Top food tips for living with type 2 diabetes
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Managing your diet
What should I eat for breakfast, lunch and dinner?
Having diabetes doesn’t stop you from enjoying your usual foods but it’s important to make healthier choices more often. Why not try one of these?
– a bowl of cereal with semi-skimmed milk
– 2 slices of wholegrain toast with spread and/or jam
– a fat-free yogurt and fruit.
– a chicken or ham salad sandwich…
– a small pasta salad…
– soup and a roll…
…with a piece of fruit and a diet or fat-free yogurt
– lasagne and salad
– roast chicken with potatoes and vegetables
– beef stir-fry, vegetables and rice
– chicken tortillas and salad
– salmon and noodles
– curry and rice
These ideas may not look much different from what you eat already, and your favourite recipes and meals can usually be adapted to be healthier without you noticing too much difference. Easy changes to make are to:
– reduce the fat, sugar or salt content of your food
– include more fruit and vegetables
– reduce your portion sizes.
Making any of these changes would certainly help, but there is no need to go over the top and radically change everything in the early days after your diabetes diagnosis – it makes it much harder to stick to in the longer term.
Is there anything I should avoid?
Before your diabetes was diagnosed, you may have been more thirsty than usual. It is a good idea to avoid sugary drinks and fruit juices as a way of quenching thirst. They can put blood glucose levels up very high and very quickly, and can make you gain weight in the long term. Instead, drink water, sugar-free and diet soft drinks. Tea and coffee are still OK to include, too.
Avoid foods labelled ‘diabetic’ or ‘suitable for diabetics’. These foods contain similar amounts of calories and fat, and they can affect your blood glucose levels. They are usually more expensive and can have a laxative effect. Stick to your usual foods. If you want to have an occasional treat, go for your normal treats and watch your portions.
Your Lifestyle impacts your weight
What You May Need to Change for a Healthy Lifestyle
– What time you get up each morning
– What time you go to bed each night
– How you spend your free time
– How you spend your money
– How you shop, cook and eat
– How much TV you watch
– What you do with your family and friends
– The rewards for making these changes are endless, but it’s beginning that’s so difficult.
Where Do You Start?
Try keeping an activity journal and jot down how much time you spend sitting as opposed to moving around. Then see if you can reduce that number—take more walks, stand up and stretch, just move around more.
Next, take a look at your diet and just pick one thing you could do better. Maybe you could eat more fruits and vegetables, or maybe you eat out a little too often. Work on that one thing until you’ve made progress and then you can pick another thing.
Working on one change at a time is slow, yes, but when you change too much at once, you’re much more likely to go back to old behaviors. Taking your time leads to lasting changes and, in the end, a healthier lifestyle.
As humans, we like habits and routines, so much that we often keep doing the same things even when we know they aren’t good for us. Changing bad habits takes time and effort.
10 Tips to avoid weight gain
Tips for limiting weight gain:
1. Eat regular meals, avoid missing meals as this can lead to overeating later in the day
2. Make sure you include plenty of vegetables with your meals to help fill you up
3. Reduce your intake of treats such as chocolate, cakes, sweets, crisps and chips. Set a limit each day/ week which is less than you are having now
4. If you get hungry between meals, try to choose a piece of fruit or a low calorie yogurt as a snack
5. You need 3 meals per day, not 4 so try to keep supper as a small snack
6. Try to reduce the amount of takeaways you have and try to choose the healthier options when you do have a takeaway
7. Drink plenty of water/ tea or coffee (not sweetened with sugar)/ no added sugar/ diet or zero drinks
8. Only have a small glass of fruit juice once per day
9. Get active, move every day
10. Tell people what you are trying to do so they can help and encourage you. Get friends and family to make similar changes.