Diet during diabetes

diabetic meal plan plate method

Diabetes mellitus – a chronic metabolic disorder characterized by hyperglycemia (high glucose in blood) which is due to defective production or activity of insulin or both. It causes the disturbance in metabolism of carbohydrates, proteins and fats.


High blood sugar, frequent urination, dehydration and thirst, weight loss and fatigue, tiredness and increased hunger, unhealed wounds


Medical Nutrition Therapy

The goal of medical nutrition therapy for diabetics is to maintain the blood glucose level in to the required limit in order to improve the health and prevent further degenerative complications.

Principles of Medical Nutrition Therapy

  • Patient should maintain his/her ideal weight according to age, height and gender.
  • Person’s energy needs depend upon his/her height, weight, age gender and physical activity.
  • Respective amount of energy provided by carbohydrate, protein and fat should be 45-60%, 10-35%, 15-25% of total daily required energy.
  • Diet should contain proper amount of fibre. Foods with low glycaemic index are preferred.

Dietary Guidelines

  • There is no need of unnecessary avoidance of foods. Patients can eat varieties of foods with in the limit of calorie requirement by avoiding sugary and highly processed foods.
  • Proper amount of green & leafy vegetables and fruits should be included in diet for the fulfilment of requirement of vitamins and minerals.
  • Patient should avoid sweets and sugar containing foods and include complex carbohydrate and fibre rich foods in the meal.
  • Non-nutritive sweeteners can be used with care instead of sugar.
  • Consumption of solid fats, animal fats and ghee should be minimal. Fried food are better to be avoided.
  • Fasting feasting and irregular eating should be avoided
  • Wholesome foods have higher amount of vitamins, minerals and fibres and they also help to maintain blood sugar. Hence, they are better to be consumed as compared to processed foods.
  • Alcoholic drinks do not contain any nutrients but calories and they may boost the degenerative complications of the disease. So, they should be avoided.
  • Diabetics can consume up to 6 g of salt but those with hypertension and chronic kidney disease should consult health personal.

Points to be noted while making and eating food at home

  • Do not use unnecessary amount of oils while cooking.
  • Instead of methods using high amount of oils, cook foods using methods like roasting, boiling, steaming, baking etc.
  • Remove skin and fat while cooking meat.
  • Use low fat milk and dairy products.
  • It is better to consume varieties of vegetable oils rather than one.

Points to be noted while eating out

  • Do not order fried foods and sweets. Better to eat baked, boiled or steamed foods.
  • Order only the required portion of food. Do not overeat.
  • Give priority to fruits, vegetables, and salads than to energy dense and carbohydrate rich foods.
  • Do not add oils or mayonnaise in salads.
  • Order cream less soup.
  • Use lemon water instead of cold drinks or juices.

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