What about diet and diabetes?

How to eat well with diabetes

A healthy, balanced diet can help manage diabetes and reduce the risk of complications. Incorporating healthy choices that are realistic and achievable can help you stick to the healthier diet.

It is important to still include healthier carbohydrates such as whole grains, starchy foods, fruit and vegetables, pulses, unsweetened yogurt and milk, nut and seeds as you don’t want blood glucose levels to get too low.

Your diet should include making healthier food choices that are lower in saturated fat, sugar and salt. Try and eat five portions of fruit and vegetables a day and swap low fibre carbohydrates, such as white bread, white rice and highly-processed cereals, for wholegrain varieties.

Sugary drinks and fruit juices should be avoided, as these are high glycaemic index (GI) foods and cause a sharp rise in blood glucose levels. Water, sugar free and diet soft drinks are good alternatives.

Foods high in salt should be reduced because as a diabetic your risk of high blood pressure, heart disease and stroke is higher.

Being more physically active can help manage diabetes and also reduce risk of heart problems as exercise increases the amount of glucose used by muscles and helps the body use insulin more efficiently.

The Mediterranean diet can also be a good guideline to follow for a healthy lifestyle. The Mediterranean diet is high in vegetables, legumes, nuts, beans, cereals, grains, fish and unsaturated fats such as olive oil. As these foods don’t raise your blood glucose too quickly and therefore can help manage your glucose levels while also providing other essential nutrients to allow for a healthy lifestyle.