1. Eat at least 5 portions of vegetables and fruit a day
The NHS advises that we eat at least 5 portions of vegetables and fruit a day, amounting to 400g.
Ensuring we eat at least 5 a day, each day has been shown to reduce risks of a range of common health problems including heart disease and cancer.
Examples of single portions of vegetables and fruit include:
- 2 good sized florets of broccoli
- 8 Brussels sprouts
- 2 inch piece of cucumber
- Half an avocado
- 1 medium sized apple
2. Eat less sugar
It’s an obvious one for people with diabetes and it also applies to people without diabetes. Eating less sugar helps to reduce calorie intakes and helps to lower blood sugar levels.
It’s worth bearing in mind that whilst reducing sugar intake is generally a good idea, people who are suffering hypoglycemia should take sugar to bring their blood glucose up.
3. Eat red meat less than once day
A large scale, long term study (of 120,00 people over a period of over 20 years) by Harvard University found that eating red meat each day was statistically linked with higher incidences of cancer and heart disease.
Eating processed meats was found to have even higher incidences.
4. Include fish and lean meats
In the study mentioned above, consumption of fish and lean meats instead of red meat was shown to help lower the statistical chance of developing cancer or heart disease.
5. Type 1 diabetes, count carbohydrates
For people with type 1 diabetes, counting carbohydrates is a key part of managing the condition. Because people with type 1 diabetes take insulin, it’s essential that the right balance of insulin and carbohydrate is achieved.
6. Type 2 diabetes, watch carbohydrates
Whilst there is less need for people with type 2 diabetes to actively count the carbohydrates being eaten, it is a good idea to be aware of the carbohydrates you’re eating as carbohydrate has a direct effect on blood sugar levels.
7. Eat according to your blood glucose results
Charity Diabetes UK points out that it is important for blood sugar levels to be as near to normal as possible. The food we eat can make a significant difference to blood glucose levels of people with diabetes.