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  • Food & Nutrition

    Living Life Well with Healthy Food

    You can make a huge difference to your health by making a few simple changes to your everyday eating.

    In short:

    • Base your meals around the healthy plate – available through our online shop
    • Drink plenty of water and avoid drinking fruit juice and other sweet drinks.
    • Eat breakfast, lunch and dinner every day.
    • Eat some carbohydrate food at each meal, but try to keep your portion size of the carbohydrate food at a quarter of your plate.
    • Choose food low in sugar, saturated fat and calories or kilojoules and avoid processed food where possible.

    Healthy food choices are the foundation of diabetes management, and losing some weight (if needed) can help improve diabetes management.

    Three meals a day at regular times are helpful. If the time between lunch and dinner is longer than 4-5 hours then a healthy afternoon tea snack may be important – such as a handful of nuts or a piece of fruit.

    Carbohydrate foods (starches and sugars) have the most direct effect on blood glucose levels. High sugar foods are discouraged but small amounts of sugar in foods are acceptable.

    Starchy foods (breakfast cereals, bread, rice, pasta, starchy vegetables like potato etc.) break down to glucose when digested. Have some but not too much of these foods at each meal. Choose wholegrain and less processed varieties of these foods where possible.

    The type of fat in your meal is also important. Saturated fat is discouraged as it is linked with heart disease. Healthier fats are found in olive and canola oils, margarines made from these, avocado and nuts.

    Generous amounts of vegetables and some fruit are all part of a diabetes friendly meal pattern.

    High intakes of salt are linked with high blood pressure. Good control of blood pressure is important for people with diabetes so take care with salt. Use some when you are cooking OR at the table for seasoning but not both.

    Keep an eye out for recipes that have been adapted to be suitable for people with diabetes. Recipes should show you how much carbohydrate and fat there is in a serving. See Diabetes NZ Recipes

    There is a lot more to learn about healthy food – check out Diabetes NZ’s Food and Nutrition. 


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