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What to choose and what to avoid in Diabetes?

Diabetes or Diabetes Mellitus is defined as a chronic condition characterized by hyperglycemia: a state in which blood glucose level of the body is abnormally elevated. This is resulted due to partial or complete lack of insulin production by the beta cells of the pancreas.

According to WHO globally 347 million people have diabetes. Whereas Pakistan is the 7th largest country in terms of diabetes and it will become the 4th largest country in the year 2030. Really an alarming situation!

The pancreas is responsible for the production of insulin and it works as a key in the regulation of blood sugar levels. When you eat simple glucose, insulin is released by the Pancreas, it is attached to it and moves on to the cell surface where insulin receptors are present. The presence of insulin make these receptors active thus glucose is entered to the cells for the energy generation. This is the normal picture but in diabetes due to the absence of insulin cells receptors are unable to activate that results in increasing glucose levels in the bloodstream.

There are two types of diabetes

Type I diabetes in which the production of insulin by Pancreas is reduced or diminished. It is due to the autoimmune response of the body. It is diagnosed before the onset of 35 years.

Type II diabetes which is caused due to lack of physical inactivity, inappropriate diet, and increased weight. In this type of diabetes, insulin is sufficiently produced by the cells ability to uptake glucose is impaired. It is prevailing more than 90% than the Type I diabetes.
Selection of Diet during Diabetes

Nutrition counseling by the dietitian plays an important role in the management of diabetes. People should be made aware about the disease and the dietary management as it is an important measure for improving knowledge and diabetic status of the patients and thus help them to live the full life despite diabetes. Thus for this purpose, it is our responsibility to guide people about the selection of diet for diabetics.

Foods to Avoid in Diabetes

  • Table sugar/Sugary foods 
  • Commercial foods 
  • Bakery Products, confectioneries, desserts, and ice-cream. 
  • High glycemic index fruits ( Mango, Grapes, Dates, Banana, Lychee, Melon, Figs, Green/Black Mulberry, Pineapple) 
  • Chocolates, Energy bars 
  • Carbonated Beverages 
  • Some vegetables such as Potato, Colocasia (Kachalu), Turnip, Sweet Potato and Beetroot. 
  • Certain Dry fruits ( Dried Figs, Raisins, Black Currents, Dried Mulberry) 
  • Fatty Meals such as fried foods, Fat-tailed sheep meat, Red Meat, Organ Meat) 
  • One pot cooked Rice 
  • Cream, Full-fat milk/yogurt 
  • Refined foods 
  • Canned foods 
  • Fruit juices, Smoothies. 

Foods to Choose eat in Diabetes

  • Whole Grains 
  • Cereals and Legumes 
  • Fresh Vegetables 
  • Green Leafy Vegetables 
  • Eggs 
  • Poultry 
  • Lean Meat including Fish and Mutton (2-3 times a week) 
  • Fresh Fruits (Apples, Peaches, Apricots, Oranges, 1-2 Strawberries, 1 -2 slices of Water Melon, Plum, Guava, Pomegranate, Avocado) 
  • Milk and milk products (non-fat) 
  • Boiled rice (Water drained, 1-2 times a week) 

Remember that!

Selection of Portion size should be controlled. Overeating should be avoided. Along with Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner, in between them small meals should be planned.
 According to Carbohydrates Exchange List, 15 grams of carbohydrates (from allowed sources) should be in the diet in every meal to avoid hypoglycemia.

During Fasting Nutritionist considerations should be followed. Management of Diabetes During Fasting.

Points to follow during Diabetes

Along with dietary management overall management of diabetes also include:
  • Physical activities, walk and exercise to prevent obesity and overweight which is a risk factor for diabetes. 
  • Regular glucose monitoring should be made possible by providing glucometer to the diabetic patients so that they can be aware of their blood sugar level. 
  • If insulin therapy or oral medication is recommended by the doctor, the dose should be taken on time. 
  • Visit endocrinologist should be plan every month. 
  • Personal care, hygiene, and foot care should be done to prevent complications of diabetes. 
  • Avoid Smoking. 

One Day Menu Plan For Diabetics:


  • 2 Slices Brown Bread
  • 1 poached egg
  • 1 cup of Tea (without sugar)

Snack Time

1 Bowl of Chick pea chat


  • Channa Daal bhary Karely
  • Spinach raita
  • Fresh /salad without dressing ( Including Tomato, Cucumber, Onion Rings)
  • Whole wheat chapati
  • 1 Peach

Tea Time

  • 1 cup Tea
  • 1-2 Home Baked Whole wheat zeera biscuits


  • Black Grilled Fish/Chicken with saute vegetables (Capsicum, Carrot, Cabbage)
  • Boiled Rice 
  • Mint Raita


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