“I have type 2 diabetes. What should I eat?”
This is general information. It is important that you continue to follow the advice provided to you by your GP, Accredited Practising Dietitian and/or Diabetes Educator and discuss any dietary changes with them.
It’s a common myth that people who have type 2 diabetes need to eat a special diet; but eating well for people with type 2 diabetes is no different than for everyone else.
Here’s our advice for eating well – with or without diabetes.
1. Eat mostly foods from the five food groups
Aim to include foods from each food group every day:
- Grain (cereal) foods
- Vegetables, legumes and beans
- Milk, yoghurt, cheese (or non-dairy alternatives, if needed)
- Lean meat and meat alternatives, such as eggs, legumes and nuts.
Try to include a range of foods from within each food group. For example, including a range of different colours of fruits and vegetables (along with a variety of foods from the other food groups) will help you to get all the nutrients you need.
2. Choose wholegrain, high fibre grain (cereal) foods
These foods are a good source of carbohydrates. Carbohydrates are the best source of energy for our bodies, so are important for everyone, including people with diabetes.
Carbohydrates break down into glucose (sugar) in your body when you eat. Choosing wholegrain options will help to slow down the rate that these sugars are absorbed into your blood. This can help to keep your blood sugar levels within the ideal range. As a bonus, this can help to keep us full for longer!
Try including more of these foods:
- Wholegrain (seedy) bread, rye bread or bread with added fibre
- Brown rice and long-grain rice
- Wholemeal pasta
- Seeded crackers
- Whole grains like oats, quinoa or barley.
3. Eat regular meals and snacks
Aim to include three regular meals in your day. You might also need to include snacks, especially if you have a small appetite. Aim to spread carbohydrate foods across these meals, rather than eating most of your carbohydrate foods at one meal. This can help to keep you energised.
For more information, see the following Appetite for Life factsheets: