Food EventsPosted on 17.07.2014

Takeaway and Diabetes: The Brief Low-Down

It’s National Diabetes Week, so let’s talk real quick.

Did you know?
  • Around 1.7 million Australians have diabetes
  • 280 Australians develop diabetes every day (one person every five minutes)
  • More than 100,000 Australians have developed diabetes in the last 12 months
  • Diabetes is the fastest growing chronic condition in Australia, outpacing heart disease and cancer
Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune condition, meaning it’s unpreventable (at this stage). The cause of Type 2 diabetes remains unknown, but there are proven risk factors: poor diet and lack of exercise. So, everything in moderation, right? Maybe boring. Definitely true. To that end! We’ve compiled a (very, very) quick summary of the Diabetes Australia guide to help you make informed takeaway choices.

NB: We can’t stress how much we’ve simplified the literature — yes it’s dense, but if you’re interested, it’s certainly worth a skim, guys!

Top Tips

Understand the causes: “Because diabetes is a condition where your blood glucose level is too high, many people think they need to avoid sugars and foods containing sugar,” says Carolyn Hines, Director at Diabetes Australia. “It is important to understand that it is not sugar in itself that causes diabetes but rather a combination of factors such as being overweight and being inactive.”
TL;DR: Avoid too much sugar and saturated fat.

Include your family and friends: “Healthy eating and an active lifestyle are important for everyone,” Hines says. “Everyone, including family and friends, can enjoy the same healthy and tasty meals together.”
TL;DR: Workout and share healthy meals with loved ones.

Don’t overeat. Eat small meals throughout the day, avoid unhealthy snacking and be aware of portion sizes in order to limit your intake.
TL;DR: This one clearly does not need a summary.


  • Go easy on the fried and battered dishes, and instead order steamed, barbecued or braised
  • Aim for lots of veggies, some rice or noodles and smaller amounts of meat
  • Avoid coconut cream or milk
  • Great options: stir fries, vegetable soups and salads with minimum dressing

Middle Eastern

  • Aim for bean and yoghurt-based dips
  • Choose grilled, lean meat with salads
  • Avoid too much cheese or sauce in wraps and kebabs
  • Great options: dishes packed with veggies, like falafel, tabouleh and bean salad


  • Avoid creamy soups and sauces, and instead order minestrone or tomato-based pasta sauces
  • Choose lean meats, skinless poultry or grilled seafood
  • Limit your cheese intake
  • Ask for a thin-based pizza with low fat toppings (veggies over fatty meats like salami and pepperoni)


  • Limit curries heavy on the cream and coconut milk, and instead order lean meats and sauces (e.g. tandoori, rogan josh)
  • Aim for vegetable-based dishes like lentil daal
  • Avoid fried foods like samosas
  • Ask for no butter on breads like naan and roti

Next time you order takeaway, spend a moment considering these tips, browse Menulog’s range of restaurants and menus, and choose something that your body will thank you for!