Your Guide to Diabetes & Food

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1 Your Guide to Diabetes & Food Now you have diabetes your diet is key in helping you control your blood sugar levels. With Diabetes you have an increased risk of heart disease, which needs to be considered when planning your diet. To help you manage your diabetes it is important to: Be more physically active. Eat a balanced diet to achieve weight loss/maintenance. Attend your Diabetic review appointments. GHD18_06_07 Author: Diabetes Nurses Review due: June 2010

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3 Notes What should I eat to be healthy? Eat less fat, particularly the saturated types Try to eat some oily fish at least once a week Eat regular meals containing starchy foods throughout the day Aim for 5 portions of fruits, vegetables and salads a day Eat less sugar, sugary foods and sugary drinks Keep alcohol to safe limits Eat less salt You don t need to buy foods labelled as Diabetic. They are expensive, usually high in fat/calories and can have a laxative effect. In addition, becoming more physically active is one of the best things you can do to help keep yourself healthy, it will help your blood sugars and weight control. Aim for 30 minutes of moderate activity, 5 days per week. This should make you feel warm, sweaty and slightly out of breath! Start gradually and build up to these levels if you are not used to it. 8 1

4 Keep alcohol to safe limits If you don t drink alcohol, you do not need to start now! However, if you enjoy a drink, the good news is that a small amount of alcohol can have a protective effect on the heart. Drink what you like in small quantities. If you usually drink alcohol, keep a day or two a week where you don t drink at all and limit it to: Women: up to 2-3 units per day (= 14 units per week) Men: up to 3-4 units per day (= 21 units per week) Notes What do units mean? 1 unit = ½ pint of beer, lager or cider = 1 pub measure of sherry, vermouth or other fortified wine = 1 pub measure of liqueur = 1 pub measure of spirit 1½ units = Glass of wine = Alcopops eg Bacardi Breezer, Smirnoff Ice Never drink alcohol on an empty stomach. Remember to use sugar free, diet or slimline mixers. Remember low carbohydrate or low sugar lagers/beers have a much higher alcohol content Eat less sugar, sugary foods and drinks. 2 7

5 Ideas for Meals Breakfast Cereal with milk, e.g. porridge/readybrek, muesli, All Bran, branflakes, Special K or Shredded wheat Bread or toast with margarine or low fat spread Reduced sugar jam/marmalade or savoury spread Snack meals Sandwich filled with fish, lean meat, egg or salad Toast with baked beans, sardines in tomato or egg Soup and a roll Jacket potato and filling, e.g. baked beans, chilli, or tuna in brine with vegetables or salad as desired Main meals Lean meat, poultry, fish, eggs, lentils or beans With Potatoes, bread, boiled rice or pasta and Vegetables or salad Puddings Fruit- fresh, stewed without sugar or tinned in natural juice Diet yoghurt or diet fromage frais, low fat natural yoghurt and fruit, sugar-free custard, sugar-free milk pudding, sugar-free jelly, sugar-free dessert mixes, Ice cream occasionally Between meals If hungry you could have fruit, bread, malt loaf, crispbread, pitta bread, wholegrain breakfast cereal, diet yoghurt or plain biscuits. If you are overweight, choose fruit for snacks 6 You do not have to avoid every trace of sugar in your diet, although it is helpful to avoid large intakes of sugar. Sugar is high in calories so the following advice will help you with weight control. Suggested Food & Drinks Instead of Low sugar breakfast cereals as Sugar and honey coated already listed cereals Fresh fruit, bread, pitta bread, Sweets, chocolate, mints, crackers, plain biscuits or low sweet/cream biscuits and cakes sugar cakes/teabreads - such as malt loaf, teacakes, scones, oat biscuits, garibaldi,, rich tea, ginger nuts. Sweeteners such as Canderel, Adding sugar to food and Sweetex, Hermestas. drinks. Sugar free, diet, slimline, no Sugary soft drinks/squashes added sugar drinks Eating a treat now and then won t do you any harm. It s your overall diet that is more important. Eat less fat and choose the best types Remember all fats/oils are high in calories. There are 2 areas to consider; 1. Type will help reduce your risks of heart disease 2. Amount eating less fat will help you to lose weight 1. When you need to use fats or oils, choose those which are high in monounsaturated fats and low in saturated fats. For example, olive oil or rapeseed oil (also known as vegetable oil). Spreads made from olive oil are recommended. Supermarket own brand equivalents are just as good, and usually cheaper! 3

6 Oily fish helps to prevent heart disease, as it is a good source of omega-3 oils. Try to eat this once a week, e.g. salmon, trout, mackerel, herring, kippers, sardines or pilchards. 2. Eat less fat. For example, avoid eating pastry, pies, sausages, processed meats, chips, crisps, chocolates, cakes and fried foods. Cook in ways which use less fat and try to avoid eating lots of high fat processed fats. Cheese, mayonnaise and salad dressings are high in fat, so use in small amounts and eat less often. Choose lean meats, chicken, tuna fish or a boiled egg instead. Eating fat does not directly affect blood sugar levels, but is important because of your risk of heart disease. Eat regular meals throughout the day Carbohydrate (starchy and sugary) foods become sugar (glucose) in the blood which the body uses for energy. It is important to include a starchy food (examples below) at each meal. These contain good quantities of fibre and are also good sources of vitamins and minerals. Some starchy foods produce a smaller rise in blood sugar levels, which is beneficial. Try to include some of the *items each day from the suggestions below. Choose ones you enjoy eating and don t force yourself to eat something you don t like! Bread - *granary, *softgrain, *rye,*pitta, wholemeal, white Breakfast cereals - *porridge, *low sugar muesli, *sultana bran, *special K, shredded wheat, weetabix, cornflakes Pasta or Noodles - *all types Rice - *basmati, easy cook, long grain, brown Potatoes - *new potatoes in their skins, boiled potatoes, jacket potatoes, mash Other grains - *cous-cous, *bulgar wheat Chapatis 4 Pulses eg. **Baked beans, **red kidney beans, **lentils, **chick peas are all very helpful in controlling blood sugars If you are trying to lose weight, it may be a good idea to reduce the portion size of these foods but don t cut them out altogether. Aim for 5 portions a day of fruits, vegetables and salad These contain good quantities of fibre and are also high in vitamins and minerals. The aim is to eat 2-4 fruits and 2-4 vegetables per day, the more variety the better. What is a portion? As a rough guide, it is the equivalent of about a handful. It does not matter if they are fresh, frozen, juice, dried or tinned. Choose tinned fruit in juice rather than syrup. Because fruit contains its own natural sugars, it is a good idea, for most people, to eat up to 4 portions of fruit, spread out over one day. For example, one portion is Half a grapefruit* or mango One apple, pear, small banana, orange, slice of melon, peach, handful of grapes Two clementines, satsumas, kiwi, handfuls of raspberries 2-3 heaped tablespoons of vegetables, including pulses Small bowl of salad Small glass of unsweetened fruit juice (max. 2 per day) *If you take cholesterol lowering Statin drugs you may need to avoid grapefruit juice and eat no more than half a fresh grapefruit daily. Speak to your pharmacist if you are unsure. 5

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