7 Tips To Eat To Manage Diabetes
1. Eat regular meals
Spacing meals evenly throughout the day will help control your appetite and blood glucose levels – especially if you are on twice-daily insulin.
2. Cut the fat
Eat less fat – particularly saturated fat. Try unsaturated fats and oils, especially monounsaturated fats like extra virgin olive oil and rapeseed oil, as these types of fat are better for your heart. Use skimmed or semi-skimmed milk and other low-fat dairy products, while grilling, steaming or baking foods is healthier than frying. Remember that all fats contribute similar amounts of calories, so limit your overall intake if you are aiming to lose weight.
3. Eat more fish
All types of fish are healthy, provided they’re not coated in batter or fried, but oily fish such as mackerel, sardines, salmon and trout are particularly good for you. They are rich in omega-3 (polyunsaturated fat) which helps protect against heart disease, which people with diabetes are at higher risk of. Aim to eat two portions of oily fish a week.
4. Five a day
Aim for at least five portions of fruit and vegetables every day to give your body the vitamins, minerals and fibre it needs. A portion is: 1 piece of fruit, like a banana or apple, 1 handful of grapes, 1 tablespoon (30g) dried fruit, 1 small glass (150ml) of fruit juice or fruit smoothie, 3 heaped tablespoons vegetables.
5. Cut back on sugar
Having diabetes doesn’t mean you need to eat a sugar-free diet. You can include some sugar as part of a healthy, balanced diet, provided you don’t over do it. Just aim to have less of it. You can also use other sweeteners as an alternative to sugar. Some easy ways to cut back on your sugar intake include choosing sugar-free drinks, buying canned fruit in juice rather than syrup and reducing or cutting out sugar in tea and coffee.
6. Eat plenty of beans
Beans, lentils and pulses are all low in fat, high in fibre and cheap to buy. They don’t have a big impact on blood glucose and may help to control blood fats such as cholesterol. Try kidney beans, chickpeas, green lentils, and even baked beans. Include in soups and casseroles, cold in salads, in falafel, bean burgers and low-fat houmous and dahls.
7. Reduce your salt
Having too much salt increases risk of high blood pressure. This in turn increases your risk of heart disease and stroke, which people with diabetes are already at higher risk of. Reduce salt in your diet to 6g or less a day. Try cutting back on processed foods which account for about 70 per cent of our salt intake.