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Dietary advice for newly diagnosed

First Steps After a Diabetes Diagnosis

This page provides advice about diet for people who are newly diagnosed with diabetes.

The best advice for people with diabetes is to follow a healthy diet which is similar to that recommended for the general population. You may need to pay a little more attention to what and when you eat but there is no reason why healthy eating cannot be enjoyable.

It is recommended that you see a state-registered dietitian for individually tailored advice about your diet. Until then, these simple guidelines will help to improve your blood sugar levels.

Try to eat three times each day at regular intervals

  • It is important to eat some starchy foods at every meal. These include bread, potatoes, breakfast cereals, pasta, rice, noodles, chapattis, yam, plantain and green banana

Reduce sugar and sugary foods

  • Instead of drinking ordinary sugary drinks, choose diet, low-calorie, or no added sugar drinks, or water, tea or coffee without sugar, or use artificial sweeteners
  • Reduce the amount of sweets, cakes, biscuits, jam and honey you eat
  • Limit use of all fruit juices including pure unsweetened fruit juice

Eat large portions of vegetables and salad with your meals

  • Eat 3 to 4 portions of fruit throughout the day, e.g. an apple, an orange and a banana

Eat less fat and fatty foods

  • Use less butter, margarine, oil
  • Grill rather than fry food whenever possible
  • Eat lean meat and cut off any fat or skin

We do not recommend foods labelled as being suitable for diabetics. These are of no special benefit to people with diabetes and are expensive.

Practical sessions on eating for diabetes in Lambeth



Dietetic advice

Dietetic advice
Diabetes specialist dietitians provide nutritional assessments and dietary advice and support to patients with diabetes

Carbohydrates and diabetes

Carbohydrates and diabetes
Considering the glycaemic effect of different forms of carbohydrate can be an effective way of regulating blood glucose.