Nutritional Management

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Diet for diabetes

Diet of diabetic patient plays a very important role in the control of the disease.

What to eat

I. Food to be avoided –  The first and foremost thing is to cut out sugar from diet. Keep away from :

  • Glucose, jaggery (gur)
  • Jams, marmalade and murabbas
  • Syrups, sherbat, honey
  • Tinned fruits
  • Sweets like toffee, chocolates, halwai sweets, sweet dishes
  • Sweet biscuits, chocolate/cream biscuits
  • Cakes, pastries, pies, puddings and thick sauces
  • Cola, lemonade and other fizzy drinks
  • Sweetened milk and its preparations, ice-cream and condensed milk
  • Alcoholic drinks: beer, wines, spirits
  • Fried food

II. Food to be taken in moderation – These foods can be taken in moderate amounts :

  • Breads of all kinds
  • Chapattis
  • Salted biscuits
  • Breakfast cereals and porridge. Macaroni, spaghetti, vermicelli (sevian)
  • All fresh fruits (except very sweet fruit like grapes, dates etc.) and dried fruits
  • Thick soups
  • Milk and its products
  • Pulses, potatoes, sweet potato, taro (arbi)
  • All white meats and fish
  • Red meat (mutton, pork etc but very restricted)
  • Onions, carrots, beetroot
  • Vegetable oil
  • Eggs (4 or 5 in a week)
  • Diabetic foods available in the market (but after proper consultation from your doctor)

III. Food can be taken liberally

  • Clear soup, vegetable and meat extracts
  • Juice of tomato, lemon, orange, sweet lime (mossami)
  • Tea or coffee without sugar
  • Fresh vegetables: Cabbage, cauliflower, spinach, turnip, brinjal, ladies finger, French beans, round gourd (tinda), mushrooms, onion, lettuce, cucumber, radish, bitter gourd (karela), tomato, peas
  • Spices and herbs, pepper and mustard

How much to eat : Once you know what to eat it becomes very important to work out your food requirements, which will depend upon your height, weight, presence or absence of obesity, nature of work (sedentary, with the help of your doctor or a nutritionist.

Important guidelines :

  • Eat a high carbohydrate (not sugar), low fat and normal protein diet. Carbohydrates should form 60% of your diet, fats 30% (10% of saturated fats) and proteins 12- 20%.
  • Eat high fiber diet. Fiber is an important dietary component found in vegetables, fruits, and whole grains. High-fiber diets (up to 55 grams a day) helps to improve cholesterol levels, control weight, and improve blood glucose and insulin levels. If the patient is obese insoluble fiber (found in wheat bran, whole grains, seeds, and fruit and vegetable peels) is most effective. Soluble fiber (found in dried beans, oat bran, barley, apples, citrus fruits, and potatoes) has important benefits for the heart, particularly for lowering blood cholesterol level.
  • Avoid sugar or preparations containing sugar. Artificial sweeteners may be used but consult your doctor before taking them.
  • Avoid high cholesterol food.
  • Control weight.
  • Do not miss or delay your meals.
  • Plan your diet and calorie requirement with the help of a nutritionist.
  • Even though your diabetes is fully controlled by diet alone, regular monitoring of your blood glucose level is a must.


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