Best Type 2 Diabetes Food List & Diet Plan: Sugar Patient Food List

Medically Reviewed By: Dr. Surajeet Kumar Patra, MBBS, MD, FDIAB, MBA & APMP April 11, 2022

Last updated on October 3rd, 2023

Being a diabetic patient, it can be tough to choose the food to consume as your doctor won’t allow you to eat freely. Some delicacies, no matter how good they taste, are prohibited for patients suffering from Type-1 Diabetes or Type-2 Diabetes. This is because they contain sugar and carbs. Diet plays a significant part in managing and treating diabetes. Therefore, a type 2 diabetes diet will have foods that positively impact diabetes. Read this blog to learn about some of the best diabetes or sugar patient diet charts and plans.

Type 2 Diabetes Food List

Type 2 Diabetes Food List

A type 2 diabetes diet is largely made up of three big meals or six small portions in a day at regular intervals. It helps the patient’s body in using the insulin better. It is also advised to discuss with your dietician before choosing any type 2 diabetes food list. A doctor will help you put together a proper diet based on your bodily requirements.

You must choose healthy carbs, fiber-rich foods, and good fats. Let’s see the ingredients of a healthy type 2 diabetes food chart

Read More: Is Butter Milk Good for Diabetes?

Healthy Carbs

A type 2 diabetes diabetic diet contains a good amount of healthy carbs. Complex carbohydrates break down into sugar when the body starts digesting the food. However, the difference here is that complex carbs break down much more slowly than simple carbs. Thus bringing a gradual spike in blood sugar. Therefore, it is suggested to focus on healthy carbs such as:

  • Whole grains like whole wheat, bajra, ragi, etc.
  • Non-starchy veggies
  • Fruits like apples, pears,
  • Lentils
  • Legumes
  • Milk and cheese (low-fat dairy products)

Read More: Is Rice Good For Diabetes?

Fiber-Rich Foods

Every part of a plant that can not be digested or absorbed by your body is known as dietary fiber. This fiber helps in moderating the digestion process in your body, eventually aiding in controlling blood sugar levels. An ideal sugar patient diet chart will definitely have foods that have good amounts of dietary fiber. High-fiber foods are:

  • Whole grains
  • Fruits
  • Legumes
  • Vegetables
  • Nuts

To keep your diet plan for type 2 diabetes balanced, you must eat heart-healthy fish two times a week. Fish and eggs are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which help in preventing heart diseases.

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Good Fats

Yes, they do exist! Foods having polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats can help you in lowering your cholesterol levels. Another diabetes-related complication. The best diet for type 2 diabetes will have an appropriate amount of healthy fats. Such foods for type 2 diabetes include –

  • Filtered mustard oil
  • Filtered coconut oil
  • Olive oil
  • Flaxseed oil
  • Sesame oil
  • Filtered groundnut oil

Use a minimum amount of oil as required, as they are all high in calories.

Read More: Is Cauliflower Good for Diabetic Patients?

Type 2 Diabetes Food List to Avoid

Type 2 Diabetes Foods To Avoid

When dealing with diabetes, the diabetes diet list of foods to avoid is bigger than food for type 2 diabetes. Diabetes puts you at a big risk of heart disease and stroke as it swiftens the clogging and hardening of your arteries. Type 2 diabetes foods to avoid will have the following type of nutrition. These will only work against your aim of a healthy type 2 diabetes diabetic diet. The nutrients are:

  • Saturated fats – You are recommended not to have high-fat dairy products and animal proteins in your type 2 diabetes diet chart. These include – butter, sausages, beef, hot dogs and bacon. You should also avoid coconut and palm kernel oils as well.
  • Trans fats – You should avoid processed snacks, shortening and stick margarine and baked goods.
  • Cholesterol – To make your type 2 diabetes diet healthy, you should avoid high-fat dairy products and high-fat animal protein sources like eggs, liver, meat, etc. You should not have more than 200 milligrams of cholesterol on a daily basis.
  • Sodium – A proper type 2 diabetes diet does not have more than 2,300 mg of sodium on a daily basis. Your doctor may recommend a lower amount of sodium if you also have high blood pressure.

Read More: Is Fish Good for Diabetes?

A Perfect Type 2 Diabetes Diet Plan

A perfect type 2 diabetes diet plan to keep your sugar levels at normal prescribed levels can be created with various approaches. Your dietitian may recommend one or a combination of the below-mentioned type 2 diabetes diet plans to help you achieve your health goal –

Counting Carbohydrates

Carbs have a tendency to break down into glucose and, hence, greatly affect your blood sugar levels. In a type 2 diabetes diet chart, fix the amount of carbs sources and calculate its carb content. To avoid overconsumption of carbs, you should learn to count the carbs you are having. Moreover, in your type 2 diabetes diet sheet choose complex carbs in place of simple carbs to regulate your sugar level effectively. Therefore, you can adjust the dosage of insulin accordingly. You have to count the carbohydrates you had in each of your meals or snacks.

You can learn from a dietitian to measure your food portions and become an educated reader of the food labels. They can also teach you to pay attention to serving size and carb content.

Read More: Are Peas Good for Diabetes?

The Plate Method

The experts usually offer a simple way to prepare a perfect type 2 diabetes diet. They recommend you to include more vegetables in your diet. Here are the steps to prepare a perfect plate for type 2 diabetes diet:

  1. Half of the plate has to be filled with non-starchy veggies, like spinach, tomatoes and carrots.
  2. A quarter of your plate has to contain protein, just like tofu, soymilk, beans, etc.
  3. The last quarter of your plate should have whole-grain items, like brown rice, or a starchy vegetable, such as green peas.
  4. Also, have good fats by including nuts or avocados in a small amount.
  5. You should also add a serving of fruit or dairy and a drink, like water, or unsweetened tea or coffee

Read More: Are Grapefruits Safe for Diabetics?

Keto Diet

The Keto diet is another kind of type 2 diabetes diet suited for underweight sugar patients diet chart. In the keto diet, carb intake is curtailed, and you switch to a low-carb diet. On the other hand, you increase consumption of fat-rich foods such as dry fruits, seeds like chia and flax, dairy products, etc. You also consume non-starchy veggies like broccoli, cauliflower, and other leafy veggies.

A typical ketogenic diet includes daily consumption of only 20 to 50 grams of carbs. Moreover, a study in 2017 found low-carb food for type 2 diabetes patients can boost blood sugar management. It also improves triglyceride levels and good cholesterol (HDL) in our body. Another 2018 research says the ketogenic diet improves insulin resistance and decreases glycemic responses and spikes.

Our advice for you while following a ketogenic diet will be to limit the amount of animal products. Products like red meat, cheese, and full-fat milk aren’t good for diabetes. You could opt for low-fat or no-dairy products like yoghurt or curd, skimmed milk, eggs, etc., but that too in regulated amounts.

However, do remember that the ketogenic diet plan for type 2 diabetes is often debated for many reasons. One of the top reasons is the lack of dietary fiber, which is essential in a sugar patient diet chart. Therefore, still more research is needed to analyse the long-term benefits of keto diets and other low-carb meals.

Read More: Is Dragon Fruit Good For Diabetics?

Mediterranean Diet

Another type of type 2 diabetes diet is the ‘Mediterranean diet’. In a Mediterranean type 2 diabetes diabetic diet you eat more plant-based foods. The foods include veggies, legumes, beans, lentils, nuts, seeds, etc. You consume oils like mustard and olive oils. In this type 2 diabetes food list, you avoid heavy animal products like red meat, ham, full-fat milk, etc. However, you can consume a little portion of eggs, low-fat milk/curd, etc.

The Mediterranean diet consists of loads of nutrients like dietary fibers, lean proteins, and complex carbs. Also, the oils used in this diet contain monounsaturated fats that are good for heart health. Due to all these reasons, this diet is considered one of the best diet for type 2 diabetes patients.

A study from 2014 in the National Library of Medicine shows the beneficial effects of the Mediterranean diet on diabetes patients and even stopping the onset of gestational diabetes. Another research paper from 2017 showed the long-term benefits of Mediterranean food for type two diabetes is that it lowers 20% to 30% risk of progression to type 2 diabetes. Also, it lowers 30% the risk of heart ailments.

Read More: Are Peanuts Good for Diabetics?

Dash Diet

The dash diet is another one of the best diet for type 2 diabetes patients. Dash stands for “Dietary Approach to Stop Hypertension”. This diet was originally designed to tackle blood pressure. However, its effectiveness is proven to lower cholesterol as well as blood sugar. Similar to the Mediterranean diet, the Dash diet focuses on plant-based food sources. These include fruits, veggies, dry fruits, whole grains, lentils, seeds, etc. All these also come in type 2 diabetes food chart, thus proving this diet’s effectiveness for diabetics.

The dash diet also includes fish, eggs and low-fat dairy products. However, animal products are best avoided or limited due to their negative effects on diabetes patients. The dash diet also excludes type 2 diabetes foods to avoid, like red meat, mithai, sugary items, and foods having high saturated fats, sodium, and oil.

A 2017 study by Diabetes Spectr found that a dash diet decreased blood lipids, blood pressure, as well as HbA1c levels in 31 diabetes patients. Moreover, the dash diet also curtailed fasting blood sugar by 29%. Therefore, the dash diet plan for type 2 diabetes reduces the following:

  • Blood pressure
  • Blood sugar
  • Insulin resistance
  • Cholesterol levels

Another study of 2019 did a 12-week clinical trial with 80 diabetes patients. The study found that the Dash Diet over 12 weeks substantially reduced cholesterol levels (Bad) and triglyceride levels. These effects have a positive impact on diabetes-related complications in the long run.

Read More: Top 6 Dry Fruits For Diabetics.

Vegan Diet

With the rise of veganism globally, we now have a new food segment known as the ‘Vegan diet’. However, when observed, the food consumed in a vegan diet is also food for type 2 diabetes. In a vegan diet, you don’t consume any animal products, which includes dairy products as well. Instead, in the vegan type 2 diabetes diet chart, we include plant-based protein foods like:

  • Tofu
  • Soy
  • Lentils
  • Beans
  • Whole grains
  • Seeds
  • Tempeh
  • Dry fruits or nuts

The other benefit of a vegan diet is that you automatically cut mithais and cakes. And many sugary products as they contain animal products like milk and eggs. A 2014 study review also revealed a vegetarian diet, when opted as a type 2 diabetes diet, lowers fasting blood sugar. And regulates blood sugar management.

Another 2018 Rotterdam study found consuming more plant-based meals than animal products helps in reducing insulin resistance and the onset of prediabetes and diabetes. However, when consuming a vegan diet, many often complain of nutrient deficiency. This is due to the abrupt cutting of animal food sources. Therefore, a vegan diet for type 2 diabetes diet sheet should contain appropriate sources of proteins and fats.

To get maximum benefits from a vegan diet, include a wide array of foods. And do ensure a nutritious type 2 diabetes food chart to get key nutrients for your body.

Read More: Is Mushroom Good for Diabetes Patients?


In conclusion, managing type 2 diabetes through diet is a crucial aspect of maintaining good health. We’ve explored the type 2 diabetes food chart and list, identified type 2 diabetes foods to avoid, and delved into several popular type 2 diabetes diet plans, including the Keto Diet, Mediterranean Diet, Dash Diet, and Vegan Diet. We’ve also discussed methods like Counting Carbohydrates and using the Plate Method. The ideal diet plan for type 2 diabetes management may vary from person to person, so it’s essential to consult with your doctor to create a personalised plan that suits your body’s needs. Regardless of the sugar patient diet chart you choose, the key is to make sustainable, nutritious choices that help stabilise blood sugar levels and improve overall well-being.

Are you facing issues or just confused about which type 2 diabetes diet plan to choose? We at Breathe Well-Being are here for you. We have a team of experienced health experts who have expertise in diabetes control and management through diet and lifestyle changes. Join us today and witness our extensive diabetes care!

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What is the Best Diet for a Diabetic Person?

The best diet for type 2 diabetes patients will typically have a good amount of complex carbs and dietary fibre. It will have some sources of lean proteins and healthy fats. It will have no simple carbs, refined grains and sugary items.

Which Fruit is Best for Diabetes?

In the type 2 diabetes food chart there are some particular fruits that are good for diabetes patients, like:

  • Berries like jamun, phalsa, strawberries, etc
  • Apples
  • Pears
  • Peach
  • Guava
  • Some citrus fruits

What Indian Food is Good for Diabetics?

There are many Indian foods in the type 2 diabetes food chart. These include:

  • Leafy veggies like spinach, cauliflower, broccoli, kale, etc
  • Lentils like arhar, urad, whole moong, etc
  • Whole grains like wheat, ragi, bajra, oats
  • Seeds like chia, flax, sesame, etc
  • Fruits like apples, pears, sweet lime, etc.
  • Dry fruits like almonds, walnuts, etc.

What Foods Should Diabetics Avoid?

In the diabetic diet list of foods to avoid, there are:

  • Animal products like meat, chicken, fish
  • Dairy products like full-fat milk, cream, cheese, paneer, etc.
  • Simple carbs sources like white rice, bread, starchy veggies, etc.
  • Sugary foods
  • Pulpy fruits
  • Oily foods

What are 3 rules of a Diabetic Diet?

The three rules you can follow when following a type 2 diabetes diet are:

Rule 1: Eating plenty of colourful veggies

Rule 2: Use healthy oils like olive and mustard oil

Rule 3: Eliminate white foods like white wheat, rice, starchy veggies, sugar, etc.


Last Updated on by Dr. Damanjit Duggal 


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