Diet and health fitness

Top Foods for Diabetes Patients in India: Diabetic Diet Plan

Foods for Diabetes Patients in India Posted On


Choosing the best foods for diabetes patients in India is always a concern for everyone. 

As we know, diabetes mellitus (especially type 2) is a lifestyle disease because it mainly occurs due to poor lifestyle habits such as eating excess carbohydrates or high-calorie foods and physical inactivity. 

Eating excess carbohydrates causes insulin resistance, which is the main reason for developing type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM).

You can reverse your diabetes (or insulin resistance) by simply changing your diet and exercising. 

This non-pharmacological management of diabetes mellitus (such as diet modification and exercise) is the gold standard treatment for diabetes.

Diabetes mellitus is not managed solely with the use of medicines or insulin. You must change your diet and start exercising whether you have newly detected diabetes or existing chronic diabetes. 

You can take antidiabetic medicines after consulting a doctor. Along with this, you should do diet modification and physical activity. 

In this post, we will discuss what else superfoods for diabetes patients in India and what food should be avoided in diabetic conditions. 

Without further delay, let’s get started. 


What is the role of carbohydrates in diabetes? How can you determine good carbs and bad carbs for diabetes people? 

Carbohydrates are essential macronutrients that are strongly linked with diabetes. 

Whatever we eat in our food is a nutrient. Nutrients can be macronutrients or micronutrients. 

Macronutrients such as carbohydrates, proteins and fats are generally used in large amounts. While micronutrients are needed by the body in small quantities, such as vitamins, minerals, enzymes etc. 

Let’s discuss carbohydrates in detail – 

Carbohydrates are sugar molecules that give energy to our bodies through glucose. It is also known as “Carbs.”

Various types of carbs fluctuate your blood sugar level. It can be good carbs or bad carbs. 

Generally, good carbs do not spike your blood sugar level, but there are many bad carbs that spike your blood sugar level and cause insulin resistance. 

We need to understand good or bad carbs to figure out the best carbohydrates food for diabetic patients. 

Carbohydrates can be classified into four major groups – 

1. Monosaccharide

Monosaccharides are the simplest form of sugar that quickly raises your blood sugar level. It contains only one sugar molecule such as glucose, fructose and galactose. 

Your intestine does not need any enzyme to break this molecule, so it rapidly enters your bloodstream. Eventually, it spikes blood sugar and insulin. So, monosaccharide carbohydrates are not suitable for diabetes. For examples – 

  • Glucose (or dextrose) is naturally high in sweet corn, honey, sweetener, fruits etc. 
  • Fructose is generally present in most of the fruits. It is also called Fruit sugar. 
  • Galactose can be found in dairy products such as milk, cheese etc. 


2. Disaccharide 

Disaccharide contains two sugar molecules (or two monosaccharides). It is quickly broken by intestinal enzymes that spikes your sugar level. It is also not good for diabetes. 

Disaccharides may be in various forms –  

  • Maltose (Glucose + Glucose)

Maltose contains two glucose molecules. It can be seen in some products like BournVita, Horlicks, Beer, and many grains (including wheat, barley, spelt, and corn). 

When you take maltose products, it gets breakdown in your intestine by maltase enzyme that makes it dissociate into two simple sugar and quickly raise your blood sugar. 

Foods For Diabetes Patients In India


  • Sucrose (Glucose + Fructose)

Sucrose contains one glucose and fructose molecule. It can be seen naturally in sugarcane, sugar beets, fruits, etc. 

You can also find sucrose in table sugar, food products such as jams, jellies, soft drinks, and other beverages. 

When you take sucrose-containing products, it gets breakdown in your intestine by a sucrase enzyme that makes it dissociate into two simple sugar (glucose and fructose) and quickly raise your blood sugar. 

Foods For Diabetes Patients In India


  • Lactose (Glucose + Galactose)

Lactose contains one glucose and galactose molecule. All milk products contain lactose, such as butter, cheese, cream, dried milk, milk solids, powdered milk, and whey. 

Lactose compound is broken by lactase enzyme in your intestine. It quickly converts into the most straightforward sugar (glucose and galactose) that spikes blood sugar. 

Foods For Diabetes Patients In India


3. Oligosaccharide 

Oligosaccharide contains 3 to 10 sugar molecules (or monosaccharides). It is a complex molecule that is difficult for the intestine to break easily.

Oligosaccharide acts as a prebiotic because it contains a lot of dietary fibre that improves the gut flora, such as Bifidobacteria and Lactobacilli, which help fight harmful bacteria.

It slowly breakdown into the simple sugar and enter your blood circulation. It does not much spike your blood sugar level. This is a good carb for diabetic patients. 

There are two most important types of dietary oligosaccharides – 

  • Fructo-oligosaccharides (FOS) – This is a short chain of fructose molecules. It is a plant-derived oligosaccharide, such as many vegetables. 
  • Galacto-oligosaccharides (GOS) – This is a short chain of galactose molecules. It is a milk-derived oligosaccharide. Human milk is a classic example of GOS. It has a prebiotic effect on infants because it helps develop the gut flora of infants. 


4. Polysaccharide 

Polysaccharide is a large molecule, and it has a complex structure. It contains many smaller monosaccharides (more than 11 sugar molecules). 

They are a long chain of monosaccharides which is bound by glycosidic linkages. 

Starch is one of the examples of polysaccharides. 

You can get the starch in wholegrain bread, oats, cereals, whole-wheat pasta, basmati or brown rice etc.

Such polysaccharide foods do not spike your blood sugar level because they contain a lot of fibre.

Our bodies do not digest fibre that slowly breakdown polysaccharides into the simple sugar.

This is one of the best carbs for people with diabetes.

Although potato is a polysaccharide, our intestines can easily break the potato food. So, it can increase blood sugar levels.


What are the superfoods for diabetes patients in India?

In India, people do more focus on carbohydrates. These people’s diets have low protein value and improper unsaturated fat. This could be a reason that India is known as the “Diabetes capital of the world“.

They don’t follow the quality of carbs. 

We have seen above what else carbohydrates fluctuate your blood sugar. 

If you have diabetes; you should avoid high glycaemic carbohydrates such as monosaccharides and disaccharides. These cabs foods have a high glycemic index. 

In diabetic conditions, you must consider non-glycemic carbohydrates such as oligosaccharides and polysaccharides. They have a low glycemic index. 

Therefore, you should consider those foods which have low carbs, low glycemic index, less glycemic load and do not spike blood sugar. 

Here, I have made a list of food for diabetic patients in India

1. Protein diet for diabetes 

Protein foods do not spike your blood sugar because these foods contain significantly less or no carbohydrates. 

In a review study, the effects of a protein diet were seen in diabetic patients – 

  • Protein does not raise blood sugar 
  • It increases insulin sensitivity 
  • It reduces hunger
  • It increases physical activity


You may take 1 gm/kg protein in your diet as per your body weight. Suppose you are 65 kg body weight; you should take 65 gm of protein daily. 

Some classical examples of proteins

Non-vegetarian proteins for diabetes Vegetarian proteins for diabetes
·        Chicken ·        Protein powder
·        Eggs ·        Paneer
·        Fish ·        Tofu


Foods for Diabetes Patients in India


2. Unsaturated fat diet for diabetes

Fats can be classified into four types: saturated, trans, monounsaturated, and polyunsaturated.

Although fat does not contain carbohydrates, so there would be no response in blood sugar levels. But we need to choose the best fatty diet for diabetes to avoid other health problems. 

Saturated and trans-fat are not suitable for health. These fats increase the bad cholesterol (LDL) and decrease the good cholesterol (HDL) in your blood. They can lead to various heart diseases and worsen the condition of diabetes. 

On the contrary, monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats are good for your health.  

These unsaturated fats decrease the bad cholesterol (LDL) and increase the good cholesterol in your blood. 

There is evidence that unsaturated (polyunsaturated and/or monounsaturated) fats have beneficial effects on insulin sensitivity and may lower type 2 diabetes risk. It also decreases the risk of heart disease and stroke.

Overall, mono and polyunsaturated are the best fat for diabetes patients


Sources of unsaturated fat foods

Monounsaturated fatty acid (MUFA) foods Polyunsaturated fatty acid (PUFA) foods
·        Avocado ·        Walnuts
·        Nuts like almonds, cashews, and peanuts ·        Fish
·        Seeds like pumpkin and sesame ·        Chia seeds
·        Olive oil ·        Tofu
·        Eggs
·        Safflower oil ·        Flax seeds
Canola oil, peanut butter, and sunflower oil are examples of both mono and polyunsaturated fats



Foods for Diabetes Patients in India

3. Best vegetables for diabetes

Vegetables typically contain negligible amounts of saturated fat, trans fat, and cholesterol. 

If you see the nutritional value of raw vegetables, it contains – 

  • 70 % to 80% water content 
  • 10% carbohydrates 
  • 1 to 4% protein 
  • 1% total fat


Non-starchy vegetables are the best vegetables for a diabetic person, such as –

  • Green leafy vegetables like broccoli, spinach, cauliflower, cucumber, green beans, green cabbage and leaf lettuce 
  • Carrot
  • Mushrooms
  • Onion, 
  • Tomato,
  • Radish 


These vegetables have significantly less carbohydrate and fat content. They are also rich in fibre, which slowly absorbs in your blood and doesn’t let your blood sugar rise. 

Foods for Diabetes Patients in India


4. Best fruits for sugar patients

Every fruit has a specific glycemic index number. The glycemic index (GI) represents the rating system of carbohydrates (1 to 100).

High glycemic index foods mean more carbohydrates that spike your blood sugar. In contrast, low glycemic index foods mean low carbohydrates that do not raise blood sugar.

If you have diabetes, you should focus more on low-GI fruits.

You can get low glycemic index fruits in apples, guava, pears, oranges, peaches, plums, kiwis, strawberries, muskmelon and apricots.

These fruits have a 34 to 46 GI number which is suitable for a diabetic patient.

Papaya fruit can also be considered in diabetes, which has a moderate GI value (60).

In diabetes, there is an always dilemma about bananas. Should we take it or not?

It depends on ripeness. You may eat slightly ripe bananas with a 42 GI value, but you should avoid high ripe bananas in diabetes.

Foods for Diabetes Patients in India


5. Seeds and dry fruits for diabetic patients

Despite having fructose monosaccharide in dry fruits, they do not spike blood sugar because dry fruits have low glycemic index.

Dry fruits and seeds are very rich in omega 3 fatty acids and polyunsaturated fats. They also contain protein, potassium, iron, folate, calcium, and many other micronutrients.

Undoubtedly, these dry fruits give various health benefits whether you are a diabetic or not.

If you see the nutritional value of dry fruits and seeds, they contain –

  • 50% unsaturated fat or oil
  • 25 % protein
  • 5-10% fibre
  • 10% carbohydrates


These dry fruits have low carbohydrates that don’t increase your blood sugar.

Thus, you must add dry fruits in your diabetic diet such as dried plums, figs, dates, raisins, almonds, apricots, walnuts, cashews and peanuts.

There are certain examples of popular seeds for diabetes –

  • Sunflower Seeds
  • Flax Seeds
  • Chia Seeds
  • Pumpkin Seeds
  • Jackfruit Seeds
  • Sesame Seeds
  • Kalonji
  • Fenugreek Seeds

Foods for Diabetes Patients in India


6. Best rice for diabetics

There is another dilemma about brown or white rice in diabetes. 

Although the nutritional value is almost equal in both quality of rice grains such as brown and white rice. However, brown is slightly better than white rice. 

In a diabetic condition, you don’t need to consider only brown rice. It would be best to examine rice with a low glycemic index

Let’s see the glycemic index of various rice – 

  • Normal white rice – 64 GI 
  • Brown rice – 55 GI 
  • White basmati rice – 50 to 58 GI 


Brown rice is a good option for diabetes. You may also think about white basmati rice in diabetes. 

According to a study, basmati rice has a low GI value and does not spike blood sugar much. 

You may do a self-analysis of rice while cooking. If the rice gets sticky too much after cooking, it has a high glycemic index. It would be best if you avoid this in diabetes.

On the contrary, if rice gets spread or non-sticky after cooking, this rice would have a low glycemic index. Basmati rice is typically non-sticky and might be a safe option for diabetes. 

Foods for Diabetes Patients in India


7. Whole grains for diabetes 

Grains are a significant part of the Indian diet. 

According to a study, higher consumption of whole grains food may significantly reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes. It decreases blood sugar levels and increases the sensitivity of insulin. 

Suppose a diabetic person takes 60 to 90 g/day whole grains in two to three daily servings. In that case, there will be around a 21 to 32% probability of reducing the incidence of diabetes. 

Here, I have analysed some wholegrain foods for people with diabetes. You may choose anyone as per your choice – 

Wholegrains (100 gm) Net Carbs (gm) Glycemic Index (GI)
Wheat Roti (Chapati) 36 45 (low GI)
Bulgur wheat cooked (Dalia)


18.6 47 (low GI)
Buckwheat (Kuttu ka Aata)


73 45 (low GI)
Wheat bread 51 60 (moderate GI)
Bran cereals (chokar) 45 63 (moderate GI)
Oatmeal bread 45 65 (moderate GI)
Oatmeal 10 79   high GI)


Foods for Diabetes Patients in India


8. Low-fat dairy products for diabetes 

All dairy products contain lactose monosaccharides which can easily break down into glucose and galactose molecules by lactase intestinal enzyme. 

Although, dairy products should be avoided in diabetes because it quickly raises blood sugar. 

However, you can take low-fat dairy products such as skimmed milk and yogurt. 

A study suggests that low-fat dairy products do not spike your blood sugar and reduce the risk of diabetes

Foods for Diabetes Patients in India


9. Best pulses for diabetes

We cannot skip Pulses because it is also a big part of the Indian Diet. Generally, people eat a combination of Dal – Chawal (pulses and rice). 

Although pulses contain a good amount of carbs, they have a low glycemic index and high fibre content. Because of this, Pulses do not instantly cause your blood sugar to skyrocket.

You may consider legumes in your diabetic diet, such as – 

  • Pulses
  • Chickpeas 
  • Green beans
  • Kidney beans 
  • Soybeans 

Foods for Diabetes Patients in India


10. Beverages for diabetes

Water provides hydration to our bodies. It is the best beverage in diabetic conditions because it maintains your blood glucose level. 

We should have sufficient water (at least 2 L/day). 

There are some other beverages we can add to our diabetic diet- 

  • Herbal tea
  • Green Tea
  • Lemon water
  • Tulsi Leaves extract 
  • Low sugar beverages 
  • Fenugreek (Methi) water 
  • Bitter guard (Karela) extracts juice 
  • Barley water 

Foods for Diabetes Patients in India


What are 10 foods that cause diabetes?

Following our discussion of the best foods for diabetes patients, let’s move on to know the worst foods for diabetes

It is not only important to eat the right foods for diabetes. You should avoid or limit those foods which spike your blood sugar level. 

Here, I have mentioned 10 foods that cause diabetes. 

1. Do not consume saturated fat in diabetes

Saturated fat is really worst for diabetes.

Saturated can be seen in red meat animals (such as beef, hot dogs, pork etc.) and high-fat dairy products (such as full-fat cheese, cream, ice cream, whole milk, butter, and cream sauces). 

These saturated fats increase the cholesterol content and increase inflammation in your body. It also causes various heart disease, high blood pressure and abnormal cholesterol. 


2. Limit packaged snacks and baked goods

You must have had chips, cookies, doughnuts, muffins, french fries and cake. These are processed foods, and they contain unhealthy trans-fat

It is prepared by converting liquid oil into solid fat. This process is called hydrogenation. 

Similarly to saturated fats, trans fats are harmful to blood cholesterol levels. 

These trans-fat foods increase your bad cholesterol, such as LDL and decrease good cholesterol, such as HDL. Eventually, they lead to heart disease, obesity and diabetes-like problems. 


3. Avoid starchy vegetables in diabetes

You should avoid starchy vegetables like potatoes, sweet potatoes, corn, and yams. These starchy vegetables contain more carbohydrates that spikes your blood sugar level. 

Our intestines can easily and quickly digest starchy vegetables. 


4. High glycemic index fruits spike blood sugar 

We know fruits are good for health. But you need to avoid or limit fruits with high glycemic index (60 to 70) values, such as watermelon, pineapple, ripened bananas, mango, etc. 


5. Limit fruit juice in diabetes

Fruit juice does not contain fibre. It quickly goes to your bloodstream and spikes blood sugar levels. 

You should take whole fruit instead of taking fruit juice.  


6. Skip high-fat dairy products that spike blood sugar  

High-fat dairy products (such as full-cream milk, ice-cream) contribute to obesity and increase the risk of diabetes. 

These foods reduce insulin response. 


7. Forget about sugar-sweetened beverages in diabetes 

Sugar-sweetened beverages contain high amounts of calories, energy and carbs that are bad for diabetes. 

These foods quickly increase the blood sugar level. For example – 

  • Soft drinks 
  • Soda 
  • Sugary beverages 
  • Energy drink 
  • Corn syrup 


8. Avoid alcohol or drink only in moderation

Sometimes, alcohol can be adjustable in diabetes. If you take alcohol daily for diabetes, you should limit the use of it. 

Alcohol generally contains many calories, which can increase your weight or obesity. Obesity can cause insulin resistance. 

Therefore, the excess consumption of alcohol is associated with an increased risk of diabetes


9. Keep away from sticky white rice 

If your rice becomes sticky after cooking, it will have a high glycemic index. So, you should avoid this sticky white rice because it instantly raises your blood sugar. 


10. Limit eating sweets, chocolate and candy 

Although these sweet things are not suitable for your health, you can take your favourite sweet once in a while when you are extremely craving that. 


What should be an ideal Indian diabetic diet chart? 

We have seen the best & worst diabetic foods. Now, we can analyse the top diabetic food and plan our meals ourselves. 

It is not necessary to sacrifice your taste or kill your taste buds. You can still eat your favourite delicious food. I have made some sample menus. You can choose anyone as per your need or taste and make a 7-day diet plan for diabetic patients – 

Early morning (6 AM) – 

You may start your day with a glass of Fenugreek water, Cinnamon water, Coconut water, or Tulsi leaf extract water. They can potentially reduce your blood sugar level and make you energetic. 

Breakfast (Morning 8 AM) – 

There are many meal options that you can include in your morning breakfast diet – 

  • 2 cups bulgur wheat cooked (Dalia)
  • 2 Slice brown bread or Oatmeal bread + 2 boiled eggs + a glass of milk
  • Idli sambar or uttapam + chutney 
  • Whole wheat roti or bajara roti 
  • 1-2 Methi parantha or paneer parantha 
  • Vegetable oats upma 
  • 1 cup mixed veg poha 


Lunch (Afternoon 2 PM) –

A diabetic lunch can be a 

  • 3 Wheat Roti + some portion of salad + fish curry (100 gm fish)
  • 1 cup veg pulav basmati white or brown rice + 1/2 cup low-fat curd
  • 1 cup basmati white or brown rice + chicken curry 
  • 1 cup basmati white or brown rice + 1 cup legumes (such as pulses, chickpeas, kidney beans etc.)


Dinner (Evening 8 PM) –

You can include any one meal in your dinner –

  • 2 Roti/ chapatti + ½ cup any cooked vegetables (such as Ladies finger, cabbage, bitter guard, bottle guard, green beans, spinach, mixed veg) + some portion of salad
  • 2 Roti/ chapatti + 1 cup of any cooked non-veg food (such as fish curry, chicken curry or egg curry) + some portion of salad

Snacks (11 AM and 4 PM) –

If you still feel hungry. In that case, a snack can be added to your diabetic meal. You can have any snack at 11 AM (between breakfast and lunch) and 4 PM (between lunch and dinner).

  • 1 cup light tea + 2 wheat rusk
  • 1 cup tea + 2 biscuits (Nutrichoice or Digestiva or Oatmeal)
  • 1 cup boiled channa 
  • ½ cup roasted channa or peanuts 
  • 1 cup sprouts of whole green moong dal
  • Any one fruit (apples, guava, pears, oranges, peaches, plums, kiwis, strawberries, muskmelon and apricots)
  • Few nuts and seeds 


What are the basic recommendations for a diabetic diet?

While choosing a meal plan for diabetes, we need to take care of certain points – 

  • Take minimum carbs 
  • Add more non-starchy vegetables 
  • Avoid high glycemic index and glycemic load foods
  • Daily glycemic load should be less than 25 
  • Drinking water should be a minimum 3 L in a day 
  • Should be 12 hours fasting window (night while sleeping) and 12 hours eating window (daytime)
  • Eating should be less frequent 
  • Should have some portion of an uncooked meal
  • Can have a non-veg meal with raw vegetables that reduces constipation 
  • Must have salad 



Remember, diabetes is a lifestyle disease, and it is reversible. Your diabetes can be reversed by simple diet modification. 

Here, we have seen the best foods for diabetes patients in India. Eating the wrong food can exacerbate your diabetic condition. 

There is a simple formula just cut the high-glycemic foods and add low-glycemic foods to your diet. 

It is recommended to eat a balanced diet. In this balanced diet, there should be a – 

  • Right amount of carbohydrates
  • Proper protein
  • Healthy fats such as MUFA or PUFA 
  • High fibre foods 


If there is uncontrolled diabetes, you should consult your doctor. They will start antidiabetic medicines. 

No one is coming to you for help. You have to take responsibility and reverse your diabetes. Save yourself. 

If you found this article informative, please share on social media. 



Q 1. Is chapati good for diabetes?

A diabetic patient can have whole wheat chapati. It has a low glycemic index (62) and contains insoluble healthy fires that don’t let your blood sugar increase. 

Q 2. Is Jaggery good for diabetes?

Although. Jaggery contains healthy nutrition and is comparatively better than regular table sugar. But it is still a type of sugar that has the potential to increase your blood sugar. Thus, Jaggery is not a safe option for diabetes.  

Q 3. Is curd good for diabetes?

 Curd is a low-fat dairy product. It also contains less carbohydrates and is beneficial for your intestinal gut. Curd does not raise the blood sugar level. So, you can include it in your diabetic diet.  

Q 4. Is ghee good for diabetes?

Ghee is saturated fat and does not contain carbohydrates. Ghee can increase bad cholesterol and decrease good cholesterol. These things can lead to obesity, insulin resistance and various heart disease. So, you can add a minimal amount of Ghee to your diabetic diet if required.  

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