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Advice for people with diabetes and their families

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Homemade takeaways

On those days when you simply don’t feel like cooking, takeaways can offer a simple, quick and tasty solution.

And although it’s fine to have one as an occasional treat, too many takeaways can have a negative impact on our health.

Why takeaways can be bad for your health

Although takeaways can vary depending on what dish you choose and how it’s been cooked, many are very high in calories and can cause you to gain weight.

Takeaways also contain a lot of saturated fat, which can increase your bad cholesterol levels, which increases your risk of heart problems.

They’re also high in salt, which increases your risk of high blood pressure. 

And takeaways could raise blood glucose (sugar) levels because they have added sugars or refined carbs. 

But they also make blood sugars harder to manage if you treat your diabetes with insulin. This is because the high carb and fat content makes it difficult to know what the impact will be on your levels.

Having a healthy diet can reduce these risks and improve how you manage your diabetes. It can also reduce your risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

Takeaways from chain restaurants

If you do decide to treat yourself to a takeaway, we’ve put together a handy high street menu guide which lists links to the menus of popular food chains. That way, you can look ahead on their menu and know exactly what’s in your choices. We’ve also got suggestions for how to choose healthier takeaway options.

Delicious takeaway-style meals at home

Knowing what's in your food and reducing your intake of sugars, salt and saturated fat can help you to manage your diabetes, or reduce your risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

So, instead of reaching for the phone and ordering a pizza or curry to your door, why not make your own from scratch? As well as cooking a delicious, fresh meal for your family or friends, you’re also likely to save money and end up with a far healthier option.

We’ve developed a range of nutritionally-balanced meals that are worth taking a closer look at before searching for that local takeaway menu. 

Each recipe has been nutritionally analysed so you know exactly how much saturated fat, salt, and sugar are in your meals.  

Cauliflower pizza 

Cauliflower pizza

Pizza is one of the most tempting takeaways, but it can also be quite high in carbs, saturated fat and salt. As with other takeaways, you don’t need to ban pizza from your diet if you have diabetes, but simple switches can make it easier to keep your blood glucose, blood pressure and cholesterol levels in check. 

The base of the pizza is where most of the refined carbs come from, so our cauliflower pizza uses a cauliflower base for a lower-carb alternative. It also contains plenty of vegetables, so you can get seven portions of fruit and veg per serving. 

You could also make the pizza base using wholemeal flour which has a higher fibre content. Also think about your choice of toppings - go for more veggies in place of red and processed meat and you’ll have a pizza that’s also lower in saturated fat and salt. 

Chicken and lentil curry 

Chicken and lentil curry

We love an Indian takeaway, but some dishes are very high in calories. Luckily, you can recreate your favourite dishes at home very easily. This curry recipe is very simple to make and has four green traffic lights, making it much healthier than a takeaway option.

More of our favourite homemade takeaways:

•    Fab fish, chips and peas
•    Vegetable chow mein
•    Southern-style chicken
•    Chinese steamed trout
•    Saag aloo
•    Szechuan chicken
•    Doner kebabs
•    Veg and bean curry
•    Potato pizza
•    Lamb curry
•    Chicken biryani
•    Sweet and sour pork

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