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  Fiber is a King:
It delays carbohydrate absorption, slows down the rise of blood sugar and so reduces the drug requirement
An intake of about 40 g dietary fibre is beneficial for diabetics.
Some high fiber foods are whole cereals like buck wheat (kootu), barley, ragey and oats, leafy vegetables, beans, whole pulses and legumes.
Refined foods like Maida, Suji, Arrowroot, Sago, Juices etc are low in fibre and should therefore be avoided 

Fenugreek Seeds contain an alkaloid called trigonelline which has been shown to lower blood sugar and prevent diabetes induced cataract. It also lowers cholesterol and triglycerides.

Bitter gourd (Karela) juice is a popular remedy for the diabetics in the tropics.50 ml raw karela juice daily improves blood glucose tolerance in non insulin dependent diabetics.

Glycemic Index or the blood glucose response of certain foods is important in deciding whether to include them or not in the meals of a person with diabetes.

Foods with high glycemic index must be avoided in the diets of diabetic individuals.

Foods cooked by dry and short time methods like roasting have lesser glycemic effect as compared to foods cooked by boiling and long cooking processes which reduce particle size.

Preparations like roasted chanas, chapattis, sprouted dals, and whole fruits are more suitable than boiled rice, khichri, washed dals and fruit juices.

Glycemic Index of certain foods

Defeat Diabetes

Diabetes Mellitus is a metabolic disorder characterized by the decreased ability or complete inability of the tissues to utilize carbohydrates, accompanied by changes in the metabolism of fat, protein, water and electrolytes. The disorder is due to a deficiency or diminished effectiveness of the hormone insulin.

There are two common types of diabetes mellitus:
  • Insulin dependent diabetes mellitus (IDDM) or type I: It usually occurs before the age of 40 years. The disease usually has an abrupt onset and the abnormality of carbohydrate metabolism is severe due to lack of endogenous insulin to control blood glucose levels. These diabetics require high doses of insulin.
  • Non-Insulin dependent Diabetes Mellitus (NIDDM) or Type II: This type usually occurs in middle life or beyond the age of 40 years, although it may also occur in the younger age group. The patients are most often obese. The onset is gradual and there is some amount though limited, of endogenous insulin.    
General instruction for patients suffering from diabetes;

  1. Keep strictly to your diet if any change is required then consult the dietician
  2. If you do not feel well or if you are in difficulty about your medicine, consult the doctor.
  3. If you are gaining or losing weight, inform your doctor
  4. Test your urine regularly and get your blood examined once a month
  5. Walk at least a mile daily.
  6. Keep your skin clean and feet dry. Avoid wearing tight shoes and socks. Consult your doctor on any skin problems.
  7. If you have any injury or you are going for an operation, declare to your doctor that you are a diabetic.
  8. If any other problem worrying you, see the social worker / counselor.

Instructions to patients taking Insulin

  1. Do not alter the dose of Insulin without consulting the doctor.
  2. Do not allow more than an hour to elapse between a injection of Insulin and your food.
  3. If you get a cold, sore throat or feverish illness, do not stop taking Insulin. Take plenty of milky food instead of solids, if it is difficult to swallow.

Norms for sugar level of Urine and blood

Urine - Blue reduction with benedict solution

Blood - Fasting and two hours after meal below 120 mg per 100 ml 

Prohibited Foods

Glucose, sugar , honey and all sweets, jaggery, ice-cream, pastries, cake, jam, jelly, squash, canned fruit juice, sugarcane juice, chocolates, bourn vita, all aerated waters except soda.

Foods to avoid

Potatoes, Yam (zimikand), Arbi, Mangoes, Grapes, Cheeku and Bananas, Dried food stuffs, Dried fruits and Nuts e.g. peanuts, almonds, cashew nuts, raising and coconut etc., all alcoholic drinks.

Foods to be used freely

Green leafy vegetables, tomatoes, cucumber, radish, lime, clear soups, black coffee without milk and sugar, butter milk (lassie), sour chatnis and pickles without oil, pepper and zeera water, jamun fruit and karela juice.

Foods that help diabetics bring down sugar levels 

Diabetics should fill up on leafy vegetables, bitter gourd (karela), papaya, oranges, lentils and legumes with strings and skin intact, whole grain cereals, bran, pulses, sprouted mung, and 10 to 20 grams of guar gum (from cluster beans)

Suffering from Diabetes!  Get a Diet Plan Customized for yourself >>


Dietary Management
Therapeutic diet plays an important role in the treatment of diabetes.  Nothing helps a Diabetic more than a Diet, custom-made by his Dietician. The general principle is to control body fat means less sensitivity to Insulin, which keeps the blood sugar level in check.

A Proper diabetic diet includes a balance of high proteins, low fat and complex carbohydrates, ( Whole grain cereals, whole wheat flour, vegetables) which are digested more slowly and therefore don't cause a rapid rise in blood sugar. 

The most important consideration in diet is the total amount of calories ingested for an average diabetic, about 60% of calories are derived from carbohydrates, 25 to 30% from fats, and 12 to 15% from proteins.

The Diet plan of an individual is based on height, weight, age, sex, physical activity and nature of diabetes. 

Following are the essential considerations in planning a diabetic diet-

  1. Determining energy requirements
  2. Distribution of energy in terms of carbohydrates, fat and protein.
  3. Determining the type of carbohydrate, fiber and the type of preparation.
  4. Distribution of carbohydrate 
  5. Stage of diabetes with the absence or presence of any complication.

Supplementation of cereals with gram (pulse) is beneficial.
For example:

  •  3 parts of whole wheat flour with one part of gram flour in making chapattis or
  • One part rice with one part whole pulse to make Idli, dosa, khichri, or
  •  2 parts suji with 1 part of pulse to make Upma 

In all diabetics the amount and time of food intake particularly the carbohydrate, should be controlled to prevent the fluctuations of blood glucose beyond the normal range.

Sample Diet Plan >>

Mr. Khanduja, a middle aged businessmen is 5 ft 6 inches tall and weighs 75 kgs. He is suffering from Non Insulin dependent diabetes mellitus. A days sample diet is planned below

Approx 1800 calories
240 g of carbohydrate
60 g of protein
60 g of fat

Early Morning
Tea without sugar 1cup with 1 desert spoon milk (20 ml) or lime juice.

Whole wheat porridge (25 g) with milk (170 ml)
Paneer (25 g) on toast (1 slice) 
Apple ( 100 g)

Mid Morning
Any one of the
free foods 

   Chana curry or lobia curry - 1/2 bowl (25 g)
Veg:      Beans or Capsicum or spinach vegetable or any desirable green vegetable; good helping
Curd:     Ghia raita - 1/2 bowl (100 g) 
Salad:    Cucumber + Tomato + Onion
Chapatti: 2 to 3 without butter (75 g). Make dough from  3 parts of whole wheat flour with one part of gram flour for making chapattis
Oil for cooking: 3 teaspoons (15 g) 
Fruits:  Papaya (100 g)

Evening Tea
Tea without sugar: 1 cup with 1 desert spoon milk (20 ml) 
Salty biscuits: Qtty 4 or roasted chana (20g)

Tinda vegetable
Salad: Onion + tomato 
Pulse: Sprouted Mung mixed with onion and tomato
Curd: 1/2 bowl (100 g)
Chapatti: Missi roti (75g)
Fruits: Fruit custard without sugar
Oil: 2 teaspoonfuls

Note: If fish or chicken or paneer is to be taken the quantity should be 25 g and pulse should be omitted from the meal.

Before bed 
1 cup skimmed milk (170 ml) without sugar

Note:  10 g butter in lieu of 10 g oil may be used
Saccharine, sucaryl or sweeten may be used instead of sugar

Food Alternatives
Instead of 25 g of wheat flour one of the following may be taken
# Brown bread: 1.5 slices
# Wheat porridge: 1/2 bowl cooked 
# Dosa: 1 small plate
# Cream cracker biscuits: Qtty 4 

Caution: The above diabetic diet plan is only a sample one. Calorie, protein, fat and carbohydrate requirements will vary from individual to individual as per his/her height, weight, age, sex, physical activity and type of diabetes.

Those who want a diet plan tailored as per their specific requirements by renowned Nutritionist Ms Shubi Husain, just log into our Tailored Diets


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