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Food and nutrition

Food and nutrition are an important part of diabetes management.

The foods you eat can affect:

  • your diabetes management
  • how well you feel
  • how much energy you have.

Choosing healthy foods and being active will help you manage your blood glucose levels and maintain a healthy weight.

Find out more about food and healthy eating in the topics below

Healthy cooking

By making a few changes to your recipes, you can make them healthier.

Healthy eating

You do not need to buy special food or cook separate meals. The whole family can eat the same healthy food.

Between-meal snacks

Snacking can be part of your healthy eating

Eating out

If you eat out regularly, it is important to try and choose healthy options.

Glycemic index

The glycemic index (GI) ranks how quickly or slowly carbohydrate (carb) foods affect blood glucose levels.


Most people can enjoy alcohol in moderation. But drinking too much alcohol can be harmful to your health.

Related topics

Coeliac disease

Coeliac disease is a condition where an intolerance to gluten causes inflammation and damage to the small bowel.

Diabetes and fasting

There may be times when you decide to go on a fast. There is a higher risk of a hypo following fasting.

Weight management

A healthy weight is important for everyone.

There are many types of eating plans that may be suitable for people with diabetes. One size does not fit all.

Talk to a dietitian to develop an eating plan that meets your food preferences and nutritional needs. A dietitian can also advise you about serving sizes and snacks.

Dietitians are accessible and are usually based in many local hospitals, diabetes centres and community health centres.

  • Call the NDSS Helpline on 1800 637 700 and ask to speak to a dietitian.
Find a dietitian near you

Call Dietitians Australia on 1800 812 942 or you can find an Accredited Practising Dietitian (APD) on their website.

Go to Dietitians Australia
Find a health service or health professional near you

Go to healthdirect to find a diabetes health service or diabetes health professional on their website.

Go to Healthdirect

Nutritional needs change leading up to and during pregnancy.

A healthy eating plan is essential for the health of a mother and her baby. It’s also an important part of diabetes management.

To discuss individual nutrition requirements during pregnancy, ask for a referral to a dietitian.

Read more about healthy eating and staying active during pregnancy.

As we get older, it can be challenging to stay nourished and maintain healthy eating habits. Our lifestyles and appetites can change and chronic conditions such as diabetes can take up our time and energy and affect our food choices. This booklet provides information about healthy eating and food choices for older people living with diabetes.

Healthy eating as you age

Healthy eating and food choices for older people living with diabetes.


Free access to diabetes programs

Learn to manage your diabetes confidently with diabetes programs, available face-to-face and online. Register for a diabetes program.

Carb counting

Available anywhere, anytime. These short modules will teach you how to recognise and count carbohydrates (carbs), to help in managing your diabetes. 


This online program will give you the confidence to make the best carbohydrate food choices.

Type 2 diabetes and me

Available anywhere, anytime. These short modules will help you learn the basics of living with type 2 diabetes.

Featured resources

Diabetes Australia acknowledges Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples as the Traditional Owners and Custodians of this Country. We recognise their connection to land, waters, winds and culture. We pay the upmost respect to them, their cultures and to their Elders, past and present. We are committed to improving health outcomes for all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people affected by diabetes and those at risk.

Learn about the artwork