Moderation simply means don’t beat yourself up if you can’t possibly imagine not eating a single food again.
It’s completely arbitrary. A permission to eat a food you love if you like.
The evidence shows that you are more likely to succeed with your diet if you allow yourself a little flexibility or freedom to waver from a strict plan.
It’s the entire basis of slimming world and weight watchers. Think of ‘syns’ as “moderation”.
No single food in isolation will make your diabetes worse (or better) so the advice is keep the things that you love but know aren’t the best to small portions.
So to answer the question posed above. How often can you eat foods that have been labelled by someone as “eat in moderation”?
5 portions of high carb foods like pasta or rice, what would be moderation?
Depending on your goal, you could include any or all of those foods in your meals and still lose weight or keep your blood glucose in check.
So for non-starchy carbohydrates maybe aim for <40-60g per meal. Thats a cupped hand in size.  That would be moderation.  Not too much, but not so little.
Dieticians recommend you have the fruit after your meal as a pudding. So you could have a single piece of fruit every day after dinner.
White bread and white pasta would need to be more creative. I would cut the portion size right down and have with protein. So instead of having a normal standard sandwich for example, how about an open sandwich with one slice and more filling and salad on the side.
Pasta. only as much pasta as you can hold in one cupped hand to accompany your bolognese? With salad making up the plate.
These are tricks that reduce the carb portion size to under 40g per meal but still letting you have the foods you love.
Does that make sense?  Let me know what moderation means to you in the comments below.
best breakfasts for diabetes
About the Author

James Belbin is the one of the UKs leading nutritionists and habit changes coaches. Specialising in Type 2 Diabetes,  I provide straightforward, personalised no-nonsense guides that help people make significant changes to their nutrition and lifestyle. As an evidence-based nutritionist and habit change coach I can identify the aspects of your diet and lifestyle that are working well for you and build on them. 

I’m a Type 2 Diabetic in remission and lifelong yo-yo dieter so I understand what you’re going through. 

If you’re trying to understand your diabetes diagnosis and how it affects your lifestyle I can help.  

James Belbin - Nutritionist

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