Our Review Process
Our articles undergo extensive medical review by board-certified practitioners to confirm that all factual inferences with respect to medical conditions, symptoms, treatments, and protocols are legitimate, canonical, and adhere to current guidelines and the latest discoveries. Read more.
Our Editorial Team
Shifa Fatima, MSc.
Dr. Apoorva T, MHM.
Healthy Eating Plan for Diabetes
People with diabetes have to be careful when it comes to eating habits. Diabetes is when your body cannot produce enough insulin or is unable to utilize the released insulin in the body to manage blood sugar levels.
Since every food that we eat contains some amount of sugar, it becomes extremely necessary to form a healthy diet plan which will enable you to enjoy your favorite foods while remaining safe. It's a no-brainer that people with diabetes should avoid all sorts of junk foods and starchy vegetables. Instead, their diet should be filled with whole grains, proteins and healthy fats and carbs should be avoided at all costs. A sugar patient food diet should be made with the help of a nutritionist and a doctor so as to not face any problems later on. A lot of the diabetic condition can be managed by eating right and adopting a healthy lifestyle.
Table of Contents
Developing a Healthy-Eating Plan
There are various benefits of following a healthy meal plan, especially for people with diabetes. A healthy diet plan for diabetics includes a balanced meal in proportion. Each of the five food groups—complex carbs, protein, fat, vitamins and minerals, and water—should be included in the meal you design. Better health for you and your family will be ensured by preparing a meal that is rich in all these sources.
Healthy eating has multiple benefits like weight loss, maintaining a healthy body, stress reduction, alleviation of serious diseases like diabetes, cardiovascular issues, obesity, etc. People with diabetes need to be extra careful about their health and the kind of foods they consume. A healthy eating plan assists majorly in managing and controlling diabetes and diabetes related diseases.
5 Diabetics Food Myths
People with diabetes are often confused because of all the claims and myths that surround the kind of food they should consume. They have several questions in mind and often feel deprived of their favourite food. On the contrary, diabetic diet plan is all about having a balanced diet at the right time, in the right proportion. This means that diabetic people can also indulge in something sweet and tangy once in a while. Let’s bust the top 5 diabetic food myths and do a quick fact-check.
1. Diabetic people should stay away from carbs: We are sure you have heard this statement from several people, on several occasions. Undoubtedly this is the most prominent myth that has been prevalent for many years now. Often carbs are termed ‘bad’ for diabetes and are eliminated from the diabetes food list because it elevates blood sugar levels. In reality, carbs are not bad as long as diabetic people choose the right complex carbohydrates like brown rice, millets like foxtail, ragi, bajra to name a few, and consume them in controlled portions.
2. Restrict the consumption of fruits: Naturally, a lot of people are under the impression that a diet for diabetes mellitus should not include food as fruits are sweet. On the contrary fruits are rich sources of fiber, anti-oxidants, minerals, and vitamins which are often lost easily in diabetic people. Word of caution here is to avoid consuming fresh or canned fruit juices because they have added sugar. Diabetic people can consume whole fruits, preferably as a mid-day snack or evening snack. Eating fruits just after your meal can cause a spike in blood sugar levels.
3. You are allowed to eat sweets as long as you take the medication: Just because you are taking diabetes medicine, it doesn’t give you the ticket to consume as many sweets as you want. Even while on medication, diabetic people should continue to maintain healthy eating for diabetes. Having said this, diabetic people can also have a sweet or two occasionally. The important thing is to make healthy choices in sweets as well.
4. Diabetic people should avoid fats totally: Fats are an integral part of any healthy diet, and even for diabetic people it’s safe to consume monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats. Diabetic people should switch to healthy fat sources like nuts, ghee, and coconut oil.
5. Once diabetic, always diabetic: Often people assume that once they have been diagnosed with diabetes, they will remain diabetic for life long. This doesn’t hold for type 2 diabetes. With a balanced diet and regular workouts, people can reduce sugar levels to bring them within the normal range, and can even stop the diabetes medicine. However, there has to be a complete lifestyle change to reverse this condition. Also know about reversing type 2 diabetes.
Foods To Eat vs Foods To Avoid
There are certain foods that people with diabetes should eat and certain foods that should be completely cut out of their diets. Let's take a look at which is which.
Diabetes Food List
Diabetic people can manage diabetes more effectively once they are made aware of the variety of foods for sugar control. Let’s explore the below food list which can work wonders for your diabetes.
1. Green Leafy Vegetables: Green leafy vegetables like spinach, kayle, celery, coriander, mint etc.. top the chart as the best food for diabetes because these are very few calories, and are a powerhouse of nutrients. Since they contain little digestible carbohydrates, they also have a significant impact on blood sugar regulation. Green leafy vegetables are a rich source of vitamin C, and studies show that vitamin C plays a vital role in lowering fasting blood sugar levels in type 2 diabetes.
2. Flax Seeds: Popularly known as Alsi in India, flax seeds are one such superfood that should be made a part of a diabetes diet plan without a second doubt. Insoluble fiber made up of lignans is present in flaxseeds which improves blood sugar management for type 2 diabetic people significantly.
3. Apple Cider Vinegar: A lot of people assume that apple cider vinegar is not suitable for diabetic people since it is prepared from apples. However, it’s been proven that just taking 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar at bedtime can lower blood sugar levels considerably.
4. Greek Yogurt: Including greek yogurt in the diet for type 2 diabetes is sensible because this particular food item is a rich source of protein and has very few carbs. It is also rich in probiotics and regulates the digestion of food in diabetic people.
5. Chia Seeds: Chia seeds have a high fiber content but have fewer easily absorbed carbohydrates. It regulates blood sugar levels by reducing the speed at which the food passes through the intestine, thus reducing the time for it to be absorbed.
Foods To Avoid
Saturated Fat: Saturated fat elevates blood cholesterol levels. It may be found in high-fat animal protein such as bacon and sausage, as well as high-fat dairy such as butter, full-fat cheese, and ice cream, as well as coconut oil and chicken skin.
Trans fats, often known as hydrogenated or partly hydrogenated oil, are liquid oils that solidify. Trans fats are found in ingredients such as stick margarine and shortening, as well as processed meals such as certain chips, cookies, and fast restaurant French fries.
Cholesterol: Your cholesterol level is made up of both natural cholesterol in your blood and cholesterol from diet. Keep an eye out for high-fat dairy and animal products, as well as egg yolks, liver, and other organ meats.
Sodium: Don't forget to keep an eye on your salt intake as well. That is an aspect of a diabetes-friendly diet. Eating less salt has been demonstrated to aid in the prevention and treatment of high blood pressure. Read labels and pick foods with reduced salt levels. Learn more about food label reading and supermarket shopping with diabetes.
7 – Day Diabetes Diet Plan
|Early Morning (6-7 AM)||1 glass - Cinnamon water|
|Breakfast (8-9 AM)||1 Cup - Broken wheat upma, 1 tablespoon - Green Chutney|
|Mid-morning (11 AM)||1 glass - Buttermilk|
|Lunch (1-2 PM)||Egg Chapati/ Paneer /2 - chapathi , 1 cup - Tomato onion sabzi|
|Evening (4-5 PM)||1 cup - Channa|
|Dinner (7-8 PM)||2 - Horse gram dosa, ½ Cup - Veg Sambar|
|Before Bed (9-10 PM)||1 glass - Milk (No Sugar)|
|Early Morning (6-7 AM)||6 - Almonds|
|Breakfast (8-9 AM)||2 - Bajra dosa, ½ Cup - Sambar|
|Mid-morning (11 AM)||1 - Cucumber|
|Lunch (1-2 PM)||1 Cup - Rice, 1/2 Cup - Dal, 1/2 Cup - Spinach salad, ½ Cup - Capsicum vegetables, 1 - Egg white|
|Evening (4-5 PM)||1 Katori - Mixed sprouts|
|Dinner (7-8 PM)||2 - Multigrain chapati, 1/2 Cup - peas gravy|
|Before Bed (9-10 PM)||1 glass - Herbal buttermilk|
|Early Morning (6-7 AM)||1 glass - Fenugreek Water|
|Breakfast (8-9 AM)||2 - Finger millet idli, ½ Cup - Tomato chutney|
|Mid-morning (11 AM)||1 cup - Green tea|
|Lunch (1-2 PM)||2 - Chapathi, 1/2 Cup - Soya gravy, 1/2 Cup - Dhal, 1 - Egg white omelette|
|Evening (4-5 PM)||Nuts (Almonds (2) + Walnuts (3) + Pumpkin Seeds (1 teaspoon))|
|Dinner (7-8 PM)||2 - Horse gram dosa, 2 tablespoon - Ridge gourd chutney|
|Before Bed (9-10 PM)||1 glass - Turmeric milk (No Sugar)|
|Early Morning (6-7 AM)||1 glass - Milk (No Sugar)|
|Breakfast (8-9 AM)||1 Cup - Lemon Aval Upma, 1 tablespoon - Capsicum chutney|
|Mid-morning (11 AM)||1 cup - Vegetable soup|
|Lunch (1-2 PM)||1 Cup - Peas pulao,1/2 Cup - Green salad, 1 - Snake gourd raita, Katori, 1 - Egg white|
|Evening (4-5 PM)||1 Katori - Sprouted green gram|
|Dinner (7-8 PM)||2 - Chapathi, 1/2 Cup - Palak gravy|
|Before Bed (9-10 PM)||1 glass - Cinnamon water|
|Early Morning (6-7 AM)||1 glass - Milk (No Sugar)|
|Breakfast (8-9 AM)||Vegetable Dosa – 2 , Mint chutney – ½ Cup|
|Mid-morning (11 AM)||Tomato Soup – 1 cup|
|Lunch (1-2 PM)||Lemon rice – 1 Cup, Green Leafy Vegetable salad – 1/2 cup , Egg white – 1|
|Evening (4-5 PM)||Carrot & Cucumber slices – 1 katori|
|Dinner (7-8 PM)||Spinach chapathi – 2, Veg gravy – ½ Cup|
|Before Bed (9-10 PM)||Cinnamon water – 1 glass|
|Early Morning (6-7 AM)||Almonds – 6|
|Breakfast (8-9 AM)||Vegetable Dosa – 2, Coriander chutney – ½ Cup|
|Mid-morning (11 AM)||Buttermilk – 1 glass|
|Lunch (1-2 PM)||Rice – 1 Cup, Dhal – 1/2 Cup, Boiled Ash gourd – 1/2 Cup, Egg white – 1|
|Evening (4-5 PM)||Nuts – 1 tablespoon|
|Dinner (7-8 PM)||Spinach Pulka – 2, Vegetable Gravy – 1/2 Cup|
|Before Bed (9-10 PM)||1 glass - Milk (No Sugar)|
|Early Morning (6-7 AM)||6 - Walnut|
|Breakfast (8-9 AM)||2 - Green gram dosa, ½ Cup - Veg Sambar|
|Mid-morning (11 AM)||1 - Cucumber slices, Katori|
|Lunch (1-2 PM)||1 Cup - Brown rice, 1/2 Cup - Sambar, 1/2 Cup - Spinach sabzi, 1 - Egg white|
|Evening (4-5 PM)||1 cup - Green tea|
|Dinner (7-8 PM)||2 - Oats idli, 2 tablespoon - Tomato Chutney|
|Before Bed (9-10 PM)||1 glass - Skimmed milk (No Sugar)|
Diabetes is when your body cannot produce enough insulin or is unable to utilize the released insulin in the body to manage blood sugar levels. People with diabetes need to be extra careful about their health and the kind of foods they consume. A healthy eating plan assists majorly in managing and controlling diabetes and diabetes related diseases. There are foods that people with diabetes should eat and foods they should avoid. Carbohydrates elevate blood sugar levels more quickly than proteins or lipids.
Eat a variety of carbs, protein, and fat to help regulate your blood sugar and feel fuller for longer. Examine the relationship between what you eat and drink and your blood sugar levels afterwards. Keep an eye out for high-fat dairy and animal products, as well as egg yolks, liver, and other organ meats. Read labels and pick foods with reduced salt levels. Also know about fasting blood sugar level.
What Is A Healthy Diet For Diabetes?
Eating the correct foods for diabetes entails consuming a wide range of healthful foods from all food groups: Vegetables and fruits Whole wheat, brown rice, barley, quinoa, and oats are examples of whole grains. Lean meats, chicken, turkey, fish, eggs, nuts, beans, lentils, and tofu are all good sources of protein.
What Foods Can Diabetics Eat Freely?
The key to eating well with diabetes is to consume a variety of healthful meals from all food categories in the proportions recommended by your meal plan.
The food groups are
- Veggies : Broccoli, carrots, greens, peppers, and tomatoes are examples of non starchy vegetables.
- Fruits including oranges, melon, berries, apples, bananas, and grapes starchy: contains potatoes, corn, and green peas
- Whole Grains : Oats, cornmeal, barley, and quinoa—at least half of your grains for the day should be whole grains.
- Protein sources include lean meat (chicken or turkey without the skin), fish, eggs, almonds, and peanuts and meat replacements such as tofu and yogurt
What Foods Reduce Diabetes Fast?
There are certain foods that aid in the management of diabetes and help reduce the blood sugar levels in the body. They are beneficial for people with diabetes and here’s the lost of foods that reduce diabetes fast:
- Broccoli and broccoli sprouts
- Pumpkin and pumpkin seeds
- Nuts and berries
- Okra and kale
- Flax seeds and chia seeds
- Lentils and beans
What Snacks Don't Raise Blood Sugar?
There are various snacks that people with diabetes can enjoy without putting their health at risk. Just because you have diabetes does not mean that you cannot eat food that’s tasty. Portion control is the key. Here are a few things that you can snack on guilt free:
- Peanut butter in small quantities
- Trail mix
What foods can diabetics eat freely
Unlike popular belief, diabetic people can include a variety of food in their diet like green leafy vegetables, nuts, millets, seeds, strawberries, greek yogurt etc… and can eat them freely.
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.