What is a Healthy, Balanced diet for Diabetes? 10 Diabetes Food Tips

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What Is Diabetes?

Diabetes is known as the condition in which the amount of glucose (sugar) in the bloodstream is too high because the body is not using it properly. Glucose is made from starchy foods, such as potatoes, chapattis, plantain, bread, rice, sugar, and other sweet foods, the liver also produces glucose in the body.

Insulin is a hormone produced by the pancreas, which helps glucose enter the body’s cells where it is then used as fuel and it is vital for life. Some main symptoms of diabetes are increased thirst, overtiredness, going to the bathroom too often especially during the night, weight loss, genital itching, slow healing wounds, and blurred vision.

There are two main types of diabetes. Type 1 diabetes develops when the body is unable to produce insulin. This usually shows in people before they reach the age of 40 and is treated by injecting insulin directly into the body. Other factors also come into play when keeping diabetes under control such as regular physical activity and a healthy balanced diet.

Type 2 diabetes develops when the body can still produce insulin but either not enough of it or the insulin is not effective in doing its job, this is sometimes referred to as insulin resistance. Type 2 diabetes usually appears in people who are over the age of 40, although it is known to appear as young as 25 in South Asian and African Caribbean people.

The main treatments for type 2 diabetes are to change lifestyle, eat healthier, and exercise regularly. Tablets and insulin can also be required to ensure the body keeps a normal blood glucose level.

All the treatments for diabetes are going towards the main goal of keeping your blood glucose levels close to normal and this can be achieved by following a healthy lifestyle.

Diabetes Diet Foods

Diabetes Eating Guidelines


The thing to remember is eating for diabetes is nothing like going on a diet. It is all about making small healthy changes and creating an overall balanced diet. If you eat a couple of salty or sugary foods now and then it is not going to ruin all your hard work, as long as you know your limits. Here are some ideas you can use to plan your meals in the day.


All breakfast cereals are good to eat and there are many choices that you should integrate into your daily diabetes diet. You should eat, bran flakes, fruit and fiber, and porridges. Use semi-skimmed milk on your cereal to cut down on fat and add some fruit to your cereal, this way you are starting off the day with one of your five portions. Any fruit is good, either fresh, stewed, dried, canned, or frozen. With your cereal, you can also drink one glass of fruit juice so you would have had 2 of your 5 a day already at breakfast time.

Recall regardless of how much natural product juice you drink in the day it will just consider one segment, you need to add various assortments of leafy foods. Toast, biscuits, and crumpets can fill in as a decent option in contrast to cereal.

The best sorts are wholegrain adaptations as they assist with your diabetes control and can cause you to feel full for a more extended timeframe. Decided to spread your bread with a low fat spread or one that depends on monounsaturated fats. Look in the supermarket for reduced sugar versions of jams and marmalades.


To control your diabetes effectively you need to space your meals out over the day, not only does this help control your diabetes but also your appetite. For lunch you can eat, beans, eggs, soups, lean meat, fish and salads, these can go well with granary pieces of bread, pita bread, pasta, rice and jacket potatoes.

Also, try to eat low-fat yoghurt or add a piece of fruit to add to your daily portions of fruit and vegetables.


Snacks can soon add up to your overall weight so be careful what you eat. The best snacks come in the form of colorful fruits and doing so will help you easily achieve five portions of fruit and vegetables a day. Remember some diabetes medicine require you to eat certain types of foods as snacks so always check with your doctor or healthcare team.

Main meals

You should try to eat a main balanced meal every day at dinnertime. By ensuring these foods are on your plate you will know you are going in the right direction.

Your plate should include these types of foods if you are trying to lose weight:

  • Rice, pasta, potatoes (or other starchy foods), bread 30%
  • Meat, fish, beans, eggs, cheese, or a vegetarian alternative, always chose low-fat versions. 20%
  • Fruit and vegetables – 50%

Your plate should include these types of foods if you are trying to maintain weight:

  • Rice, pasta, bread, potatoes – 35%
  • Fruit and vegetables – 35%
  • Meat, eggs, fish, cheese, beans – 30%

10 Tips for Diabetes Diet Foods

1 – Eat 3 regular meals every day and do not skip meals, have breakfast, lunch, and dinner. This will help control your appetite as your body will know when to expect food and will help you control your blood glucose levels.

2 – With each meal include a starchy carbohydrate food. Some foods that contain starchy carbohydrates are pasta, bread, potatoes, noodles, rice, and cereals. The number of carbohydrates you eat will directly affect your blood glucose levels so it is important that you integrate it into your daily diet. There are many different varieties of these foods available and they all do you good. Some are more slowly absorbed by the body and don’t affect your blood glucose levels much, these can be pasta, grainy pieces of bread, sweet potatoes, bran flakes, and basmati rice.

High fiber carbohydrate foods will help you to keep your digestive system in good health and should avoid problems such as constipation.

3 – You should cut down on the amount of fat that you eat, especially saturated fats as these can be linked to heart disease. Monounsaturated fats are much better for the health of your heart. You should note that all fats contain calories so if you are trying to lose weight chose less fatty foods to cut some fat out of your diet. Use these tips to cut out the fat.

Eat less butter, cheesy and fatty meals. Pick lower-fat dairy foods like semi-skimmed milk, reduced-fat yoghurts, and cheeses Instead of cooking by frying or using oils or other fats you should steam or bake foods. Don’t eat too many foods with creamy sauces and dressings.

4 – Every day you should aim to eat at least 5 servings of fruit or vegetables as these will help with the overall balance of your diet and provide you with essential vitamins. Some suggestions are a slice of melon, plums, a handful of grapes, a bowl of salad, a banana or apple.

5 – Eat more lentils and beans like butter beans, chickpeas, and kidney beans as these can help in controlling your blood glucose levels. An idea is to add them to casseroles, soups, and stews.

6 – Try to eat at least 2 portions of oily fish every week as it contains a type of polyunsaturated fat named omega 3 which helps prevent heart disease. Some ideas are oily fish such as sardines, salmon, pilchards, and mackerel.

7 – Cut down and limit your sugary foods. By no means does this mean have a sugar-free diet as sugar can be used as part of a healthy diet. You must be aware that sugary foods, high-level sugar drinks can have an immediate effect in increasing your blood glucose levels, so where possible chose the sugar or less sugar alternative such as diet drinks or no added sugar drinks.

8 – High levels of salt in your diet can increase the risk of heart disease and strokes as it can increase your blood pressure. You should aim to keep your salt intake to less than 6g a day. Instead of flavoring your foods with salt use herbs and spices, you may find you even enjoy the variety better.

9 – The recommended daily intake of alcohol a day is 2 units for women and 3 units for men. A pub measure of 25ml for a spirit or half a pint of standard strength beer is around 1 unit. That said it is hard to know the real content of alcohol as it has risen over the years, some premium lager can contain 3 units per pint. Alcohol also contains empty calories so if you are trying to lose weight, cutting down the amount of alcohol you drink can help you reduce weight.

Note that you should never drink on an empty stomach as alcohol can cause low blood glucose levels (hypoglycemia) that can occur when taking certain types of diabetes medicine.

10 – Stay away from foods that are marked as ‘diabetic’ as these are usually gimmicky. They can cause a laxative effect in the body and will still affect your blood glucose levels, plus the companies selling these products are selling them at a much higher price than normal foods which are just as good if not better.


At the point when diabetes isn’t very much overseen, it builds your danger for a few genuine illnesses.

Yet, eating food sources that help keep glucose, insulin, and irritation sensible can drastically lessen your danger for difficulties.

Simply recall, albeit these food sources may help oversee glucose, the main factor in solid glucose the executives is following a generally nutritious, adjusted eating regimen.

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