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Diabetic Friendly Hamper Food

Aug 31, 2022

Health Canada (2022). Canada’s food guide. [Photograph].

What is diabetes?

Diabetes is a condition people live with when their body does not produce enough of the hormone insulin or cannot use the insulin their body produces. Insulin helps to regulate blood sugar levels, so diabetes may cause blood sugars to increase, which can impact the heart, eyes and kidneys.

11 million Canadians are living with diabetes or prediabetes.

Some common signs and symptoms of diabetes are:

  • Unusual thirst  
  • Frequent urination
  • Low energy
  • Tingling in hands or feet
  • Cuts that take a long time to heal

What can I eat with diabetes?

The body’s main source of fuel is sugar which comes from carbohydrate-containing foods (like fruit, milk, starchy vegetables, grains and sugar). With diabetes, the body can’t use sugar as well which can result in higher blood sugar levels. Fibre is essential to have at meals, as it can help to control blood sugar levels. Fibre is found in plant-based foods like beans, lentils, vegetables, and fruit. Aiming for half your plate at meals to be filled by fruits and vegetables (canned, fresh or frozen) can help meet your daily fibre needs.

Try to have a source of protein at each meal as well to help balance out the meal (nuts, seeds, beans, fish, meat, eggs). A balanced plate will also contain a small portion of a starch (like rice, potato, pasta, bread). Creating balanced meals with vegetables, protein and starches can help manage blood sugars. With snacks, try to have a high fibre carbohydrate source with a protein food.

High Fibre Carbohydrate Foods:

  • Fruit  
  • Starchy vegetables
  • Whole grains
  • Legumes (beans, lentils, chickpeas)

Protein Foods:

  • Fish 
  • Meat
  • Eggs
  • Legumes (beans, lentils, chickpeas)
  • Nuts and seeds (nut butters)

How can I make balanced meals and snacks from foods with my hamper?

Remember, for a balanced meal – the goal is to have a fruit/vegetable with a protein source and a starch. For snacks, a protein food and a high fibre carbohydrate food.

Common items found in hampers, such as tomato sauce, pasta, beans, tuna, canned/fresh vegetables + fruit, breads, oatmeal or cereals, nut butters, canned soups, eggs, and rice can all be used to create diabetic-friendly snacks and meals.

Breakfast Ideas:

Peanut butter with oatmeal and canned fruit.

Cereal with hardboiled egg and fruit.

Snack Ideas:

Fruit with peanut butter.

Tuna sandwich.

Hardboiled egg with toast.

Vegetables and bean dip.

Lunch and Dinner Ideas:

Add canned vegetables to canned soups.

Pasta with tomato sauce, canned vegetable and meat.

Canned tuna with rice and cooked vegetables.

More nutrition questions?

It is important for those with diabetes to have regular follow ups with their doctor – if you do not have a family doctor, you can always visit to find a doctor accepting new patients.

Feel free to attend Mosaic’s Primary Care Network’s Walk and Talk with a Dietitian at the Genesis Centre (7555 Falconridge Blvd NE). Walk and Talk is an opportunity to talk with a registered dietitian about your eating patterns and concerns. Get nutrition information and your questions answered while getting active at the program.

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