Healthy Vegetarian Recipes for Diabetics

Medically Reviewed By: Dr. Surajeet Kumar Patra, MBBS, MD, FDIAB, MBA & APMP April 9, 2022

Last updated on February 2nd, 2023

Food helps in the management of diabetes. It has several positive effects on your body providing vital nutrients to your body and preventing blood sugar spikes. Choosing a vegetarian diet means eliminating all kinds of meat from your meals.  It gives you natural health benefits and reduces the risk of developing diabetes type-2 and the health complications related to it. Many healthy vegetarian recipes are there that you can try to cut down the carb intake and control blood sugar levels. Read this blog to know about tasty and healthy vegetarian recipes for diabetics.

Diabetes is a lifestyle disorder that results in high blood sugar levels. It can give you serious health complications if you neglect to manage your blood sugar levels. Along with the exercises and adopting a healthy lifestyle routine, your diet plays a crucial role in controlling diabetes.  If you are a vegetarian, it is good news that you can control your diabetes better. Vegetarian foods have fewer calories and more amount of nutrients to manage your blood sugar levels.

Why Should You Need to Switch to a Plant-based Diet?

Plant-based foods, particularly fruits, vegetables, and nuts are highly beneficial in treating several chronic diseases. They are helpful in lowering cholesterol levels, and reducing the rate of development of cancer and diabetes type-2. Plant-based foods are rich in antioxidants, high fiber content, phytochemicals, and folate. All of them are good for general health. It is essential to keep an eye on portion sizes of high-fat foods so that you can maintain your body weight. The vegetarian diet is the perfect home remedy for diabetic patients.

Also read: Blood sugar levels before and after eating

healthy vegetarian recipes for diabetics

Vegetables for Sugar Patients to Manage their Diabetes


Vegetables are a rich source of minerals and other essential nutrients for the body. Including vegetables in your meals helps in maintaining your health and balancing your blood sugar levels. They contain high fiber content that slows down the glucose absorption rate in your body. Take help from a dietician to know the best suitable vegetable for diabetes patients.

Eating lots of vegetables can help people with type-2 diabetes to stay healthy while enjoying different types of vegetarian meals. The best vegetables for people with diabetes type-2 are:

  • Vegetables with Low Glycemic Index: The glycemic index is the ranking system. The GI ranking of the food shows how quickly the body absorbs glucose from the food. Food with a high glycemic index absorbs glucose faster than food with a low glycemic index. Vegetables with a low glycemic index are broccoli, tomato, spinach, green beans, cauliflower, and brinjal.
  • Vegetables With High Fiber Content: High fiber content in vegetables makes them an essential part of a vegetarian diet for diabetes patients. Fiber helps reducing constipation and maintain cholesterol levels. It also helps weight management. Vegetables with high fiber content include carrot, beetroot, split peas, sprouts, and broccoli.
  • Protein-rich Vegetables: Protein is the building block of muscles. Hence, it is one of the essential nutrients for the body. Protein foods for diabetics make you feel fuller for a long time. It reduces your urge to snack between meals. Therefore, it reduces your carbohydrate intake and helps in controlling your blood sugar levels. Vegetables having higher protein content than the other vegetables include spinach, broccoli, cauliflower, bell peppers, and mushrooms.
  • High Nitrate Content: Natural nitrate helps in reducing blood pressure and improves circulatory health. Instead of buying food items that artificially contain nitrate, eat natural nitrate-rich vegetables. Such vegetables include beetroot, lettuce, spinach, and mustard greens. You can include these vegetables in your diabetes diet menu.

Also Read: Lowering Blood Sugar Level Naturally

Benefits of a Vegetarian Diet for People With Diabetes


A vegetarian diet is one of the best diet for people with diabetes. This type of diet helps in reducing the intake of saturated fat. Hence, it prevents the increase in cholesterol levels in your body and reduces the risk of cardiovascular diseases. A vegetarian diet also controls body weight which is a crucial factor that leads to an increase in blood sugar levels. 

Vegetarian diet chart for diabetic patients consists of grains, fruits, nuts, and vegetables. It has the potential to supply vital nutrients to your body. Thus, it helps to lower the risks of developing various diseases like diabetes. A vegetarian diet has several health benefits like lowering cholesterol levels, blood pressure and reducing the risk of developing heart problems. The other recognized benefits of a vegetarian diet for people with diabetes are as follows:

  • Less intake of saturated fat: Food item that comes from the animal sources contains natural saturated fats. Thus, non-vegetarians have a higher intake of saturated fats and, it increases the risk of high cholesterol levels. Vegetarians consume fewer saturated fats like cheese, nuts, legumes, or eggs replacing meat and chicken. Plant-based protein sources help in managing diabetes and heart health.
  • Better control of weight:  A vegetarian diet mainly contains plant-based foods. They are rich in fiber but have fewer calories. An increase in the intake of plant-based foods (instead of foods with high-calorie counts) helps in reducing calorie intake per day. Thus, it ultimately helps in maintaining a healthy body weight.

Also Read: Learn About the Differences Between Diabetes Type 1 and Type 2

Tips For Diabetes Patients Taking a Vegetarian Diet


Following the correct vegetarian diet helps manage your blood sugar levels. Take help from a dietician to prepare the best vegetarian diet plan for you and learn tips to follow the vegetarian diet plan. 

People with diabetes including, pregnant women, can safely follow a vegetarian diet. It is crucial to contact a dietician before making changes in your diet. It ensures you have a balanced diet and prevent the hypoglycemic event. A dietician instructs you about the carbohydrate goal to avoid high or low blood sugar levels.

Here are the tips for diabetes patients taking a vegetarian diet:

  • Eat a variety of sugar control vegetables, fruits, and nuts to meet the nutritional needs of your body.
  • Keep track of your carbohydrate intake at every meal. Make sure to distribute carbohydrate intake throughout the day.
  • Monitor your blood glucose levels when starting the vegetarian diet for diabetes. It will help diabetes patients to adjust their medications and insulin intake accordingly.
  • Refined flour, refined sugar, potatoes, processed foods, polished rice and lentils, and fried foods are unhealthy for diabetes patients. Such food items should be on the watchlist of diabetes patients.

Moreover, consultation with a dietician is significant. A dietician ensures to provide the best diet plan and vegetarian recipes according to the age, lifestyle, blood sugar levels, and other health conditions of the diabetes patients.

Also Read: HIIT For Weight Loss: The Fitness Mantra Everybody MUST Try !!

Top 10 Diabetes-Friendly Vegetarian Recipes


Diabetic meals are not different, but they contain ingredients rich in fiber and contain low carbohydrates. Therefore, recipes for diabetes patients help manage their blood sugar levels. There are so many vegetarian and healthy recipes for diabetes patients to try.  You can search for vegetarian recipes for diabetics online.

A variety of low-carb and high fiber vegetarian recipes are there for diabetes. You can try these recipes for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, as well as desserts and smoothies.

  1. Pea Curry with Paneer: Paneer is similar to ricotta but drier. This delicious recipe is simple to make. Prepare this curry in ginger-garlic paste, turmeric, coriander powder, few more spices that have multiple health benefits. Paneer is high in protein. Thus, making it useful as a meat substitute in vegetarian meals. You can serve this curry with steamed rice. vegetarian diet chart for diabetic patient
  2. Tomato and Carrot Soup: It is a low-calorie, delicious and healthy soup. It is a good source of vitamin a, B6, C, and vitamin E. Red tomatoes are rich in dietary fibers. It is a simple and easy recipe and does not require many ingredients. You need to boil the tomatoes and carrot, prepare its puree and add some spices for flavors. vegetarian diabetic diet plan indian
  3. Khaman Dhokla: It is a steamed savory chickpea flour cake that can be a part of your breakfast or snack. You can easily prepare soft and fluffy khaman dhokla with ground gram flour or besan, curd, fruit salt, ginger-garlic paste and, salt to add taste. You can replace ground gram flour with semolina for a change. gestational diabetes diet chart for vegetarians
  4. Black Chickpea Salad: Black chickpea salad is full of nutrition. You can prepare it with boiled black chickpea, tomatoes, crunchy onion, avocado, and spices. You can add lemon juice to add a tangy flavor to the salad. Enjoy this protein-rich black chickpea salad for breakfast or snacks. vegetarian diabetic diet
  5. Green Lentil Soup: Green Lentil or moong dal is a rich source of protein for vegetarians. You need to boil the green lentil in water with a pinch of salt to prepare this soup. Simmer wholesome green lentil soup in onion-tomato gravy and enjoy it with steamed rice. diabetic diet recipes vegetarian
  6. Bottle Gourd Instant Pot: Bottle gourd or lauki is a healthy vegetable staple in Indian homes and perfect food for diabetic patients. It is gluten-free and has a low glycemic index. You can prepare bottle gourd in different ways. You can boil it with tomatoes and salt. Masala bottle gourd is another delicious recipe to prepare. In masala bottle gourd, you can add spices to make it tasty. diabetes diet chart vegetarian
  7. Healthy Diabetic Roti: Indian bread or roti are wholesome diabetes-friendly dishes. It is a side dish that you can have with gravy dishes, salad, or soup. You can prepare a dough of jowar flour, ground gram, bajra, or multigrain to prepare roti or Indian bread. You can also prepare paratha in few drops of oil or ghee. Whole grain flours are rich in fiber and gluten-free. Avoid preparing roti with refined flours. They contain a high amount of carbs and lead to an increase in blood glucose levels. vegetarian recipes for diabetics
  8. Diabetic Desserts: A range of lip-smacking Indian dessert recipes are there to satisfy your sweet tooth. Paneer Kheer is a healthy and tasty dessert. It contains low-fat paneer and sugar substitutes like jaggery to keep your blood sugar levels in control. Low-fat milk also does not increase your calorie intake and fulfills your need for calcium. vegan recipes for diabetes
  9. Bitter Gourd Dishes: Bitter gourd or Karela is one of the Indian vegetables that is a boon for sugar patients. It has a lot of antioxidants and anti-diabetic properties that help in maintaining blood sugar levels. Diabetes patients can drink freshly prepared bitter gourd juice every day to control blood sugar spikes. Apart from the bitter gourd juice, you can make a dry dish of bitter gourd. You can cut the slices of bitter gourd and cook it with onion, tamarind, and spices. veg recipes for high blood sugar
  10. South Indian Lentil Stew: Sambhar or South Indian Lentil Stew is one of the popular dishes of South India. Boil lentils, curry leaves, spices, and lots of vegetables together to make this stew. You can serve it with rice, Idli, or dosa. It is wholesome and satisfies your cravings for some delicious foods.
  11. vegan recipes indian

Also read: Is Diabetes An Unexplained Reason For Weight Loss?


How can I prepare the best diet plan for diabetes?

Take help from a professional dietician or a physician to get the most suitable diet plan. The dietician takes care of your body’s nutritional requirements, age, lifestyle, and other medical conditions to design a diabetes diet plan. The dietician ensures to include high-fiber and low-calorie food items in the diet chart to keep the blood sugar levels are under control. Diabetes patients need to follow the prescribed food chart for diabetic patient to get the maximum health benefits.

What are the possible complications of diabetes type-2? How can you avoid them?

The health complications of diabetes include cardiovascular disease, kidney damage, nerve damage, eyes damage, slow healing, diarrhea, and diabetic ketoacidosis. These health complications often develop in people with diabetes who are ignorant of their blood sugar levels. The best possible way to avoid such diabetes-related health complications is to maintain healthy blood sugar levels in your body. Keep a check on your diet, exercise regularly, and visit your doctor to track your blood glucose levels to live a healthy life with diabetes.

Is diabetes curable with a vegetarian diet?

Diabetes is a lifestyle disorder. If you have a poor lifestyle, regardless of being a vegetarian or non-vegetarian, you can develop diabetes. It is a health condition that is non-curable but reversible. Through lifestyle modification and some diabetes medication, diabetes patients can keep their blood sugar levels in a normal range and live a healthy life. The vegetarian diet can reverse diabetes but cannot cure it completely.

Can vegetarians develop diabetes?

Few types of research have given a clear idea that non-vegetarians have a higher risk of developing diabetes than vegetarians. A vegetarian diet contains more amounts of fiber and other micronutrients that are essential for the body. On the other hand, a non-vegetarian diet contains more calories, carbohydrates and is rich in proteins. Therefore, vegetarians have a low risk of developing diabetes.

Is a vegetarian diet suitable for people with diabetes-type-2?

A vegetarian diet has always been beneficial for people with diabetes type-2 specially for those who are overweight. A vegetarian diet is a healthy and effective way to control body weight when weight loss is the most effective way to manage diabetes. The vegetarian diet contains fewer calories. Therefore, it helps in weight loss and manages blood glucose levels.



Last Updated on by Dr. Damanjit Duggal 


This site provides educational content; however, it is not a substitute for professional medical guidance. Readers should consult their healthcare professional for personalised guidance. We work hard to provide accurate and helpful information. Your well-being is important to us, and we value your feedback. To learn more, visit our editorial policy page for details on our content guidelines and the content creation process.

Leave a Reply

Download Free Diabetes Diet Plan