Diabetes: What to eat?

Introduction to Diabetes

Blood sugar control is the most important target to check diabetes. The kind of food we eat affects the glucose levels in our body. According to the healthcare experts, the diabetics must binge on fresh fruits and vegetables which helps in improving metabolism. A diet planned for a diabetes patient by, registered dietician improves lipid profile, helps in body weight management, significantly lowers blood pressure, and reduces cardiovascular risk. Haemoglobin A1C, blood pressure, and cholesterol goals for a diabetic individual may need to be, adjusted based on his age, duration of the disease, health history, and other current health conditions.

Nutrition Therapy to Balance the Energy level

Medical Nutrition therapy (MNT) is recommended for all the people with diabetes (type 1 and type 2). It is an effective component for diabetes management program. For obese adults with type 2 diabetes, low energy intake is recommended while maintaining a healthy eating pattern to promote weight loss. For body weight management, intensive lifestyle interventions (physical activity, nutrition, and lifestyle changes) are recommended.

Monitoring carbohydrate intake, either by carbohydrate counting or experience-based estimation can help in achieving glycemic control. Low–glycemic load foods should be, replaced by higher–glycemic load foods; such foods may modestly improve blood glucose control. Diabetes is associated with muscle loss and sarcopenic obesity. Thus, increased intake of dietary proteins, suggested.

Type of Food Recommended for the Diabetics

What to eat and what not to eat! That’s the question. What should you eat when you have diabetes? A diet quite rich in micronutrients and low in saturated fats and, refined carbohydrates and salt, recommended for most of the diabetics. Micronutrients like phosphate, chromium, zinc help in improving metabolism and insulin action. Saturated or trans- fats in cooking must be, replaced by unsaturated fats (liquid oils). Proteins intake in the form of lean meat should be preferred. Proteins, recommended if the patient has no kidney disorder.

For good health, carbohydrate obtained from whole grains, vegetables, legumes, fruits, and dairy products should be, preferred over other carbohydrate sources. Carbohydrates containing added fats, sugars, or sodium must be avoided. Fructose consumed as “free fructose” (which naturally occur in fruits) improve blood glucose control and the effect on triglycerides is less harmful as long as the intake is in excess. Eat small regular meals. Replace high calories with water. Have at least 5 servings of fruits and vegetables per day.

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If You Have Diabetes, What Should You Eat?

The list for diabetics is long and exciting. So, need not feel low that, you have diabetes and sinful eating is forbidden.

  • Include fresh citrus fruits :

like lemon, oranges, sweet lime as they, rich source of antioxidants and act as dietary fibres.


  • Green leafy vegetables :

Especially spinach, kale etc. are extremely nutritious and are — less calories. They do not raise your blood sugar levels. Such green vegetables are good sources of several vitamins and minerals, including vitamin C and prevent the risk of cataract and macular degeneration.  They are also helpful in reducing fasting blood sugar levels for people with type 2 diabetes or high blood pressure.

  • Fatty fish :

Like salmon, herring, sardines, mackerel are — good for diabetic people. These fish are rich in omega-3 fatty acids DHA and EPA, which have major benefits for heart health. DHA and EPA, improve the function of arteries. It is beneficial for the diabetics, who have an increased risk of heart diseases and stroke.

  • Nuts:

Like almonds, Brazil nuts, cashew nuts, hazel nuts, walnuts etc. are quite good for controlling diabetes. They improve body composition and significant reduction in insulin level.

  • Chia seeds :

Reduce blood pressure. It also helps in weight loss. The viscous fibres of chia seeds help to reduce your blood sugar levels by slowing down the rate of movement of food through your gut. In all it helps in proper absorption of food.

  • Cinnamon :

Contains coumarin, which improves insulin sensitivity and help to reduce blood sugar in chronic diabetics. But intake in very less amounts, suggested to avoid high dose associated complications.

  • Squash :

Contains antioxidants, and has high amounts of lutein and zeaxanthin. These compounds protect against cataracts and macular degeneration.

  • Greek Yogurt :

It is also, recommended for the diabetics. It contains calcium and conjugated linolic acid which makes it suitable for weight loss and reduce the risk of heart diseases.

  • Extra virgin olive oil :

Contains monounsaturated fats which is very good for health when consumed in suggested quantities.

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  • Garlic :

A herb with extraordinary health benefits, can reduce inflammation, blood sugar and LDL cholesterol in people with type 2 diabetes.


For a person with diabetes, mild to moderate daily energy deficit, needed with a modest weight loss. Carbohydrate containing foods are the determining factors for blood glucose level and capacity of an individual to secrete insulin after having food.

Thus, it is very essential for a person to know what foods contain carbohydrates, their effect on blood glucose level and how much they should have such carbohydrates. For many diabetics, the most challenging part of diabetes treatment plan is to decide what to eat. A healthful eating pattern, along with regular physical activity, and proper medication aid in good diabetes management.


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