‘Free’ Foods

glycemic index

Studies of patients with T1D found replacing high GI carbohydrates with low GI carbohydrates improves blood sugar control and reduces hypoglycemic episodes.

recipe ideas

Preparing meals doesn’t have to be difficult and a chore. We have chosen some of the best sites with ideas to try and inspire you.

exercise and t1d

Exercise is important for not only our bodies but also our mental health. Let’s face it, releasing endorphins makes us feel good!

Good news! There are some foods that are considered to be ‘free foods’ for Type 1 Diabetics. 

This term does require an explanation and isn’t to be misinterpreted. We know that you know but we will say it anyway – there is a direct correlation between your carbohydrate intake and your glucose levels.

“Free foods” are those foods or drinks that have less than 20 calories per serving and no more than 5 grams of 
carbohydrate per serving. They are considered free because you may eat them up to three times a day in reasonable amounts without significantly 
raising your blood sugar. Here is a sampling of the free foods available by category:


Asparagus (cooked), Green Beans (cooked), Broccoli (cooked), Celery, Cucumber, Lettuce (Iceberg) Olives, Red capsicum, Radishes, Shallots, Spinach (cooked), Tomatoes and Tomato juice


Avacados, Raspberries, Strawberries

Macadamia Nuts and Pecans


Butter, Cheddar Cheese, Swiss Cheese, Cream Cheese, Cottage cheese (2% milk fat), Eggs, Mayonnaise, Milk (1% milk fat), Soy Milk, Yoghurt (plain whole milk)


Coffee (without milk or sugar), Tea (without milk or sugar) and Water

Size really does matter

Try to limit yourself to only two snacks a day and also try to eat snacks at designated times between meals so that your snack doesn’t spoil your appetite as well as adding some nutritional value to your daily food intake.

At diagnosis, keeping a strict and plain eating plan can be beneficial until you are able to get used to the new regime. Over time, you will begin to learn what certain foods do to your body – it’s important to remember that
each person is individual and what works for you, may not work for someone else.

Carbohydrate Books and Apps

Some great work has been done by clinicians, educators and nutritionists to make the task of ‘carb counting’ that little bit easier. 

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