Nutrition for diabetes

Watching your food intake is no new concept for people living with diabetes. But if you’re still left scratching your head wondering what you should be eating, we have the answers for you.

Remember with everything diabetes, there is no one-size-fits-all approach, and you should always adhere to your healthcare provider’s advice.
In the five food groups, including many fruit and vegetable products, you will get the nutrients you need to lead a healthy life by eating the recommended amount of food. The Australian Dietary Guidelines provide a good basis for basic health advice.


  • Eat regular meals throughout the day.

  • Evenly spread your carbohydrate intake throughout the day.
  • Eat a lower-fat diet, especially saturated fat.
  • You may have to have snacks between your meals if you take insulin

ENERGY (calories)

It is important to match the amount of food you eat with the energy you consume through activity and practice. Too much fuel can result in weight gain in your body. Being overweight or obese can make managing your diabetes difficult and can increase your risk for cardiac illness, stroke, and cancer.

Limit high-energy food such as foods, cakes, sweetened sugar and fruit juices, lollies, chocolates, and flavourful snacks. Limit energy consumption foods.

Some people eat too much but have a healthy diet. One way is to reduce the amount of energy you eat by reducing your portion size.
Active activity has a lot of advantages. Regular physical activity can help you manage blood glucose levels, reduce blood fat (cholesterol and triglycerides), and maintain a healthy weight along with a healthy diet.


Fats have the highest calorie content of all foods. Too much fat can make it difficult to manage blood glucose levels, which can make you gain weight.

For good health, our bodies require some fat, but the fat you select is important. In particular, you should limit your saturated fat intake as it raises your LDL (bad) cholesterol levels.

Saturated fat is found in animal foods like fatty meat, milk, butter, and cheese (sad face). Vegetable fats that are saturated include palm oil, which is found in solid cooking fats, snack foods, and some convenience foods.


  • Choose reduced or low-fat dairy products.
  • Choose lean meat and trim any fat off before cooking.
  • Remove the skin from poultry before cooking.
  • Avoid using butter, lard, cream, coconut milk.
  • Limit sweets such as chocolate, biscuits, cakes to occasionally.
  • Limit frozen and convenience meals.
  • Avoid fried takeaway foods such as chips, fried chicken, battered fish, pies, pastries.
  • Swap creamy sauces and dressings to tomato-based or lower-fat ingredients.


Carbohydrates are an important source of energy for the body, particularly your brain. You should aim to evenly spread your carbohydrate intake throughout the day by eating regular meals. This will help maintain your energy levels without causing large rises in your blood glucose levels.

The glycaemic index or GI is a great way to measure how quickly a carbohydrate food is digested and enters the bloodstream. Low GI carbohydrate foods enter the bloodstream slower and have less of an impact on blood glucose levels than moderate or high GI carbohydrate foods. You should aim for lower and moderate GI foods in your diet to help stabilise your sugar levels.

Aim for a healthy balanced diet with foods from all five food groups and as always, follow your diabetes management plan.

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