Dietary Tips for Diabetes
Diabetic patients should eat regular meals with consistent portions:
Eating three main meals a day with snacks in between main meals (if necessary) regularly could not only help stabilize blood glucose levels but also provide us with energy throughout the day. The timing of meals could also play a role, especially for patients on diabetic medications. Consistent and small frequent meals are preferable for diabetic patients, as blood glucose levels elevate after consuming carbohydrate. Excessive food intake may lead to hyperglycemia (high blood glucose) while eating too little/skipping meals may lead to hypoglycemia (low blood glucose).
Carbohydrates are found in the following food groups:
Grains：rice, bread, oatmeal, noodles, and biscuits
Fruits：apple, orange, guava, and dried fruits
Low fat/skimmed dairy products：cheese and yogurt
Dried beans：red beans, mung beans and black-eyed peas
Starchy vegetables：potatoes, sweet potatoes, pumpkin, and taro
The recommended portions vary based on the age, body height, weight, and daily activity level of the individual, please consult your dietitian for more details.
Practical tips in daily life
Diabetic patients are recommended to consume a fixed amount of carbohydrate-rich grains
hoose whole grains with higher fibre content whenever possible to increase your overall dietary fibre intake. Simply choose multigrain breads/biscuits and replace part of your white rice with red rice or brown rice
This may help stabilize the blood glucose level and increase satiety for better portion control and weight management
Fruits and vegetables
In general, fruits and vegetables are healthy and we should eat them more, yet diabetic patients should pay attention
tarchy vegetables with high carbohydrate content (such as: sweet potato, potato, taro, corn and pumpkin) and fruits (as fructose converts into blood glucose in the body) will affect our blood glucose level, hence these food groups should be eaten in moderation
Food with high cholesterol content
Even though your blood glucose level is well managed, you are still at a high risk of having a high cholesterol level
The skin and fat of meat are high in saturated fat and may raise your bad cholesterol level, hence trim it before cooking or eating
Consume fish in moderation for healthy unsaturated fats or replace part of the meat with non-deep-fried soy products.
Diabetic patients are at a higher risk of osteoporosis, adequate calcium intake from low fat/skimmed dairy products (such as milk, cheese and yoghurt)
or fortified calcium soy drinks may help prevent such disease
However, please note that dairy products contain lactose which converts into blood glucose in our body, be aware of the portion to prevent overconsumption leading to high blood glucose level
Some long-boiled soups that contain traditional Chinese medication, fruits, starchy vegetables may contain carbohydrates and will elevate the blood glucose level even when the soup ingredients are not consumed
it is recommended to replace such soups with quick-boiled soup made of non-starchy vegetables, lean meat and fish
Diabetic patients should
choose a variety of foods:
A diverse eating pattern is suggested. Follow the Healthy Eating Food Pyramid and choose a variety of foods from each food group to get different nutrients. Meanwhile, try to limit the intake of fat, sodium, and sugar
There is still a lack of strong evidence suggesting diabetic patients should eat more or avoid a specific food to manage blood glucose
Further research is needed to show the effectiveness and safeness of the intake of some well-known foods which are beneficial for diabetic patients such as okra, monk fruit, and pig pancreas
Also, diabetic patients should eat carbohydrate-rich foods moderately, over restricting carbohydrate-rich foods for blood glucose lowering is not recommended.