Diabetic Foods


The concept of ‘diabetic’ foods or a ‘diabetic’ diet has long since been replaced by guidelines on healthy food choices and individualised advice on eating habits for each person with diabetes. Like the rest of the population, people with diabetes are encouraged to eat a diet low in saturated fat, sugar and salt, with plenty of fruit and vegetables and meals based on starchy carbohydrate foods like bread and potatoes.  There is no single food, which must be excluded from the diet of people with diabetes. Total avoidance of sugar is now considered unnecessary. Consequently, the idea of legitimising so-called ‘diabetic’ foods has also been outmoded.

The continued existence of special ‘diabetic’ foods creates a number of problems.  Labeling a product ‘diabetic’ gives it a stamp of approval, which many people with diabetes find hard to ignore.  People assume that if the label says ‘diabetic’ that the contents may be beneficial or even essential. Since ‘diabetic’ foods tend to cost more than conventional counterparts or sugar-free and reduced sugar versions this is in effect conning people with diabetes.  The main concern is that promoting a range of confectionery foods as ‘diabetic’ completely undermines dietary education in diabetes care.

Consequently, Diabetes Ireland representing people with diabetes urges the removal of labeling “suitable for diabetics” which suggests that these foods are appropriate for persons with diabetes.

This information is also advocated by other health professionals and dietitians/members of the INDI (Irish Nutrition and Dietetic Institute)

General advice for those diagnosed with Diabetes is that they need to follow a healthy eating pattern with the same recommendations for those without Diabetes.

Occasional sweets and sugars are allowed therefore we do not endorse specialist foods or products aimed at those living with Diabetes.

If the information in this e-mail does not answer your query, please feel free to contact us on 01 842 8118