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Diabetes and diet

What is it?

Diet is an important part of managing your diabetes. There is no one-size-fits-all diet for diabetes, because everyone is different. But it is important to eat foods from the five food groups: fruit and vegetables, starchy food, dairy, protein and fat.


What is a healthy diet?

A healthy diet can be achieved by taking some simple steps, such as:

  • Eating small meals throughout the day and being aware of your portion sizes
  • Eating foods from all five food groups each day, including two serves of fruit and five serves of veggies
  • Choosing foods low in total fat and saturated fat (lean meat and low-fat dairy products)
  • Limiting foods or drinks with added sugar and salt
  • Choosing high fibre carbohydrate foods, like whole grains, long-grain rice, pasta, legumes, and oats
  • Choosing low-GI foods at each meal
  • Aiming to eat two servings of fish each week
  • Limiting alcohol to two standard drinks per day if you choose to drink
  • Drinking plenty of water; at least 1.5 litres per day for adults

What will my healthcare team do?

Your GP will play a key role in your diabetes care. Your GP may refer you to a dietitian or diabetes educator for tailored advice.

Your GP can help you to learn the principles of healthy eating and may develop a diet plan that suits your unique needs. If you have type 1 diabetes, you will need to know how to match your carbohydrate intake with your insulin dose.

What questions could I ask my doctor?

  • Whp can help me plan my diet?
  • What foods should I avoid?
  • What symptoms should I look out for?

What else can I do?

Look after all aspects of your health. Exercise daily, get enough sleep and reduce stress.

Learn about healthy eating and the benefits. Ask your GP for help if you don’t know which foods to eat.

If you are finding it hard to cope with your new diet, tell your GP. They may be able to refer you to a local support group for people with diabetes.

Where can I learn more?

  • Diabetes Australia

    Eating well

  • Diabetes NSW
  • Diabetes NSW - Multicultural resources

    Diabetes NSW & ACT has a range of multicultural resources designed to help people from non-English speaking backgrounds better understand and manage their diabetes.

Important: This information is to be viewed by someone who has received a diagnosis from their doctor. It is not designed to be used to diagnose a condition or as a substitute for ongoing medical care.

Health Resource Directory factsheets are endorsed by South Western Sydney PHN’s Community Advisory Committee and local GPs

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