Diet PlansMetabolic and Endocrine

The Diet Guidelines to Control Diabetes Mellitus

In the modern dietary management of diabetes mellitus essentially involves the modifications of the quality and the quantity of food to be taken by the diabetic acquired patient.

The following guidelines are applicable to all diabetes patients

Irrespective of the type, weight status, age, gender, or occupation they are in:

  • Most of the carbohydrate they consumed should always be in the form of starch (polysaccharides) such beans etc.


  • All refined sugars such as the glucose, sucrose, and their products (soft drinks, toffees etc.) and especially honey should be avoided, the reason is that these foods contain the simple sugars, which are easily absorbed causing rapid rise in the blood sugar.
  • These simple sugars can be replaced by Non-nutritive sweeteners, like., Canderel, saccharine, NutraSweet, or aspartame are suitable sugar substitutes for diabetic subjects.


  • The Animal fats such as butter, the lard, and other foods which contained high in saturated fatty acids and cholesterol should always be reduced to a minimum as possible and be replaced with the vegetable oils, particularly polyunsaturated fats.


  • The protein ( meat, beans, crab, crayfish, soyabean, chicken, etc.) and salt are restricted for those who are having the diabetic nephropathy.
  • Cigarette smoking should always be avoided by the diabetic patients. Alcohol should be taken only in moderation and is always better to avoid and should follow the diabetic life style and habits


  • The items which are allowed for free consumption include: Water and green leafy vegetables,/ tomatoes,/ onions/ cucumber/aubergine/peppers, vegetable salad without cream, these are the lists of foods to be taken by diabetes


  • For patients who are too ill to eat solid food, they can be given fluid or semi-solid diet which is substituted with (papaya, soya bean, custard, etc.).
  • Patients treated with insulin or certain oral hypoglycemic agents, like that of sulfonamides must be advised to eat food regularly to prevent hypoglycemia- 3 meals a day plus suitable snacks in between the meals.


  • The small meals spaced over the day, containing a diabetic diet rather than 1 or 2 big meals, are helpful in avoiding post-pyramidal peaks in the blood sugar


  • When the overweight diabetic patients drop some of their weight by trimming down their ‘serving sizes’ and the calories, the insulin sensitivity in the body improves, thereby optimizing the drug therapy. 


  • This overweight diabetic group should be encouraged to maintain their current weight by: Maintaining their current ‘serving sizes,’ eating about the same amount of food each day, and eating at about their same times each day, taking their drugs at the same times each day, and exercising at the same times every day.


  • Diabetic patients should also endeavor to choose their daily food from starches, vegetables, fruits, and protein while limiting the number of fats.

Calorie guidelines for people who are having diabetes

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) recommends the following

About 1,200 to 1,600 calories a day for small women who are physically active, small or medium-sized women interested in weight loss, or medium-sized women who are not physically active

About 1,600 to 2,000 calories a day for large women interested in weight loss, small men at a healthy weight, medium-sized men who aren’t physically active, or medium-sized or large men interested in weight loss

About 2,000 to 2,400 calories a day for medium-sized or large men who are physically active, large men at a healthy weight, or a medium-sized or large women who are very physically active

Current Dietary Guidelines for Calorie Distribution:

  • 45–65% of an adult’s calories come from carbohydrates
    fewer than 10% of calories come from sugar
  • 20–35% come from fat, with fewer than 10% of these calories coming from saturated fat
  • 10–35% come from protein

Diabetic plate method:

 diet for diabetes


The plate method can help a person get the right amount of each type of food.
Getting the right nutritional contents from food is important for everyone.
The plate method uses the image of a standard 9-inch dinner plate to help people visualize nutritional balance as they plan their meals.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommend imagining that a plate full of food includes

  • 50% non starchy vegetables
  • 25% lean protein, such as lentils, tofu, fish, or skinless and fatless chicken or turkey
  • 25% high-fiber carbohydrates, such as whole grains or legumes
  •  can add extras like a small amount of fresh fruit, a glass of 1% milk

Limited amounts of the following types of fats can support health:
Monounsaturated fats- such as olive and canola oils and avocado
Polyunsaturated fats- such as sesame seeds and nuts
Saturated fats – such as coconut oil, animal fats, and dairy products — can increase the risk of high cholesterol and cardiovascular disease.

Fiber, is slow to digest and can help with weight and glucose management.

Current guidelines recommend a fiber intake of 28.0 to 33.6 grams each day for most adults. Males may need up to 38 grams per day.

What Are the Best Popular Diet Plans for People Managing Type 2 Diabetes?

  • Healthy eating, following the guidelines on building a diabetes meal plan, and focusing on making nutritious choices most of the time can help you shed weight.
  • Working with a registered dietitian who is also a certified diabetes educator can help you reach your goal weight while meeting all of your nutritional needs.


 diet plan for diabetes

The two that are suggested for people with diabetes time and time again are

  1. The Mediterranean diet and
  2. The DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) diet.

The Mediterranean diet 

  • Mediterranean diet is one of the popular diet used world wide. This diet is known for the health benefits like the decreasing cardiovascular risk, diabetes mellitus, improves brain function, decrease weight ,improves the quality sleep,decreases bad cholesterol. Researches have proved that this diet is one of the best diet to take care of health and decrease the chances of health issues.
  • Researchers favor the Mediterranean diet because it’s been researched for decades and has been shown to be beneficial at reducing the risk of heart disease, That’s important because people with diabetes are up to four times more likely to die from heart disease compared with adults without diabetes.

Click here to know more about Mediterranean diet and its benefits!

 The DASH diet.

  • The DASH diet has been found to be beneficial at reducing blood pressure levels, a key risk factor for heart disease and kidney disease. Because both of these disease risks are elevated with diabetes, this style of eating may promote a reduction in the risk of comorbid conditions associated with diabetes.
  • This diet helps to lower blood pressure without medication in research sponsored by the National Institutes of Health. This diet helps to reduce the sodium in your diet and also encourages to eat a variety of foods rich in nutrients 
  • Following this diet, we can reduce the blood pressure by 14 mm-Hg in just 2 weeks.

Click here to know more about DASH Diet and its benefits

There are two plate methods generally used 

  1. American diabetic diet plate method samples

  2. Indian diabetic diet plate method samples

American diabetic diet plate method samples


diabetic diet plate method

The following menu is tailored for someone who needs 1,200 to 1,600 calories a day.

Sample diet 1.


  • Whole-wheat bread (1 medium slice) with 2 teaspoons jelly,
  • 1/2 cup shredded wheat cereal with a cup of 1 percent low-fat milk,
  • a piece of fruit,
  • coffee


  • Roast beef sandwich on wheat bread with lettuce, low-fat American cheese, tomato and mayonnaise, medium apple, water


  • Salmon, 1 1/2 teaspoons vegetable oil, small baked potato, 1/2 cup carrots, 1/2 cup green beans, medium white dinner roll, unsweetened iced tea, milk


  • 2 1/2 cups popcorn with 1 1/2 teaspoons margarine

Sample diet 2.


• 1 serving Everything Bagel Avocado Toast
• 1/2 cup blueberries
• 25 pistachios
• 10 cherries


• 1 3/4 cups Vegetable Weight-Loss Soup
• 2 slices whole-wheat baguette (cut ¼ inch thick)
• 1 medium apple, sliced
• Cinnamon to taste


• 2 1/2 cups Lentil & Roasted Vegetable Salad with Green Goddess Dressing
• 1 serving Frozen Chocolate-Banana Bites, to enjoy after dinner

Sample diet 3.


• 1 serving Yogurt with Blueberries & Honey
• 1 tsp. ground flaxseed
• 6 walnut halves, chopped or whole
Add flaxseed to yogurt for an added boost of fiber and omega-3s. Top with chopped walnuts, or leave the walnuts whole to have on the side.


• 3 1/2 cups Mixed Greens with Lentils & Sliced Apple
• 1 medium orange


• 1 1/3 cups Chicken Sausage & Peppers
• 1/2 cup cooked brown rice
• 1/2 tsp. extra-virgin olive oil
• 1/2 tsp. no-salt-added Italian seasoning
• Salt to taste (source)

Indian Diabetic Diet plate Method Samples

Sample diet 1.

Early Morning

  • Lime, honey, and warm water detox drink
  • Green tea with lime juice
  • Bitter gourd juice


  • Rice poha and 1 glass of fruit juice. (or)
  • Ragi poha and 1 cup green tea


  • 1 cup cucumber


  • 2 chapatis, 1 cup vegetable curry, 1 cup daal (or)
  • 3 oz steamed or baked fish/chicken, ½ cup rice, 1 cup
  • vegetable curry


  • 1 cup vegetable curry, 2 chapatis, 1 cup daal, and curd (or)
  • Fish curry or chicken curry, 2 chapatis, ½ cup vegetable curry, and cucumber salad

Before Bed

  • 1 glass of warm milk

Sample diet 2.

Early Morning

  • Green tea with lemon.
  • 1 cup warm water with lime juice
  • Bitter gourd juice


  • 2-3 idlis with chutney and sambar (use less salt) (or)
  • 2 dosas with chutney and sambar (use less salt) (or)
  • 1 small bowl of upma with chutney


  • 1 apple


  • ½ cup brown rice, 1 cup sambar with lots of vegetables, 1 bowl of curd. (or)
  • ½ cup brown rice, 1 cup vegetable curry, ½ cup fish or chicken stew, 1 bowl of curd.

Evening Snacks

  • Green tea with roasted flaked rice with curry leaves and chopped garlic 
  • Black coffee and ¼ cup homemade snacks


  • Vegetable clear soup or chicken and veg clear soup and two chapatis.(or)
  • Mix vegetable curry, two chapatis, and curd.

Before Bed

  • 1 glass of buttermilk

Sample diet 3.

Early Morning

  • Warm water with lemon juice.
  • Bitter gourd juice.


  • 1 piece of brown bread with boiled egg whites + 1 cup green tea. (or)
  • 2 small parathas (without ghee or butter) with 1 cup curd
    Ragi flakes with one cup of milk


  • Cucumber, tomato, carrot, and beetroot salad. Add a dash of lime, and garnish with coriander leaves and a few mint leaves.
  • 1 apple


  • 2 medium-sized chapatis with ½ cup rajma/ chole + 1 cup okra curry/ any other vegetable curry
  • 3 oz baked fish + veggies


  • 2 medium-sized chapatis, any vegetable curry (any type of gourd, brinjal, capsicum, etc.) except root vegetables, and 1 small bowl of curd (or)
  • Chicken stew, 2 small chapatis, and 1 small bowl of curd

Before Bed

  • 1 glass of warm milk with a pinch of raw ground turmeric (source)

For more related articles regarding diabetes:


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