Diabetes - General Guidelines

General Guidelines

General Dietary Guidelines

Eat regular meals.
Eat regular meals based around starchy carbohydrate foods (such as bread, potatoes, rice, pasta and cereals). This will help to keep your blood glucose in the normal range.

Try to cut down on fat.
Cut down on fried and fatty foods such as butter, margarine, cheese and fatty meats. Choose reduced fat spreads and cheeses instead. Try skimmed or semi-skimmed milk.

Eat plenty of fruit and vegetables - at least 5 portions a day.

Aim to reduce your sugar intake.
Cut down on sugar, confectionary and sugary drinks. You can use artificial sweetners such as saccarin and aspartame, diet drinks and reduced sugar preserves.

Try to get to a healthy weight and stay there.
It is much easier to control your diabetes if your not overweight.

Cut down on your salt intake.
Reduce salt added in cooking by using more herbs and spices instead. Gradually cut down on the salt you add to your food at the table.

Try to drink alcohol only in moderation.
people with diabetes should try to limit their intake of alcohol. A reasonable amount is 2 units for women and 3 units for men each day. Never drink on an empty stomach. Always have something to eat with your drink or shortly afterwards.

Diabetic Foods a Statement

The current British Diabetic Association recommendations for people with diabetes are similar to the current healthy eating advice for the general public. Increasing consumption of high fibre starchy foods, fruit and vegetables is encouraged together with a reduction in consumption of sugary and fatty foods. In addition, weight control remains the cornerstone of dietary treatment.

Over the last few years there has been a rapid growth in the availability of reduced fat, reduced sugar and high fibre foods. Such foods can make a valuable contribution to a healthy diet and are readily available in most food stores. However, there is no such thing as a healthy or unhealthy food as the important thing is to balance choices and enjoy a variety of foods.

In view of this, the BDA does not recommend the use of specially formulated "diabetic" foods and, furthermore, there is no evidence to suggest that these products offer any special advantages to people with diabetes. The most important concern is that the term "diabetic" attached to a food may be interpreted by individuals with diabetes and their relatives as meaning that they can be eaten freely and can even be therapeutically beneficial.

Individuals are no longer encouraged to think of the "diabetic diet" as being different but as a pattern of healthy eating which is also suitable for the rest of the family. The continued existence of diabetic foods not only undermines this philosophy but also creates the impression that such foods are in some way better.

Health care professionals throughout Europe advise their patients not to buy these products which they feel have no place in the current management of diabetes.

Diet Information Services - September 1997

More Info from British Diabetic Association Go Link off site

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