What is diabetes diet and its best dietary Guidelines 2021?

In this article, we will discuss what is diabetes diet and its dietary guidelines.

Diabetes is a disorder that prevents the body to utilize glucose completely or partially due to failure in the formation of insulin.

The average age for the onset of diabetes is around 40 years to 55 years, it varies according to country and lifestyle.

A study has found one in every two Indian (47%) living with diabetes and mostly, especially rural people are not aware of it.

According to the International diabetic federation in 2017 India had 72.9 million diabetes patients. 

About 422 million people worldwide have diabetes, it is becoming the leading cause of death in the world.

Type of Diabetes

Diabetes is classified into four types:

TYPE 1  (IDDM- INSULIN DEPENDENT DIABETES MELLITUS) occurs at a younger age due to the inability of the pancreas to produce an adequate amount of insulin.  

TYPE 2  (NIDDM- INSULIN DEPENDENT DIABETES MELLITUS) occurs usually in adults due to the impaired action of insulin by the pancreas.

TYPE 3 MRDM (MALNUTRITION RELATED DIABETES MELLITUS) As by name it is related to malnutrition, usually occurs in young people between 15-30 years.

TYPE 4 GESTATIONAL DIABETES- It occurs mainly in pregnancy due to hormonal changes and in most of the cases, it subsides itself within 6 months of delivery.

Symptoms of diabetes mellitus

  • Hyperglycemia (High glucose level in blood)
  • Glycosuria (High glucose level in urine)
  • Polyurea (Urine frequency increased)
  • Polydipsia (increased thirst)
  • Polyphagia (increased hunger).
  • Dehydration.
  • Fatigue and weight loss.
  • Increased excretion of potassium, magnesium, and phosphorus.
  • Fluid and electrolyte imbalance.

Diabetes diet recommendations

What is diabetes diet 2 -

Either TYPE 1 OR TYPE 2, dietary measures are very essential in both cases or in any kind of diabetes.

The diabetic diet is nothing but a balance of carbs, protein, fat, and fiber in a person’s diet to manage their glucose level and help to prevent hypoglycemia.

Carbohydrates– About 60-65% of the total calories we can give them through carbs. Most of the carbs are given in the complex form.

complex carbohydrates examples- oats, brown rice, multigrain flour, whole wheat bread, quinoa, etc.

Try to avoid food with high carbs and high sugar like white flour, semolina, desserts, pastries, sugar,carbonated drinks etc.

Protein– 20% of total calorie should be from protein because in a patient with TYPE 2 diabetes it does not raises blood sugar level and it also provides satiety with less calorie comparison to fat. 1gm/Kg body weight protein is good to fulfill the requirement.

chicken,beans egg ,yogurt ,almonds, tofu are good examples of protein.red meat should be avoided.

FAT– 15-20% of total calorie is required from fat, hence low-fat diet increase insulin binding. It should be on the higher side of PUFA (POLYUNSATURATED FATTY ACID), for example-wallnut , sunflower oil, flaxseeds, corn oil,soyabean oil, safflower oil.

Vitamins and minerals– Vitamin D deficiency may contribute to impaired glucose tolerance, also sodium has a role in the development of insulin resistance, that’s why moderate sodium restriction is beneficial in diabetes.

Dietary fiber– helps in both Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes. It decreases serum cholesterol and triglyceride value, helps in weight loss by providing satiety value, lower blood pressure, improve glucose metabolism without increasing insulin secretion.


Don’t go for artificial sweetener as they are not good for your health if taken in regular basis.

Try to limit/Cut down your sugar intake.

What is diabetes diet 1 e1621145612458 -

Glycemic Index


It is the ranking of food based on blood glucose response after taking any carbs with a comparison of other food.

Consuming food with a low GI score (under 55) will not raise blood sugar as much as food with a high GI (above 70).

GI is very helpful in maintaining diabetes.

But you can’t rely on only one factor, follow a dietician/nutritionist to make a low GI diet according to your food preference and other medical condition like CVD, hypertension, weight loss, etc, which is also the risk factors of Type 2 diabetes.

How to diagnose Diabetes?

Several tests are available to test diabetes.

Glycosuria- In this, urine samples are taken or test. If too much sugar is found in your blood, it will show in urine. It might indicate diabetes.

Ketonuria- High amount of ketone bodies excreted in the urine.

If both ketonuria and glycosuria are found the diagnosis is practically certain.

Random blood sugar- A random blood sugar level exceeding 200 mg/dl is almost certain to indicate diabetes.

Fasting blood sugar- A fasting blood sugar level exceeding 140 mg/dl is almost certain to indicate diabetes.

Oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT)-  In this test, an oral glucose solution is given to drink and measure how the sugar level rises in the blood.

a person with no diabetes, sugar level quickly rises then falls to normal range. The normal range is lower than 140mg/dl. Between 140-199 mg/dl considered as prediabetic, and 200mg/dl or more than 200mg/dl considered as diabetic.

HbA1c- In this test, your blood sample is taken. Through this, we can know how much-glycosylated hemoglobin (hemoglobin containing glucose) present in the blood.

HbA1c helps to know the average blood sugar level of the last 3 months.

HbA1c test result ranges below 6% show normal blood sugar, whereas between 6.0-6.4% show prediabetic and 6.5% or over indicate diabetes.

Treatment of Diabetes Mellitus

Diabetes can be treated by doing some lifestyle modification like doing some physical activity, changing your diet as per your Dietician recommend, in some cases, you will need some medication along with diet to treat diabetes, like some hypoglycemic drug or insulin, depending upon how severe the condition is.

Diabetes can also be controlled by ayurvedic herbs like Giloy.

Giloy is believed to be helpful in type-2 diabetes as it helps in the production of insulin and acts as a hypoglycemic agent.

So if you are diabetic and taking Giloy on regular basis, keep monitoring your blood sugar level regularly.

Myth and facts about diabetes

what is diabetes

If you liked this article on “What is diabetes diet and its best dietary Guidelines 2020 ” Please like and Share. And if you want to know more about it, comment below with your queries.

Thanks for Reading 🙂

Related Posts:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.