Diets: Food and Diabetes

This advice is temporary for you to follow until you can see a dietitian who will plan a personal diet with you. Your doctor will refer you to the nearest hospital or health centre with a dietitian who will help and advise you on the diet that will best suit your lifestyle and your diabetes.

  • Have three meals a day rather than nibbling continuously, or missing meals
  • Cut back on sugar and fatty foods as this will start to bring your diabetes under control and help you control your weight
  • Include some fibre-rich foods such as breakfast cereals, dahl, wholemeal chapatti, rice, potatoes in their skins or wholemeal bread at each meal
  • Have plenty of vegetables and some fruit every day
  • Drink at least eight cups of sugar-free fluid daily


Do not add sugar, gur or jagery to any food or drink; avoid all sweetened drinks, jams, marmalade and honey.

Do not eat sugary puddings or desserts, tinned fruit in syrup, ordinary milk pudding, jellies or sweets, e.g. burfi, jalebi or laddu.

Avoid all sweet biscuits, cakes and sweets, chocolate and diabetic alternatives.

Reduce the amount of fat you eat by using less butter, margarine, oil, ghee, cheese, pastry and fried snacks, e.g. crisps, pakora, chapatti with ghee.

Do not add salt to cooking and at the table.

√ DO's:

Choose water, unsweetened tea or coffee, sugar-free or low calorie drinks. You may use artificial sweeteners.

Instead have fresh or stewed fruit, using an artificial sweetener if necessary, natural or sugar-free yoghurt, or sugar-free jelly.

If you are hungry between meals have a plain biscuit or a piece of fruit.

Use small quantities of a monounsaturated oil to make curry.

Use semi skimmed milk.

Use less salt and more herbs, spices and lemon juice.