Saturday, September 3rd, 2016

Are you diabetic? Seven must-eat foods for diabetes patients

Rajkumari Tankha | September 3, 2016 1:30 am Print
After speaking to nutritionists, we have come up with seven foods that a diabetic patient must include in his/her daily diet.

Spinach : A food for Diabetes


We all know what not to eat in case one suffers from diabetes, but not many know what all ingredients or food should be included in the diet of a diabetic patient.

After speaking to nutritionists, we have come up with seven foods that a diabetic patient must include in his/her daily diet.

All these food items are rich in antioxidants, and it is no secret that anti-oxidants help reduce the risk of complications associated with adult diabetes. What’s more you don’t have to go out searching for these food items, these are all readily available and in fact, are also a part of your kitchen shelves. Only thing is you perhaps haven’t paid them much attention.


These are non-gluten, non-acid forming foods and are high in proteins, fibre, calcium, iron, potassium, magnesium, and zinc. They not only help prevent diabetes but also other complications like heart disease and cancer. Millets are also relatively rich in B vitamins (especially niacin, B6 and folic acid) and phosphorus.

Among the millets, pearl millet (Bajra) has the highest content of macronutrients and micronutrients such as iron, zinc, magnesium, phosphorus, folic acid and riboflavin.

Finger millet (Ragi) is an extraordinary source of calcium. Though low in fat content, it is high in PUFA (polyunsaturated fatty acids). It is also rich in essential amino acids, like lysine, threonine, valine, sulphur containing amino acids.

In winter months, one can eat Bajra/ragi roti, it tastes delicious with a little ghee and gur. In summer months, one can mix ground the millet and mix it in wheat flour. Just about half-a-kg of millet is enough for 10 kg of wheat. IT not only gives health benefits but also makes the plain roti better.


Beans (kidney beans, black beans, soybeans, chickpeas, lentils, and dried peas, etc) are a diabetes super food. People with diabetes should make dried beans or no-sodium canned beans a staple in their diet. They are low on the glycemic index and can help manage blood sugar levels better than many other starchy foods. Beans also contain protein and fiber, making them a healthy two-for-one nutritional component to every meal.

Sweet potato

Sweet potatoes have high fibre and vitamin content. When boiled, they have a low glycemic index which means that they won’t spike your blood sugar as much as regular potatoes. Eating sweet potatoes in moderate amounts will help you keep your blood sugar levels in the healthy range even if you have diabetes.


Spinach is also a diabetes super food. It is a rich source of anti-oxidants, vitamins and phytochemicals. Just one cup of spinach contains 40 per cent of daily magnesium requirement, and magnesium is the mineral that helps regulate blood sugar levels.



Because of their low carbohydrate content, tomatoes play a big role in controlling blood sugar levels. The low carbohydrate content also helps lower calorie intake and can help diabetics to lose weight. Tomatoes are a rich source of antioxidants and help restore the body’s oxidative balance. Tomatoes are a rich source of vitamin C, vitamin E and beta carotene, all conventional antioxidants. They also contain high levels of phytonutrients like flavones and carotenes like lycopene and lutein. These antioxidants protect the body by reducing lipid peroxidation (a process of oxygen damage to fats in the bloodstream or in cell membranes). Studies involving tomatoes have shown that its antioxidant properties offer protection to the kidneys and bloodstream, two areas that are frequently affected by diabetes.


Having flaxseed on a regular basis decreases the level of fasting sugar, bad cholesterol and trigylcerides, in patients with Type 2 diabetes. What’s more, just a tablespoon of ground flaxseed powder every morning with warm water is enough for you.


Low-fat yogurt contains both high-quality carbohydrates and protein that prevents an unhealthy rise in blood sugar. Studies also show that a diet high in calcium from yogurt and other calcium-rich foods is associated with a reduced risk of Type 2 diabetes.



Rajkumari Tankha
Rajkumari Tankha
The writer is a Delhi-based journalist. She has previously worked for Ministry of I & B (Govt of India), Hindustan Times and Special Audience Publications.