EATING a healthy, balanced diet is critical for managing type 2 diabetes, and can even help prevent or reverse the condition.
The charity Diabetes UK says: “You don’t need to cut out any food when living with diabetes.
“The key is to plan for your favourite snacks, so they fit into your overall healthy diet, and to watch your portion sizes.”
Karen Poole, head of healthy and sustainable diets at Tesco, said: “Living with obesity is the most significant risk factor for type 2 diabetes.
“Our advice, along with Diabetes UK, is to manage your risk by having a healthy, balanced diet, following the NHS Eatwell Guide.”
Here, Karen suggests healthy swaps . . .
CEREAL FOR PORRIDGE
INSTEAD of cereal, have porridge topped with fruit, nuts, seeds or peanut butter.
Karen says: “Oats are super-affordable and get more fibre in the diet while reducing sugar.
“If you’ve got no time to cook porridge in the morning, then prep overnight oats.”
Oats will soak up milk or water if refrigerated overnight.
Grower’s Harvest porridge oats 1kg, 90p
CEREAL BAR FOR BANANA
FOR a breakfast on the go, or morning snack, avoid cereal bars which may look healthy but are often high in sugar.
Karen says: “A banana is the perfect pre-packed product to take out with you.
“Have it with some nuts for protein and fibre – just check the serving size on the packet.”
WHITE BREAD FOR WHOLEMEAL
WHEN it comes to that lunchtime sandwich, Karen advises: “Swapping white bread for wholemeal is a great way to up your fibre intake.”
Fibre can help to prevent obesity – a risk factor for type 2 diabetes – and help manage the condition itself.
Tesco wholemeal medium-sliced bread, 800g, 75p
CHOCOLATE BAR FOR FRUIT
ADD a piece of whole fruit to your lunch and ditch that chocolate bar.
Karen says: “If you’re looking for a sweet kick, a crunchy apple is a great alternative.”
MEAT BOLOGNESE FOR LENTIL VERSION
A DINNER table staple, spaghetti bolognese can be better for your waistline if you swap out the meat for lentils – even if only half of it.
Karen says: “You can replace the mince with canned lentils in water, which adds fibre and also saves money.”
Tesco green lentils in water, 390g, 65p
MEAT CURRY FOR VEGGIE CURRY
MOST curries are meat-based but Karen advises using pulses such as chickpeas instead, for a fibre boost.
She adds: “I have a bag of mixed frozen veg in my freezer so can just chuck in a handful, reducing any waste from fresh veg. You can also swap white rice for wholegrain.”
BISCUITS FOR YOGHURT
BISCUITS can be swapped for unsweetened yoghurt (such as Greek) with fruits, Karen says.
She adds: “There is a strong connection between eating fermented products [like yoghurt] and managing diabetes risk.”
CRISPS FOR POPCORN AND NUTS
INSTEAD of crisps, go for lightly salted popcorn or nuts – but watch your portion size.
Karen says: “You get extra fibre and less saturated fat with popcorn – but not the toffee kind.”