Diabetes is a lifestyle disorder where one’s blood glucose or blood sugar levels are too high. Some of the symptoms of the disorder include increased thirst, urination, hunger, fatigue, blurred vision, and unexplained weight loss. But, the disorder and its symptoms can be brought under control by following a well-planned diabetic diet chart.
There are two types of diabetes – type 1 diabetes and type 2 diabetes. The former is more common among children, and in this case, the pancreas does not produce any insulin. The latter is considered the milder type in which the pancreas produces some insulin but it is normally not enough.
While it is a dangerous disease, understanding how to control diabetes is crucial. Therefore, following the right diet and taking good care of your body plays a key role in controlling the disorder.
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Diabetic Diet Plan Food List
Certain foods help lower blood sugar levels, and this helps them play a major role in controlling diabetes. It is also extremely beneficial to consume foods that prevent diabetes complications like heart and kidney diseases.
These 10 diabetic diet foods can play a major role in bringing the disorder under control. So, let us explore the diebetic diet chart.
1. Leafy Greens
Green, leafy vegetables are low in calories, while also being extremely nutritious. Being low in digestible carbs means that they play a major role in controlling blood sugar levels too.
For example, Spinach, kale, and other leafy greens are rich in several vitamins and minerals like vitamin C. A study showed that increasing vitamin C intake reduces the fasting blood sugar levels for people with type 2 diabetes. Even high blood pressure levels.
Along with its strong antioxidant properties, cinnamon is also known for its ability to control diabetes. According to several controlled studies, cinnamon can help reduce blood sugar levels and improve insulin sensitivity as well.
However, you must consider limiting your intake of cassia cinnamon to less than a single teaspoon a day. Because of the presence of coumarin in this type of cinnamon it can cause health problems if taken in higher doses. On the other hand, Ceylon cinnamon does not contain much coumarin.
3. Fatty Fish
A diabetic person can include salmon, sardines, and mackerel in their diets. These fatty fishes are great sources of DHA and EPA, which are omega-3 fatty acids with major heart health benefits.
Improving the intake of these fats could particularly benefit diabetics who are at a higher risk of heart disease.
DHA and EPA help reduce inflammation markers. It also improves the way the arteries function after having meals and protects the cell lining of the blood vessels. There have been evidence based studies to prove the above point.
It has shown that elderly people who eat fatty fish more than 5 times a week, for around 8 weeks have had significant reductions in triglyceride levels and inflammatory markers. They also contain high-quality protein that helps you feel full for longer and increases your metabolic rate.
4. Chia Seeds
Chia seeds are extremely rich in fiber, yet contain less digestible carbs. In respect to that, the viscous fiber found in these seeds lowers blood sugar levels. It does that by slowing down the rate at which food is moving through the gut and getting absorbed.
Additionally, the fiber present in chia seeds also helps one feel full, and in the process, prevents overeating and unnecessary weight gain. Chia seeds are also great to reduce blood pressure and inflammatory markers.
5. Greek Yogurt
Greek yogurt is a great dairy option for diabetics, because of its ability to control blood sugar levels and reduce the risk of heart disease. This is partly due to the presence of probiotics in them.
Studies have also found that yogurt and other dairy products can result in weight loss and better body composition among people with type 2 diabetes. Since, Greek yogurt contains fewer carbs than conventional yogurt, it can be a great alternative to meats.
Also, its high protein content promotes weight loss by helping one avoid unwanted binging and balancing the carb intake. So, add Greek yogurt to your diabetic diet for all the health benefits.
Flaxseeds also known as Alsi in India contain insoluble fiber made up of lignans. It reduces heart disease risk and improves blood sugar control.
A study showed that people with type 2 diabetes that consumed flaxseed lignans for 12 weeks experienced a major improvement in hemoglobin A1c.
Similarly, another study suggested that a higher intake of flaxseed can lower the risk of strokes. Their high viscous fiber content helps improve various things for example gut health, insulin sensitivity, and the feeling of fullness in the body.
As we all know, all nuts contain fiber, and are low in digestible fiber, although that varies in levels. Research on various types of nuts has shown that their consumption can reduce inflammation, and lower HbA1c. It can also lower blood sugar, and LDL levels in the body. Thus, great for including in a diabetic diet plan
Recently, a study showed that people with diabetes who included 30 g of walnuts in their daily diet for a whole year lost weight. Even saw improvements in their body composition, and significantly lowered their insulin levels.
People with type 2 diabetes often have high insulin levels, and hence this is linked with obesity. Researchers also believe that extremely high insulin levels increase one’s risk of serious diseases like Alzheimer’s disease and also get cancerous.
8. Apple Cider Vinegar
Although it’s made from apples, the sugar content in the fruit is fermented into acetic acid, with the resulting product containing very few carbs.
Further to this apple cider vinegar tends to improve insulin sensitivity and lower fasting blood sugar levels. It also has the ability to reduce blood sugar levels by 20% when consumed with meals having carbs. Additionally, a study showed that people with poorly controlled diabetes saw a 6% reduction in fasting blood sugar levels when given two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar before sleeping.
Garlic is known to have some impressive health benefits. Some studies have shown that it can reduce inflammation, blood sugar, and LDL levels in people that have type 2 diabetes. Truly it can also be very effective in reducing blood pressure levels in the body. In addition to that, garlic is also low in calories and likewise a single clove contains only 4 calories.
Strawberries are specifically rich in anthocyanins, the antioxidants that give them their red color. These antioxidants have been shown to reduce insulin and cholesterol levels right after a meal. They also reduce the risk of increased blood sugar levels and heart diseases in type 2 diabetes patients.
For instance, a single cup of strawberries contains 49 calories and only 11 grams of carbs, 3 of which are fiber. This serving also ensures that one gets more than 100% of their required daily intake of vitamin C, thus providing additional anti-inflammatory benefits for heart health.
1200 Calorie Diabetic Diet Plan Chart
A proper diabetic meal plan goes a long way in helping control high blood sugar levels. So, we have put together a 1200 calorie Indian diabetic diet plan to help you understand how you can plan your meals in order to bring diabetes under control.
Methi seeds – 2 tsp (soaked)
Water – 1 glass
Millet Vegetable Cheela/Dosa – 2
Green chutney – 1 tsp
Buttermilk – 1 glass
Apple – 1
Mixed Vegetable Salad – 1 cup
Multigrain chapati – 2
Chapati – 1 & Brown rice – ½ katori
Methi Dal – 1 katori
Bhindi sabji – 1 katori
Lemon green tea without sugar/honey – 1 cup
Roasted Chana – 0.25 cup
Sprouts salad – 1 katori
Mixed vegetable Daliya – 1 cup
Mint curd chutney – 2 tsp
Chapati – 1
Palak sabji – 2 katori
Milk without Sugar – 1/2 cup
While this works as a general Indian diet chart for diabetic patients, it is important to consult a nutritionist before following a diet plan for yourself.
7 Weight Loss Tips for Diabetic Patients
Diabetic Diet Plan Chart Recipes
It is important to maintain a low carb and sugar intake for individuals with diabetes. The following recipes are diabetes-friendly while also being a treat to the taste buds. Try some of these diabetic diet recipes today.
1. Subzi Dal Diet Plan
Have this nutritious dal along with Rotis as the combination of dals with vegetables makes it extremely rich in energy, protein, calcium, iron, and folic acid. Furthermore, green peas add to the fiber content of the recipe. Also, coriander and capsicum are important sources of vitamins A and C. So, this dish serves 4 and is the perfect addition to any diabetic diet.
- Yellow moong dal (split yellow gram) – 1/3 cup
- Toovar (arhar) dal – 1/3 cup
- Mustard seeds (rai) – 1/2 tsp
- masoor dal (split red lentils) – 1/3 cup
- Cumin seeds (jeera) – 1/2 tsp
- Curry leaves – 6 to 8
- asafoetida (hing) – 1/4 tsp
- Green chilli – 1 (chopped)
- onion – 1 (chopped)
- Ginger-green chili paste – 2 tsp
- Garlic paste – 1/2 tsp
- Large tomato – 1 (finely chopped)
- Chili powder – 1/2 tsp
- Turmeric powder (haldi) – 1/2 tsp
- Mixed vegetables (capsicum, carrots, peas) 1 cup (finely chopped)
- Oil – 2 tsp
- salt to taste
- Chopped coriander for garnish – 2 tbsp
- Cook the dal with salt and turmeric in a pressure cooker until it becomes soft and keep it aside.
- Then, heat oil in a pan, add curry leaves, mustard seeds, cumin seeds, chili, ginger & garlic paste, and sauté them well.
- Later, add the vegetables and cook the mixture for 2 minutes.
- Finally, add the dal, chilly powder, and simmer this mixture until the vegetables are cooked.
- Garnish the dish with coriander and serve hot.
2. Carrot Methi Subzi Diet Plan
An uncommon but healthy combination – carrots are abundant in vitamin A whereas methi has lots of calcium and iron. Moreover, this dish can go very well with steaming hot phulkas and curds and serves 4 people.
- Carrots – 2 cups (cut into cubes)
- Fenugreek (methi) leaves – 2 cups (chopped)
- Cumin seeds (jeera) – ½ tsp
- Onions – ¾ cup (finely chopped)
- Green chillies – 3 (finely chopped)
- Large clove of garlic – 1 (finely chopped)
- Ginger – ½ inch (finely chopped)
- Turmeric powder (haldi) – ¼ tsp
- Coriander (dhania) powder – 2 tsp
- Oil – 2 tsp
- Salt to taste
- Firstly, heat the oil in a nonstick pan and add the cumin seeds.
- Once they crackle, then add the onions, green chilies, garlic & ginger, and sauté for 2 minutes.
- Add the fenugreek leaves and sauté for another 2 minutes.
- Next, add the carrots, turmeric powder, coriander powder, salt, 1 cup of water, and mix them well.
- Finally, cover and cook the mixture over a slow flame until all the moisture has evaporated and the carrots are tender.
- Serve the dish hot.
3. Sugar-Free Makhana Kheer Diet Plan
Indeed rich in protein and calcium, Makhana or fox-nut combines beautifully with low-fat milk to make a delicious kheer. Being sugar-free, it is also diabetes-friendly.
- Low-fat milk – 1 litre
- Makhana (puffed lotus seeds/fox nuts) – 1/4 cup
- Dates – 3-4 (finely chopped)
- Chopped pistachios – 1 tsp
- Chopped almonds – 2 tsp
- Green cardamom powder – 1 tsp
- Nutmeg powder – 1/4 tsp
- First prepare a pan and dry roast the fox nuts till they become crisp.
- Then you need to cool it and blend coarsely in a grinder or with a rolling pin.
- Next, boil the milk in a deep non-stick pan.
- Once the milk boils, add the dates and coarsely crushed lotus seeds. Mix them well and cook on a medium flame for 2-5 minutes while stirring occasionally.
- Also, add the nuts and spices. Mix and serve it warm or cold.
4. Grilled Tofu Lettuce/Spinach Sandwich Diet Plan
- Firm tofu sliced into squares of bread slice size – 200 gram
- Sesame seed – 1/4 cup
- Dijon mustard – 1 tablespoon
- Olive oil – 2 tsp
- Whole-wheat bread toasted – 4 slices
- Tomato – 1 (thinly sliced)
- Small sized onion – 1 (thinly sliced into rings)
- Lettuce leaves or spinach leaves – 6 – 8
- Tabasco sauce (optional) – 1 teaspoon
- Salt and black pepper to taste
- To begin making the Grilled Tofu Spinach Sandwich, in a large mixing bowl, combine the olive oil, dijon mustard, and a pinch of salt. Toss the tofu in the mustard and allow it to rest for 30 minutes to marinate or place it in the refrigerator for 3 hours.
- Then, preheat the grill pan on medium heat and grease it with a tablespoon of oil. Arrange the tofu in the hot grill pan. Accordingly, grill on medium-high until the tofu gets a crispy outer covering and turns golden brown on both sides.
- Toast each of the bread slices in a toaster until it becomes brown and crisp. You can also use an iron skillet to toast them.
- Next, evenly place the tomato slices, onion rings, and spinach or lettuce leaves on the bread slices.
- Place the grilled tofu on the bread slices and drizzle some tabasco sauce and dijon mustard on the sandwich.
- Cover with the remaining bread slices and serve warm.
5 Diabetes Food Myths
Just because fruits are sweet, doesn’t mean a diabetic can’t have them every day. Fruits are a good source of antioxidant-rich vitamins, minerals, and contain high levels of fibre. Just remember to choose whole fruits over fruit juices. Also, try and avoid eating fruits right after a meal as it can spike your blood sugar.
In conclusion, while diabetes can be extremely problematic to one’s health, it can also be brought under control naturally. The health risks can also be avoided by simply following a proper diabetic diet, and eating right.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Q. What is a good daily menu for a diabetic?
A. The 1200 calorie Diabetic Diet Chart is exceptional to maintain a balanced diet and also to satisfy your hunger.
Q. What foods can diabetics eat freely?
A. There are plenty of foods that can be eaten by someone who is diabetic. Foods like Green Leafy Vegetables, Greek yogurt, Fatty Fish, Nuts etc.
Q. What can diabetics eat for breakfast?
A. They can have Millet Vegetable Cheela or Soya Dosa, Overnight Oatmeal, and high protein probiotic shakes.
Q. What are the 5 worst foods for diabetics?
A. The 4 EVIL Whites- White Sugar, Refined Flour, White Rice, White Salt, Pasteurized Milk.
Q. What can diabetics eat for dinner?
A. Carrot Methi Subzi, Slow Cooked chicken soup, Spinach and Tomato salad, Cabbage and Peas Stir Fry are some of the dinner ideas that can be a tasty and healthy addition to a diabetic meal.
Q. Are bananas good for diabetes?
A. Bananas are high in fibre and have low GI. So, diabetics can eat bananas in moderation. They can restrict themselves to having them twice or thrice a week.
Q. Which fruit is sugar-free?
A. Fruits have natural sugar which can be eaten in moderation by a diabetic person. There are some fruits that are low in GI, like Lemons, Strawberries, Avocado, Grapefruit, etc.
Q. What is the best lunch for a diabetic to eat?
A. Green salad with Quinoa, Soy patties, slow-cooked lean meat like chicken and fish and even stir-fried paneer with vegetables are known to be the best diabetic lunch.
Q. What should a diabetic drink?
A. Diabetics should constantly track their meals in order to stay healthy. Drinks can be consumed in the morning or evening. Herbal Tea, Green based extract juice like Spinach/ Methi/ Neem, Chaas are all great drinks for people with diabetes.
Q. Is coffee good for diabetics?
A. Caffeine can have an adverse effect on diabetic people. Also, caffeine is a mild diuretic So, decaffeinated coffee is the best and safest option for them.
Q. Is rice good for diabetics?
A. Rice is a staple for Asiatic Countries. So, it has a cultural influence that can be hard to let go of for people. However, it is a food that is rich in carbohydrates and has a high GI. So, it isn’t ideal for diabetics. Instead of having white rice, there are alternatives that diabetic people can rely on, like, Quinoa, Brown Rice, Couscous.
Q. Are potatoes OK for diabetics?
A. In this one you can say Potatoes are rich in Vitamins and Minerals along with High starch, So checking the size of the potatoes is important, baby potatoes can be consumed once in a while on roast or grilled form in combination with other non- starchy vegetables.
Q. What are three eating tips for diabetics?
A. The three major eating tips for diabetics would be, 1. Replace refined carbohydrates with complex carbohydrates 2. Include fibre to stay full 3. Avoid added sugar.
Q. What foods reduce diabetes fast?
A. Fruits and Vegetables, nuts and high protein food help reduce diabetes.
Q. Will drinking water lower blood sugar?
A. Yes, water helps in regulating blood sugar levels and reduces the risk of diabetes.
Q. What is the highest blood sugar level that is safe?
A. Blood Sugar Levels depend on if you have had a meal or not. So, the highest blood sugar before a meal is 130 and after a meal is 180.
Q. What is type 2 diabetes sugar level?
A. Type 2 Diabetes Level is dependent on an Individual’s body type, food intake, exercise regime, water intake and stress levels. So, it differs from person-to-person.
Q. Is fruit a free food for diabetics?
A. Though fruits have natural sugar, they do not contain free sugar that can affect a diabetic person’s blood sugar levels. Also, choose to eat seasonal fruits, but in moderation.
Q. Can diabetics eat pizza?
A. A Diabetic can enjoy a homemade pizza which is made from whole wheat pizza base with a good number of pizza toppings, and just a very light drizzle of cheese.
Q. Is cheese OK for diabetics?
A. Since cheese is high in protein and low in carbohydrates, it can be a good choice for diabetics. However, make sure you have it in moderation which would not add some extra inches to your waist.
Q. Can a diabetic eat peanut butter?
A. Peanuts can lower blood sugar. So, peanut butter is healthy and can be eaten by diabetics. You can add it to your whole wheat bread or enjoy some with your yoghurt smoothie for some extra protein.
Q. What can diabetics eat for snacks?
A. There is a wide variety of snacking options for diabetics. They can have a hard-boiled egg, air-popped popcorn, a handful of nuts, sprout salad, peanut butter whole wheat sandwich.