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Guide to Diabetes

Meat, Fish, Poultry and Pulses - Protein

These foods are all good sources of protein, vitamins and minerals including iron. They provide us with important nutrients for building healthy muscles, skin and other tissues of the body.
Peas, beans, lentils and dhal contain soluble fibre which can help prevent constipation and can help you to feel less hungry between meals.


We know that protein is an essential part of our diet, however, most of us eat larger amounts than our body requires.  

Aim for 2 servings a day 

1 serving is…

  • 75g cooked meat or
  • 100g cooked fish (white or oily) or
  • 125g cooked beans, lentils or dhal or
  • 100g soya, quorn or tofu


Where possible try to…..


  • Choose lean cuts of red meat, chicken and turkey

  •  Choose lean mince when making burgers, meatballs or kebabs and grill meat where possible
  • Remove any visible fat from meat
  • Remove skin from chicken before cooking
  • Use low fat cooking methods e.g. grilling,boiling, steaming, dry roasting, microwaving or poaching
  • Limit your intake of processed meat products such as sausages, sausage rolls, burgers, pork pies, corned beef
  • Make minced meat dishes such as chilli-con-carne, keema,or casseroles heat the mince first. This will help the fat to separate from the mince. Drain the fat and continue to cook.
  • Choose fish that is either fresh, frozen or tinned in brine, water or tomato sauce
  • Choose white fish such as cod, haddock or tuna as it is low in fat
  • If you like oily fish such as sardines, herring, mackerel and salmon try to include it into your diet once or twice a week. The oils are known to have protective effects to your heart
  • Choose peas, beans, lentils and dhals more often such as chick peas, moong, blackeye and kidney beans, as these are low in fat and high in fibre
  • As an alternative to meat try using soya protein, tofu, or Quorn
  • Limit your portion of nuts to 1 small handful as they are high in fat

 For more advice and cooking tips link to the Leicestershire Nutrition and Dietetic website

(Reviewed and updated by Hannah Berkerly Senior Diabetes Specialist Dietitan UHL 2014)