Live Well, Eat Well This World Diabetes Day

A colourful display of assorted vegetables

World Diabetes Day falls on the 14th of November yearly. Diabetes is a chronic and incurable disease, but it can be managed with tweaks in one’s diet and lifestyle. Here’s a breakdown on what a healthy diet should look like, and how you can make it interesting and enjoyable.

Is it true that diabetes patients must avoid sweet food at all costs?

False! Diabetes patients can still enjoy sweets, chocolates and other sugary treats occasionally. However, they must be eaten as part of a properly structured healthful meal plan or accompanied by regular exercise. 

What should a diabetic patient’s diet look like?

First of all, they need to avoid a carbohydrate or sugar overload. They also need to ensure that their diet is

  • high in fiber
  • high in protein
  • nutrient dense
  • a source of healthy fats
  • low in added sugars

Generally, their diet should consist of a variety of healthy food from the various food groups:

  1. Vegetables
  2. Fruits
  3. Grains 
  4. Protein
  5. Dairy (non-fat or low fat) 

Alternatives to sweets and snacks

Can’t stop the cravings? Crush your hunger with these alternative bites! 

Apple with Peanut Butter 

Rich in both protein and fibre, this sweet and nutty treat will satisfy hunger and give you a boost of energy at any time of the day! Click here for the full recipe.

Yogurt with Berries 

Berries are full of antioxidants and a great source of fibre, while yogurt is known to help lower blood sugar levels with its probiotics. They make a perfect combo for a quick snack because of their nutritional value and taste! Click here for the full recipe.

Chili-Lime Roasted Chickpeas 

Rich in fibre, protein and flavour, these crunchy bites make a healthy and filling snack alternative. They might even help prevent or reduce the progression of Type 2 Diabetes. Click here for the full recipe.

Cheese on Whole Grain Crackers

Top off whole grain crackers with some dairy goodness! Opt for 100% whole grain crackers, as others may contain high amounts of refined flour, sugar or salt. Opt for 100% whole grain crackers instead! Click here for the full recipe.

Sweet Potato Toast 

Swap bread with slices of sweet potato, toast, and top them off with your favourites. These crispy bites go well with avocado or peanut butter. Click here for the full recipe.

Craving something local instead?

One can never get enough of Malaysian food! Columbia Asia knows just that. They’ve put together a booklet filled with 10 diabetic-friendly local recipes. Download a copy for yourself here!


Amelia S. (2020) 25 Delicious Snack Ideas for People with Diabetes. [Accessed: 16 November 2020] Available at: 

Ashley B. (2020) 28 Guilt-Free Healthy Snacks For Diabetics. [Accessed: 16 November 2020] Available at: 

Greatist. (2020) Snack on This! The Ultimate Diabetes Snack Guide. [Accessed: 16 November 2020] Available at: 

Healthline Media. (2020) The 21 Best Snack Ideas If You Have Diabetes. [Accessed: 16 November 2020] Available at: 

Medical News Today. (2018) Is it safe for a person with diabetes to eat sweets? [Accessed: 16 November 2020] Available at: 

Ministry of Health Singapore. (2020) Diabetes Myths and Facts. [Accessed: 16 November 2020] Available at:–myths-of-diabetes 

National Institutes of Health. (2016) Diabetes Diet, Eating, & Physical Activity. [Accessed: 16 November 2020] Available at: