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Nutrition Guide for Diabetes

What is Carbohydrate?

Carbohydrate food group is converted into glucose before adsorbed into our bloodstream to be utilize as energy by the body cells for daily activity.

Sources of carbohydrate includes:

  • Cereals and grains such as rice, noodles, bread
  • Starchy vegetables such as potato, pumpkin, sweetcorn, yam
  • Legumes and lentils
  • Fruits
  • Milk and dairy products
  • Sweeteners and sweetened products

Having diabetes does not mean to discourage you from eating carbohydrates but do take control of the portion size of these food.  Discuss with a dietitian about your required carbohydrate allowance in a day.

Tips to Control Diabetes

  1. Manage Your Body Weight

Achieving normal body weight helps to regulate your blood glucose. If you are overweight, consider to work with your dietitian to lose some weight. Studies have shown that 5% reduction of your current body weight can improve your diabetes control. A Body Mass Index (BMI) of 18.8 – 24.9 kg/m2 is considered healthy. You can calculate your BMI with the following formula:

BMI =   Weight (kg) / Height (m) x Height (m)

  1. Choose Your Carbohydrate Intake Wisely

There are basically two types of carbohydrates in the diet: sugars and starches.
Examples of sugars include table sugar, honey and the natural sugars found in milk and fruits. Examples of starches are grains and grain products (e.g. rice, noodles, bread, oats, chapatti and biscuits), starchy vegetables (e.g. potato and pumpkin), beans and lentils.

  • Limit consumption of sugar sweetened food and drinks

Sugar sweetened food and drinks are mostly high in calories and low in nutrient. Avoid excessive intake of sugar sweetened products. Substitute added sugars with artificial sweeteners to avoid spikes in blood sugar levels.

  • Make half your grains whole

Include fiber-rich starches such as brown rice, whole meal bread as part of a well-balanced diet. They are usually nutrient-dense and will also help with blood glucose control.

  1. Eat at Regular Mealtimes

Avoid skipping meals and have your meals on time especially if you are on insulin to prevent getting hypoglycemia or possibly overeat at the next meal due to hunger.

  1. Check Your Blood Glucose Levels

Own a glucometer to monitor your blood glucose regularly.

  1. Commit to Regular Exercise

Perform aerobic exercises for 150 minutes in a week or aim for about 30 minutes a day, at least 5 days in a week. If you have not been very active recently, start your routine with 5 to 10 minutes a day then step up each week. Choice of exercise can be in brisk walking, climbing stairs, swimming or cycling.

Referral to the Dietitian

For more nutrition information and consultation, please contact IJN’s Diet Clinic.

Diet Clinic Block A:    03-26006596

Diet Clinic Block B:    03-26006942

Book an Appointment