Diabetes Foods, Plans And Diet Charts – Detailed Guide!

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diabetes foods and diet plans

Adhering to a diabetes diet plan and consuming certain foods may help you manage your diabetes rather efficiently. If you are a diabetic, it is very crucial to know what to eat and what not; to keep your blood glucose levels within normal limits.

Food plays a very important role in your diabetes management and you should be very careful about what you eat if you are living with diabetes. A healthy, sugar-balancing diet and certain sugar normalizing foods can really make your life as normal as anyone who does not have diabetes. Read on to know which diabetes diet plan can help normalize your blood sugar levels.

Table of Contents

Why Is It important to Follow A Diabetes Diet?

why to follow a diet during diabetes

A diabetic diet is indeed beneficial for diabetes management and controlling blood sugar levels. It is a simple-to-follow and yet healthy eating plan which provides all the required nutrition for overall wellbeing of a diabetes patient. A diabetes diet is low in calories and simultaneously provides required fat, carbohydrates and protein. It mainly focuses on consumption of fruits, whole grains and vegetables that naturally make up for all the not allowed foods. In fact, a diabetes diet can be followed by everyone, even if they are a diabetic or not.[1]

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People who are suffering from diabetes or are prediabetic may be recommended as a diabetes diet by their dietitian or doctor. Opting for a diabetes diet may help in controlling the blood sugar levels, managing weight and avoiding risk factors for developing any diabetic complications. It is therefore recommended to ask your doctor or dietician to give you a suitable diabetes diet plan for managing your diabetes. We advise you not to make any drastic changes in your diet without consulting your doctor or diabetes educator.

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Types of Diabetes Diet

There are myriad of diabetes diets out there, but only your doctor can help you figure out the best diabetes diet which will be suitable for you.[2] However, below-mentioned diabetes diets can be adhered to, for keeping blood sugar levels under control.

1. Low-Carb Diabetes Diet:

low carb diabetes diet

A low-carb diabetes diet restricts the carbohydrate intake to help normalize the blood sugar. This generally involves high protein and good fat-rich diet.
A low-carb diabetes diet has been long recommended for diabetes management. A very popular and effective diabetes diet plan is one by Dr. Richard K. Bernstein. Dr Bernstein Diabetes diet includes low carb, high protein and moderate fats.

Here are the allowed foods on a low-carb diet:

  • Meat: Pork, lamb, beef, poultry etc.
  • Seafood and Fishes: Salmon, mackerel and sardines.
  • Vegetables: Cabbage, broccoli, onions, Brussels sprouts, kale and various others.
  • Dairy Products: Full-fat dairy options like Greek yogurt and sour cream.
  • Berries: Blueberries and cranberries.

A low-carb diet cannot treat diabetes but people who adhere to this diet may require less insulin and other medications.

2. Ketogenic Diabetes Diet Plan:

ketogenic diet for diabetes

Ketogenic diet is another effective low-carb diabetes diet wherein the body produces ketones by burning off the fat stores instead of the carbohydrates. Breakdown of the fats, makes your body enter the state of ketosis. Eat the following, if you are on a Ketogenic diet:

  • Fats: Saturated fats, high-fat dressings, coconut oil, olive oil etc.
  • Seeds and Nuts: Walnuts, sunflower seeds, macadamias etc.
  • Vegetables: Broccoli, spinach, cauliflower, kale etc.
  • Sweeteners: erythritol and stevia.
  • Dairy: High fat cream, butter, hard cheeses etc.

Both Ketogenic diet and low-carb diet are almost similar but what varies, is the protein and fat requirements.

3. Vegetarian Diabetes Diet:

vegetarian diabetes diet

A vegetarian diet primarily focuses only on vegetables, particularly the green leafy vegetables. It can help reduce the insulin resistance and sugar spikes in the bloodstream.

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What to eat on a Vegetarian diet:

  • Protein Sources: Consume boiled lentils.
  • Nuts: Almonds, macadamias and walnuts.
  • Dairy: Yogurt, low-fat creams.
  • Vegetables: You may eat all the leafy greens to control blood-sugar level.

4. Vegan Diabetes Diet:

vegan diabetes diet

A vegan diet focuses only on plant-based foods without having any animal or dairy goods. It cuts out the animal fat for better insulin sensitivity.

What to consume on a Vegan diet:

  • Vegetables: Consume non-starchy vegetables like tomatoes, spinach and broccoli.
  • Oils: You may use olive oil, avocado oil or canola oil.
  • High-fibre grains: Brown rice and bulgur etc.

Vegan needs to get their protein from the plant sources only.

5. Carbohydrate Counting:

carbohydrate counting for diabetes diet

Generally, carbohydrate counting is considered as the conventional treatment plan for diabetics. It works well for people with both type-1 and type-2 diabetes.

Foods containing carbohydrates:

Grains: Pasta, bread, crackers and noodles.
Dairy products: Greek yogurt and low-fat milk.
Vegetables: Starchy vegetables such as potato, peas and corn.
Legumes: Dried beans and lentils.

We advise you to follow a diabetes diet, only after consulting your diabetes educator or doctor.

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Recommended Foods for People with Diabetes

recommended foods for diabetes

Certain foods are naturally great for people with diabetes. They help in naturally controlling diabetes by normalizing the blood sugar levels and preventing abrupt blood sugar spikes. Let’s get to know a little more about these foods.

1. Oats:

A bowl of oatmeal in lukewarm milk is the best way to start your day. It is relatively slow to digest and also prevents instant sugar spikes in your bloodstream.

2. Apple:

Consuming an apple each day can reduce your cholesterol levels by almost 40 percent. Apples also mitigate the risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

3. Fish:

People with diabetes are most benefited by consuming fatty fishes, which are again a rich omega-3 fatty acid source. Fish consumption also reduces inflammation thereby preventing diabetes complications.

4. Cranberries:

Cranberries are extremely rich in certain beneficial elements such as phytonutrients. Anthocyanins are one of them and are considered best nutrient for diabetics.

5. Flaxseeds:

Flaxseeds are healthy and can help you control diabetes. Flaxseeds may also significantly improve your insulin sensitivity.

6. Quinoa:

Quinoa contains all the essential nine amino acids and helps manage blood sugar levels. It is also a gluten-free option for diabetics with a high amount of proteins, vitamins, minerals, and fibers.

7. Greek Yogurt:

Yogurt naturally improves your blood-sugar owing to its excellent probiotic properties.

8. Nuts:

Nuts have ample digestible carbs and various essential nutrients to manage your diabetes. So, you can snack on them, but in moderation.

9. Leafy Greens:

Leafy greens are low in calories, yet nutritious food to consume; for every diabetic out there.

We hope you would try to include all these foods in your diet, along with a suitable diabetes diet. Let’s learn what can you eat if you are a diabetic.

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Diabetes Diet Chart for Diabetics

diabetes diet chart

Let’s discuss a sample diabetes diet chart, for vegans, vegetarians and non-vegetarians who live with diabetes. Take a look!

Meals/ Diet TypeVegetarianVeganNon-Vegetarian
Early MorningGreen tea without sugar or artificial sweeteners. You may have two digestive biscuits.1 cup unsweetened almond milk.

Or

Juice of one lemon in lukewarm water.

Green tea without sugar or artificial sweeteners. You may have two digestive biscuits.
BreakfastOne large bowl oatmeal with a few nuts.

Or

A vegetable multi-grain bread sandwich.

Two pieces whole wheat bread and one tablespoon peanut butter

Or

A smoothie with one scoop vegan protein powder.

Two boiled egg whites and half an avocado.

Or

One vegetable omelet with half an avocado

Pre-LunchHave any one medium-sized fruit (guava, apple, banana or orange)Have any one medium-sized fruit (guava, apple, banana or orange)Have any fruit including guava, apple, banana or orange.
LunchTwo medium sized whole grain breads with vegetable curry. You may use cauliflower, carrot, brinjal, capsicum, okra etc. for vegetable curry. Also, have one cup Greek yogurt.Have a salad with three cups spinach, one-fourth cup chickpeas, one-fourth cup almonds and one-fourth avocado.

Or

You may have two whole-wheat breads and vegetable curry.

Two medium sized whole grain breads with vegetable curry. You can also have a fillet of baked fish or grilled chicken along.
Evening SnacksGreen tea without sugar or artificial sweeteners.
Or
Handful of roasted chickpeas
Green tea without sugar or artificial sweeteners.
Or
Handful of roasted chickpeas
Green tea without sugar or artificial sweeteners.
Or
Handful of roasted chickpeas
DinnerTwo medium-sized whole grain breads with any vegetable curry (any kind of gourd, capsicum brinjal etc.). You may also have half a cup yogurt along.Have one veggie burger with a whole-wheat bun. Use one-fourth avocado, three-fourth cup baked squash and half a cup broccoli as filling.Chicken stew, two medium sized whole grain breads and half bowl yogurt.
Before BedOne cup warm milk with one teaspoon raw turmeric powder.One cup soy milk (slightly heated)One cup warm milk with one teaspoon raw turmeric powder.

With this sample diabetes diet plan, we hope you will be easily able to manage your diabetes and normalize your blood sugar levels. While we advise you not to make any drastic changes to your diet before consulting your doctor. He or she is the best person, to suggest you any such dietary changes.

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Conclusion

Adhering to a well-balanced diabetes diet can help you keep your blood sugar level normal and may prevent most of the associated health complications. You may also lose excess weight by following any above-mentioned diabetes diet. Besides diabetes management, a perfect diabetes diet also provides a myriad of health benefits. It might also help prevent various kinds of cancers and cardiovascular diseases.[3]

Did you enjoy reading our article? Did you follow any of our recommendations? Leave your feedback and specify the diabetes diet you follow, in the comment section below. We will keep you posted with the latest information, right here. Keep checking out this space for more on diabetes diet, foods and plans.

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