Food for Diabetes Patient in India

Top 10 Food for Diabetes Patients in India

Diet and food habits play a pivotal role when it comes to diabetes management and control. People with diabetes are often confused about what foods to eat and avoid. This article explores the 10 best foods for diabetes patients in India.  if you have diabetes or pre-diabetes and want to manage them in the long run.

Diabetes is a hormonal disorder where the pancreas produces less or no insulin required for glucose uptake. Sometimes, the body’s cells develop insulin resistance, causing excess glucose in the blood.  Is your blood sugar touching alarming levels?

If so, you are likely to develop this lifestyle disorder. Diabetes, depending on the onset and the way the cells take up insulin, can cause either Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes. Be it any form of diabetes, foods taken by diabetes patients must help regulate blood sugar levels, and certain foods are known to control and prevent blood glucose shoot-ups.

List of 10 Food For Diabetes Patients in India

1. Whole Grains

Whole grains are loaded with fibre and nutrients and are great substitutes for refined grains. Whole grains reduce the risk of diabetes, where fibre in them eases digestion, allows complete absorption of nutrients, and prevents sudden spikes of blood sugar levels. Brown rice, bulgur wheat, buckwheat, oats, millets, barley, and quinoa are alternatives for refined grains as they also reduce excess food intake.

According to research, consumption of these low glycemic index (GI) foods i.e., patients with diabetes who have had two-to-three daily servings of whole grains, had a reduction in diabetes incidence by 21 to 32% than those who rarely or never consumed whole grains. Hence, making whole grains excellent substitutes for refined cereal food for diabetes patients in India.

2. Green Leafy Vegetables

Green leafy vegetables are low in carbohydrates and filled with essential micronutrients, phytochemicals, and dietary fibre. These foods loaded with vitamins and minerals can lower blood sugar levels. Dieticians recommend raw salad at the start of a meal because of the phytochemicals in them. Green leafy vegetables are high in energy and low in calories, and it is a must to have them raw every day in your diet.

3. Garlic

Garlic contains vitamin B6, which helps carbohydrate metabolism, and vitamin C, which is anti-inflammatory. Garlic reduces fasting and postprandial blood sugar levels.  Dieticians suggest raw, cooked, or garlic supplements not only spice up the food but can take care of the glycemic status of the food.

4. Nuts

Nuts and seeds like almonds, walnuts, sunflower, and pumpkin seeds are rich in micronutrients- magnesium, potassium, vitamins, and other minerals. Minerals like magnesium and potassium help the body use insulin effectively and balance blood glucose levels.

Studies have shown how almonds and walnuts can lower blood sugar when taken after a meal. Pistachios contain glucagon-like peptide-1 hormones that prevent diabetes risk. These nuts and seeds also contain fewer fats, high protein, and fibres. They can be consumed as snacks, in between, or after meals.

5. Yoghurt

Yoghurt has loads of protein, calcium, and probiotics. They are low in carbohydrates and fats, which makes them a low glycemic index (GI) food.  Research has shown that unsweetened, low-fat Greek yoghurt modulates blood glucose levels and prevents the risk of diabetes mellitus. Yoghurt, in the typical Indian diet, can be taken as a part of the meal or as an after-meal snack (buttermilk). If you are concerned about best diet for diabetes patients in India then you should include Yoghurt in your diet.

6. Cinnamon

Cinnamon is a spice commonly used in Indian cuisine. Cinnamon effectively reduces diabetes and the risk of other diabetes-related complications. It is a powerful antioxidant that promotes insulin production by altering the signalling mechanism in the insulin receptors. Studies have also proven that cinnamon can lower or prevent a sudden rise in blood sugar levels, usually seen after meals.

7. Berries

If you have diabetes and are looking for fruit options, berries are loaded with antioxidant properties, vitamin C and fibre. This low-GI food regulates blood glucose levels and is highly beneficial for diabetes patients. It invariably improves insulin sensitivity in the body, promotes weight reduction, and diabetes control. Blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, and cranberries can be taken fresh as a topping over fresh yoghurt or as a healthy smoothie.

8. Beans

Beans are protein-rich foods that are low in carbohydrates and keep you fuller for a long time. They can significantly help reduce blood sugar levels and have proven benefits for diabetic patients. Soy and soy products, kidney beans, chickpeas, and peas are low-glycemic foods that do not cause a sudden spike in blood sugar levels. Soya and soy products are great substitutes for dairy products and are low in fats and calories.

9. Turmeric

Turmeric is regarded as the “golden spice” in India and is a part of every curry or dish. Turmeric has anti-inflammatory and excellent medicinal properties that help prevent possible infections and inflammations. In diabetes patients, turmeric can heal the pancreas and prevent its damage. It also reduces the risk of one developing diabetes from a pre-diabetic condition. And so, dieticians suggest not to miss the pinch of turmeric in every dish you have for all the healing miracles it carries.

10. Fatty Fish and essential oils

Fats are an essential and integral part of a balanced diet. Fatty fishes like salmon, herring, and sardines are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, preventing diabetes-related complications like neural degeneration, heart ailments, retinopathy, and others. They also are protein-filled foods that make one feel fuller and reduce carbohydrate intake. Other healthy plant-based oils like sunflower, groundnut, soya, and olive oils also ensure omega-3 fatty acid requirements.

Food for Diabetes Patient in India

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the best diet for diabetic patients in India?

A person with diabetes must take a low-carb, low-sugar diet with high protein and fibre intake. They also must include healthy fats high in omega-3 fatty acids, nuts, seeds, and green leafy vegetables.

What are the veggies that can lower blood sugar levels?

According to the Diabetic Association of India, a diet of a person with diabetes must have half or more than half of the meal plate with non-starchy vegetables, like broccoli, green beans, mushrooms, squashes, and green leafy vegetables.

What foods should a diabetic patient avoid?

A diabetic patient must avoid foods and drinks high in sugar and carbohydrates that can shoot up blood glucose levels instantly. These include sweets, fruit juices, carbonated drinks, deep-fried foods, processed foods, junk foods, refined flour, and refined sugar.

Can a diabetic patient consume alcohol?

In diabetic patients, high alcohol intake can lower blood sugar levels, causing severe hypoglycemia. Hypoglycemia in diabetes patients can result in life-threatening complications, including seizures, coma, and even death.


A person with diabetes is usually recommended a personalised or individualised diet plan according to the diabetic condition, lifestyle, and exercise regime. To get the personalised diet plan consult the best diabetes specialist in Gurgaon. With India being the “diabetic capital of the world,” it is time when our foods and diet need to be monitored and substituted with healthier versions.

Whole wheat grains can opt for refined grains, or high protein foods can replace instant carbohydrate foods.

To know more about such food alternatives and get more insights on which foods to eat and avoid for people with diabetes, connect with Dr. Homi Soneja, a diabetes specialist in Gurgaon. She guides her patients with personalised treatment, diet, and exercise plans to help them improve their quality of life and prevent possible diabetes-related complications. 

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