Reporter: Andrea Burns

Better Homes and Gardens' Rob Palmer is one of the million Australians who lives with diabetes. “i don't think its difficult to find stuff becasue so many shops have got things labelled these days - you actually go in and it says low gi product, it puts its hand up and says buy me”

A dietitian with Diabetes Australia, Sophie McGough says the disease doesn't mean food has to become pricey or boring, “they think once they're diagnosed with diabetes they might have to eat rabbit food and it might become expensive“ Sophie says making lean choices is often the key to eating a diabetes friendly diet - and portion sizes - like with meat. “we only need about 120 grams, about the size of your palm a day, so we could actually feed a family of four on this for about six dollars”

And the whole family could benefit from simple changes, “for example a full fat cheddar cheese actually has about a third fat in it, which is about the same as a chocolate bar - wow, and I know what I'd rather eat, but you'd only have a little bit of that, wouldn't you? exactly, so if you are going to go for the full fat cheese, just have it as a treat”

In the milk minefield, the lower the fat, the higher the calcium...so skim milk has more calcium than full cream milk. And there's nothing wrong with long life. “yeah if people are on a budget and they want to be able to store milk for a long time, they can go for these sorts of varieties in uht milk -so you'd pick them up on special? Exactly” and if you think home brand bread means second rate in the fibre stakes, think again, basically, the fibre content in both of those is still 5 grams per 100 grams - so both exactly the same.

Leo was diagnosed with diabetes ten years ago... wife Miriam, more recently,and businessman Tim first diagnosed in his mid 40's. They're on a Shop Smart tour - a lesson in supermarket shopping that helps demystify diabetes. “it's just more or less your normal shopping but it sort of teaches you , I find it teaches you to read labels”

Sophie says “it really is one of the most essential skills you can give somebody with diabetes , to really help their quality of life , it really makes them feel very empowered” Sophie says diabetics don't need special menus - in fact, the whole family will benefit from sticking to a diabetes friendly regime, but really if you eat well for diabetes, it's not only enjoyable but it doesn't hurt you in the hip pocket either.



Porridge with low fat milk and sprinkle of cinnamon

Fresh fruit in season if desired!


Sandwich – multigrain bread (generic brand or whatever is on special)

Low fat cheese slice

Tuna in spring water (generic brand)




Piece of Fruit (whatever is in season)


Spaghetti bolognaise (make it stretch by adding lots of vegetables and beans)

- 120g extra trim mince

- pasta sauce (generic brand)

- Mushrooms

- Onions

- Canned tomatoes (generic brand)

- Canned kidney beans (generic brand)

- Spaghetti (generic brand)

- Sprinkle of parmesan cheese


Low fat yoghurt (whatever is on special)

Make up a fruit salad from your favourite fruits in season

Spicy fruit rolls/Fruit slice

Raisin toast

Corn thins with a low fat cheese spread or hommus

Low fat fruity muffin (homemade)


All Shop Smart sessions cater for different groups, including mothers and professionals – and are NOT restricted to people with diabetes

Cost – Diabetes Australia WA members $15 and non-members $20.

Bookings are ESSENTIAL – to register, phone Diabetes Australia Information Advice Line: 1300 136 588 or website www.dawa.asn.au