Diabetic Diet: A Complete Guide to Manage Diabetes with Healthy Food

Diabetic diet is one of the most searched questions! Do you know why? This is due to the increasing incidence of this life-threatening metabolic disorder.

Diabetes is one of the most serious conditions that are spreading at an alarming rate. The incidence of diabetes has increased many times over the past three decades, regardless of the level of income in the country.

According to the International Diabetes Federation, around 425 million adults (20-79 years old) live with diabetes.

In addition, 1 in 2 people with diabetes is not diagnosed. The expectation is that this will amount to 629 million in 2045. About 60 percent of diabetics occur in Asia.

79% of adults with diabetes lived in low and middle income countries: International Diabetes Federation

Diabetes that is diagnosed at an early stage is easy to monitor and control. The problem occurs when this condition remains unknown or untreated because it leads to various complications that affect the nervous system, heart, kidneys, and even hands and feet.

Where the market is flooded with medicines, attractive claims and supplements that regulate blood sugar levels. It is important to be aware of the disease and to manage its health in the most natural way.

What is diabetes?

Diabetes is a chronic, metabolic disease that is characterised by elevated blood glucose levels. It occurs because the body is unable to produce enough insulin for its own needs due to reduced insulin secretion, decreased insulin action or both.

The ancient Greeks coined the term “diabetes,” which means excessive peeing with dehydration, but neither they nor the Romans appreciated the urine containing sugar; “Diabetes” was considered a kidney disease until the 18th century.

Types of diabetes

There are mainly 3 types of diabetes.
Type 1 diabetes

This type of diabetes is also called juvenile diabetes, which primarily affects children and adolescents. It is an autoimmune disease because the cells that secrete insulin are destroyed by your body and therefore your body cannot produce insulin.

People with type I diabetes must survive the daily doses of artificial insulin to regulate blood sugar levels.

Type 2 diabetes

This is the most common type of diabetes, accounting for more than 90% of all diabetes cases. Usually occurs in middle age and older.

Also known as diabetes, it affects the way the body uses and responds to insulin. Unlike type I diabetes, the body still produces insulin, the body cells do not respond as effectively as normal.

Gestational diabetes

This type of diabetes is associated with a sudden rise in blood sugar levels during pregnancy, causing complications for both mother and child.

Although this type of diabetes is temporary and disappears after birth, it makes the mother more vulnerable to developing type 2 diabetes later in life.


Sometimes people are confused between pre-diabetes and diabetes. Pre-diabetes is an early stage of diabetes where the diagnosis prevents further complications from actual diabetes.

Also known as “borderline diabetes”, pre-diabetes is characterized by higher blood sugar levels than normal, but it is not high enough to be classified as diabetes.

What are insulin and its role in diabetes?

Insulin is a hormone produced by the pancreas that allows the human body to use sugar (also called glucose) from carbohydrates derived from food.

Insulin maintains blood sugar levels and prevents them from rising or falling too much. According to our built-in mechanism, your cells need sugars for energy and sugars cannot reach most cells directly. After eating a meal, your blood sugar levels rise and your pancreas releases insulin into your bloodstream.

This insulin attaches itself to sugars and helps them get into the cells. In fact, insulin is a basic element with which sugar can penetrate cells and is used for bodily functions. If the body has excess sugar, the liver’s insulin’s use it when the body needs it.

In short, insulin helps to maintain adequate blood sugar levels. The problem arises when your pancreas starts to release more or less insulin than your body needs. If insulin production is low, no sugars are consumed in your body, which can lead to long-term effects such as diabetes.

Risk factors for diabetes

Risk factors can vary from controllable to non-editable factors. A better understanding of risk factors helps to effectively prevent causes and disorders, as well as better management.

Risk factors can be subdivided into:
  1. Unmodifiable Risk factors
  • Family history
  • Age
  • Genetics

These risk factors cannot be controlled and require appropriate treatment and attention.

  1. Modifiable Risk factors
  • Unhealthy eating habits
  • Sedentary lifestyle
  • High BMI or obesity
  • Medical conditions such as high blood pressure, cholesterol, PCOS or pre-diabetes.
Symptoms of Diabetes

The symptoms are specific and timely diagnosis helps to better manage and treat the condition. The symptoms include

  1. Frequently feel thirsty

Are you thirsty even after drinking a few glasses of water? This may be one of the signs that your doctor should examine diabetes.

With diabetes our muscles and other tissues are dehydrated.

As the blood sugar level rises, the body tries to extract water from muscles and tissues to dilute the sugar in the blood. It dries out the body and we start to want to drink more water.

  1. Frequent urination

If you drink too much water, you need to pee more. The body also tries to get rid of excess sugar when urinating.

So if you think you pee more than usual, take this as a possible sign of diabetes and consult a doctor.

  1. Extreme pangs of hunger

Like drinking, if you are often hungry, even after eating, consult a doctor to rule out diabetes.

This happens when your tissues do not get enough energy from the food that you have eaten.

  1. Unexplained weight loss

If you have a normal diet and are still losing weight, try it because it usually occurs in people with type 1 diabetes.

If the body does not get enough energy from the food it eats, it breaks down other energy sources, such as fat and proteins. This leads to clear weight loss, which must be treated as a symptom of diabetes.

  1. Fatigue

As we all know, sugar acts as the largest energy supplier for the body. If we cannot convert sugar into energy with diabetes, we feel tired. This is the biggest symptom of diabetes.

  1. Fuzzy image

When the blood sugar level reaches abnormally high levels, this can cause blurred vision. This is because the fluid may have entered the eye canal. The problems usually disappear after lowering blood sugar.

According to research from the National Eye Institute (NEI), diabetic retinopathy is the leading cause of blindness in Americans. People with diabetes are more likely to have cataracts and glaucoma.

  1. Slow healing of infections and wounds

If you have type 2 diabetes, you may have problems healing infections and wounds. This is because more bacteria survive if the blood sugar level is high.

High blood sugar has a negative influence on the white blood cells, which are actually responsible for wound healing. As a result, wounds, wounds and infections heal much longer if the blood sugar level is high.

  1. Numbness in hands & feet

High blood sugar levels can affect blood circulation and damage your nerves. People with type 2 diabetes often experience pain or numbness in the hands and feet, which can lead to nerve damage.

These signs of diabetes can be deep, rapid breathing, nausea or vomiting, abdominal pain, red skin, confusion, fruity smelling breath and in severe cases lead to coma.

In some chronic cases, the following complications can occur: kidney disease (nephropathy), eye disease (diabetic retinopathy), nerve damage (diabetic neuropathy), vascular injury, amputation due to nerve and vascular injury, dental problems and skin problems.

Diagnosis of type 2 diabetes

Timely consultation with a doctor can help diagnose diabetes on time. Your doctor will check your blood sugar level.

In most cases, doctors perform the test within two days to confirm the disease. There are different types of tests to detect sugar levels.

  • Oral glucose test – This test essentially checks your sugar level two hours before and after drinking a sweet drink. The body’s ability to handle sugar is observed.
  • Fasting blood glucose test – the test is performed on an empty stomach. Do not eat or drink before the eight hours of the test.
  • HbA1C- Also known as glycated hemoglobin test, this requires an average blood glucose test of three months and requires a blood test. It includes the number of red blood cells that is glycated or bound to glucose molecules. The higher the blood sugar level, the higher the number of glaciated RBCs.
The perfect diet plan for diabetes

By “diabetic diet” we mean that you have to include the healthiest foods in your meals in regulated amounts and follow your normal meals.

You must concentrate on a diet full of nutrients, low in fat and calories. Make fruits, vegetables, proteins and whole grains the most important ingredients in your diet and it’s done! You can enjoy all dishes in the best possible way. Remember that moderation is the key!

It is important to eat three meals a day when following a diabetic diet. In this way you help your body to use insulin better.

It is always recommended to consult a dietician or dietician who can develop the most effective diet plan for you depending on your condition, taste and lifestyle.

Diet management alone is an important step to provide diabetics with treatment knowledge and skills, nutritional aspects, drugs and complications – American Diabetes Association

Role of a diabetes diet
  • The diabetic diet contains low-fat and low-calorie foods that help control blood sugar levels.
  • A well-planned, healthy diabetic diet can even prevent or delay the development of type 2 diabetes.
  • A good diet that includes different food groups will be a way to control body weight and thus fight obesity, which is an important factor in solving diabetes-related problems.
  • Nutritional implementations have been shown to be a key factor in combating heart disease, which in turn helps prevent diabetes.
  • A diet that meets nutritional needs such as potassium, magnesium and zinc can prevent diabetes. Usually individuals with uncontrolled hyperglycaemia show deficiencies in these minerals.
Diabetes diet food list

In particular, the list of foods for diabetics should include all products with a low IG (glycemic index) and rich in minerals and vitamins. Here is a list of foods that you can include and exclude in a diabetic diet

4 foods to include in a diabetic diet
  • Complex carbohydrates

The inclusion of foods that contain complex carbohydrates and low fat is one of the most important factors when planning a diabetic diet. Carbohydrates are the core because they influence blood sugar levels more than other food groups.

Eating more carbohydrates can raise your blood sugar, too few carbohydrates can lower the excess, which is also not healthy. That is why a sufficient amount of carbohydrates, especially complex carbohydrates with low GI, is healthy.

Based on the value of OG, foods are divided into 3:

  • Low: 55 or lower
  • Average: 56-69
  • High: 70 or more

Foods with a low GI contain complex carbohydrates such as whole grains, fruits and vegetables.


Although fruit is considered to be sugar promoters, there are some types of fruit that can help treat diabetes.

The only factor that can be looked at here is where management. Fruits such as berries, apricots, citrus fruits, etc. are especially good for diabetes.

Fiber-rich food

Foods such as whole grains, brown rice, bran are high in fiber and are great for maintaining a diabetic diet. Fiber-rich foods have also been shown to help control blood pressure and heart disease, which in turn helps to treat diabetes.


Good monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats or fats appear to be beneficial in a diet that is used to treat diabetes. We say it’s a diabetes treatment because a type 2 diabetes diet can prevent.

Lean meat, low-fat dairy products, vegetable oils and changing culinary habits, such as baking instead of frying, can help introduce the right fat into your diabetic diet.

5 foods to avoid in your diabetes diet
  1. Sweetened beverages

These drinks contain high levels of fructose that can affect insulin resistance and promote weight gain. Moreover, sugary drinks have been shown to promote health problems that are often associated with diabetes, such as fatty liver.

  1. Fat

Although good fats can help treat diabetes, bad fats are increasing, ie. trans fat, the heart risk. Although Trans fat does not directly raise blood sugar, they are responsible for inflammation of the body , which is especially harmful to patients with diabetes.

  1. Packaged food

Snacks for diabetics must be selected very carefully, as they usually make a major contribution. While most of us rely on packaged snacks, these processed foods with refined flour and a very large amount of carbohydrates increase significantly for diabetic patients.

  1. Fruit juices

A patient with type 2 diabetes must avoid tense fruit juice. Instead, it is better to eat whole fruit because they are high in fiber and can fill. Fruit is also a great snack option.

  1. Refined starch products

A diabetic diet should completely avoid refined starches such as white rice, flour and bread.

When digested, these foods act as sugars in the body and raise blood sugar. Therefore choose alternatives such as brown rice, oatmeal, millet, buckwheat, etc.