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What is the 'diabetic diet'? - diet and - diet plan - foods - health

One thing is for sure, we all LOVE love luuurve our food, we crave to cut into that that rib eye, we spend billions on takeaway food, be it burgers, pizza, kebabs and curry’s.  So what happens when you are suddenly told that you are now a diabetic? Are you now forced to live on a diet of porridge, oatmeal and wholemeal bread?  Forget it! It is not as bad as you may think.

What foods can I eat and what foods can't I eat?

By choosing the ‘diabetic diet’ (although not through choice), you are going to be having a very healthy diet of fresh and wholesome foods, which in itself is not a bad thing.  Gone are the sweet food habits such as chocolate snacking during the morning break, although you can eat these foods as part of your meals, as long as you take this type of foods into account when working out your carb/insulin ratio.

Low Fats

 You will be choosing to use fewer fats choosing unsaturated fats or oils, especially monounsaturated fat like olive oil and rapeseed oil as these types of fats are better for your heart. Cutting down on fats can also help you lose weight due to its calorific content. Here are some essential tips on fats and oils.


  • Cut down on saturated fats by using less butter, margarine and cheese.
  • Choose the leanest cuts of meat that you can afford.
  • Fish as low fat alternative to fatty meats and high in Omega 3.  Try to eat oily fish twice a week.
  • Use lower fat dairy produce such as skimmed or semi-skimmed milk, low-fat or diet yogurts, low fat cheese and lower fat spreads.
  • Grill or oven bake instead of frying or cooking with oil or other fats.
  • Steam food for a change, you can also steam the vegetables at the same time.
  • Cut down on fatty dressings swap for tomato-based sauces instead.
Am I going to starve myself?

One word... NO!  Most people think that they are going to starve on the diabetic diet, but you will eat 3 meals a day plus some small snacks but within moderation.  Yes it will be a challenge to start with, just like the diet we all go on just before summer to squeeze into that swimsuit or get our abs toned up for the beach (huh wishful thinking!...).  We all feel as though we are starving at the beginning but we get used to it and persevere with the diet of a limp salad, although there is no need to eat like that.


It does not need to be like that.  You can eat potatoes, pasta, rice, chapattis, noodles and other starchy foods, which are slower to absorb into the blood because of its low GI (glycaemic Index) If you like Vegeatables then knock yourself out, as most veg are low or free from carbs, although potatoes and most fruit are high in carbs.  Just make sure that if you are going to eat starchy foods like potatoes, rice, pasta and fruit are counted in your allowance.


Reduce your salt intake

Salt can raise blood pressure and can lead to heart disease and strokes.  You should limit your daily intake to 6 grams, which is quite a lot.  Try seasoning foods with spices, herbs and onion or garlic. Cut down on processed meals as they are usually full of salt.

Limit your alcohol intake

This may hurt some people but it needs to be done. Stick to the daily intake of 2 units for a woman and 3 units for a man. And No… you cannot save it all up until weekend comes around and have a weeks intake in one or two days.  Drinks like ciders and beer have lots of empty calories in them (lots of calories and no food value) so if you want to lose some weight, cut down on the booze.

Those sugar free sweets and chocolates

Avoid them!  They have just as many calories are full of sweeteners (I have my own views on Aspartame!), have laxative effects and are expensive.  Some companies are making small fortunes on people being over cautious and going for the ‘legal’ chocolate for diabetics


If you want some chocolate, instead of going for a false tasting alternative with the same calories and carbs, why not go for the real thing?  Ounce for ounce there is no real difference and if you use it as part of your meal then who is going to complain?

Food Groups



Food Groups:



Meats, fish, nuts, eggs, cheese


Butter, margarine, mayonnaise, oil, cream


Bread, rice, potatoes, cereals, milk, fruit, sugar


Eat healthily; your body (and your blood sugars) will thank you for it.

Eat more fresh fruit & veg.

Not everyone likes veg, but we all like fruit. Add a few strawberries to your healthy semi skimmed breakfast.  Why stop there? Add bananas, apples or grapes.  Try a healthy breakfast smoothie by adding a small tub of yoghurt, 3 tablespoons of porridge oats, 2 apples (cored) 1 banana and a yoghurt pot of cold semi skimmed milk and whizz in the blender for 30 seconds.  It makes a great smoothie and is very easy to drink even for those of us who hate having breakfast.

Try steaming the veg.  The veg tastes much better that when boiled and keeps all of the vital nutrients and vitamins intact.  Most people who ‘hate’ vegetables always mention their mothers Christmas Brussels Sprouts for hating veg for some reason… I wonder why?  No need to boil the life out of them. Veg should have a ‘bite’ to them.  The days of soggy veg are long gone.

 Look at the amazing colours.  So tasty and oh-so healthy!


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