The best Diabetes Diet Plan is one that will truly nourish your body, establish blood sugar balance back and fix your metabolism to attain a healthy weight.

If you have been diagnosed with Diabetes, then you may have plenty of questions around the foods that you can eat or the ones that you should avoid.

You may be wondering whether you need to change your diet altogether, eat more proteins, carbs or take a look at the expensive supplements? Or perhaps, how you can lose weight with Diabetes?

So, here it is for you!

The best diet for Diabetes is one that helps you to treat your specific Diabetes Symptoms and the one that fits in your lifestyle. An effective Diabetes diet plan is the one that you can follow consistently to achieve your specific health goals.

And this is what we are going to discuss in this post.

You will get to know the wholesome natural foods that support blood sugar balance and insulin sensitivity in your body. And how you can make Diabetes diet plan a success for your Diabetes treatment.

Also, you will find here a 7 days vegetarian Diabetes meal plan to begin weight loss and recovery from Diabetes.

This is your ultimate guide to reverse Diabetes with your diet and foods. Let’s go!!

What is Diabetes?

Diabetes is a heterogenous health disorder in which blood glucose level rises above normal values due to the body’s inability to process the sugar into energy. It is more commonly known as Sugar and has been increasing at an alarming rate, even in the younger generation.

While it can be managed by changes in diet and lifestyle, it can also lead to serious complications if the blood sugar level is not managed properly.

Diabetes can develop in different ways:

  1. Type I Diabetes: It can occur at any age but it is mostly seen in children and young adults. Diabetes Type I occurs due to autoimmune disease or infections which causes destruction of beta cells of pancreas. This leads to low levels or absence of insulin.
  2. Type II Diabetes Mellitus: It is much more common and accounts for 90-95% of all the cases of Diabetes. There is a strong correlation between Type 2 and lifestyle factors such as physical inactivity, diet, and lifestyle.
  3. Gestational Diabetes Mellitus (GDM): It occurs during pregnancy. It occurs in obese, older age women with family history. It may lead to Type II diabetes.
  4. Diabetes Secondary to disorders: As pancreatic disease, glucocorticoids use, AIDS treatment, cystic fibrosis or after organ transplantation.
How Diabetes (Women) Affects the Body-min

Your Blood Sugar and Diabetes | The Connection

One of the keystones in Diabetes development is chronically high blood sugar level resulting from either lack of Insulin or Insulin Resistance. Here is how of high blood sugar levels result in Diabetes.

  1. Whenever you eat food, it is broken down into different smaller molecules by digestive system organs.
  2. Normally, there is a short spike in blood sugar levels after you eat food. This is because your digestive system organs break down the carbohydrates into smaller molecules of glucose that your body cells can use as fuel. Usually, this spike goes away as your body is highly efficient to locate the nutrients where they are needed.
  3. However, if you keep eating all the time or regularly consume heavy to digest foods, then your organs fall short of the time and capability to break the food into glucose and also to distribute the glucose to the cells.
  4. Eventually, they get tired. This creates excessive glucose load and undigested foods in your blood stream.

Insulin Resistance and High Blood Sugar in Diabetes

Insulin is the primary hormone that guides our metabolism and blood sugar levels. It converts and stores excess sugar in the blood in the form of fat, so that it can be used as a fuel later on.

If insulin hormone is working fine, then insulin will be able to convert the blood sugar into cellular energy. However, in case of insulin resistance our body’s cells stop responding to the excess Insulin that the pancreas produce.

It disturbs our body’s metabolism and leads to high blood glucose levels.

Here, you can find more information on insulin function and insulin resistance.

Insulin resistance cycle-min

Why does Diet matter?

Your Diet is the most important handle to reverse Diabetes that is solely in your own hands. Simply because, when you eat the best foods and practice a lifestyle that help you manage your blood sugar levels; then you can avoid the health risks that diabetes carries.

One thing that will really help you to successfully follow and heal with Diabetes Diet Plan is to develop an increased level of awareness of when and how much food your body needs.

This will really help you to avoid the spikes and dips in your blood sugar levels. Also, it will save you from all the hassle of measuring and fretting about what you are putting in your mouth.

Best Foods to Reverse Diabetes | Your Diabetes Diet Plan

Best Foods for Diabetes includes elements from a selection of different food groups to support insulin function and balance your blood sugar levels. Poor metabolism in Diabetes leads to lack of energy, toxin build up and nutritional deficiencies in your body.

This impacts the functioning of multiple body systems, leading to health symptoms of fatigue, weight gain, high cholesterol levels, poor mental health, weak bones and poor heart health.

Here is a list of nutrients and foods that are essential for a healthy and balanced Diabetes Diet:

1. Foods rich in Fiber

Fibre has a lot of benefits. Particularly for someone who is trying to manage diabetes with a meal plan. What do they do?

First, fibers are very filling. They take up space so you need to eat fewer calories before you are full. Whereas, fibers themselves contribute little to calories. They can’t be absorbed. So, there’s a double benefit here. One, you have something to eat and keep you filled. Two, it doesn’t break down.

Furthermore, fibers regulate the digestion and absorption of other foods. Thus, they can help to regulate blood sugar levels. Fibers do this by regulating how much sugar is absorbed from the gut.

On the side, fibers help you have a healthy bowel movement.

So, where do you find fibers? You can get a lot of fibers from fruits and vegetables. These items have their own benefits, aside from being rich in fibers. Therefore, you get the benefits of fibers and the other benefits in these items.

Best Foods for Fibre

Get fibers from:

  • Vegetables: lettuce, broccoli, cucumbers, spinach, etc.
  • Fruits: apples, pear, grapes, etc.
  • Nuts: walnuts, etc.
  • Legumes: peas, beans, etc.
  • Whole-grains: brown rice, wheat, etc.

2. Proteins

A diet rich in proteins have a similar benefit to fibers for diabetics. They keep you full for longer. Also, they regulate the absorption of sugar. However, unlike fibers, they do have calorific value. This means that you can get your energy requirements without loading up on too many sugars.

Protein Foods-min

Protein foods to eat

Lean proteins sources are recommended.

  • Beans
  • Lentils
  • Whole Grains as Quinoa, Brown Rice, Amaranth and Millets
  • Vegetables as cauliflower, broccoli, green beans and green peas
  • Sprouts
  • Eggs
  • Turkey
  • Chicken
  • Dairy
  • Tofu
  • Fish

3. Omega 3 Fats

Yes, fats. There are different types of fats. You only need to know how to select the right kinds of fats.

While fats do not directly affect your blood sugar levels, they can do so indirectly. For example, fats can still be broken down into sugar if needed. And if you eat unhealthy fats and get obese, you will worsen your diabetes symptoms.

What are the healthy fats you should eat? You might have heard about unsaturated fatty acids. These are the ones to eat. Let’s be specific on food items now:

  • Fish like salmon, mackerels, tuna, etc, are rich in omega-3 fatty acids.
  • Nuts and seeds
  • Olives and Olive oil
  • Avocado
  • Ghee

However, do not overdo it. Fats are high in calories.

4. Complex Carbohydrates

We saved this for last. Why? It can be controversial. But you don’t need to be confused. Carbs are basically sugar. When they’re broken down, the final product is sugar.

Does that mean all carbohydrates are bad for someone with high blood sugar? Should you exclude carbs from your diabetes meal plan completely? No! Just like with the other food items, you just need to understand how to balance it up.

Glycemic index (GI) and carbohydrates

Glycemic index is a measure of how fast a carbohydrate food is broken down in your body. Foods with a high GI get broken down and absorbed pretty fast. Thus, they make your blood sugar levels soar. And this is something you want to avoid.

On the other hand, there are foods with a low GI. These foods get broken down slowly and release their sugar slowly into your blood. Therefore, you can eat these without risking a high sugar level. These are the foods you should opt for.

Best Carbohydrates for Diabetes-min

So, what are the good carbohydrates for diabetes?

With these in mind, you should already understand that carbs are not taboo. In fact, you need them. They are your body’s most readily available energy source.

Here are some healthy carbs:

  • Whole grains such as Bulgur, Rye, Quinoa, Brown Rice, Whole Oats, and Millets
  • Legumes such as Beans and Lentils for proteins
  • Vegetables with variety of colors to give you fibre, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants
  • Fruits
  • Nuts
  • Seeds

Worst Foods for Diabetes

You need to make some sacrifices to follow a diabetes meal plan. Of course, you understand you don’t have all the freedom as a person with regular blood sugar. There are peculiarities, and they must be minded.

Some foods need to be restricted from your diet. Some need to be outright avoided, if you can will yourself to do so. They can spike your blood sugar levels. They can worsen your symptoms. Remember, if you allow that, there are risks of long-term complications. These you surely want to avoid.

So, what foods should not be in your diabetes diet plan?

1. Saturated fats

They can raise your blood cholesterol levels. Not good for your heart. These unhealthy fats are present in:

  • Sausage
  • Bacon
  • High-fat animals
  • High-fat dairy products
  • Refined Vegetable Oils such as palm oil, canola oil and
  • Full-fat cheese
  • Hot dogs

2. Trans fats

Trans fats are another type of unhealthy fat. They are present in:

  • Processed snacks
  • Baked goods
  • Stick margarine
  • Some chips
  • Cookies
  • French fries

3. Simple Carbs and High GI Foods

Avoid carbohydrate foods with a low glycemic index. They can cause your blood sugar levels to spike in a very short time. Also, avoid simple carbohydrates. These carbs to avoid include:

  • Potatoes
  • Sugar in all forms
  • French-fries
  • Polished and processed white Rice
  • Pasta
  • Bread
  • Candy and other sweets
  • Soda

4. Excess Salt

Sodium is readily available in a lot of food items. Mostly, you take sodium from salt. Limit your intake of sodium to no more than 2,300mg a day.

5. Fruits and vegetables to avoid

These would be fruits that are excessively sweet and starchy vegetables. Watch out for those and limit your intake of them. Some examples are:

  • Processed fruits in the form of canned, cut and juiced fruits with additives
  • Excessive consumption of very sweet fruits as banana, mango, coconut, durian and jackfruit
  • Excess of tubers and starchy vegetables as potato, sweet potato, butternut squash

Diabetes Diet Chart and Guidelines

Insulin resistance and blood sugar balance in Diabetes can be managed by reversing the way it became high in the first place. As we have seen, you need to choose your selection of foods wisely. Same rules apply to your dietary habits.

Diabetes Diet Chart-min

A good selection of foods and healthy eating habits can help you to reverse high blood sugar levels in Diabetes in a natural way. Let’s see how you can practice it with a Diabetes Diet Plan.

% of MealType of Food
35%Fruits, vegetables, and fiber-rich foods.
25%Complex Carbs as Whole grains, cereals, and starch-based food products
30%Lean proteins such as lentils, beans, eggs and lean meats
10%Healthy Fats
Diabetes Diet Chart

We will start by looking into the macro nutrients that should form the major portion of your meals in a Diabetes Meal Plan.

A sample 7 Days Diabetes Meal Plan (Vegetarian)

Having learned the best and worst foods for diabetes, you might wonder how to do it. How do you combine these food items? How do you ensure you’re getting enough nutrients without getting on the wrong tracks?

Here is a sample 7 days diabetes diet plan for you:

DayMeal Option
1Breakfast: Beetroot Stir-fry + millets porridge + 1 cup herbal tea
Morning Snack: Butter milk + 5 Blanched Almonds
Lunch: 1 Bowl brown rice + Cowpeas soup + Cucumber Salad + Green Tea
Evening Snack: Fresh Fruit + Handful of sunflower seeds
Dinner: Thai Green Curry + 1 Bowl brown rice
2Breakfast: Apple Cinnamon Oats Porridge + 1 cup herbal tea
Morning Snack: Butter milk + 5 Blanched Almonds
Lunch: 1 Bowl brown rice + sprouted Mung Dal + green salad  + Green Tea
Evening Snack: Fresh Fruit + Handful of sunflower seeds
Dinner: 1 Bowl millets porridge + Mixed vegetables stir-fry + Herbal Tea
3Breakfast: Cauliflower Stir-fry + millets porridge + 1 cup herbal tea
Morning Snack: 5 Blanched Almonds + 10 Soaked Raisins
Lunch: 1 Bowl brown rice + Spinach Daal + ½ bowl curd
Evening Snack: Fresh Fruit + Handful of sunflower seeds
Dinner: Vegetable Khichadi or Porridge + Herbal Tea
4Breakfast: Okra stir-fry + 1 Bowl millets porridge + 1 cup herbal tea
Morning Snack: 5 Blanched Almonds + 10 Soaked Raisins
Lunch: 1 Bowl brown rice + Basil Tofu Scramble + green salad + 1 cup green tea
Evening Snack: Fresh Fruit + Handful of sunflower seeds
Dinner: 1 Bowl barley porridge + Mixed Vegetables + Herbal Tea
5Breakfast: Apple Cinnamon Oats Porridge + 1 cup herbal tea
Morning Snack: Roasted Black Gram + Lemon Ginger Tea
Lunch: 1 Bowl brown rice + Sprouted Beans curry + cucumber salad + 1 cup green tea
Evening Snack: Fresh Fruit + Handful of pumpkin seeds
Dinner: 1 Bowl millets Porridge + Green beans stir-fry + Herbal Tea
6Breakfast: Mung Dal Dosa (Pancake) with Mint Chutney + 1 cup herbal tea
Morning Snack: Roasted Black Gram + Lemon Ginger Tea
Lunch: Bowl brown rice + Spinach Daal + ½ bowl curd
Evening Snack: Fresh Fruit + Handful of pumpkin seeds
Dinner: 1 Bowl brown rice with Veg Miso Soup
7Breakfast: Apple Cinnamon Oats Porridge + 1 cup herbal tea
Morning Snack: Roasted Black Gram + Lemon Ginger Tea
Lunch: Vegetable Quinoa + green salad (stir-fry) + 1 cup green tea
Evening Snack: Fresh Fruit + Handful of sunflower seeds
Dinner: Vegetable Khichadi or Porridge + Herbal Tea
7 Days Diabetes Vegetarian Diet Plan

Recipes for Diabetes Diet

Quinoa Porridge
Print Recipe
No ratings yet

Spinach Quinoa Porridge with Cherry Tomatoes and Avocado

This is a simple recipe for a complete meal with quinoa and rainbow veggies. This porridge is warming, satiating, and rich in essential micronutrients. Be sure to get your proteins and minerals from quinoa and greens inside.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Course: Main Course
Diet: Diabetic, Gluten Free, Hindu, Vegetarian
Keyword: quinoa
Servings: 4 people
Author: Nidhi Bansal
Cost: $5

Equipment

  • Slow Cooker or Pressure Cooker or Rice Cooker
  • Heavy Bottom Pan or Pot

Ingredients

  • cups Quinoa
  • 3 cups water For cooking in pan (For pressure cooker, it would be 2 cups of water).
  • 1 Medium Bunch of Spinach Or any greens of your choice – Amaranth, Moringa, Methi (Fenugreek) – all of them will go well in this recipe
  • 150 g Cherry Tomatoes
  • 1 Medium Avocado
  • 2 Garlic Cloves
  • tsp Roasted Cumin Powder
  • tsp Paprika Powder Or Black Pepper to be sprikled in the end
  • tsp Rock Salt To taste
  • 2 tbsp Ghee or Olive Oil Or any pure cooking oil
  • 1 small Onion optional
  • 1 inch Fresh ginger root

Instructions

Preparing Quinoa

  • Wash and soak quinoa in water such that there is 1 inch layer of water on top of it.
  • Boil quinoa in pressure cooker or slow cooker by adding quinoa with water and boiling it till it is soft. Pressure cooker may need 2 whistles. And slow cooker will need about 15 mins.

Preparing Veggies

  • Separately and Finely chop the cherry tomatoes, spinach, and onion. Keep aside.
  • Cut Avocado in ½ inch pieces and keep aside.
  • Pound ginger and garlic separately in a mortar and pestle. It helps to bring out additional flavours. You can also chop or grate the ginger.

Preparing the Porridge

  • Heat a pan and add oil to it.
  • When the oil is slightly hot, add onion, ginger and garlic. Mix well till it turns golden brown.
  • Now add in salt, paprika powder, and cumin powder. Mix well.
  • Add all the veggies except Avocado. Cover and cook on low heat.
  • Once the veggies are cooked, then close the heat and keep covered.
  • Now add the cooked quinoa and Avocado pieces. Mix well.
  • Serve hot. Enjoy!
    Quinoa Porridge

Notes

Quinoa can be cooked in a similar way as you cook rice. To cook the quinoa in a pan, add one part of the quinoa grains to two parts water. After the mixture is brought to a boil, reduce the heat to simmer and cover.
It takes about 15 minutes to cook and you will notice that the seeds have become translucent. Allow to rest for 5 minutes before enjoying.
Store quinoa in an airtight container. Cooked quinoa seeds are fluffy with a delicate nutty flavour.
Moringa_Pigeon_Peas_Curry-min
Print Recipe
No ratings yet

Moringa Leaves and Toor Daal (Pigeon Peas) Curry

Moringa leaves with toor daal is a delicious meal option that is packed in minerals, vitamins and proteins. It is super easy and quick preparation for lunch or dinner. Ideal for Diabetics, PCOS, pregnancy, children and for anybody who enjoys healthy green meals.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Indian
Diet: Diabetic, Low Calorie, Vegan, Vegetarian
Keyword: moringa leaves
Servings: 4 people
Author: Nidhi Bansal
Cost: $5

Equipment

  • Pressure Cooker

Ingredients

  • cups Yellow pigeon peas (toor daal) can also be replaced with yellow mung beans or red lentils
  • 1 bunch Fresh Moringa (Drumstick) leaves about 200 g
  • tsp Mustard Seeds
  • tsp Turmeric Powder
  • tsp Coriander Seeds Powder
  • 2 tbsp Ghee Or any pure cooking oil
  • 1 pinch Asafetida
  • tsp Roasted Cumin seeds powder optional
  • 1 Medium Onion
  • 1 Medium Tomato
  • 2 Garlic Cloves
  • tsp Salt To taste
  • 2 tsp Black Pepper

Instructions

Preparing the Beans and Leaves

  • Wash and soak the beans for about 30 mins.
  • Wash the moringa leaves. Separate leaves from the sturdy stems and discard the stems.
  • Coarsely chop the leaves if young kids are eating. Otherwise you can add them just like that as they are fairly small. Keep aside.
  • Fine chop onion and garlic. Keep aside.

Preparing the curry

  • Heat the pressure cooker and add ghee. When ghee is hot, add in asafetida and mustard seeds.
  • Let the seeds crackle. Now add in chopped onion and garlic. Mix well and let it turn golden brown.
  • Add in turmeric powder, salt, and coriander seeds powder. Stir for another few seconds.
  • Now add chopped tomato, mix well for about a minute. This will make tomatoes mushy and soft.
  • Now add moringa leaves, beans, and 3 cups water.
  • Close the pressure cooker and bring heat to medium.
  • Let the mix cook for 5-7 minutes or till you get 2 whistles. Close the heat.
  • Sprinkle cumin seeds powder and black pepper.
  • Serve hot with rice or chapati. Enjoy!

Notes

This recipe can also be made in a slow cooker or rice cooker as we have used yellow beans in here. Simply soak the yellow beans for about 3-4 hours to reduce the cooking time.
Basil Tofu Scramble-min
Print Recipe
5 from 1 vote

Thai Style Basil Tofu Scramble

This is a delicious Thai style vegan recipe of Basil Tofu Scramble! It is a super easy recipe that requires minimum level preparation. With tofu as the main ingredient, this recipe is very filling and fits to the course of a sumptuous meal.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Thai
Diet: Diabetic, Gluten Free, Hindu, Vegan, Vegetarian
Keyword: basil, tofu, vegan thai recipes
Servings: 4 people
Author: Dr. Pawan Bansal (Ayurveda Acharya)
Cost: $5

Equipment

  • Pan or Pot

Ingredients

  • 600 g Tofu Extra Firm
  • ½ Cup Sweet Basil Leaves About 15 g
  • 5 Cloves Garlic
  • 2 tbsp Sesame Seeds Roasted, Black or White
  • 1 inch Ginger
  • 1 Red Chili Dried or Fresh (optional ingredient)
  • 2 tbsp Rice Vinegar Can be replaced with fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp Soy Sauce
  • 1 tsp Molasses Or Brown Sugar (optional ingredient)
  • 1 Medium Onion
  • 3 tbsp Virgin Oil Peanut oil, sunflower oil, or coconut oil
  • 1 tsp Turmeric Powder

Instructions

Preparing Tofu

  • Drain the water from tofu. Press further using a strainer to remove any extra water on it.
  • Cut the tofu into small pieces or Scramble it.
  • Put the tofu in a bowl.
  • Add turmeric powder to it. Mix well and keep aside for 5 mins.

Preparing the Sauce

  • Pound the ginger and garlic together in a mortal and pestle. Alternatively, finely grate the ginger and finely chop the garlic.
  • Finely chop the onions.
  • Roast the sesame seeds.
  • Heat the wok and add 2 tablespoons of oil.
  • Add the turmeric tofu mix and stir-fry till the tofu is dry and firmer.
  • Keep the heat at high. This should take around 7 – 10 mins.
  • Take the tofu off the heat. Keep aside in a bowl.
  • Heat the wok again on high and add remaining oil.
  • Add ginger garlic paste and roast till golden brown.
  • Add the onions and basil leaves. Roast till onions turn golden brown.
  • Add soy sauce, vinegar, and sesame seeds.
  • Mix well for few seconds while keeping the heat on.
  • Add tofu. Mix well. Take off the heat.
  • Serve with steamed rice.

Notes

To make this recipe friendly for cancer patients, do not add molasses or sugar to the recipe.

Some more Health Tips for Diabetes Diet Plan

  • It’s not about the diet alone. Your lifestyle also plays a huge role.
  • Get some exercise. Keep active.
  • Eat regularly. Set specific eating times if you need to. Don’t eat too much in one sitting. Rather, split your calories into many small meals.
  • Rest adequately and avoid stress.
  • Don’t be too hard on yourself. It’s not a crime to have a bite of your kid’s birthday cake. It’s just once a year.
  • Quit smoking and shun alcohol.

Before You Go!

Now that you have learnt the principles of Diabetes diet, it is time for action. This is because all the knowledge that you gained here will be futile if you do not apply it.

Start slow, do not try to make all the changes in 1 day. But, do keep up with a positive change in your diet and lifestyle such that you move towards your health goal of reversing Diabetes. It is possible and you can do it! Start now.

Do write to us for any query, feedback and suggestions in the comments. We will get back the soonest.

References

Related Helpful Posts That You May Like

1:1 Video/Audio Consultation with Ayurvedic Doctor

Get Detailed Diagnosis and Personalised Health Advise from Medhya's Health Experts

About the Author

Nidhi Bansal

Nidhi is the Founder of Medhya Herbals, a wellness venture that offers natural health solutions for Women. She has set on a mission to solve & simplify women's health care problems with all natural and holistic Ayurveda. Medhya Herbals offers Ayurvedic treatment through 1:1 Doctor consultations, Personalised Diet, Lifestyle and Exercise plans and online learning programmes. Start healing today!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Recipe Rating




{"email":"Email address invalid","url":"Website address invalid","required":"Required field missing"}