Food & Recipes

Dos and don’ts of a Diabetes diet for Indians


Diabetes has struck millions of people worldwide giving it the status of an epidemic. More than 50 million people are suffering from Type 2 diabetes mellitus. Health experts warn that the problem is growing at an alarming rate mainly due to unhealthy eating habits, lack of physical activity and stress. Another cause of high prevalence of the condition is lack of sleep. Clearly so, the theme of World Health Day this year is ‘Beat Diabetes’.

According to the International Diabetes Federation, India is home to over 65.1 million diabetics, and this number is set to touch 100 million in less than two decades. Indians on an average get diabetes 10 years earlier than their Western counterparts, Dr. Udaya Kumar Maiya, Medical Director, Portea Medical adds.

Neha Sewani, Dietician, Truweight explains, “Diabetes has not suddenly cropped up but it has made its way slowly and steadily through the changing habits of people who now rely more on the app on their mobile to decide if they have eaten enough rather than trusting on the satiety center of their brain.” She tells us about foods diabetic patients should include and avoid in order to have a healthy body and to keep diabetes under control.

Meal plan for Diabetes

EARLY MORNING: 1tsp of Soaked fenugreek seeds / 1 tsp cinnamon powder +1 glass of water + Almonds/walnuts – 4-5 no.

BREAKFAST: 1 Veg sandwich (Brown bread) + 1 glass milk / Mix vegetable oats – 1 cup + curd

(Skim milk) – 1 cup / Mix vegetable multigrain upma – 1 cup + curd (Skim milk) – 1 cup / Brown

Rice idli – 2 no. + sambhar – 1 bowl / Mix dal dosa/ragi dosa (Low oil) + chutney – 3 tsp

(Green/coconut/tomato/ginger) + sprouts – 1 cup or boiled egg white – 2 no.

MID MORNING: Fruit – 100gm / tender coconut water – 1 / vegetable juice – 1 glass / green tea – 1 cup / Buttermilk (skim milk curd) – 1 glass

LUNCH: Salad – 1 bowl, Chapati – 2 no or Brown rice – 1 bowl, Vegetable curry – 1 cup, Dal – 1 cup, Curd/raita (Skim milk) – 1 cup

EVENING SNACKS: Roasted bengal gram (without salt, with skin) – 1 cup or Khakhra – 1 no.

DINNER: Broken wheat dalia – 1 cup + Dal – 1 cup

Chapati – 2 no + veg – 1 cup + Dal – 1 cup

Mix veg besan chila (Low oil) – 2 no.

BED TIME: 1 glass luke warm water

Foods to avoid

Diabetics must avoid all kinds of processed, preserved, canned foods, soft drinks, cola’s, fruit juices, instant products, refined cereals products like maida, suji, biscuits, white bread. Simple sugars like sweets, sugar, glucose, artifical sweetners, High fructose corn syrup. Tubers like potato, tapioca.

Foods to include

Diabetics must eat all kinds of green leafy vegetables, other vegetables, whole cereals, whole pulses, pulses with skin, all fruits specially citrus fruits and berries, beans and legumes, skimmed milk and skimmed milk products like curd and paneer, fish or chicken – boiled, roasted, grilled or baked, nuts like almonds or walnuts, egg whites.

Important Instructions

  • Water intake: 3 or more than 3 litres per day
  • If fasting sugar is above 200mg/dl – then stop fruits
  • Small frequent meals at regular intervals
  • No water immediately after meal
  • Give a gap of 2 hours between dinner and sleep

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