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Best Diabetic Diet Chart: A Complete Guide to Control Diabetes
Diabetes is caused when the sugar levels in the blood remain abnormally high. Insulin is the hormone responsible for moving glucose (sugar) from the blood into the body’s cells. The cells then derive energy from this glucose to perform various functions or store it for further use. In conditions where the pancreas either does not produce enough insulin or the cells of the body become less sensitive to insulin and do not take up glucose in a way they normally should, it results in the accumulation of sugar in the blood and causes diabetes.
There is no cure for diabetes, but it is possible to lead a normal life by effectively controlling blood sugar levels with the help of medicines, a diabetic diet, and remaining physically active.
This article will provide a detailed diabetic diet chart that will optimally guide individuals living with diabetes in managing their blood sugar levels.
Table of Contents
What does a diabetes diet mean? How does it help to control diabetes?
Diabetes is a metabolic disorder in which lifestyle and diet play a vital role. Whenever we think about diabetes, the first thought is that we are not supposed to eat any sweet foods. However, the fact is that a diabetic diet goes much beyond just avoiding sugars.
A diabetic diet provides balanced nutrition with foods with a low glycemic index, such as complex carbohydrates and whole foods that take time to digest and result in a slow and steady rise in blood sugar levels, giving adequate time for insulin to act. This helps maintain the sugar level, thus better-controlling diabetes and preventing further complications of diabetes. Also read about how to prevent diabetes
In addition to controlling blood sugar levels, a diet chart for diabetes also helps maintain a healthy weight and cholesterol level, which are important risk factors for diabetes. Following a diabetic diet also reduces the pill burden of anti-diabetic medications.
People living with diabetes need to watch their calorie intake, and a 1200 – 1500 plan is usually considered a good one to maintain a healthy blood sugar level and weight.
A diabetic diet chart can vary for each individual depending upon age, weight, BMI, gender, lifestyle, food preferences, comorbid conditions, medications that you are on, etc. Therefore, it is recommended to consult a certified dietitian who will make the best diet chart for you, considering all the above factors. Also know about medications for diabetes.
Diabetic food myths
Consuming a diabetic food plan incorrectly can make you fall for a lot of misleading information, therefore it is essential to follow the correct food charts for diabetes. Curing diabetes does not mean that you have to devoid yourself of most food items. Efficiently managing your diabetes can help you to satisfy some of your food cravings. For that to happen, you mustn't get trapped by the prevailing misunderstanding about diabetes diet chart. Do not fall for the following myths about diabetic eating.
1) Carbs are unhealthy- Be it a prediabetes diet or a normal diabetes diet, carbs are not the enemy of diabetic eating. Consuming carbohydrates for a diabetic diet have a lot of misleading information around it. Though carbs impact your blood sugar levels, this doesn’t imply that you should eliminate them from your diet, instead go for the right kind of carbs and keep a track of the quantity consumed.
To intake healthy carbs inculcate whole grains such as wheat, brown rice, and millets like foxtail, bajra, ragi, etc. As these have high amounts of water-soluble vitamins, minerals, and fibers, they help to control blood sugar levels. Also know about Indian diabetes diet.
2) Eliminate eating fruits- One of the biggest myths associated with diabetes is that diabetics cannot have fruits. One doesn’t need to avoid fruits because they taste sweet. You must remember the fact that fruits are rich sources of essential vitamins, minerals, and fibers. However, a diabetic must consume whole fruit rather than fruit juices. Also, avoid eating them instantly after having your meal as this might spike the sugar levels. Also read more about is watermelon good for diabetes.
Best Diet Chart for person with diabetes
Here is the best Indian diabetic diet for diabetes:
After waking up in the morning, avoid tea or coffee. Instead, drink a glass of fenugreek water (1 tbsp fenugreek seeds soaked in a glass of water overnight). You may also eat a few soaked nuts, such as walnuts or almonds.
|Breakfast (8:00 to 8:30 a.m.)||Idli 4 + Sambar half cup/ 1 tsp Green chutney/Tomato Chutney||Brown bread 2 slices + 1 low-fat cheese slice + half-cup low-fat milk||2 chapati half-cup green peas potato curry||2 Fenugreek paratha + 1 tbsp green chutney + half-cup low fat curd||Oats upma with veggies 1 cup + half-cup low-fat milk||Poha with veggies 1 cup + low-fat milk 1||2 Veg uttapam + 1 tbsp green chutney/ tomato chutney|
|Snacks (11:00 to 11:30 a.m.)||1 cup sprouts of green gram/black chickpeas||Fruit 1 portion (except banana, watermelon, mango, sapodilla)||Boiled black chickpeas half-cup||Fruit 1 portion (except banana, watermelon, mango, sapodilla)||Sauteed boiled veggies 1 cup + plain yogurt 1 cup||Fruit 1 portion (except banana, watermelon, mango, sapodilla)||1 cup sprouts|
|Lunch (2:00 to 2:30 p.m.)||Half cup salad + 3 rotis + half-cup cabbage veggie||Vegetable rice 1 cup + half-cup low-fat curd + half-cup soya bean curry||Rice 1 cup + half-cup pulses and spinach curry veggie + half-cup low fat curd||Rice 1 cup + chicken curry/mix pulses 1 cup + cucumber salad 1 cup||2 chapati+half cup rice + kidney beans curry 1 cup||3 chapati cluster beans veggie half cup + buttermilk 1 cup||Rice 1 cup + soya chunks curry 1 cup + low-fat curd 1 cup|
|Evening snacks (4:00 to 4:30 a.m.)||Fruit 1 portion (except banana, watermelon, mango, sapodilla)||1 cup sugarless tea+ 2 wheat toasts||Fruit 1 portion (except banana, watermelon, mango, sapodilla)||Poha 1 cup (preferably brown rice flakes)+ 1 cup sugarless tea||Boiled chickpeas 1 cup + sugarless tea 1 cup||1 cup sugarless tea+ 2 biscuits (Marie/oatmeal/digestive)||Fruit 1 portion (except banana, watermelon, mango, sapodilla)|
|Dinner(8:00 to 8:30 a.m.)||2 chapati + Tomato veggie||2 chapati +ladies finger veggie half cup.||Broken wheat upma with vegetables 1 cup+ 1 cup veg soup||3 wheat dosa + 2 tbsp tomato chutney||2 chapati bitter gourd veggie 1 cup||2 chapati ridge gourd veggie half cup||Broken wheat upma with veggies 1 cup + veg soup 1 cup|
Do’s And Don’ts Diet Plan for Sugar individual
- Eat 4-6 small meals rather than 3 large ones.
- Include whole-grain, high-fibre foods (cereals, pulses, green vegetables) for better postprandial sugar control.
- Consume lots of vegetables as they are low-fat, low-salt, and rich in vitamins and minerals.
- Eat only 1-2 portions of fruits in a day.
- Mainly include low-glycemic index foods.
- Prefer olive oil, rice bran oil, sunflower oil, mustard oil, groundnut oil, and gingelly oil.
- Starchy and refined flour such as maida, rava, potatoes, white bread, and processed foods.
- Sweet fruits like sapodilla, custard apple, mango, and banana.
- Fruit juices with added sugar and colas.
Also read about are grapes good for diabetes
Food list for diabetics
- Cereals: Oats, Brown rice, Quinoa, Ragi, Broken wheat
- Pulses: Kidney beans, chickpeas, soybeans, moong pulses, masoor pulses
- Milk and dairy products: Skim milk, low-fat curd, cottage cheese
- Eggs, meat, fish: Lean meat, tuna, Tuna, Salmon, Cod, Chicken breast
Apples, oranges, muskmelon, kiwi, pears, grapes, cherries
Green leafy vegetables, ladies finger, all types of gourd-bitter gourd, ridge gourd, bottle gourd, snake gourd, etc.
Consuming certain foods will help you to keep your blood sugar levels under control and lower your risk of developing complications. Here is a list of foods that diabetics must include in their diet.
- Green leafy vegetables- Packed with nutrients, these are best for low-calorie diets. These include kale and spinach, which are best for reducing fasting blood sugar levels.
- Cinnamon- It improves insulin receptivity due to its high antioxidant content, which helps to maintain optimum blood sugar levels. However, consume the ideal quantity for better results.
- Chia seeds- High in fiber content, consuming chia seeds helps to slow down the rate at which your food travels through your gut and gets absorbed, which will help you to feel full and attain your weight loss goals.
- Fatty fish- Packed with omega-3 fatty acids such as DHA and EPA, fatty fish such as salmon, sardines, etc. will prevent you from developing heart problems that diabetic people are prone to.
- Greek yogurt- The probiotics present in Greek yogurt enables it to control sugar levels. It has fewer carbs as compared to ordinary yogurts and has been proven beneficial for type 2 diabetes.
- Flaxseeds- Lignans present in flaxseeds control sugar levels and reduce the risk of developing heart diseases. Intaking flax seeds helps to improve hemoglobin A1c. It also aids gut health and insulin sensitivity.
- Nuts- These are optimum for reducing inflammation in lowering HbA1c levels. Having digestive fibers are best to keep sugar levels in control. Nuts are ideal for lowering insulin levels.
- Apple cider vinegar- It contains negligible carbs and intaking it can increase insulin sensitivity and reduce fasting blood sugar levels.
- Garlic- Studies show that the consumption of garlic can reduce sugar level, inflammation and LDL levels. Added to that, garlic contains few calories which help to attain calorie deficit.
- Strawberries- An antioxidant called anthocyanins present in strawberries makes them ideal for reducing insulin and cholesterol levels. Intake of strawberries has also shown beneficial results for people with type 2 diabetes. Know about Indian breakfast for diabetes .
Foods to avoid in diabetes
Intaking the wrong foods will affect your blood sugar levels and make you prone to developing diabetic complications. Knowing what not to eat will aid you to follow a diet for sugar control.
- Refined sugar- Excessive intake of refined sugar or processed sugar leads to weight gain which affects insulin receptivity and increases blood sugar levels. Consuming sugar may also cause many other serious disorders.
- Refined flour and ready-to-make cereals- As refined flour is simple carbs, it leads to spiked sugar levels. Similarly, processed foods such as cereals have a high GI and raise sugar levels. Such foods include biscuits, sweets, maida, etc. Also know about sugar free biscuits.
- Certain fruits- An optimum diabetic diet chart will eliminate certain fruits that have a high glycemic index. These fruits contain a natural sugar called fructose that spikes sugar levels. Such fruits include mango, banana, grapes, etc. Also, avoid consuming fruit juices.
- Roots and Tubers- These are packed with carbohydrates and minimal nutrients. Their post-cooking starch levels spike the sugar levels. Common examples are potato, carrot, beetroot, yam, radish, etc.
- Whole milk products- A good diabetic plan to lose weight will include skimmed milk instead of whole milk as both contain the same amount of calcium but whole milk contains more calories that disrupt the sugar levels.
- Sodium-rich foods- Diabetic people are at higher risk of having high blood pressure. Consumption of sodium-rich foods such as salt, pickle, papad, baking soda, baked products, etc. will increase the risk of developing BP problems.
- Carbonated beverages- Diabetic meal plan chart must eliminate carbonated beverages as the excessive sugar content in them spikes up blood sugar levels. This also becomes the cause of many other diseases.
- Red meat- This food is packed with immense saturated fats and therefore, consuming it will raise your blood sugar levels and cholesterol levels which can lead to cardiovascular problems.
- Coconut- Consuming coconut can spike your blood sugar levels as it is packed with saturated fats. Excessive intake can lead to the risk of developing heart problems. Although, consuming in optimal quantities is recommended.
What is a healthy calorie count for a diabetic food plan?
Daily calorie count differs for all diabetic people depending upon various factors. These factors include age, sex, existing body weight, physical activity in the mind, and metabolism. As per experts, normally a daily calorie intake of 1200-1500 calories is considered optimum to keep your blood sugar levels in control. Added to that, usually, an average diet meal plan chart would let you consume most of your calories from complex carbohydrates. For instance, if you are consuming 1500 calories a day then around 600-700 calories would come from complex carbs. Here are some of the best sources of complex carbs.
Consume low-GI fruits and non-starchy vegetables such as spinach, tomatoes, cauliflower, broccoli, etc.
Intake of whole foods such as jawar, bajra, whole wheat, legumes, seeds, nuts, etc.
Also read about uses and side effects of sugar tablet
People with diabetes can lead a normal life if they learn the nuances of managing their diabetes. They need to understand the dietary modifications that can help them control their blood sugar levels. Consulting a dietician to learn about calorie counting and portion control and prepare a customized diabetic meal plan is recommended. Follow the diet chart meticulously, exercise regularly, and take your anti-diabetic medications as prescribed, and you are good to go! Also know about ayurvedic medicine for diabetes.
How can I control my sugar without tablets?
If your diabetes is borderline, you can control your sugar without tablets by strictly following a diabetic diet and a healthy lifestyle by remaining physically active and doing regular exercises. You must, however, monitor your blood sugars regularly and follow up with your doctor. In addition, do not hesitate to take medicine for diabetes if your doctor recommends it.
Can I eat carbohydrates if I’m diabetic?
Yes, you must eat carbohydrates even if you have diabetes, as they are the main energy source. Include complex carbs such as whole grains in your diet, which do not cause sudden sugar spikes and help control blood sugar levels.
What are three eating tips for people with diabetes?
- Eat 4-6 smaller meals as opposed to 3 large ones.
- Do not skip breakfast.
- Avoid processed, starchy, and refined foods.
Can people with diabetes eat rice?
White rice is not considered good for people with diabetes as it has a high glycemic index that causes sugar spikes and is low in fibre and nutritional value. Brown rice is the healthier option for people with diabetes as it is rich in fibre and minerals and has a lower glycemic index.
This website's content is provided only for educational reasons and is not meant to be a replacement for professional medical advice. Due to individual differences, the reader should contact their physician to decide whether the material is applicable to their case.