What foods should a person with diabetes eat/avoid?

There are very few foods that someone with type 1 diabetes cannot eat and no special foods are required.  The ‘diabetic diet’ should be a healthy diet designed to provide easily controllable, easily accessible fuel to your body. 

Limiting the amount of fat eaten is important for those with diabetes because high cholesterol and diabetes are two of the four risk factors for developing heart disease.  Some tips:

  • Don’t fry foods: bake, grill, poach, or sauté in non-stick pans.
  • Steam or microwave vegetables.
  • Buy tinned fish in water, not oil.  Buy tinned fruit in fruit juice, not syrup.
  • Consider lower fat versions of dairy products such as butter, milk cheese, yoghurt and ice-cream.
  • Eat less high-fat red meat and more low-fat turkey, fish, and chicken with the skin removed before cooking.
  • Replace diets high in animal protein with meals high in complex carbohydrates, which are starches found in breads, cereals, starchy vegetables, legumes, rice, and pastas. 
  • Choose whole-grain cereals, breads, and other products such as brown rice, bulgur, and barley. 
  • Eat fresh vegetables and fruits, unpeeled. Avoid overcooking vegetables.