Maintaining a healthy diet is important for everyone, but it is even more critical for people with diabetes. In India, where the prevalence of diabetes is on the rise, having a diabetic food chart that includes healthy foods is essential to managing the condition. By incorporating the right foods into your diet, you can help control blood sugar levels, manage weight, and reduce the risk of complications associated with diabetes. So, let’s take a closer look at some of the healthy foods that should be a part of any diabetic food chart in India.
But before we explore the food chart for diabetics, let us go through the basics of what diabetes is, what its common symptoms are, and the importance of having a healthy diet plan for diabetics.
Diabetes: An Overview
Diabetes is a long-lasting illness caused by inadequate insulin production or ineffective use of insulin in the body. Insulin is a hormone that controls blood glucose levels.
The most common type of diabetes is type 2, which typically affects adults and is characterised by insulin resistance. The prevalence of type 2 diabetes has increased significantly worldwide in the last 30 years. Type 1 diabetes is a chronic condition in which the pancreas does not produce enough insulin.
The symptoms of diabetes can appear suddenly, but in type 2 diabetes, they can be mild and go unnoticed for several years.
Some common symptoms of diabetes include:
- Frequent urination
- Feeling excessively thirsty
- Blurry vision
- Unintentional weight loss
Importance of creating a healthy eating plan if you have diabetes
If you have diabetes, you can experience some other issues with your overall health.
- Diabetes can cause long-term damage to various parts of the body, including the eyes, heart, nerves, and kidneys.
- It can also lead to permanent vision loss due to damage to the blood vessels in the eyes.
- It can cause foot problems due to poor blood flow and nerve damage, which can result in foot ulcers and even amputation.
- You can be at a high risk of developing health complications such as stroke, heart attack, and kidney failure.
Therefore, creating a healthy eating plan is important if you suffer from diabetes because it helps you control your blood sugar, manage your weight, and reduce the risk of heart disease by controlling factors such as high blood pressure and high blood cholesterol.
In addition, when you consume excess calories and carbohydrates, your blood sugar levels rise, which can lead to serious health problems (as discussed above). A healthy eating plan can also help you lose weight, which in turn can make it easier to control blood sugar and provide other health benefits.
Given that you now know the importance of a diet plan for diabetics, it is quite important that we discuss the foods that can be included in your everyday diet to help keep diabetes at bay. For these reasons, a diabetic diet chart comes in handy.
Sugar Patient Food List
Using a food chart for diabetic patients is an easy way to see your diet. As you can use the plate method and fill your plate with:
- 1/4 Carbohydrate/starchy foods
- 1/4 Protein
- 1/2 Non-Starchy Vegetables
- A teaspoon for your fat serving
Best Diet Chart for Diabetes Patients in 2022
|Non-Starchy Vegetables||Starches & Grains||Fruit||Meat/Alternatives||Fats|
|Serving 1/2 Plate||Serving (Carbohydrate) 1/4 Plate||Protein 1/4 Plate||1 Plate Serving|
|Beets||Beans (black, kidney, pinto)||Apple||Albacore tuna||Avocado|
|Broccoli||Butternut squash||Banana||Beef (sirloin)||Canola oil|
|Brussel sprouts||Bread (whole wheat)||Berries||Chicken breast||Cashews|
|Cabbage||Brown/wild rice||Cantaloupe||Egg||Flaxseed (ground)|
|Celery||Parsnips||Mango||Pork loin||Olive oil|
|Greens (all)||Popcorn||Peach||Shrimp||Salad dressing|
5 Best Foods for Sugar Patients
- Leafy Greens: Leafy green vegetables are friendly food for diabetic patients that contain low calories and digestible carbs. It also has antioxidants lutein and zeaxanthin which save the eyes from disease. Leafy greens like spinach, kale, etc provide vitamin C.
- Fatty Fish: Fatty fish like salmon, sardines, and mackerel are referred to as one of the healthiest foods. It provides omega-3 fats which decrease the risk of heart disease, inflammation, and stroke.
- Greek Yogurt: Greek yogurt is a friendly diabetic dairy choice as it reduces weight management and increases body composition in people with type 2 diabetes. It also provides probiotics that control blood sugar and lower the risk of cardiovascular diseases.
- Eggs: Egg is a highly healthful food that increases the body’s sensitivity to insulin, reduces heart disease risk, and eye disease risk (contains antioxidants lutein and zeaxanthin). It contains a high-protein diet to manage cholesterol and blood sugar levels in the body.
- Chia Seeds: Chia seeds are high in fiber and lower in digestible carbs. In these seeds, the viscous fiber controls blood sugar by slowing down the rate of absorption of glucose. Chia seeds decrease hunger, blood pressure, and inflammation and thus, are really helpful in diabetes.
1200 Calorie Diabetic Diet Chart
A 1200 calorie diabetic diet means to store not more than 1200 calories of food daily. This diet formula will help manage your blood sugar as well as lose weight.
Mentioned below is a 1200 calorie diabetic diet chart. You can plan accordingly your meals to control diabetes.
- 6:30 AM – 2 tsp fenugreek (methi) seeds drop in 1 glass of water
- 8:30 AM – Eat 1 bread with 1 glass of buttermilk, and 1 apple
- 1:30 PM – 2 multigrain chapati, 1 cup mixed vegetable salad, 1 bowl dal, and 1 bowl vegetable
- 4:30 PM – without sugar take 1 cup green tea
- 7:30 PM – 1 bowl with salad
- 8:30 PM – 1 chapati with 1 bowl of vegetable
- 10:00 PM – without sugar take ½ cup milk
Do’s And Don’ts Diet Plan for Sugar Patient
- Trans-fats: Unhealthy fats, such as trans-fats, may worsen your diabetes. These fats are found in a variety of fried and processed foods, such as chips, fries, and baked goods.
- Processed Sugars: Processed sugars are refined carbohydrates that are high in glycaemic index and are digested quickly. As a result, they lead to spikes in insulin and blood sugar levels following meals.
- Sugary Drinks: Sugary beverages, such as sweet tea, soda, and energy drinks, aren’t just missing vital nutrients; they also have an excessive quantity of sugar in each serving that might cause your blood sugar levels to spike.
- White Flour: Refined grains that include white flour are full of carbs but low in fibre, which may cause your blood sugar levels to go up faster than whole grains.
- Fruits & Vegetables: Green leafy veggies are high in minerals, vitamins, and nutrients. They also have little effect on blood glucose levels. These may include spinach, kale, cabbage, and broccoli. Fruits, especially citrus fruits and berries, are packed with nutrients and do not contain carbohydrates. Fruits such as oranges, strawberries, lemons, and grapefruits are good for your diabetes.
- Whole Grains: Whole grains have more fibre and minerals than processed white grains. If you have diabetes, you should consume a high-fibre diet because fibre slows the process of digestion. Slower nutrition absorption aids in the stabilisation of blood sugar levels.
- Small, frequent meals: Frequent small meals can help diabetics manage their blood sugar levels by preventing large spikes or drops in glucose.
3 Myths of Diabetic foods
1. Avoid Carbs
People usually stress out on if carbs are bad or good for diabetic patients. Carbs do impact the diabetic patients but all the carbs are not dangerous and a sugar patients must know which carbs suits the body with the right amount of quantity.
2. Avoid Fruits
Avoiding fruits is not right in diabetic patients diet as fruits contain antioxidants, fibre, minerals, and vitamins. But Fruit juices are strictly restricted to diabetic patients as they have high amount of sugar which increases the sugar level in diabetic patients.
3. Do dry fruits increase blood sugar?
Dry fruits are rich in vitamin, mineral, antioxidants and fructose. These are made by drying the fruits under sunlight because of this they have dense amount of nutrients. Doctors recommend that a diabetic patient can eat atleast 2-3 dry fruits with low glycemic index.
Which foods should be avoided with diabetes?
Diabetes raises your risk of heart disease and stroke by fasting the development of clogged and hardened arteries. Following foods containing work against your goal of a heart-healthy diet.
- Saturated Fats: Don’t eat high-fat dairy products and animal proteins such as butter, beef, hot dogs, sausage, and bacon. Also, avoid coconut and palm kernel oils.
- Trans Fats: Avoid trans fats present in processed snacks, baked goods, shortening, and stick margarine.
- Cholesterol: Cholesterol sources contain high-fat dairy products and high-fat animal proteins including egg yolks, liver, and other organ meats. Cholesterol is no more than 200 milligrams (mg) in a day.
- Sodium: Sodium is less than 2,300 mg in a day. If you have high blood pressure your doctor may recommend your aim for even less.
It increases several risks for serious diseases when diabetes is not well managed. Therefore, a well-planned diabetic food chart or sugar patient diet chart is essential for managing diabetes in India. A diabetic food chart provides a wide range of healthy and nutrient-dense food options that can help regulate blood sugar levels, reduce the risk of diabetes-related complications, and promote overall health and wellbeing. By following a sugar patient diet chart, individuals with diabetes can enjoy a variety of delicious and satisfying meals while still managing their condition effectively. All these foods control blood sugar and a balanced diet is the most important factor in healthy blood sugar management. You need to follow your food chart diabetes plan to reach your health goals. Ask your doctor and dietitian to make a diet plan that fits your health.
What foods should I avoid with diabetes?
People with diabetes should limit their consumption of foods that are high in trans-fat, saturated fat, and added sugar to help manage their blood glucose levels and prevent complications. These foods include:
• Full-fat dairy
• High-fat meats
• Processed foods
• Sugar-sweetened beverages.
Instead, choose more nutrient-dense options that are rich in minerals and vitamins and foods that contain less fat, sugar, and cholesterol.
What foods can diabetics eat freely?
It is important to eat nutrient-dense foods that include plenty of:
• Whole grains
• Heart-healthy fats
• Protein-rich foods
All these foods can provide fibre, vitamins, and minerals while helping to manage blood glucose levels and cholesterol. Additionally, avoid overly restrictive diets and choose a sustainable eating pattern that fits your lifestyle. Be sure to include plenty of water, black coffee, unsweetened tea, and vegetable juice instead of sugary beverages.
What is the best diet for a diabetic person?
There is no universal diet plan for diabetic people; however, a balanced diet rich in nutrient-rich foods, heart-healthy fats, and high in fibre is usually recommended. It is important to avoid or limit foods high in added sugars, saturated fat, and trans fats. Eating a variety of vegetables, fruits, whole grains, lean protein sources, legumes, and nuts is also beneficial.
It is recommended to work with a healthcare professional or registered dietitian to develop an individualised diet plan that meets personal needs and preferences.
Can I drink alcohol if I have diabetes?
Moderate alcohol consumption is generally safe for people with diabetes and does not have a significant impact on long-term blood glucose control. However, individuals taking insulin or insulin secretagogue therapies may be at a higher risk of experiencing low blood sugar levels when consuming alcohol.
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) advises that women limit their alcohol consumption to one drink per day, while men should limit themselves to two drinks per day, regardless of whether they have diabetes or not.
What can a diabetic individual have for snacks?
Diabetics have a range of snack options available, such as a hard-boiled egg, a handful of nuts, air-popped popcorn, sprout salad, and a slice of whole wheat toast with a thin layer of unsweetened peanut butter spread.
Can I eat potatoes if I have diabetes?
Potatoes can be consumed in moderation by people with diabetes, as they have a high glycaemic index, which means they can cause a spike in blood sugar levels. However, it's important to watch portion sizes and prepare them in a healthy way, such as baking or boiling instead of frying.