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Eating well with Diabetes

Eating well with Diabetes

Diabetes affects 1.7 million people in Australia with an estimated further 2 million Australians at high risk of developing the condition1. This article is designed to help if you, a family member or a friend have been recently diagnosed with diabetes.

There are three types of diabetes:

  • Type 1 diabetes (approximately 10% of all diabetes diagnoses)
  • Type 2 diabetes (85% of all diabetes diagnoses)
  • Gestational Diabetes (diabetes affecting some women during pregnancy)1.

What is diabetes?

Diabetes is a chronic condition in which the levels of glucose (or sugar) in the blood are too high. After we eat, our body breaks food down into simple molecules during the process of digestion. The simple form of carbohydrates is glucose, therefore after consuming a food or drink containing carbohydrates, our blood glucose levels rise. The rise in blood glucose levels stimulates the pancreas to produce a hormone called insulin. Insulin acts like a key unlocking cell doors, so that glucose can move from the circulating blood system into the cells where it is required. People with diabetes are either unable to produce sufficient insulin, or the insulin cannot effectively get into the circulating blood system; therefore their blood glucose levels remain high2.

Did you know? Optimal blood glucose control is important to prevent potentially serious complications that are associated with diabetes. Consuming an appropriate diet is key to this.

What should people with diabetes eat?

  • A healthy diet, as recommended by the Australian Dietary Guidelines
  • Consume meals at regular times1
  • Some people with diabetes will require additional snacks between meals depending upon their diabetes medication and blood sugar control
  • Choose lower fat alternatives (particularly low saturated fat)1
  • Choose low glycaemic index options 3

What is glycaemic index?

The glycaemic index is a ranking of carbohydrates according to how quickly they elicit a rise in blood glucose levels. Low glycaemic index foods produce a smaller rise in blood sugar levels, providing a sustained source of energy and have been linked with reducing heart disease and are the preferred source of carbohydrate foods for people with diabetes 4. To learn more, visit the Glycemic Index Foundation.

What if you can’t meet your dietary requirements through food alone?

If you have diabetes and require additional nutrition due to poor dietary intake or illness, SUSTAGEN Diabetic may be an appropriate nutritional supplement for you. It is a specially formulated, low GI (Glycaemic Index), nutritionally complete drink, which can be consumed as a nutritious between meal snack, mixed into your food for a nutrient boost, or a protein boost alongside your breakfast.

Features of SUSTAGEN Diabetic:

  • Nutritional supplement, suitable for people with diabetes
  • Can be used supplementary to dietary intake, or as a sole source of nutrition when prescribed by your healthcare professional.
  • Low glycaemic index (SUSTAGEN Diabetic powder GI = 34, SUSTAGEN Diabetic ready to drink GI = 30)
  • Lower carbohydrate content compared to SUSTAGEN Hospital Formula range (per serve).
  • Low saturated fat content
  • Convenient source of protein
  • Contains 27 vitamins and minerals
  • Available in powder or a convenient ready to drink Tetra®



To find out more about SUSTAGEN Diabetic please visit SUSTAGEN Diabetic product information page.

Try this breakfast recipe idea: Overnight Oats using SUSTAGEN Diabetic instead of SUSTAGEN Hospital Formula.

For specific dietary advice and to see if SUSTAGEN Diabetic is suitable for you, speak to your healthcare professional.


Consume as part of a varied and balanced diet and healthy lifestyle. SUSTAGEN® Hospital Formula and SUSTAGEN® Hospital Formula Plus fibre are a formulated meal replacement and cannot be used as a total diet replacement. SUSTAGEN® Collagen, SUSTAGEN® Everyday and SUSTAGEN® Ready to Drink are Formulated Supplementary Foods which can be of assistance where dietary intakes of nutrients and energy may not be adequate. SUSTAGEN® OPTIMUM™ is a Food for Special Medical Purpose, specially formulated for medical conditions where nutritional needs cannot be met through diet modification alone. Must be used under the supervision of a healthcare professional. SUSTAGEN® Sport is a Formulated Supplementary Sports Food which must be consumed in conjunction with a nutritious diet, not as a sole source of nutrition and should be used in conjunction with an appropriate physical training or exercise program. Not suitable for children under 15 years of age or pregnant women. Should only be used under medical or dietetic supervision. The advice given here is intended as a general guideline only and is not intended to replace the advice of a healthcare professional. Nutritional supplements can only be of assistance where dietary intake is inadequate. Please seek advice on your individual needs from an Accredited Practicing Dietitian or your healthcare professional.