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Guide to Diabetes

Eating Out & Fast Food

Friends And Relatives 


When visiting friends or relatives it is customary to have tea and snacks, e.g. biscuits, chevda, ganthia, pakoras. These foods are high in fat so try not to feel pressured to take them. If you have tea, ask for no sugar and use your own sweetener if necessary.

Weddings And Parties


It is often difficult at these occasions to choose suitable foods, however, try to be as careful as you can. Try eating something before attending the occasion. This will help you eat less of the fatty and sugary foods such as somosas, pakoras, cakes, sweets.

  • Avoid fizzy drinks, drink water
  • Make sure you do take your medications on time!



We all enjoy BBQ’s and picnics remember to make sure food is cooked thoroughly read more from the Food Standards Agency’s advice this summer.
Barbecues and buffets may not have enough starchy foods, go for the breads and don’t be afraid to ask for something extra.


Airline Meals / Holidays 

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If you are going abroad on holiday the same rules apply but you have to be extra careful if you don’t understand the menu or are unfamiliar with some dishes, if you are going by plane avoid the special diabetic meal as it can be low in carbohydrates.

Fish And Chips 

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Fish and Chips contains a great deal of fat and calories, you can order smaller portions or take off some of the batter. 
Thick chips are healthier than french fries as they absorb less fat whilst cooking.


Burger Chains 

Again these have a great deal of fat and the burger will be in a bun so full of carbohydrates. You could ask for no mayonnaise and avoid cheeseburgers. There are now salads available instead of chips but watch out for high fat dressings. Order the diet variety of drinks available; remember milkshakes contain a lot of fat and sugar.



Although the bases are bread the toppings can be high in fat. Vegetable toppings like peppers, sweetcorn and olives are better than meat topping and extra cheese, stuffed crust will have high fat content.

Indian Takeaways And Fast Food


Fast food places are found on nearly every corner in Leicester, try grilled chicken with pitta bread, try the chicken wraps with out mayonnaise, rather than the traditional burger and fries and drink,

Barbecued chickens and roasted chickens are alternatives too.

Drier dishes such as biryanis are better than the creamier korma and masala curries. To accompany the meal try basmati or boiled rice instead of pilau or fried and side dish of dhal or vegetable curry.
The pickles are often sweet and poppadums are fried so try to avoid these.



The tomato based pasta with vegetables are much more healthier than the cheesy variety try not to add extra cheese.




Stick to Stir fry dishes, providing they are served with plain rice not egg fried or noodles to provide carbohydrates. Soup makes a good starter and is better than spring rolls or prawn toast

If you eat regularly at a restaurant and they don’t serve what you want ie diet drinks ask the manager if they understand why people with diabetes need diet drink and if they value your custom they will start to make changes.

Readymade meals

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Ready made meals and sauces tend to be high in fat and salt and low in fibre. Choose lower fat or healthier options. what food lables really mean

To make these meals more balanced you need to serve them with extra salad or vegetables and starchy foods like bread or a jacket potato.

Sauces: Like ketchup, relishes and chutneys can be eaten as usual and low fat ready made sauces, jar and tins can be combined with lean meat, pulses, pasta and rice for quick tasty meals.

Vegetarian ready made meals can be high in fat –vegetarian does not automatically mean low fat!

A Balanced meal is the main thing!

Ref: Healthy Eating in the South Asian Community for people with diabetes
Diabetes UK and the information contained in this section has been derived from with permission from the Leicestershire Nutrition and Dietetic Service (LNDS) NHS website.