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What foods should a person with type 1 diabetes eat/avoid?

People with type 1 diabetes can eat most foods and don’t require any special foods. The ‘diabetic diet’ only needs to be a healthy diet that provides easily controllable and accessible fuel for your body. Limiting the amount of fat eaten is important for those with diabetes, because high cholesterol and diabetes are two of the four risk factors for developing heart disease.

These are some other tips about what to eat and avoid: 

  • Rather than frying foods, bake grill, poach, or sauté them in non-stick pans. 
  • Vegetables can be steamed or microwaved. 
  • Buy tinned fish in water instead of oil and tinned fruit in fruit juice instead of syrup.
  • Dairy products such as butter, milk, cheese, yoghurt and ice-cream are fine for people with diabetes, but lower fat versions will help make managing the condition easier.
  • Low-fat meat such as turkey, fish and chicken are better for you than red meat, which is high in fat. Remember to remove skin before cooking.
  • Change diets focused on animal protein to one that is rich in complex carbohydrates, such as starches that are found in breads, cereals, starchy vegetables, legumes, rice and pasta. 
  • When possible choose whole-grain equivalents of foods such as cereals, breads, brown rice, bulgur and barley.
  • Eat plenty of fresh vegetables and fruits, complete with the skin. Avoid overcooking vegetables. 

Find our about tips on healthy eating.