Diabetes Management: Importance of Diet for Diabetic Patients by Dr. Prakhar Garg

Divya Tripathi

, Health A2Z


Importance of Diet for Diabetic Patients


Food directly affects your blood glucose level. Some foods raise your blood sugar level more than others. So, it is important to manage diabetes and knowing what and how much you should you eat, and following an eating plan and simple changes in the lifestyle may help you to control your blood glucose. The 3 main constituents found in foods are carbohydrates, proteins and fats.





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Carbohydrates (carbs)


Diabetes Management Importance of Diet for Diabetes Patient



Carbohydrates are found in starch, sugar, and fiber in foods like grains, fruits, vegetables, milk products, and sweets. Carbohydrates are rich in glucose level. Knowing which food items contain carbohydrates and the amount of carbohydrates in a meal is helpful for blood glucose control.



Diabetes Management Importance of Diet for Diabetes Patient


Proteins are one of the most important parts of a balanced diet. The proteins do not directly raise your blood sugar level like carbohydrates. In the people with Type 2 diabetes, protein makes insulin to work faster, so it may not be a good idea to treat the low level of blood glucose with protein shakes or mixes.



Diabetes Management Importance of Diet for Diabetes Patient


Fats are also a necessary part of your balanced diet, especially healthy fats from nuts, fatty fish, and seeds. They do not raise blood sugar level but are high in calories and can help to gain weight.




Best Foods which are High in Protein as a Diet for Diabetic Patients



According to the American Diabetes Association (ADA), lean proteins low in saturated fat are good for people with diabetes. Meanwhile, processed or packaged foods should be avoided or limited in your diabetes diet.



In addition to getting enough fiber, include protein-rich foods in the diet for diabetes patient can help keep you satiated and promote weight loss.



Best options For Protein:



  • Eggs


  • Tofu


  • Beans and legumes


  • Plain, nonfat Greek yogurt


  • Raw, unsalted nuts, like almonds and walnuts (in moderation)



Worst options of Protein:



  • Bacon


  • Flavored or sweetened nuts


  • Sweetened smoothies




What Are the Best Grains for Diabetic Patients?


Contrary to popular belief, not all carbohydrate are off-limits if you’re dealing with diabetes. According to ADA, vitamin-rich whole grains in a healthy diabetes diet. These foods contain a good amount of fiber, which is beneficial for the digestive system.


Just keep in mind that any type of grain contains carbohydrates, so counting carbs and practicing portion control are keys to keep your blood sugar level steady.




Best options in Grains(in moderation):


  • Wild or brown rice


  • Whole-grain bread


  • Whole-grain cereal, like oats


  • Whole-wheat pasta



Worst options in Grains:



  • White bread


  • Sugary breakfast cereals


  • Rice




Which Types of Dairy Products a Diabetic Patient Can Eat?



Dairy products in moderation can be a great choice for a diet for diabetes patient. Whenever possible, opt for fat-free dairy product to keep calories down and unhealthy saturated fats at bay.



Best options in Dairy Products:


  • Skim milk


  • Nonfat plain Greek yogurt


  • Reduced-fat cheese (in moderation)



Worst options in Dairy Products:


  • Full-fat or reduced-fat (2 percent) milk, especially chocolate or other flavored milk


  • Cottage cheese


  • Yogurt


  • Cheese


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What Vegetables Are Good For Diabetic Patients?




Vegetables are one of the most important food group to include in any diet, and also in the diet for the diabetes patient. Veggies are full of nutrients and fiber, and non-starchy varieties are low in carbohydrates too.



Best nonstarchy veggie options:


  • Green vegetables, like spinach, kale, and Swiss chard


  • Cruciferous veggies, like broccoli and cauliflower


  • Cucumbers


  • Brussels sprouts


  • Onions


  • Peppers



Veggies to include in moderation :



  • Corn


  • Yams


  • Peas


  • Beets



What Fruits Are Good and Worst for Diabetes?



Fruit usually gets a bad reputation due to its carbohydrate content, but some food group can actually be good in a diabetes diet if chosen wisely and eaten in moderation. Fruit can be a great replacement for unhealthy processed sweets, like pastries, cakes, and cookies.



Best options in Fruits:


  • Apples with the skin on


  • Peaches with the skin on


  • Pears with the skin on


  • Oranges


  • Melon


Worst options in Fruits:



  • Dried fruit


  • Packaged juices


  • Grapes


  • Banana


  • Kiwi


  • Canned fruit in syrup



What Sources of Fat Are Good and Bad for Diabetes?


Fat is not the enemy! As we can say all fats are not bad. In truth, getting enough of the right kind of fat can help you curb unhealthy cravings, lose weight, and ultimately attain better control over your glucose sugar. The key is knowing what is good fat and the bad fat.



Best options of Fat:



  • Avocados


  • Nuts, like almonds, pecans, walnuts, and pistachios


  • Nut butter


  • Olives


  • Plant-based oils, like soybean oil, corn oil, olive oil, and sunflower oil


  • Seeds, like flaxseed and chia seed


  • Tofu





Worst options for Fat:



  • Fast food


  • Full-fat dairy products


  • Coconut and palm oil


  • Packaged snacks, like crackers, corn chips, and potato chips


  • Processed sweets, like doughnuts, cakes, cookies, and muffins





Diabetes is a chronic and one of the most common diseases worldwide. Proper medication, diet and healthy lifestyle help to manage the condition. So, know the importance of diet in diabetes patient to stay healthy and fit along with diabetes.



About Dr. Prakhar Garg: Dr. Prakhar Garg retains more than 10 years of experience in the field of Diabetes & other illnesses. To consult Dr. Prakhar Garg you can book an online appointment.


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