Food for Diabetes:

Foods which should always be included in the Diabetes diet are as follows:    

  1. High Fiber Food

Aim for 50 grams of fiber a day, but start slowly. Load up on beans, vegetables and fruits.

2. Eat Whole Grains

Whole grains could effectively regulate the glycemic response, increase insulin sensitivity, improve pancreatic β-cell functions and increase insulin secretion.
Whole and multi grain breads, whole wheat pasta, brown rice, low-fat and multigrain crackers, low sugar, whole grain cereals, oatmeal, bran, buckwheat: low-fat, whole grain baked goods with added bran or oat bran, pasta, high fiber cereal, corn, oatmeal, millet, barley and rye.

According to Ayurveda…. barley (yava) is the best grain for managing diabetes.. Ayurveda prescribes old rice (purana shali), as one of the cereals beneficial to diabetic patients.

3. Choose Fruits And Vegetables

Regular consumption of various fruits and vegetables in diabetic patients can lead to an improved glycemic control, reduced HbA1c and triglyceride levels, enhance antioxidant defense system, attenuated oxidative stress and inflammatory markers, decreased risk of diabetic complications(retinopathy and the burden of carotid atherosclerosis).

The fruits with a low glycemic index include

  • apples
  • peaches
  • pears
  • grapefruit
  • grapes
  • oranges
  • melon
  • dried apricots
  • raisins
  • kiwi
  • berries, cranberry, blackberries, black raspberries, blueberries, red raspberries, strawberries, cherries, barberries
  • plums
  • litchi fruit
  • pomegranates
  • bananas
  • avocadoes
  • guava
  • papaya
  • jackfruit
  • watermelon
  • dates
  • figs
  • jamun
  • Indian gooseberry or amla
  • wood apple
  • lotus.

Avoid fruit juices. Instead opt for whole fruits, as they contain more fiber and are more filling.


Eat green leafy vegetables; eat in abundance fresh vegetables like

  • tomato
  • cucumber
  • carrot
  • broccoli
  • cabbage
  • cauliflower
  • spinach
  • kale
  • collard
  • squash
  • green beans
  • sweet potatoes
  • pumpkin
    Avoid white potatoes.

Ayurveda recommends all types of bitter vegetables as some of the best vegetables for diabetics.

Bitter vegetables include bitter gourd, fenugreek, pointed gourd, garlic, cluster fig tree or Indian fig.

You can also have bitter greens like arugula, kale, dandelions and beet greens.

4. Add Spices

The anti-diabetic effects of spices include short-term hypoglycemia and long-term improved glucose tolerance activities. A number of condiments and spices have been reported to possess potential anti-diabetic agents.

These include:

  • pepper
  • asafoetida
  • aloe
  • ocimum
  • eugenol
  • fenugreek seeds
  • garlic
  • onion
  • turmeric
  • cumin seeds
  • ginger
  • curry leaves
  • cinnamon
  • mustard
  • coriander
  1. Select Milk + Dairy

Milk and yogurt with less than 1% fat and cheese should be 10-20% milk fat. They are rich in protein and calcium, and studies shows they help people to lose weight. Diets that include plenty of dairy may fight insulin resistance, a core problem behind diabetes. In addition to calcium, many fortified dairy products are a good source of vitamin D.

  1. Fish

Fish is rich in omega-3’s (polyunsaturated fat) which helps to protect against heart disease in people with diabetes.

7. Pulses + Legumes

Legumes have a low glycemic index, are high in fiber and phytochemicals. This makes them a functional food for diabetic patients.

The hypoglycemic effect of beans (via inhibition of α-amylase and β-glucosidase activity) has been reported as being similar to those of anti-diabetic drugs. Including beans like pinto, dark red kidney and black beans in the diet effectively helps weight management, attenuates postprandial glycemic response and improves dyslipidemia.

Have beans (black, pinto, kidney, garbanzo, white beans andsoybeans), peas, split peas, lentils and non-fat soy products for diabetic management.

According to Ayurveda, split green gram beans, Bengal gram, horse gram and pigeon peas can also be taken for diabetes management.

8. Go Nuts                       

Almonds, pistachios, walnuts and hazelnuts are commonly used nuts. Most current evidence reveals that consumption of nuts in type 2 diabetic patients other than improving the overall diet quality also has beneficial effects on postprandial glycemic response following high-carbohydrate meals. They also improve insulin resistance. Habitual intake of nuts could help to effectively manage weight especially in diabetic patients.

9. Unsalted Seeds

Flaxseeds, pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds are filled with good fats like omega 3 fatty acids, protein, and fiber that work together to keep blood sugar low and stave off heart disease.

According to Ayurveda, lotus or water lily seeds can also be taken. Lotus seeds may be eaten cooked or raw. They are used extensively in Ayurvedic medicine.

10. Oils + Fats

According to Ayurveda, mustard oil is the best.

  • Olive
  • canola
  • soybean
  • sesame
  • sunflower oils (3 tsp or less per day),
  • non-hydrogenated soft margarines
  • low calorie dressings and mayonnaise
  • light peanut butter
  • nuts (watch salt and calories)
  • fat removed gravy can be taken.

   11. Snack Foods

Popcorn without salt, butter, or hydrogenated oils is a good choice. Choose low fat, low sugar snack foods.

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