Best Diabetes Diet Plan – Dietary Guidelines For Diabetic Patients

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

Last updated on September 30th, 2022

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 to the patients suffering from Type-1 Diabetes or Type-2 Diabetes because of being rich in sugar. Read this blog to know about best diabetes diet plan.

However, it is also important to eat foods that keep you safe from diabetes complications like heart attack, kidney issues, etc. By eating healthy and focusing on physical activities, you can definitely reduce your symptoms.

 A Good Diet Plan For Diabetic Patients Include: 

  • Non-starchy vegetables that include broccoli, spinach, and green beans
  • A small amount of sugary food and refined grains- white bread, pasta, rice, less than two grams of fiber

A good diet contains whole foods instead of highly processed foods. Discussed below are the contents of your daily diet. Have a look


Consuming carbs in large amounts raises blood sugar levels. You must take care of the amount of carbs you are eating. Drinking fruit juice can increase your blood sugar quicker than eating whole fruit. If you eat food that contains protein, fat, and fiber, it will help you to slow down your sugar levels.

diabetes diet plan

It is advised to discuss with your doctor or dietitian and ask how many carbs you can eat. Below is the table that suggests the amount of carbs and the serving you should have on a daily basis.

Bagel ¼ of large bagel
Cornbread 13/4 inch cube
Biscuits 1 biscuit
Muffin ½ muffin
Chapati 1
Pancake 1
Waffle 1
Hotdog 1/2

Cereals and Grains

best diabetes diet plan

Barley, pasta, millets, quinoa, rice ⅓ cup
Bran cereal ½ cup
Shredded wheat, sugar-coated cereal ½ cup
Buulgar, kasha, wild rice ½ cup
Granola cereal ¼ cup
Oats, oatmeals, grits ½ cup
Unsweetened, ready-to-eat cereals ¾ cup

Do’s and Don’ts in Diabetes

food to avoid from diabetes


  1. Balanced diabetes diet plan
  2. Avoid refined and starchy food such as maida, white bread, potatoes, etc.
  3. Include loads of vegetables in your diet
  4. Consume fruits like oranges, papaya, guava, etc.
  5. Avoid sweet foods like chikoo, mangoes, sitaphal, etc.
  6. Include high fiber foods such as pulses, whole grains, etc.
  7. Make sure you are consuming 20-40 grams of fiber as it helps in reducing postprandial blood glucose levels and blood cholesterol
  8. Consume green vegetables on a daily basis
  9. Eat low GI foods that help in keeping blood sugar levels normal
  10. Foods rich in saturated fats, such as butter, ghee, coconut oil, etc., should not be consumed
  11. Oils with less than 110 percent of saturated fats can be preferred including mustard oil, corn oil and sunflower oil
  12. Keep a small food diary with yourself to keep a track of the food you consume
  13. Instead of consuming 3 big meals in a day, you must choose to eat 5-6 times a day but in small portions
  14. Always buy items that are low in sugar, salt, and fat
  15. Chew your food properly and drink a sufficient amount of liquid
  16. Include more and more salads in lunch and dinner

Also Read: How to Lower Blood Glucose Levels?


  1. Patients who take insulin should not keep fast as it may result in hypoglycemia or low blood sugars
  2. Do not skip your meal as it may result in low blood sugar
  3. Do not eat pastries, chocolates, bread, chips, etc. It can increase your blood sugar levels
  4. Do not eat fried and fatty food items
  5. Do not consume fatty dairy products
  6. Reduce alcohol consumptions as it may increase blood pressure and cause heart diseases
  7. Avoid artificial sweeteners as much as possible.
  8. Try and drink coffee and tea without putting sugar in it
  9. Do not perform exercise on an empty or full stomach
  10. Stop smoking
  11. Do not watch television while consuming food
  12. Do not skip your medication

Also Read: Are Figs or Anjeer Good for Diabetics?

What Does a Diabetes Diet Plan Involve?

A diabetic diet is based on 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 who will help you put together a proper diet based on your lifestyle.

diet for patients suffering from diabetic retionpathy

Staying in regular touch with the dietician helps you improve eating habits and selecting portion sizes. You must choose healthy carbs, fiber-rich foods, and good fats. Let’s see the ingredients of a healthy diabetes diet –

Healthy Carbs

Sugars and complex carbohydrates break down into blood sugar when the body starts digesting the food. It is suggested to focus on healthy carbs such as:

  • Vegetables
  • Fruits
  • Whole Grains
  • Legumes
  • Milk and cheese (low fat dairy products)

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. High fiber foods are:

  • Whole grains
  • Fruits
  • Legumes
  • Vegetables
  • Nuts

To keep your diabetes balanced you must eat heart-healthy fish two times a week.

Tuna, sardines, mackerel and salmon are rich in omega-3 fatty acids which help in preventing heart diseases.

‘Good’ fats

Yes, they do exist! Foods having polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats can help you in lowering your cholesterol levels. Such foods include –

  • Canola oil
  • Nuts
  • Olive oil
  • Peanut oil
  • Avocados

You may have to keep the quantities of these foods in check as they are all high in calories.


Diabetes patients mainly have to include healthy carbohydrates, fiber-rich foods and good fat in their daily diet. Including these in the right amounts may improve the result of your physical activities and help you live a healthy life.

Foods to Avoid in Diabetes

Diabetes puts you at a big risk of heart disease and stroke as it swiftens the clogging and hardening of your arteries. Foods with the following ingredients can work against your aim of healthy-heart diet –

  • Saturated fats – You are recommended not to have high-fat dairy products and animal proteins that include – butter, sausages, beef, hot dogs and bacon. You should also avoid coconut and palm kernel oils.
  • Trans fats – You should avoid processed snacks, shortening and stick margarines and baked goods.
  • Cholesterol – To make your diet healthy, you should avoid high-fat dairy products and high-fat animal proteins, egg yolks, liver and other organ meats. You should not have more than 200 milligrams of cholesterol on a daily basis.
  • Sodium – Do 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.

Also Read: Food to Avoid in Diabetes


To lead a healthy life, a diabetes patient may need to avoid some of their favorite foods. Patients are generally asked to avoid saturated fats, trans fats, cholesterol and sodium based on their condition.

A Perfect Diabetes Diet Plan

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

The Plate Method

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

  1. The 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 tuna, lean pork or chicken
  3. The last quarter of the plate should contain 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

Also Read: Fasting blood sugar range

Counting Carbohydrates

Carbs have a tendency to break down into glucose, and hence, greatly affect your blood sugar levels. To keep it from happening, you should learn to count the carbohydrates you are having so that you can adjust the dosage of insulin accordingly. You have to count the carbohydrate 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 carbs content.

Also Read: Indian Diabetic Diet Chart

Choose Your Foods

Your dietitian may help you decide specific foods to plan your meals and snacks. You may get an option to choose specific foods as per your preferences from the list categorized as carbohydrates, proteins and fats.

The foods mentioned in a category have about the same amount of carbs, calories, fats and proteins, and they have a similar effect on your blood glucose levels.  For example, the choices mentioned in the starch, milk and fruits list have about 12 to 15 grams of carbohydrates.

Glycemic Index

There are people who use the glycemic index to choose foods, especially carbs. In this method, foods with carbohydrates are ranked based on their impact on blood glucose levels. You, however, have to consult with your doctor to see if this method might work for you.


There are multiple methods to prepare a diet plan for a diabetic patient. Your doctor may need to use the combination of these diet plans based on your bodily needs.


A good diabetes diet plan basically depends upon the needs of a particular patient. Hence, the best practice is to see a doctor and get a plan prepared according to your requirements. Following someone else’s plan may affect your health adversely.

Also Read: Coconut Water for Diabetes


At what time is the glucose level highest in the body?

In the early morning hours, generally between 3 am and 8 am, a person’s body begins to churn out the stored sugar and prepares the body for the next day.

Which fruits are not safe for a diabetic?

Fruits high in sugar can be pineapple, watermelon, dried dates, and overly ripe bananas.

How many hours a diabetic can fast?

The most common form of fasting is called 16:8 method. This includes fasting for 16 hours and lowering the eating window to minimum of 8 hours. For instance, an individual may consume dinner at around 7 pm, breakfast can be skipped the next day, and then lunch can be taken at around 11 am.

Is it good to fast when the glucose levels are high?

The ADA doesn’t suggest fasting as an approach for diabetes care. The association states lifestyle alterations like good physical activity along with medical nutrition therapy are important key factors for diabetes control as well as weight management.

Can pre-diabetes cause complications?

Negligence of pre-diabetic conditions can lead to diabetes. Although pre-diabetes itself doesn’t cause any severe complications, if you do not control pre-diabetes at the right time, you can develop diabetes type-2. Further, it can bring severe complications like stroke, heart problems, kidney damage, skin infection, eye damage, and neuropathy.

What time should diabetics stop eating?

People with diabetes must ensure that there are no big gaps between their meals. Usually they are recommended to refuel their body every 5-6 hours,but in some cases, the patients may have to keep having small portions of food every 3-4 hours to maintain healthy blood sugar levels.

Which drink is best for diabetes?

Every diabetes patient should only drink the following beverages – water, unsweetened tea or coffee, vegetable juice and low-fat milk.

Are bananas good for diabetes?

Usually, fruits including bananas are a healthy choice for diabetes patients. However, patients put on a low carb diet should avoid consuming bananas, as even a small one of them contains around 22 grams of carbohydrates, which may be too much for your diet plan.

What foods can diabetics eat freely?

There are a few snacks which diabetes patients can have, however, in moderation and approved by a physician. Such food items include hard-boiled Eggs, yogurt with berries, a handful of almonds, veggies and hummus, avocado, sliced apples with peanut butter, beef sticks and roasted chickpeas.

What is a good daily menu for a diabetic?

The foods include fiber-rich fruits, non-starchy veggies, lean sources of protein like boneless, skinless chicken, turkey and fatty fish. They can also have healthy fats like peanut butter, avocados and nuts, in moderation. Doctors also recommend whole-grains like quinoa and barley to diabetics.



Last Updated on by Dr. Damanjit Duggal 


The information included at this site is for educational purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for medical treatment by a healthcare professional. Because of unique individual needs, the reader should consult their physician to determine the appropriateness of the information for the reader’s situation.

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