Lunches recommended for good blood sugar control if you have diabetes

Dr Amir lists diabetes symptoms

Diabetics might be concerned about the health consequences of high blood sugar, but having a healthy diet can reduce the risk of complications. One great place to start improving your health is to prepare healthy lunches in advance. The informative charity Diabetes UK recommends type 2 diabetics to try a chickpea and tuna salad.

Chickpea and tuna salad

Serving: two lunches


  • Grated zest of half a lemon
  • Pinch of black pepper
  • 20ml extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 small red onion
  • 180g ripe cherry tomatoes, cut into quarters
  • 8cm cucumber, chopped
  • 1x400g tin chickpeas in water, drained
  • 1x200g tin tuna in water, drained
  • 150g salad leaves/lettuce
  • 2 lemon wedges


  1. Add lemon zest to a large bowl with pepper and olive oil
  2. Add red onion, tomatoes and cucumber – mix well
  3. Add chickpeas and tuna, and mix
  4. Toss in salad leaves and squeeze on lemon
  5. By eating healthily, you are less likely to experience spikes of blood sugar.

If blood sugars are high, you might experience the following symptoms, according to the NHS.

Signs of high blood sugar:

  • Feeling very thirsty
  • Peeing a lot
  • Feeling weak or tired
  • Blurred vision
  • Losing weight.

There can be instances where other factors contribute to high blood sugar levels, which are not related to diet.

Examples include feelings of stress, being unwell, or being less active than usual.

In terms of diet, however, sugary or starchy foods can contribute to high blood sugar levels.

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This does not mean, however, that you must avoid pasta at all costs, which is considered a starchy carbohydrate.

For example, Diabetes UK suggests trying a Mediterranean pasta salad for lunch.

The following recipe is enough for two lunch portions, so you can store the leftovers in the fridge.

Mediterranean pasta salad

Serving: two lunches


  • 225g dried pasta shapes
  • 10 cherry tomatoes, quartered
  • 10 black olives, sliced
  • Quarter cucumber, chopped
  • half red onion, thinly sliced
  • 40g Feta cheese, crumbled
  • 15g pine nuts, toasted
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • Handful basil leaves


  1. Cook the pasta according to the pack instructions. Drain and refresh under cold water.
  2. Toss the pasta together with the remaining ingredients and serve.

While your diet is only part of the equation when it comes to managing blood sugar levels, it can play an important role.

Diabetes UK states: “The foods you eat not only make a difference to how you manage your diabetes but also to how well you feel and how much energy you have.”

People are advised to eat from the five main foods groups:

  1. Fruit and veg
  2. Starchy foods, like bread, pasta and rice
  3. Protein foods, like beans, pulses, nuts, eggs, meat and fish
  4. Dairy and alternatives
  5. Oils and spreads.

A healthy diet is about variety and choosing different foods from the five main food groups every day.

If you are struggling to make dietary changes, start small, or seek the professional help of a dietitian.

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