Diets In Diabetes Mellitus

Diabetes Mellitus:

Diabetes mellitus is a chronic disorder that stops the body to use glucose entirely or moderately.   It is characterized as higher glucose concentration in the blood and modification in carbohydrates, protein and fat metabolism.

Diabetes Insipidus:

Diabetes insipidus shares some symptoms of diabetes mellitus as large urine output, great thirst and sometimes large appetite. But there are not collections of metabolic disorder but some symptoms of specific injury are present.

Classification of Diabetes:

  1. Type 1 Diabetes:
The “insulin dependent diabetes mellitus” “There is usually sudden onset and occur in the younger age group and there is an inability of pancreas to produce adequate amount of insulin”.
  • This may be caused by an virus OR due to autoimmunity
  • Acidosis is fairly common
  • The child is usually underweight.
2. Type 2 diabetes: The “Non-Insulin Dependent Diabetes Mellitus” This develops slowly and is usually more stable. Insulin may be produced by pancreas but action is impaired. It occurs mainly in adults.
  • Acidosis is infrequent
  •  The person is usually over weight.
3. MRDM: “Malnutrition Related Diabetes Mellitus” A third type of diabetes MRDM called by WHO has been categorized as a separate entity. It occurs in young people between 15-30 years of age. People with MRDM are undernourished. In MRDM pancreas fails to produce adequate insulin so patients require insulin. In contrast to type 1 diabetes these patients generally do not develop Ketoacidosis when insulin injections are discontinued”.
  • This type of diabetes is mainly seen in some developing countries. Like India, Bangladesh, Sri- Lanka, Brazil, Nigeria etc.
  • MRDM has so for not been reported from Pakistan.
Common Symptoms of Diabetes:
  • Increased thirst
  • Increased hunger
  • Dry mouth
  • Frequent urination
  • Weight loss
  • Blurred vision
  • Numbness in the hands or feet
  • Cuts that heal slowly or not at all
4. Gestational diabetes:  Gestational diabetes is a type of diabetes that only occurs in pregnant ladies. It is actually glucose intolerance and is diagnosed during pregnancy. Usually it is temporary but it can affect the health of both baby and mother. Gestational diabetes generally doesn’t have birth defects. Mostly ladies suffering from gestational diabetes have no symptoms, however a few may express some symptoms such as:
  • Infrequent thirst
  • Normal urination in large amounts
  • Fatigue (that is similar to the normal pregnancy fatigue so it is difficult to find the difference from normal pregnancy fatigue)
Basic healthy eating for diabetic:
  • Protein must be taken with every meal
  • Fruits and vegetables must be taken in every meal
  • Less than half of calories should be taken from carbohydrates
  • 31% or less diet should be made up of fat
  • Processed foods should avoid
  • Protein should increase in diets to avoid overeating
(Gestational diabetic ladies should try to take lean, protein-rich foods, such as Fish, chicken, Eggs, Tofu, Beans, Nuts, Seeds, Legumes) Foods that should be eating with gestational diabetes:
  1. Fresh vegetables
  2. Fruits like apples, oranges, peas, berries, grapefruit, etc.
  3. Eggs
  4. Whole grain breads and cereals
  5. Non-starchy vegetables
  6. Starchy vegetables like carrots and peas
  7. Beans
  8. Chicken
  9. A healthy pregnancy is possible with diabetes, there must require extra care, and if diabetics plan to get pregnant patients should visit their doctor first, a healthy diet and exercise are must. This formula helps to control blood sugar.

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Diabetic Diet Prescription:

Dietary measures are an essential part of treatments of diabetic patients. Who require treatment with insulin? If a fixed daily intake is achieved an exchange system is necessary.

Food Exchange Lists:

The diets for diabetic patients are set in term of exchange lists. These are the groups of measured foods of the same chloric value and same protein, fat, & carbohydrate and can be replaced one for another in a meal plan. Benefits: It helps the patient as:
  • To resist the food consumption according to the insulin instruction so both hyperglycemia and hypoglycemia can be prevented.
  • Have variability in diet.
  • Easy learning of principles of diet.

Nutritional Requirements:


High carbohydrates and high fiber diet improves insulin binding. High carbohydrate diet uplift serum triglyceride level. So the amount of carbohydrates is maintained to 60% of total caloric intake by a diabetic patient. Carbohydrates are part of healthy diet. As eating carbohydrates makes the blood sugar level rise.  But it doesn’t mean that the patient have to avoid the carbohydrates. The carbohydrates should be in form of polysaccharides such as bread, cereals, beans etc. diab diet3.png Whole apple is better than apple juice because of its high fiber contents and high glycemic index. diab diet4.jpg There are some foods that are necessary to avoid for a diabetic person:
  • Trans fats
  • White bread, pasta and rice
  • Fruit-flavored yogurt
  • Flavored coffee drinks
  • Honey, agave nectar and maple syrup
  • Dried fruits
  • Sugar-sweetened beverages. Sugar beverages are worst drink  for diabetics.

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Recommended protein for diabetic patients is 20% of kcals. Because it supplies that entire essential amino acids that are needed for the tissue repair. Protein doesn’t raise the blood sugar level. 1 g of protein per kg of body weight is adequate. In case of high amount of protein given the amount of carbohydrates and fat are proportionally reduced. Following high protein foods are good for type 2 diabetes:
  • Fatty fish, (sockeye salmon)
  • Canned tuna in water
  • Skinless turkey
  • Skinless chicken
  • Beans & legumes
  • Plain, nonfat yogurt
  • Raw unsalted nuts like almonds & walnuts
  • Eggs

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Fat content should be 15-25% of total calories in a diet and higher in polyunsaturated fatty acids. People having diabetes have not to worry about eating fats because fats don’t have an effect on blood glucose. But eating fatty foods can slow down digestion and make it problematic for insulin to work so in this way it causes a possible high blood glucose level.

Dietary fiber:

Dietary fibers are good for type 1 and type 2 diabetes such diets lowers:
  1. Insulin requirements
  2. Increased peripheral tissue insulin sensitivity
  3. Decrease serum cholesterol
  4. Aid in weight loss
  5. Lower B.P.
Fiber rich foods include:
  • Wholegrain breakfast cereals, whole-wheat pasta, wholegrain bread and oats, barley and rye.
  • Fruits such as berries, pears, melon and oranges.
  • Vegetables such as broccoli, carrots and sweet corn.
  • Peas, beans and pulses.
  • Nuts and seeds
  • Potatoes with skin
Fenugreek seeds : Fenugreek contains the high fiber so these are useful to diabetes. It contains mucilaginous fiber 20% and total fibers 50%. Fenugreek also lowers the levels of serum lipids such as cholesterol and triglyceride. The amount of fenugreek seeds taken in diet is depend upon the severity of diabetes. So the doses vary from 25g – 50g. Start with 25g (around two teaspoons) along with lunch and dinner.
  • The seeds are taken as such after soaking in water or in powder form as a drink in water or butter milk, 15 minutes before meal. Fenugreek seeds can be used in preparation of chapatti, rice, dhal and vegetables.
  • It has been observed that the requirements of antidiabetic drugs  decreases with the use of fenugreek


Foods that control blood sugar:

  • Raw, cooked or roasted vegetables.
  • Green. it contains regular salad, kale, spinach and chard
  • Flavorful, low calorie drinks
  • Melon or berries
  • Whole- grains, higher-fiber foods
  • A little fat
  • Protein


There are great benefits of exercises as exercises can reduces the diabetes in such away:
  1. Reduces stress
  2. Help in weight loss
  3. Increases fat loss
  4. Lowers the level of bad cholesterol (low density lipoprotein) and increase good cholesterol (high density lipoprotein).
  5. Lowers B.P.
  6. Increase the effectiveness of insulin in body
  7. Lowers blood sugar level.
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Author: Tehreem  Hayat   Food Science & Nutrition UOS (Sargodha)

Author: Inspired Trait

Analysing the Chemicals of Motivation and Inspiration; and researching to balance the Chemical Equation of Inspiration and Productivity.

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