DietWomen's Health

Indian Diet Chart for Diabetic Patients

8 Mins read

Diabetes is a chronic metabolic disorder reflecting increased blood sugar levels. Symptoms include frequent urination, hunger and fatigue. In the pancreas, beta cells are present, which release insulin hormone and are responsible for lowering the blood sugar levels in our bodies. In diabetes, the functioning of insulin is altered in one way or another.

It affects individuals of various age groups. Since diabetes is chronic, its management requires lifestyle changes. Therefore, people at risk of developing diabetes must also take utmost care in choosing their food intake. Anti-diabetic medicine would definitely lower blood sugar levels. Still, proper management requires consuming healthy food for the person with diabetes and avoiding what is not; this would be a wholesome treatment strategy.

Indian Diet Chart for Diabetic Patients

Diabetes Type 1 and 2

Depending on the aetiology and affecting age group, diabetes is mainly of two types.

Type I and type II diabetes. In addition, there is a third type of diabetes called gestational diabetes, which is temporary and reverses after parturition. It develops in the second and third trimesters. Diabetes developed in the first trimester is often pregestational diabetes and remains even after pregnancy.

Type I diabetes happens when the body’s immune system mistakenly attacks the beta islet cells of the pancreas. This results in their destruction, leading to the depletion of insulin levels. It was earlier called juvenile diabetes and is treated by insulin; therefore, it is also known as insulin-dependent diabetes.

Type II diabetes is mainly due to obesity and a lifestyle in which the body has enough insulin but is not able to use it.

In gestational diabetes, the glucose demand of the body increases, so the available amount of insulin does not suffice the requirement.

Why do Diabetic Patients need Separate Diet Charts?

In order to treat diabetes, our aim is to lower the blood sugar level. Along with insulin supplements, it is vital to monitor food intake. A diabetic person needs a diet chart for all their meals and knows the snacks they can consume without shooting up blood sugar and maintaining health. Diabetic patients should be physically active and constantly on a recommended diet chart for better effect of medicine and to not fall into complications of the disease.

How does Staple Indian Food affect Diabetic People?

We Indians have rice and chapati as an essential part of our meal. So our meals have a fusion of carbohydrates and protein. For diabetic patients, it’s recommended to have more proteins and carbohydrates in moderation. So, maintaining a diet plan becomes very difficult in the first place, but you need to realise its importance and stick to it no matter what.

It takes time to adapt to new items incorporated into a meal. Still, once you are habitual, you are going to develop a taste for it, and it will eventually happen that you are following the diet chart without much effort.

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Veg Foods to Eat

For vegetarian people, we have plenty of food items to be considered.

1.   Overnight-Soaked Fenugreek Seeds

  • Quantity can be 2 teaspoons in a glass of water.
  • It is rich in fiber and lowers blood sugar levels.
  • It also slows down the process of digestion.
  • Other options are jamun/ amla/dalchini powder.

 2.  Foxtail Millets

  • Make it into a porridge for breakfast.
  • Substitute millet flour instead of white or wheat flour in baked goods like bread, cake, biscuits, or pancake mix.
  • In recipes, use it to replace grains like rice, quinoa, or bulgur.
  • Make it into stuffing for peppers and other vegetables.
  • Make it into a chilla or dosa.
  • Other millets which can be used are pearl, finger, brown top, barnyard and kodo.

3.  Drinks to be Considered:

  • Coconut water
  • Seltzer water- is an alternative to carbonated drinks without sugar.
  • Buttermilk
  • Herbal tea
  • Milk alternatives like soy milk, oat milk, and coconut milk.
  • Apple cider vinegar

4. Green Leafy Vegetables

  • Spinach and kale are rich in vitamins and minerals.
  • Vitamin C has been shown to reduce fasting blood sugar levels.
  • These can be made into green smoothies and consumed.
  • Other options are – broccoli, carrot, green peas, peppers, tomatoes, potatoes, corn.

5.  Greek Yoghurt

  • It is a great dairy option for diabetic patients.
  • It contains fewer carbs than the usual yoghurt.

6.  Nuts and Seeds

  • Like walnuts help not only in lowering the blood sugar level but also prevent heart diseases and purify the blood.
  • Rich in fiber and is slowly digested.
  • Options for seeds are flax seeds, and chia seeds.

7. Fruits

  • Strawberries – are rich in vitamin C and low in carbs.
  • It is an antioxidant and lowers cholesterol levels.
  • Other options are – apple, orange, mosambi, guava, strawberries, avocado, grapefruit, cherries.

8. Whole Grains

  • They are having low GI which is beneficial for diabetics patients.
  • Great sources of fiber.
  • Options may include – brown rice, oatmeal, barley, quinoa, millet, or amaranth.

Non-Veg Foods to Eat

Though in India, people are rarely purely non-vegetarian, some region-specific people don’t have much choice in veg food and have to stick to non-veg only. Also, people love non-veg more as a food option, so better if we know what is best available for people with diabetes.

1.   Vegetable Omelette

Eggs are high in protein and keep you full without increasing sugar levels. They slow down the digestion process and also absorption of glucose.

2.   Chicken Stuffed Omelette

Adding chicken to the omelette will increase the protein content and can be an energetic start to your day.

3.   Chicken Salad

4.   Grilled Chicken and Spinach

5.   Chicken Masala Sandwich

Make sure it’s made of multigrain bread.

6.   Fatty Fish

Sardines, mackerel and salmon can be included in a diabetic diet.

Foods to Avoid

People with type 2 diabetes should limit or avoid foods that are unhealthy or may cause blood sugar fluctuations.

These may include:

  • Refined Grains – white bread, pasta, and rice.
  • Processed meat or red meat.
  • Fried Foods – french fries, and potato chips.
  • Sugar-sweetened beverages – soda, sweet tea, and energy drinks.
  • Sugar in the form of candy, ice cream, and cakes.
  • Fruit Juices.

07 Days Indian Diet Chart for Diabetic Patients

We often know the type of food product which is healthy or essential to maintain the body requirements but fail to follow that if we lack a diet plan. Plan all your days accordingly. Incorporate your favourite dishes into it. Try to spice it up with a bit of lemon and pepper. Include buttermilk to enhance digestion. Depend less on medicines and make a healthy choice in natural ways.

The following diet chart for diabetics will help :

Day 6:30 A.M 8:00 A.M 12:00 P.M 2:00 P.M 6:00 P.M 8: 00 P.M


Soaked fenugreek seeds Millet dosa/ Chilla Buttermilk


Multigrain chapati & Palak Sabji Walnuts/ Strawberries Mixed vegetable + Boiled Egg


Chia seeds with a glass of water Vegetable omelette / Vegetable oats 1 Orange


Daal + Ragi chapati Half a glass of Soy milk


Vegetable salad


Flax seeds + water


Boiled egg / Vegetable sandwich (brown bread)


Half a bowl of strawberries Ragi dosa + Mint chutney


Roasted Chana


Grilled chicken + Spinach salad /

Multigrain chapati + Palak sabji



Hot water + Squeezed lemon Ragi idli + sambhar 1 Apple Brown rice + dal + bhindi fry Makhana Bajra roti + Saag


Apple cider vinegar Ragi porridge 1 Guava Brown rice + dal + bhindi fry Almonds + coconut milk Egg curry / besan chilla+ chutney


Soaked methi seeds Ragi balls + sambhar Fruit salad (apple/guava /strawberry) Fish curry/ besan curry + dosa Almonds Missi roti + mix veg


Flax seeds + water


Boiled egg / Vegetable sandwich (brown bread)


 Half a bowl of strawberries


Ragi dosa + mint chutney


Roasted Chana Grilled chicken + spinach salad/ Multigrain chapati + palak sabji

Recipes for Snacking Items for Diabetics

vegetarian diabetic diet plan indian

1. Dish – Poha serves 2-3 people

Ingredients– Thin poha + roasted groundnut + tea spoon of oil + chillies + pinch of salt + lemon + curry leaves + onion.


  • Finely chop one onion.
  • Finely chop two medium-sized chillies.
  • Heat the pan and add a teaspoon of oil.
  • Add jeera and finely chopped onion, and chillies.
  • Soak thin poha for 10 mins.
  • Add poha to the pan.
  • Put Roasted groundnut.
  • Cook for 10 mins.
  • Ready to serve. Garnish with chopped coriander.

2. Roasted Chana

Ingredients– Soaked chana + 2 teaspoon of oil + 1 chilly + makhana


  • Add 2 teaspoons of oil to a heated pan.
  • Chana and makhana are added.
  • Chillies are added.
  • Cook for 10 mins.
  • Ready to serve!

3. Carrot and Palak Sabji

Ingredients– oil+ jeera + carrot + spinach + basic masala


  • Add oil to a heated pressure cooker and put jeera into it.
  • Add chopped carrot and spinach to it.
  • Put a pinch of salt, turmeric and chilli powder.
  • Close the lid and wait for 4 whistles.
  • Ready to serve.

General Myths

1.   A diabetic diet excludes everything sweet and tasty

Carbs are considered an enemy of people with diabetes by many. However, they do have an impact on blood sugar levels, but our diet plan needs not to be devoid of it but only to maintain moderate consumption.

Instead of wheat flour, use multigrain flour, bajra, ragi and foxtail millet.

Replace white rice with brown rice. Multigrain flours are rich in vitamins B and C, which are water-soluble vitamins and help in reducing blood sugar levels.

2. Fruits are sugary

Fruits have natural sugar in them, but that doesn’t stand true for all fruits. Therefore, there is no need to avoid fruits but to choose wisely. Strawberries, guava, apple, amla, and mosambi are some good options available.

3. Only medicines would cure diabetes

Diabetes, one of the lifestyle disorders, needs to be cured in all possible ways. A diet plan would be a significant step.

General Do’s for a Healthy Life

Diabetes is a chronic disorder that has a long-term effect on an individual’s life, but it still can be cured or at least brought into control by natural methods as simple as choosing the proper diet.

In order to be healthy, you need not get rid of everything and anything that tastes good but choose the correct quantity and type. For example, a person with diabetes should have a 1200-1400 calorie intake daily.

Consult a nutritionist before switching your diet, and your diabetologist should also be kept in the loop to help you recover faster and maintain a better lifestyle.

In addition to a proper diet, you should be mindful of being physically active. Look for skin complications from time to time. Consult an endocrinologist. Monitor your sugar levels daily. And always take timely medication.

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1. Can fruit juices be consumed guilt free by people with diabetes?

Fruits have natural sugar in them; fruit juices should be avoided, and if taken, there shouldn’t be any added sugar.

2. Can people with diabetes eat cheese?

Yes, but in moderation. Milk as such should be avoided, but its products have relatively less quantity of calories.

3. Can coffee be consumed by people with diabetes?

Caffeine has an adverse effect on diabetic people. Also, it is a mild diuretic. So decaffeinated coffee is the best and safest option.

4. Which type of food item helps in reducing blood sugar levels?

Vitamin C-rich food products, flax seeds, chia seeds, strawberries, and buttermilk are some of the food products which help us reduce blood sugar.

5. Can a diabetic patient have pizza?

Yes, but with a multigrain base and low calories with a lot of vegetable toppings. Pizza has a maida base that is not easily digested, but the other parts aren’t unhealthy, so that the base can be replaced and consumed in moderate quantities.

6. Eating tips for diabetes patients?

Drink plenty of water, and do add fruits to your daily consumption, green salad with quinoa, soy patties, slow-cooked lean meat, and stir-fried paneer with vegetables. The usual white rice should be replaced by brown rice, and couscous and wheat flour should be replaced by multigrain, ragi and bajra.





Written by Dr. Minu Kumari

Dr. Minu Kumari is a dental graduate from Rajiv Gandhi University of Health Sciences, Bangalore. With a combined experience of Covid warrior and clinical experience, she brings the right Doctor’s view into her writing. She aims to have a healthier world. When not studying or practising, she enjoys playing sports.

Reviewed by Dr. Manavi Raj

Dr. Manavi is a healthcare professional with a Bachelor of Dental Surgery from Rajiv Gandhi University of Health Sciences, Bangalore. She has a diverse history of working in healthcare, writing and social media marketing. Outside of work, she enjoys dabbling with paints and loves the outdoors.

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