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Tips on healthy living with Diabetes


I am now regularly getting days where my levels stay under 10mmols all day, and I do this by the following:

  • eating long-lasting carbohydrates in the morning, and mainly meat and vegetables for the rest of the day, and steering away from white flour.
  • having healthy snacks for when I go low, like apricots or organic cereal bars (in which sugar or glucose-fructose syrup is not the first ingredient) as this will help you to stop going high afterwards
  • exercising every day, and by this I mean popping out for a brisk 10 minute walk each day or going for a run in the morning. Walking can be such a good way to keep your levels balanced because it will keep your levels running smoothly and not cause your levels to go drastically low immediately.
  • checking my levels at least 3 times a day, any less than this and I find that my levels go wrong somewhere
  • going to bed and waking up at the same time each day, this helps your body to slot into a routine. And I can almost guarantee that the day I feel like a lie-in will be the day my sugar levels are fairly high that morning.
  • avoiding alcohol. Except the rare glass of red wine. Any cocktails should be avoided if at all possible, as they are practically just sugar.
  • eat at regular times, for example within an hours slot, will help your body to fit to its routine and it will bless you with smoother levels.
  • when my hormones go crazy each month, my sugar levels are harder to manage, so I keep a closer eye on them. I also try to cut down on the carbs even more, as this will help the control. Just think, if the insulin pump set isn’t working for some reason, then the fewer carbs you have the less of a problem this becomes.
  • drink loads of water, just to keep everything else in my body happy. Also I keep a bottle of water with me at all times so that if my levels go high I can drink it all, and feel much better.drink plenty of water during the day
  • keep dark chocolate in the cupboard and yogurt in the fridge. This is so useful for when I start craving something sweet, as neither is full of added sugar, and both are beneficial to your body in some way. As long as these are there I won’t pop to the local shop to get a chocolate bar or a packet of biscuits.
  • set a temporary basal rate for when I am sitting doing nothing, as this helps to keep the level at a stable rate, this is something really useful about the insulin pump, and I have to admit to not using it to its full advantage, as I am quite a forgetful person.
  • not having a take away, its really bad for me (pizza is full of fat, Chinese full of monosodium glutomate, Indian full of hidden sugars and white rice, you get my point). And I usually plan what I will eat in the week. I stock loads of soup, as this is quick and really good for me.
  • not underestimating what fat in foods can do to my sugar levels. By this I mean that if I have something high in fat in the evening, my sugar levels usually rise overnight by a very significant amount. So I can either cut it out completely or eat the fatty foods earlier in the day when I can watch them rise and try to keep them down, or counteract this with some exercise.
  • if I do some strenuous exercise, I counteract it with some long lasting carbohydrates, or otherwise my sugar levels will go down
  • if I am feeling ill, I make sure someone knows (usually my mum) just in case, and I check my sugar levels really frequently and drink tons of water. The general rule is that if it gets to a point where I can’t keep food down then I go home, or to the hospital, as this could progress into something more serious.
  • if my blood sugar levels are high then I tend to feel quite groggy, and really tired. So I usually only eat vegetables if it’s a mealtime at the same time, especially if I can’t work out why my levels are high, as most vegetables can’t cause the levels to go much higher.

Although Alissa is on an insulin pump, many of these health and diet tips will apply to any diabetic.


Being informed about how to stay healthy is important - ask your diabetic nurse or doctor, read the magazines from national diabetes research charities, borrow cookbooks from the library and chat to other people with experience of living with diabetes.



Further Reading


Healthy Eating - what foods we've grown to love and which ones we're now wary of

Insulin Pumps vs Injections - why we made the change to a pump


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