Diabetic Foods

salad

You do NOT need to purchase so called 'diabetic foods'.

So called 'diabetic foods' appeared years ago to help the diabetic diet, but were not necessarily healthier alternatives. Way back in the 1960s, diabetics were advised to eat 'sugar free' and 'low carb' diets. This meant that you couldn't eat biscuits, cakes, desserts, fizzy drinks etc leading to a diet that for many was boring and dull.

Manufacturers were quick to offer sugar-free foods, often using fructose instead of sucrose, and a wide range of 'diabetic foods' soon appeared - many of which still contained calories and weren't actually much better for diabetics.

More recent research has shown that the most important target for diabetics is not a reduction in carbohydrates, but lower energy intake and a reduction in fat consumption. Many of the so called diabetic foods actually contained more energy and fat than the foods they were supposed to replace.

Dietary advice is now very clear and is the same as that given to non-diabetics:

  • Low Fat
  • Low Sugar
  • Low Salt
  • Plenty of Fruit and Vegetables
  • Plenty of Complex Carbohydrates (whole grain bread, potatoes, grains, beans, peas, and other starchy foods)

Important Points

  • There are no foods which must be completely excluded from a diabetic diet.
  • It is not necessary to avoid sugar competely.
  • It IS necessary to follow the advice of your medical support team and follow a diet that achieves a healthy weight.
  • It is important to monitor your blood sugar levels and keep them under tight control.
  • Read the labels carefully and treat them as you would any normal food.

Diabetes does not mean that you need to eat boring food. You can find hundreds of acceptable recipes on this site.

Photo by John Nyboer