Managing Diabetes with a Healthy Diet: Tips and Recipes

Left Image

By Dr. Sandeep Benkal

Dr. Sandeep Benkal boasts a comprehensive fifteen-year background as an Ayurvedic doctor, with a particular specialization in skin conditions, arthritis, PCOS, and diabetes management.

BAMS, DND| 15+ Years of Experience

Managing Diabetes with a Healthy Diet: Tips and Recipes

As per Indian Council of Medical Research – India Diabetes (ICMR INDIAB) study published in 2023, the prevalence of diabetes is 10.1 crores.” This is why, effective management of diabetes plays a significant role, which includes extra care to diet. It is proven that a balanced diet can help control blood sugar levels, improve overall health, and reduce the risk of complications.

Here are a few essential tips and recipes to help you manage diabetes with a diabetes-friendly diet:

Monitor Consumption of Carbohydrates

Carbohydrates have the most significant impact on blood sugar levels in the human body. Which is why is important to choose complex carbs like whole grains, legumes, and vegetables, and avoid simple sugars and refined carbs.

Choose Fibre-Rich Foods

Fibre slows the absorption of sugar and helps regulate blood sugar levels. Your daily diet must include plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and legumes.

Consume Healthy Fats

Healthy fats from sources like avocados, nuts, seeds, and olive oil can help improve insulin sensitivity and support heart health.

Eat Smaller Portions

Eating smaller, well-balanced meals throughout the day can help maintain stable blood sugar levels. Be mindful of portion sizes to avoid overeating.

Limit Processed Foods

Processed foods often contain unhealthy fats, added sugars, and high levels of sodium. Focus on whole, minimally processed foods.

Stay Hydrated

Drink plenty of water throughout the day to stay hydrated and support overall health. Avoid sugary drinks and limit alcohol consumption.

Plan Your Meals

Planning meals and snacks in advance can help you make healthier choices and avoid untimely cravings and consuming unhealthy foods and snacks.

Diabetes Friendly Recipes

Here are a few Diabetes-friendly recipes you can try at home and take control of your sugar levels.

Vegetable Omelette for breakfast:


2 eggs

1/4 cup chopped bell peppers

1/4 cup chopped spinach

1/4 cup chopped tomatoes

1/4 cup chopped onions

1 tbsp olive oil

Salt and pepper to taste 

Preparation Method: 

Heat olive oil in a pan over medium heat. Sauté onions and bell peppers until soft. Add spinach and tomatoes, and cook until spinach wilts. Beat eggs in a bowl, season with salt and pepper, and pour over the vegetables. Cook until eggs are set, folding the omelette in half. Serve it hot.

Quinoa Salad with Chickpeas for lunch:


1 cup cooked quinoa

1/2 cup canned chickpeas, drained and rinsed

1/4 cup chopped cucumber

1/4 cup chopped cherry tomatoes

1/4 cup chopped red onion

2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley

1 tbsp olive oil

1 tbsp lemon juice

Salt and pepper to taste 

Preparation Method: 

In a large bowl, combine quinoa, chickpea, cucumber, cherry tomatoes, red onion, and parsley. In a small bowl, whip together olive oil, lemon juice, salt, and pepper. Pour the dressing over the salad and toss to combine. Serve at room temperature.

Multi-grain Masala Roti for Dinner:


1/2 cup Ragi Flour

1/4 cup Jowar Flour

1/4 cup Bajra Flour

2 tbsp Wheat Flour

Salt to taste

Olive Oil for cooking 

Preparation Method:

Dry roast all the flours separately and allow it to cool down. Mix all the flours in a wide bowl, add in all the spices and onions. Slowly add warm water and knead to a stiff dough.  Divide the dough into equal balls. This roti needs to be patted down, so on a wet cloth or plastic sheet, pat down each ball into a circle. Heat a tawa, grease with cooking oil. Gently transfer the rotis and cook on both sides.

Serve it as well as the spice is enough, else this makes a great combination with chutneys.

Karela Tikki Recipe for Snacks:


  • 2 Karela (Bitter Gourd/ Pavakkai), grated
  • 1 Carrot (Gajjar) grated
  • 200-gram grated paneer
  • 1/4 cup Oats Flour
  • 2 Green Chillies, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon Red Chilli powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon Turmeric powder (Haldi)
  • 1 teaspoon Chaat Masala Powder
  • 1/4 cup Coriander (Dhania) Leaves chopped
  • Salt to taste
  • Olive Oil for frying tikkis 

Preparation Method:

Prepare all the ingredients and keep aside. Ensure you use the skin and the juice from the karela, as all the nutrition is present in the juice and the skin which will be very helpful for the diabetic. Combine the bitter gourd, carrots, paneer, oats flour, chaat masala ,red chilies powder, turmeric powder,  green chillies, coriander and salt together in a mixing bowl and mix well. Check the taste and adjust the salt accordingly.

Divide the mixture into equal portions and shape into round, flat karela tikkis. Preheat a pan over medium heat, place each tikki and drizzle oil over the tikki and cook on medium heat on both sides until it gets a golden brown colour on both sides. Cook on low to medium heat, so the karela will cook from the inside as well. Once done transfer the Karela Tikki into a plate with an oil absorbent paper and serve hot.

Managing diabetes with a healthy diet involves making smart food choices, monitoring portion sizes, and including a variety of nutrient-rich foods. By incorporating these tips and recipes into your daily routine, you can control the blood sugar levels effectively and enjoy overall health.