- To maintain adequate nutrition
- To achieve and maintain desirable body weight
- To maintain normal blood sugar levels
- To prevent, delay or minimize the onset of chronic degenerative complications
Diet plays an important role in the treatment of diabetes. The diet may be used alone or in combination with insulin injections or oral hypoglycaemic drugs.
The diet plan of an individual is based on height, weight, age, sex, physical activity and nature of diabetes. One should consider the following points while planning a diabetic diet:
- Determining energy requirements
- Determining the type of carbohydrates, fibre and food preparations
- Presence of any other complication such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol levels etc.
In case of insulin dependent diabetes mellitus, the energy intake is based on needs for normal growth and development, physical activity and maintenance of desirable body weight.
In case of non insulin dependent diabetes mellitus, the majority of patients are overweight or obese. Therefore, calorie restriction is required to achieve a desired weight.
Type of carbohydrate and amount of fibre
More of carbohydrate must be given as complex starches rather than simple sugars as they breakdown more slowly to release glucose in blood. The presence of fibre in complex carbohydrate like grains, vegetables and other starches slows the glucose absorption. One should emphasise more on the high fibre foods instead of high fibre supplements available in the market.
|Food groups||High fibre foods||Low fibre foods|
|Cereals||Whole cereals like whole wheat, dalia, whole wheat flour||Refined cereals like rice, bread, maida, suji, noodles, macaroni, etc|
|Milk and milk products||-||Milk and milk products|
|Pulses||Whole dals and dals with husk||Washed dals|
|Meat, fish and poultry||-||Eggs, chicken, fish|
|Vegetables||Vegetables like peas, beans, lotus stem etc.||Vegetables like potato, lauki etc.|
|Fruits||Fruits like apple, cherries, pears, peaches, plums, guava etc.||Fruit juices and fruits like banana and papaya|
Sample diet plan (for NIDDM)
|Early morning||Tea (preferably without sugar)|
|Breakfast||Dalia (salted)/ Paneer on toast|
Tea without sugar
Channa curry / or any other whole dal
Beans sabzi / or any other sabzi (avoid potatoes)
Curds / ghia raita
|Dinner||Vegetable soup / tomato soup / chicken soup|
2 chapatti / missi roti (combining wheat flour with channa flour and soya flour)
Palak paneer sabzi / paneer bhurji
Sample diet plan (for IDDM)
|Early morning||Tea (without sugar)|
|Lunch||2 chapatti (add extra chapatti if required)|
Lobia curry / or any other whole dal
Capsicum sabzi / karela / or any other sabzi
Curds / raita
|Tea||Tea / milk|
Cabbage sabzi / or any other sabzi
|Bed time||Kheer / fruit custard|
- It is important to control the amount and time of food intake.
- Meals should not be missed.
- Consider the likes and dislikes of the patient.
- Try to substitute the craving for sweet by taking some fruit.
Foods to be avoided
Glucose, sugar, honey, all sweets, chocolates and candies.
Foods to be restricted
Potatoes, yam, arbi, sweet potatoes, mangoes, grapes, bananas, alcoholic beverages, fried foods, paranthas, poories, pakoras, mathris, deep fried foods, dry fruits, salad oils, cakes and pastries.
Foods to be used freely
Green leafy vegetables, tomatoes, cucumber. radish, soups, buttermilk, tea and coffee without sugar.