To understand diabetes, we need to understand how our body breaks down food (especially carbohydrates) to provide every cell in our bodies with energy and essential nutrients. When we consume any food that contains carbohydrates (this includes any grains, fruit, vegetables, legumes, pulses etc.) our body breaks it down to glucose and it is then absorbed into our blood stream. This glucose needs to be absorbed by every cell in your body as glucose is its main energy source. But glucose cannot freely pass-through cell membranes and therefore needs assistance for this process to take place. This is where insulin comes in. Insulin works as a “key” that unlocks a pathway for glucose to enter each cell.

With Diabetes, the body does not make enough insulin, or the cell membranes become unresponsive to the insulin produced. The glucose is therefore not removed from the blood and blood glucose levels increase. Uncontrolled high blood glucose levels have adverse effects including the short-term effects of excessive thirst, hunger, shivers, light headedness or even loss of consciousness. The long-term effects can include heart disease, kidney disease, sight degeneration and neurological disorders.

Although these adverse effects are terrifying, there is hope. Blood glucose levels can be controlled with proper nutrition and medication.



Goal 1: Healthy Balanced Diet

  • Portion control- ½ of your plate should contain a variety of low carbohydrate vegetables, ¼ of your plate lean protein sources and the other ¼ of your plate low GI, whole grain, high fibre carbohydrates.
  • Limit unhealthy, saturated fats as they increase the risk for heart disease, stroke and diabetes (animal fats, butter, cream, coconut oil).
  • Prioritize healthy fats including olive oil, canola oil, avocados, nut butters, nuts, seeds and fatty fish (sardines, pilchards, salmon).
  • Choose lean proteins with excess fat removed and include plant protein sources e.g. soy, beans, lentils and chickpeas.
  • Never skip a meal- have 3 meals a day with snacks in-between. Remember to control portion size.

Goal 2: Stay Active

  • Include at least 2.5hrs per week of moderate exercise e.g. brisk walking, dancing, cycling, swimming etc.
  • Also include 2x strength training sessions per week.

Goal 3: Maintain a Healthy Weight

  • Weight loss can significantly improve blood glucose levels, insulin sensitivity as well as reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke.

Goal 4: Immune Support

  • Include foods that contain micronutrients in your diet that will support your immune system. Vitamins A, B6, B12, E, C, D, Iron, Selenium and Zinc contribute to the normal function of the immune system.

Goal 5: Take Medication as Prescribed

  • Monitor your blood glucose levels regularly and take your medication as prescribed.



FUTURELIFE® has many products that are suitable for those living with diabetes. These products can be included at any time of the day.



FUTURELIFE® Smart food™ ZERO is an excellent option as:

  • It has a low Glycaemic Index (GI), providing sustained energy release over a longer period of time therefore keeping you fuller for longer and improving blood glucose control.
  • It is high in protein, dietary fibre, and omega-3 fatty acids.
  • It is approved as an often food by the GIycemic Index Foundation of SA (GIFSA) and endorsed by Diabetes South Africa (DSA).
  • It has been formulated with Smart Sweetness, a combination zero calorie Erythritol and Sucralose. All this to ensure you get the tasty goodness you have come to know from FUTURELIFE® with no added cane sugar.
  • It is formulated with MODUCARE®, a daily immune supplement, made from a patented blend of natural plant sterols and sterolins, in a clinically proven ratio of 100:1. 
  • Contains Inulin, a soluble fibre with prebiotic properties, which promotes the growth and activity of the good bacteria in your gut to ensure optimal digestion and immune support.
  • It contains 9 nutrients that contribute to the normal function of the immune system (Vitamin A, Vitamin B6, Vitamin B12, Vitamin E, Iron, Selenium, Zinc, Vitamin D, and Vitamin C).
  • It contains 4 nutrients which assist in maintaining normal bones (Calcium, Vitamin D, Vitamin K, Zinc).
  • It contains 8 nutrients which assist in reducing tiredness and fatigue (Vitamin B2, Vitamin B3, Vitamin B5, Vitamin B6, Vitamin B12, Folic Acid, Vitamin C, Iron).
  • It mixes instantly with milk or water and can be enjoyed as a meal or a snack, anytime of the day.
  • FUTURELIFE® Smart food™ ZERO can be enjoyed by the entire family.
  • FUTURELIFE® Smart food™ ZERO is Halaal and Kosher (Dairy).
  • FUTURELIFE® Smart food™ ZERO is now available in a 1kg monthly pack.
  • A 50g portion of FUTURELIFE® Smart food™ ZERO is recommended for an individual with diabetes.


FUTURELIFE® Smart food™

FUTURELIFE® Smart food™ is low GI and high in energy, protein, fiber, omega-3 fatty acids and 19 vitamins and minerals. FUTURELIFE® Smart food™ is available in original, chocolate, strawberry and banana flavours. The banana flavour is also available in a NEW 1kg pack.

 A 50g portion of FUTURELIFE® Smart food™ is recommended for an individual with diabetes.



FUTURELIFE® HIGH PROTEIN Smart food™ is an excellent option for individuals living with diabetes who would like to add some extra protein to their diet. FUTURELIFE® HIGH PROTEIN Smart food™ is low GI and high in protein, energy, fiber and 19 vitamins and minerals. It is also formulated with 30% high protein 3D. This is a blend of 3 proteins- whey, casein and soy. These three proteins have different digestion rates, providing the muscles with amino acids for an extended period of time which has shown to increase muscle protein synthesis.

 A 50g portion of FUTURELIFE® HIGH PROTEIN Smart food™ is recommended for an individual with diabetes.



These bars are excellent on-the-go options for individuals living with diabetes as the are low in carbohydrates (only 8g per bar) and have a low GI while being high in protein.



FUTURELIFE® BEAUTI FOOD™ Shake is a low GI, kilojoule controlled, high protein shake that contains no added cane sugar. This is a great option for people living with diabetes as a snack during the day.



Nutrition for diabetes: FUTURELIFE® REPAIR FOOD™ Shake is a high protein shake that contains 21g of protein per 75g portion which includes 10g of hydrolysed type 1 collagen to support muscle, bone and joint health. This is an excellent option for people with diabetes who enjoy an active lifestyle and want to consume a diabetes friendly, low GI, high protein shake that offers additional benefits for bone health.



A staggering 11.3 % of people in South Africa have been diagnosed with diabetes- but this diagnosis is by no means a death sentence. By managing blood glucose levels, many of the adverse effects of diabetes can be completely avoided. With help from health care professionals and with dedication from individuals living with diabetes this condition can be managed.

If you have been diagnosed with diabetes, follow the advice of your medical practitioner, and speak with a dietitian to ensure that you manage your blood glucose levels effectively. 

For more information and to shop online visit


Author:  Bianca Tromp  RD (SA)


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