sugar.

egg on toast breakfast

7. Don’t skip breakfast

Breakfast is important for everybody. Skipping breakfast can slow down your metabolism, cause food cravings and can make you gain weight.

Skipping breakfast can be dangerous for diabetics as it can lead to uncontrolled blood sugar levels.

8. Replace some carbs with fat

Fat has very little effect on blood glucose levels. That is why you should swap some of your carbs for fats. A higher fat diet can lead to better blood glucose control.

9. Daily dairy intake

As a diabetic, dairy items such as milk are vital. You should aim to consume 500ml of milk or a dairy equivalent.

Dairy has the ability to help control your blood sugar levels.

10. Stay hydrated

Making sure that you are drinking plenty of water is important. Staying well hydrated can help you reduce your blood sugar levels which helps you manage the hormone insulin.

Aim to drink between 8-10 glasses of water per day to avoid dehydration, and, where possible, try to avoid sugary drinks.

woman drinking water

Your diet plays an important role when it comes to managing diabetes symptoms. A diet plan for diabetics can help with controlling your blood sugar levels.

It is important to make sure that your diabetes nutrition plan includes plenty of healthy food. Whilst you are eating a balanced diet you should also keep physically active.

Following a diabetic diet doesn’t necessarily mean restricting yourself or completely avoiding food groups. You just need to be more mindful of what you are consuming.

Olivia Malone - Medical Content Writer
James O'Loan - CEO & Superintendent Pharmacist
James O'Loan , CEO & Superintendent Pharmacist on 17 June 2024
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