Examples of complex carbohydrates are potatoes and bread, because these release sugar into the body gradually and avoid sudden increases in the level of glucose in the blood.
In general diabetics should
■ Eat a diet that brings them down to their correct healthy weight and keeps them there.
■ Eat regular meals and try to eat similar amounts of starchy foods from day to day.
■ Try to eat high fibre foods, especially beans, peas, lentils and fruit.
■ Cut down on fried and fatty food such as butter, margarine, cheese, chips etc.
■ Reduce their sugar intake by swapping high sugar foods for low sugar foods.
■ Be careful not to use too much salt.
■ Be aware that alcohol is a source of calories in the diet and therefore should be included in any dietary considerations. In practical terms, a moderate intake in keeping with a balanced diet is not a problem but excessive intake will affect the blood sugar levels and the individual will risk an increase in weight.
It is advisable for a newly diagnosed diabetic to see a dietician for more detailed and specialist advice regarding the correct diet for their condition.