How Does Diet Impact Diabetes? Take A Look At The South Indian Diabetic Diet

Dr. Pakhi Sharma (MBBS)
Dr. Pakhi Sharma (MBBS)

General Physician | 6+ years

South Indian Diabetic Diet
Living with diabetes, hypertension or any other chronic disease requires you to do multiple things – track vitals, take medicines & stay on top of your health at all times. If this overwhelms you, switch to Phable – India’s No. 1 BP & Sugar Management App to manage your condition better. Take charge of your health and stay connected with doctors, order medicines and do a whole lot more from the comfort of your home.

There is no doubt that a healthy diet lays the foundation for better health. With diabetes, it becomes even more important to keep an eye on what you eat. But what kind of diet works best for diabetics? Is there a South Indian diabetic diet? Let’s see how choosing the South Indian diet can favour you in controlling your blood sugar levels.

Contents:
  • blog_single_bullet_icon
    Diet and Diabetes
  • blog_single_bullet_icon
    What Types of Foods Should You Eat?
  • blog_single_bullet_icon
    How Often and How Much Should You Eat?
  • blog_single_bullet_icon
    Benefits of the South Indian Diet for Diabetics
  • blog_single_bullet_icon
    South Indian Diabetic Diet Chart
  • blog_single_bullet_icon
    What are the Foods to Avoid?
  • blog_single_bullet_icon
    Additional Tips to Follow
  • blog_single_bullet_icon
    Don’t Have Time To Read?
  • blog_single_bullet_icon
    FAQs
web-banner
Mweb-banner
AD
MOAds_750x750

Diet and Diabetes

Diabetes is a chronic condition that is characterised by high blood sugar levels. It can be managed well with lifestyle habits, which include healthy dietary changes. For managing diabetes, there isn’t one perfect meal or diet plan that works for everybody. It is all about eating the right food in the right amount at the right time. Let’s understand what foods are right for your diabetes diet. 

What Types of Foods Should You Eat?

With diabetes or prediabetes (a condition that precedes and increases the risk of Type 2 diabetes), it is highly essential that you follow a healthy diet plan in order to keep your blood sugar levels under control. Carbohydrates or carbs are the main source of glucose for your body. The more carbs you consume, the higher your blood sugar levels will be.

Therefore, it is necessary that you maintain healthy amounts of carbs in your meals. Your diabetes diet should have a mix of healthy carbohydrates, dietary fibre, healthy fats, and proteins.

  • Healthy Carbohydrates: Sources of healthy carbohydrates include fruits such as apples and pomegranates, non-starchy vegetables such as broccoli and spinach, whole grains such as wheat or barley, legumes such as beans and lentils, and low-fat dairy products such as milk and cheese.
  • Fibre-Rich Foods: Fibre helps delay digestion and slow down the absorption of glucose into your bloodstream. Some fibre-rich food items include fruits, vegetables, brown rice, whole wheat, barley, quinoa, and oats.
  • Healthy Fats: It is essential that you include healthy or unsaturated fats in your daily diet as they contribute to your overall health and help keep your sugar levels in control. Sources of healthy fats include avocados, nuts (almonds, cashews, etc.), cheese, and dark chocolate. Full-fat yoghurt, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, and olive, canola, peanut and extra virgin coconut oil.
  • Proteins: A sufficient intake of proteins helps stabilise your blood sugar levels. Some healthy protein sources include fish, chicken, egg, turkey, beans, lentils, and tofu.

How Often and How Much Should You Eat?

A diabetes diet focuses on having three well-planned meals in a day along with healthy snacks in between. To control your portions, you can follow the diabetes plating method. It is a simple visual method that helps you make a healthy meal while keeping the portions in control.

On a 9-inch plate, fill one half with non-starchy vegetables, one quarter with lean proteins and the other quarter with carb sources. Also choose a low-calorie drink such as water, or an unsweetened fruit juice to go with your meal.

As discussed, the foods you choose, and how you plan your meals, matters while managing diabetes. The South Indian diet is filled with a number of healthy options to choose from, and would work perfectly for diabetics. Read on to know more. 

Benefits of the South Indian Diet for Diabetics

The South Indian diet focuses on plant-based food that is high in fibre and low in carbohydrates. Fibre slows down the digestion process and leads to a gradual rise in blood sugar levels. Foods that have a low carbohydrate content are ideal for diabetics as carbs can cause a considerable spike in your blood sugar levels. 

The South Indian diet includes more fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, nuts, and low-fat dairy products that are beneficial for diabetics. A number of dishes that are a part of the South Indian cuisine are either boiled, steamed or fermented, which are healthier options for diabetics when compared to deep-fried or oily food. 

Therefore, choosing a South Indian diet plan would be ideal to maintain a healthy blood glucose level. Let’s take a look at a healthy South Indian diet chart for diabetics.

web-banner
Mweb-banner
AD
MOAds_750x750

South Indian Diabetic Diet Chart

Here’s a healthy South Indian diet chart for diabetics:

Early Morning

  • A glass of warm water with lime, ginger, and honey
  • A glass of unsweetened fresh juice
  • A cup of coffee or tea with skimmed milk and no sugar

Breakfast

  • Ragi dosas (2) or idlis (2 to 3) with chutney
  • Rice puttu with vegetable curry
  • Appam with vegetable stew
  • Upma made with cracked wheat, quinoa, or flattened rice

Mid-Morning Snacks

  • One cup of cut fruits (watermelon, strawberries, or peaches)
  • A handful of unsalted, roasted nuts
  • A glass of buttermilk 

Lunch

  • 1 bowl of brown rice, or broken millets with 1 cup poriyal (with carrot, beans or cabbage)
  • 1 bowl of curd rice with added nuts or seeds
  • 2 chapatis with dal and vegetable salad

Evening Snacks

  • One cup of tea or coffee with no sugar
  • Steamed snacks such as adai or kozhukatta
  • One bowl of poha with vegetables and nuts

Dinner

  • One bowl of vegetable salad
  • 2 wheat chapatis with dal and vegetables
  • Oats or wheat porridge with vegetables

What are the Foods to Avoid?

The following foods can be avoided while planning your diabetes diet:

  • Foods High in Sugar 

Avoid foods such as candies, cakes, icecream, cold drinks, sweets, pies, cookies, dairy desserts, packed fruit juices, and fast foods. 

  • Foods Rich in Saturated Fat

Foods such as butter, deep-fried items, burritos, pizza, doughnuts, red meat, burger, whole fat cheese, and hydrogenated oils (olive oil, sunflower oil, etc.) are high in saturated fats and should be avoided.

  • Foods High in Carbohydrates or Starch 

Steer clear of high-carb foods such as white rice, white bread, corn, potato, sweet potato, refined grains, and pasta.

Additional Tips to Follow

  • Grill or bake your food instead of deep frying.
  • Choose lean meat such as chicken or fish instead of red meat.
  • Add more vegetables and fruits to your meals.
  • Keep an eye on your portion size and eat on time.

Don’t Have Time To Read?

  • Diabetes is a chronic condition that is characterised by high blood sugar levels. It can be managed well with lifestyle changes which include having a healthy balanced diet.
  • Your diabetes diet should have a mix of healthy carbohydrates, dietary fibre, healthy fats, and proteins.
  • A diabetes diet focuses on having three well-planned meals in a day along with healthy snacks in between. To control your portions, you can follow the diabetes plating method of ½ plate non-starchy vegetables, ¼ plate lean protein, and ¼ plate carbs. 
  • A South Indian diet basically focuses on plant-based food. It includes more fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, nuts, and low-fat dairy products that are beneficial for diabetics. 
  • A number of South Indian food items are either boiled, steamed or fermented which are healthier options for diabetics when compared to deep-fried or oily food. 
  • While planning your diet, make sure to avoid foods that are high in sugar, saturated fat, and carbohydrates.
  • Grill or bake your food instead of deep frying, choose lean meat such as chicken or fish instead of red meat, add more vegetables and fruits to your meals, keep an eye on your portion size, and eat on time.
  • Use the Phable Care App to consult India’s leading diabetologists, order medicines, book lab tests, integrate blood sugar monitoring and other devices to get real-time remote care from the comfort of your home. Also, check out our Diabetes Management Program which provides ‎360º care. Let’s treat diabetes together.

Frequently Asked Questions

Most food items from a South Indian diet can be helpful for managing diabetes. Adding foods such as dosa, idli, upma, appam, poha, brown rice, wheat chapatis, or adais in your daily diet will help in keeping your blood sugar levels under control.

When choosing a healthy Indian breakfast for diabetics, make sure that you include foods with a low carbohydrate and high fibre content. You can choose healthy options such as oats, ragi idlis or dosas, puttu, appam, or upma.

Dosa is a healthy option for diabetics as it is a good source of proteins and healthy fats and also has a low glycemic index. 

Curd is a fermented food and it has a low glycemic index. It is ideal for diabetics as it does not cause a considerable rise in your blood sugar levels after consumption.

Ghee or clarified butter is a source of healthy fats, which is beneficial for diabetics. Including healthy fats in your diet helps improve insulin sensitivity and keeps your blood sugar levels in check. Remember that it is always better to use homemade ghee and also make sure to have it in moderation, as it is high in calories.

Sooji or rava (semolina) is a good source of protein and fibre and thus is beneficial for diabetics. Foods that are rich protein and fibre help in preventing a sudden spike in your blood sugar levels and are highly recommended for diabetics.

Dr. Pakhi Sharma
Dr. Pakhi Sharma, MBBS
(General physician, 6+ years)
An expert in obstetrics and medical emergencies, Dr. Pakhi Sharma, an alumni of Sri Devaraj Urs University of Higher Education and Research Centre, is a general physician working at Phablecare. She has 6+ years of work experience spread across gynaecology and obstetrics, family medicine, and medical emergencies at renowned hospitals and clinics.

Leave a Reply

Subscribe to stay healthy, with lifestyle tips every week

CONSULT
Doctors on demand
ORDER
Medicines & lab tests
MONITOR
Vitals & treatments
For Doctors
For Partners
About
Blog