Diabetes has reached enormous proportions in the world and India is known as the diabetic capital of the world accounting for more than 30 million patients.  Changes to lifestyle are necessary to manage diabetes – balanced diet, regular exercise and prescribed medicines. 

A healthy diet keeps the blood glucose levels under check. A diabetic diet is a specially designed meal plan keeping balancing the need of carbohydrates, protein, fat, vitamins and minerals.

Glycemic Index

Glycemic Index is a measure, which indicates the rise in level of the blood sugar after consuming a particular food. The body responds when carbohydrates are digested in the body, which raises the blood glucose levels temporarily.  This response is known as the glycemic response, which is affected by numerous factors – quantity of food, process of food and the method of cooking. Any food that gets digested will raise the blood glucose level. 

The foods are assigned an index number that ranges between 1 and 100. Foods that have GI more than 70 are considered high, 56-69 average and less than 55 as low. Foods that are low in GI raise the blood sugar levels slowly when compared to high GI foods. Additionally, high GI foods make you feel hungry soon. 

Quick rise in blood sugar is not advisable for people with diabetes since their body is not able to regulate blood sugar. It is highly recommended that such people should eat foods that are low in GI value.

Here are some pointers given by dieticians and nutritionists for diabetic people.

  • Diabetic people should aim to have total calories of 1500 to 1800 per day, which should be a good balance between carbohydrates, fats, proteins with a good serving of fruits and vegetables.
  • Fiber foods such as whole grains, oats, wheat, millets should be included in the meals.  If there is an urge to have processed foods such as pasta or noodles, it must be with a combination of vegetables or sprouts.
  • Two servings of milk per day are advisable since it helps in the regulation of blood sugar.  
  • Pulses with husks, high fiber vegetables such as beans, peas, broccoli helps in lowering the sugar levels.
  • Canola oil, flax seeds, fatty fish, nuts and other sources rich in Omega3 and MUFA are good for a healthy body. 
  • Diabetics should avoid fruits that are high in sugar but can have fruits that are high in fiber.

Controlled diet can be frustrating and boring. However, little attention to your diet and lifestyle can effectively manage diabetes largely.

Following is a list of foods that diabetic people can eat and the foods that should be avoided.


1500-Calorie Diet for Diabetics


Disclaimer: The medical information in this article is provided as an information resource only, and is not to be used or relied on for any diagnostic or treatment purposes. Please consult your health care provider before making any healthcare decisions or for guidance about a specific medical condition.