Healthier eating with diabetes

Follow these simple shopping and cooking tips, such as buying leaner meat or cutting down on oil, to help you eat a balanced diet and manage your diabetes.

Healthier eating benefits the whole family, so there’s no need to buy special foods or prepare separate meals for diabetics in your family.

Smarter shopping

  • Look for green and amber on front of pack nutrition labelling. Eating too many foods or drinks high in fat and sugar can lead to weight gain and, in turn, poor blood glucose control.
  • Buy leaner cuts of meat, lean mince or white fish, which is lower in fat. Pick reduced-fat options and where possible opt for skimmed milk rather than full fat.
  • When cooking, avoid butter and use olive and rapeseed oils, as these are lower in saturated fat and higher in unsaturated fat.
  • Put wholemeal, wholegrain or rye bread in your basket to increase fibre and nutrient intake.

Cooking for diabetics

Lentil, ricotta & spinach filo parcel recipe


  • Try these ideas to reduce fat in your cooking:
  • Grill, bake or stir-fry meat and fish to reduce fat intake. Remember, oil expands when heated, so you only need 1 teaspoon per person.
  • Tinned beans and pulses are a lower-fat alternative to meat. Add lentils or butter beans to salads, casseroles, mince dishes or ready-made soups.
  • If using high fat foods, such as oil or cheese, try ones with more flavour like garlic oil or mature Cheddar. You can use less without compromising on taste.

Tips to reduce fat and sugar

Did you know?

  1. There are 3.5 million people diagnosed with diabetes in the UK, and an estimated 549,000 people have the condition but don’t know it.
  2. Tinned and frozen fruit and veg count towards your 5 a day.
  3. Our be good to yourself range is an easy way to reduce fat intake. Every product has less than 3% fat, or 30% less fat than standard equivalent products.

Enjoying sweet treats

Mini veggie pizzas

Diabetics can eat sugar in moderation as part of a balanced meal and varied diet. Spread your fruit intake throughout the day and limit fruit juice to one small glass per day with your main meal.

In baking, use wholemeal flour or a mixture of wholemeal and white, and try to reduce the amount of sugar in your recipe where possible.

How to get a healthier diet

Soda bread

Try wholegrain pasta, rice and cereals and cut back on added sugars. Find out more hints and tips for a balanced diet or download our informative guide to diabetes.

Regular exercise and a balanced diet are important for a healthier lifestyle. Find fun and easy ways to improve your diet with these healthier eating tips:

How to get a healthier diet