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Nov 2020
10 tips for healthy eating with diabetes
10 tips for Healthy Eating
There are different types of diabetes, and no two people with diabetes are the same. So there isn’t a one-size-fits-all 'diabetes diet' for everyone with diabetes. But we’ve come up with tips that you can use to help you make healthier food choices.

These healthy eating tips are general and can help you manage your blood glucose (sugar), blood pressure and cholesterol levels. They can also help you manage your weight and reduce the risk of diabetes complications, such as heart problems and strokes, and other health conditions including certain types of cancers.

Here are our top 10 tips for healthier eating:

1. Choose healthier carbohydrates
All carbs affect blood glucose levels so it’s important to know which foods contain carbohydrates. Choose the healthier foods that contain carbs and be aware of your portion sizes. Here are some healthy sources of carbohydrate:

> whole grains like brown rice, buckwheat and whole oats
> fruit
> vegetables
> pulses such as chickpeas, beans and lentils

2. Eat less salt
Eating lots of salt can increase your risk of high blood pressure, which in turn increases risk of heart diseases and stroke. And when you have diabetes, you’re already more at risk of all of these conditions.

3. Eat less red and processed meat
If you’re cutting down on carbs, you might start to have bigger portions of meat to fill you up. But it’s not a good idea to do this with red and processed meat, like ham, bacon, sausages, beef and lamb. These all have links with heart problems and cancers.

4. Eat more fruit and veg
We know eating fruit and veg is good for you. It’s always a good thing aim to eat more at meal times and have them as snacks if you’re hungry. This can help you get the vitamins, minerals and fibre your body needs every day to help keep you healthy.

5. Choose healthier fats
We all need fat in our diet because it gives us energy. But different types of fat affect our health in different ways.

Healthier fats are in foods like unsalted nuts, seeds, avocados, oily fish, olive oil, rapeseed oil and sunflower oil. Some saturated fats can increase the amount of cholesterol in your blood, increasing your risk of heart problems. These are mainly found in animal products and prepared food.

6. Cut down on added sugar
We know cutting out sugar can be really hard at the beginning, so small practical swaps are a good starting point when you’re trying to cut down on excess sugar. Swapping sugary drinks, energy drinks and fruit juices with water, plain milk, or tea and coffee without sugar can be a good start.

7. Be smart with snacks
If you want a snack, choose yoghurts, unsalted nuts, seeds, fruits and vegetables instead of crisps, chips, biscuits and chocolates. But watch your portions still – it’ll help you keep an eye on your weight.

8. Drink alcohol sensibly
Alcohol is high in calories, so if you do drink and you’re trying to lose weight, think about cutting back. Try to keep to a maximum of 14 units a week. But spread it out to avoid binge drinking, and go several days a week without alcohol.

If you take insulin or other diabetes medications, it’s also not a good idea to drink on an empty stomach. This is because alcohol can make hypos more likely to happen.

9. Don’t bother with so-called diabetic food
To say food is a "diabetic food" is now against the law. This is because there isn’t any evidence that these foods offer you a special benefit over eating healthily. They can also often contain just as much fat and calories as similar products, and can still affect your blood glucose level. These foods can also sometimes have a laxative effect.

10. Don’t forget to keep moving
Being more physically active goes hand in hand with eating healthier. It can help you manage your diabetes and also reduce your risk of heart problems. This is because it increases the amount of glucose used by your muscles and helps the body use insulin more efficiently.

Medicus Pharmacy are here to offer advice on conditions, wellbeing and help organise prescriptions. If you need any advice or would like your NHS repeat prescriptions to be delivered, for free, then please contact us.

t: 0161 222 6190
e: customercare@medicuspharmacy.co.uk
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