We all know the kind of food we should be eating… Plenty of fresh vegetables, healthy fats, protein and limited carbs. That’s the ideal diabetic diet. But sometimes our diets are so far from the ideal that it’s hard to know where to start. That’s why we’ve shared this list of healthy alternatives for diabetics – choose a food you eat often, and replace it with a healthier option that will be much kinder to your blood sugar!
Healthy alternatives for diabetics
It can help to ease into a healthy diabetic diet slowly so that it becomes sustainable: part of a new lifestyle rather than a diet that can be picked up and put down. One way of doing this is to look at the foods we’re eating that we know are wrong for us, and instead of cutting them out completely (which is sometimes too difficult), replace them with healthier options.
|Instead of this||Try this|
|Cordials and cold drinks||Sugar-free cordials and cold drinks. Water with sliced berries or lemon for flavour.|
|Jams and marmalade||Try sugar-free alternatives.|
|Granola||Homemade seed and nut granola|
|Fruit juice||Sparkling water with sliced lemon, mint or sliced strawberries.|
|Fruit, canned in syrup||Don’t buy canned fruit – it’s loaded with sugar.|
|Desserts||Grilled nectarines make a healthy dessert. |
Make your own ice cream with cream cheese, almond milk, sugar-free sweetener and cocoa powder.
|Flavoured milk||Use cocoa, milk and sugar-free sweetener for a delicious hot chocolate.|
|Sweetened yoghurt||Plain yoghurt with a few berries or granadilla|
|Energy bars and granola bars||Homemade trail mix (no dried fruit)|
High-fibre crackers with peanut butter.
|Muffins||Homemade muffins with grated carrots and almond or coconut flour|
|White bread||First choice is Banting bread. Or at least switch to wholewheat or seed bread and limit your intake to 1 to 2 slices a day.|
|White pasta or rice||Wholewheat pasta or brown rice|
|Plain maize meal||Maize meal with lentils, or samp and beans|
|High-energy, low-fibre snacks||Homemade popcorn|
|Mash or potatoes without skin||Cauliflower mash or roasted turnips|
|Breakfast cereal without fibre||Homemade seed and nut granola|
Do you have any other healthy alternatives for diabetics to add? Let us know!
What to read next?
The basic diabetic pantry: outlines what you need to have in your kitchen to cook healthy diabetic meals.
The low carb diabetic pantry: Tells you what to buy to eat a healthy low carb diet.
The diabetes diet: all you need to know: Explains what carbs and carb counting are in more detail.