How Does Diet Therapy In Diabetes Work? Know Everything Here!

Medical Condition


Published on: 27-Mar-2024


10 min read




Anushka Tripathi


How Does Diet Therapy In Diabetes Work? Know Everything Here!

How Does Diet Therapy In Diabetes Work? Know Everything Here!

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Diabetes is a chronic metabolic disorder that is characterised by elevated blood sugar levels. One of the cornerstone approaches to managing diabetes is diet therapy. It requires careful management to prevent complications and maintain overall health 

Nutrition and physical activity are crucial for healthy lifestyle for diabetics. Along with so many other benefits, incorporating a healthy meal plan and being active helps you in keeping your blood glucose level baalnced and in moderation.  

For managing your blood glucose, you need to look into what you eat and drink along with performing physical activity and keeping your diabetes check with medicine. What you choose to add in your diet, how much you eat, and when you eat are all crucial aspects in keeping your blood glucose level balanced that your healthcare adviser recommends. 

In this blog, we will delve into the intricacies of diet therapy in diabetes, exploring its principles, benefits, and practical tips for implementation 

Table Of Contents 

1. What Are The Dietary Treatments For Diabetes? 

2. What Is The Diabetic Therapeutic Diet? 

3. How To Manage Diabetes Type 2 With Diet? 

4. Practical Tips For Implementation Of Diet Therapy For Diabetes 

5. Dietitian’s Recommendation 

6. The Final Say 

7. FAQs 

8. References 

What Are The Dietary Treatments For Diabetes? 

If you are eating well and consuming a well-balanced diet plan including fruits and veggies, fibrous foods, and good fats, you are managing your diabetes well. Here are the food choices that you must include in your diet plan:  

1. Healthy Carbohydrates 

When we eat, our body breaks down sugars and starches into blood glucose. Simple carbohydrates are known as sugars, while complex carbohydrates are known as starches. It is important to focus on complex carbohydrates like fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, like beans and peas and low-fat dairy products, such as milk and cheese to maintain good health.  

2. Fiber-Rich Foods 

Dietary fibre is the indigestible part of plant-based foods. It helps regulate digestion and blood sugar levels. Foods high in fibre include: 

  • Vegetables 

  • Fruits 

  • Nuts 

  • Legumes, like beans and peas 

  • Whole grains 

3. Heart-Healthy Fish 

You must intake heart-healthy fish at least twice a week. Fish like salmon, mackerel, tuna and sardines contain omega-3 fatty acids. These omega-3s helps in preventing heart related disease. 

4. 'Good' Fats 

Foods containing monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats helps in lowering your cholesterol levels. These include:  

  • Avocados  

  • Nuts 

  • Canola, olive and peanut oils 


What Is The Diabetic Therapeutic Diet? 

By helping regulate blood sugar levels and promote overall health, diet therapy plays a vital role in diabetes management. The following principles form the foundation of an effective diabetes diet: 

1. Emphasis On Whole Foods 

These foods are nutrient-dense and provide essential vitamins, minerals, and fiber such as fruits, whole grains, vegetables, lean proteins, and healthy fats, which should constitute the majority of the diet without causing rapid blood sugar fluctuations.  

2. Carbohydrate Control 

This often involves monitoring portions and choosing complex carbohydrates. As carbohydrates have great impact on blood sugar levels, controlling carbohydrate intake is crucial with a lower glycemic index to prevent rapid spikes in blood sugar  

3. Balanced Meals 

Balancing macronutrients helps stabilise blood sugar levels. Meals should be balanced and include a combination of carbohydrates, proteins, and fats that provide sustained energy throughout the day.  

4. Portion Control 

Portion control helps manage calorie intake and prevent overeating. Measuring food portions and being mindful of serving sizes can aid in portion control which can curb the chances of weight gain—a significant risk factor for type 2 diabetes.   

5. Protein And Fat Balance 

Lean protein sources include poultry, fish, tofu, legumes, and low-fat dairy products Including adequate amounts of protein and healthy fats in each meal can help stabilize blood sugar levels and promote satiety. Healthy fats helps in improving insulin sensitivity and reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease like those found in avocados, seeds, nuts, and olive oil 

6. Monitoring Blood Sugar Levels 

To assess the impact of their dietary choices and make necessary adjustments regularly monitoring your blood sugar levels becomes crucial for individuals with diabetes. This information can help them identify patterns and make informed decisions about their dietary intake by understanding how specific foods affect their blood sugar. 

7. Individualised Approach 

Taking advice from a registered dietitian can help individuals with diabetes. Nutrition therapy should be individualised based on factors such as weight, age, activity level, personal preferences, and medication use. And develop a personalised meal plan that meets their nutritional needs and fits their lifestyle 

8. Education And Support 

This may include teaching them how to read food labels, plan meals, and make healthier food choices when dining out. Providing education and ongoing support is crucial for empowering individuals with diabetes to make healthy dietary choices adhere to their nutrition therapy plan and manage social and emotional factors that may impact their eating habits.  

9. Consistency 

Eating meals and snacks at regular intervals prevents extreme fluctuations in blood sugar. Consistency in meal timing and composition is essential for regulating blood sugar levels and optimizing insulin sensitivity.    

How To Manage Diabetes Type 2 With Diet? 

To manage your diabetes type 2, here is a sample diet plan that will help you understand how to do a weekly meal plan for blood sugar control:  


Breakfast (8:00-8:30 AM) 

2 slice Brown Bread +1 slice low fat cheese +1 Boiled egg + 1/2 glass low fat milk.  

Mid-Meal (11:00-11:30 AM) 

1 bowl Green gram sprouts   

Lunch (2:00-2:30 PM) 

3 Roti with 1/2 bowl Salad and Fish curry (100 gm fish) and 1/2 bowl Cabbage subji 

Evening (4:00-4:30 PM) 

1 Portion fruit  

Dinner (8:00-8:30 PM)  

2 Roti/chapati. + Tomato subji 1/2 bowl 


Breakfast (8:00-8:30 AM) 

2 Idli + Sambar 1/2 bowl/ 1 tablespoon green chutney/ Tomato Chutney  

Mid-Meal (11:00-11:30 AM) 

1 Portion fruit 

Lunch (2:00-2:30 PM) 

1 cup rice with 1/2 bowl Dal and Palak subji 1/2 bowl + 1/2 cup low fat curd 

Evening (4:00-4:30 PM) 

1 cup Green tea+ 1 wheat Puff 

Dinner (8:00-8:30 PM) 

2 roti/ Chapati+ Ladies finger subji 1/2 bowl 


Breakfast (8:00-8:30 AM)  

1 Paratha + 1/2 bowl green peas curry  

Mid-Meal (11:00-11:30 AM) 

1/2 bowl boiled Black Channa 

Lunch (2:00-2:30 PM) 

1 bowl Veg Pulao with 1/2 bowl Soya Chunk curry and 1/2 cup Low fat curd 

Evening (4:00-4:30 PM) 

1 Portion low-GI fruit 

Dinner (8:00-8:30 PM)  

2 plain Wheat Dosa + 1/2 plate Bitter guard subji 


Breakfast (8:00-8:30 AM) 

2 Methi Paratha + 1 tbs green chutney 

Mid-Meal (11:00-11:30 AM) 

1 Portion fruit (Avoid high-GI fruits. Eg: Banana, Mango, Chikku.)  

Lunch (2:00-2:30 PM)  

1 bowl Rice with Chicken curry (150 gm chicken 1 cup) with Pulses and Cucumber salad 

Evening (4:00-4:30 PM) 

1 cup Green tea and Brown rice flakes poha 1 small bowl 

Dinner (8:00-8:30 PM) 

1 bowl Broken wheat upma with 1/2 plate Green beans subji   


Breakfast (8:00-8:30 AM) 

Vegetable Oats Upma 1 bowl with 1/2 glass low-fat milk 

Mid-Meal (11:00-11:30 AM) 

1 bowl Plain Yoghurt with raw vegetables or 1 bowl grilled vegetables 

Lunch (2:00-2:30 PM) 

2 Chapati with 1/2 bowl Cluster Beans subji and Fish curry(100g fish) 1/2 bowl 

Evening (4:00-4:30 PM) 

1 cup Green tea+ ½ bowl Makhana  

Dinner (8:00-8:30 PM) 

1 bowl Broken wheat upma and 1/2 bowl Green Beans subji   


Breakfast (8:00-8:30 AM)  

1 bowl Mix veg Poha with 1/2 glass low-fat milk 

Mid-Meal (11:00-11:30 AM) 

1 Portion fruit (Avoid high-energy fruits. Eg: Banana, Mango, Chikku.) 

Lunch (2:00-2:30 PM) 

1 bowl Rice + Soya chunk curry 1/2 bowl and Ladies finger subji with small bowl low fat curd 

Evening (4:00-4:30 PM) 

1 bowl boiled Channa and 1 cup green tea 

Dinner (8:00-8:30 PM) 

2 Roti/chapati and Ridge guard subji 1/2 bowl 


Breakfast (8:00-8:30 AM) 

2 Uthappam + 1 tbs green chutney 

Mid-Meal (11:00-11:30 AM) 

1 bowl boiled Channa 

Lunch (2:00-2:30 PM) 

1/2 bowl rice with 2 medium chappati+1/2 bowl Kidney beans curry 

Evening (4:00-4:30 PM) 

1 Portion fruit(Avoid high-energy fruits. Eg: Banana, Mango, Chikku.) 

Dinner (8:00-8:30 PM) 

2 chapati with 1/2 bowl mix veg curry 


Practical Tips For Implementation Of Diet Therapy For Diabetes 

Implementing diet therapy for diabetes management may seem daunting at first, but with the right approach, it can become a sustainable lifestyle. Here are some practical tips:  

1. Meal Planning 

Add a variety of foods from all food groups and plan meals to ensure they are balanced and meet nutritional needs to ensure adequate intake of essential nutrients 

2. Reading Food Labels 

Choose options lower in added sugars and saturated fats. Understand the carbohydrate content, serving size, and nutrient composition of packaged foods and familiarise yourself with food labels.  

3. Portion Control Tools 

This is especially important for carbohydrate-rich foods like grains, fruits, and starchy vegetables. Use food scales, measuring cups, and visual cues to control portion sizes and prevent overeating.   

4. Seek Professional Guidance 

Take advise from a certified diabetes educator for personalised dietary advice and support. They can help tailor a meal plan that fits your individual needs, preferences, and lifestyle.      


Dietitian’s Recommendation  

For effective diet therapy in diabetes, a dietitian advises focusing on balanced meals with controlled carbohydrate intake, lean proteins, and healthy fats. Incorporating whole foods, such as vegetables, fruits, and whole grains, provides vital nutrients and fibre while minimising spikes in blood sugar. Portion control and consistent meal timing are essential to regulate blood sugar levels 

Seeking personalised guidance from a dietitian helps individuals develop sustainable dietary habits tailored to their specific needs and preferences, empowering them to achieve optimal health outcomes. Monitoring blood sugar levels and adjusting insulin therapy as needed are key components of successful diabetes management  

-Dt. Akshata Gandevikar 

The Final Say  

Adhering to principles such as carbohydrate control, emphasis on whole foods, portion control, balanced meals, and consistency can help individuals with diabetes optimise their dietary habits and improve their quality of life. Diet therapy in diabetes is a cornerstone of insulin management, offering numerous benefits for blood sugar control, weight management, and overall health. With practical tips for implementation and professional guidance, adopting a healthy diet tailored to diabetes management can become an achievable and sustainable lifestyle choice.  


1. What is nutrition therapy in diabetes? 

Nutrition-based treatment nutrition therapy for type 1 diabetes as per recommended by a registered dietitian nutritionist involves a nutrition diagnosis along with therapeutic and counselling services to help manage diabetes. 

2. What is therapeutic diet in diabetes mellitus? 

Including the right foods in your diet for diabetics type 2 means eating a variety of healthy foods from all the food groups:  

  • Fruits and veggies  

  • Whole grains, like barley, quinoa, brown rice  

  • Proteins, like chicken, fish, eggs, nuts, beans, lentils, and tofu 

3. How does diet therapy for diabetes mellitus help? 

Diet therapy in diabetes mellitus promotes consumption of carbohydrates at meals and snacks each day will help to keep blood glucose levels from getting too high or too low. Focus on keeping the amount of carbohydrate intake moderate to keep your blood glucose levels from going too high. 

4. What is nutritional therapy for diabetes?  

Nutrition therapy for diabetes involves a dietitian or nutritionist helps with nutrition therapy and includes diet which helps with diabetes to control blood sugar levels and to boost metabolism.  




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