Dietary advice for diabetes

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1 Golden Jubilee National Hospital NHS National Waiting Times Centre Dietary advice for diabetes Patient information guide Agamemnon Street Clydebank, G81 4DY (:

2 2 Dietary advice for diabetes

3 What is diabetes? Diabetes is a condition where your body is not making enough insulin or the insulin produced is not working properly. This causes your blood sugar to rise. You can help control your blood sugar levels by paying attention to the food you eat. The diet recommended is a healthy, balanced diet suitable for everyone, not just for those of you with diabetes. In addition to changing your eating habits, some people need to take tablets or insulin to control blood sugar levels. If you are overweight, losing weight, even at a slow rate can help improve your diabetic control. What changes should you make to your diet? Eat regular meals with snacks as required. Include some starchy foods at each meal high fibre varieties are more filling. Eat plenty fruits & vegetables, the (soluble) fibre found in fruits and pulses (beans, peas & lentils) are particularly good. Cut down on foods high in fat particularly saturated fat such as butter, fatty meats & cheese. Limit your intake of sugar and sweet foods. Try to reduce your intake of salt Keep your alcohol intake within a sensible limit. Dietary advice for diabetes 3

4 What is a healthy balanced diet? A healthy diet includes choices from the five food groups in the correct balance as represented in the plate model. Picture reproduced from Health Education Authority Aim to have three meals per day. If you are on tablets or insulin additional snacks especially at bedtime are advisable. 4 Dietary advice for diabetes

5 Bread, cereals and potatoes It is important to have a good portion of starchy foods at each meal. These foods are low in fat and provide you with energy. Including starchy foods at each meal helps to control your blood sugar level. Foods to include: Breakfast cereal including porridge Bread, rolls, pitta bread and chapattis Potatoes, pasta and rice Crispbreads or crackers High fibre varieties of cereals and bread are more filling and good for you, so try to have whenever possible. Be aware that some types of starchy foods including croissants, garlic bread, chips and crisps will be high in fat. Fruit and vegetables It is recommended that you have at least five portions of fruits and vegetables per day. They are low in calories and rich in vitamins and fibre so are beneficial for your diabetes and your overall health. What is a portion? 1 medium sized fruit eg. apple, orange, banana, pear ¼ - ½ large fruit eg. pineapple, melon two to three small fruits eg. satsuma, plum cup of grapes, strawberries, fruit tinned in natural juice a small glass of fruit juice two heaped tablespoons vegetables small side salad Dietary advice for diabetes 5

6 You can include fresh, frozen and tinned varieties in your diet. To increase your intake add fruit to cereals, chopped fruit, peppers and sweetcorn to salads, add extra vegetables to stews and casseroles and/or have fruit or chopped vegetables (carrot/celery) for a snack. To reduce vitamin losses from cooking vegetables you can steam, microwave or boil in a small amount of water for a short period of time. Meat, fish and alternatives These foods provide a good source of protein in your diet however if you eat too much or choose high fat versions your intake of calories and saturated fat could be high. Recommendation is two portions per day: g/ 3 4 oz lean meat/chicken g/ 4 8 oz white fish 100g /4 oz oily fish 1 2 egg (s) 25g/ 1oz cheese g/4 8oz pulses (beans, lentils, dahl) Oily fish e.g. mackerel, kippers, pilchards, trout, salmon & sardines are rich in omega three fats, which are good for your heart try to include at least one serving per week. To reduce your intake of fat trim meat of all visible fat and remove skin from chicken. Use low fat cooking methods stew, casserole, stir-fry, microwave, roast or grill. Pulses baked beans, kidney beans, lentils, chickpeas, peas- are low in fat and can be eaten as an alternative to meat or added to stews, casseroles and curries to add bulk so smaller amounts of meat are used. 6 Dietary advice for diabetes

7 Dairy products Dairy products are an important source of calcium which helps protect your bones. Two to three portions per day are suggested. It is better to have low fat varieties to reduce your intake of saturated fat. A portion is: 1/3 pint milk semi skimmed or skimmed a pot of low fat yoghurt 25g/ 1oz cheese reduced fat available small tub of cottage cheese. Cheese should be eaten as an alternative to meat, egg or chicken at a meal if eaten regularly as a snack you will increase your intake of saturated fat. Sugary foods If you have sugar and sugary foods in your diet you should aim to cut down to help your diabetic control. Many sweet foods e.g. cakes, biscuits, chocolates & puddings are high in sugar and fat therefore are high in calories. This makes weight control more difficult. You do not need to avoid these foods however it is better to have healthier options by choosing sensibly. Avoid sugar in drinks. Do not add sugar to tea or coffee use a sweetener if necessary. Have sugar free soft drinks diet/slimline/light fizzy drinks, diet squash. For a snack have a plain biscuit, scone or teacake. Be careful it is easy to eat too many. Include fruit as a low calorie snack! For pudding have yoghurt or fruit based dessert baked apple, fruit salad or crumble. If you wish to treat yourself with a food high in sugar have a small portion after a meal. Remember if trying to lose weight it is important to cut down on these foods. Dietary advice for diabetes 7

8 Diabetic foods Diabetic foods are not recommended, as they can be high in calories as well as expensive. Some foods e.g. chocolate will be high in fat and some use a sweetener called sorbitol that acts as a laxative if eaten in excess Fats Fat provides flavour to meals however it is easy to eat too much. You should try to reduce the quantity and/or frequency of high fat foods in your diet. Saturated fats are mainly animal in origin. Foods high in saturated fat can lead to an increase in your cholesterol level. You should aim to reduce the amount of saturated fat. Where possible replace butter and lard with an unsaturated alternative, use low fat dairy products and lean cuts of meat. Monounsaturated fats have been shown to be the best type for those with diabetes. This includes olive or rapeseed oils and margarines. If not to your taste you can alternatively use small amounts of polyunsaturated fats ie. sunflower, soya or corn. If you are watching your weight try to avoid oil in cooking but when necessary for the recipe use sparingly usually 1 teaspoon per person is sufficient. Spread margarine thinly on your bread and try not to add to vegetables or potatoes. Be aware of the hidden fats found in foods. Foods like pastry, pies, cakes, biscuits and crisps will be high in fat and calories so best to limit intake. 8 Dietary advice for diabetes

9 Salt intake For general health it is recommended you try to cut down on your salt intake. Add a little salt in the cooking but try not to add to the food at the table. Always taste your food before adding extra salt. Try alternatives to salt to add flavour e.g. pepper, mustard, herbs and/ or spices. Alcohol Unless otherwise advised, a small amount of alcohol is thought to be good for your heart. However if taken in larger amounts alcohol can affect your diabetic control. It is therefore recommended that you limit your alcohol to two to three units per day and have one to two alcohol free days per week. A unit of alcohol is: ½ pint normal strength beer or lager a small glass of wine a single measure of spirit. It is better if you use diet mixers with drinks to limit your sugar intake. It is best not to drink on an empty stomach especially if you take tablets or insulin for your diabetes. Dietary advice for diabetes 9

10 Suggested meal plan Breakfast Bowl of cereal Toast with margarine and/or reduced sugar jam/marmalade Fruit or fruit juice Lunch Soup Lean meat, fish, egg, cheese or beans Bread, potato, rice or pasta Salad or vegetables Fruit or yoghurt Evening meal Lean meat, fish, egg, cheese or pulses Potato, rice, pasta or bread Large portion of vegetables or salad Fruit or yoghurt Bedtime snack Toast Cereal Plain biscuits or crackers Snacks as required Fruit One to two plain biscuits Scone Teacake Diet yoghurt Unsalted popcorn 10 Dietary advice for diabetes

11 Dietary advice for diabetes 11

12 (: Please call the above number if you require this publication in an alternative format Dietitian: Review date: July 2015 Version 1 D02

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