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What Are The Best Foods For A Diabetic Patient? What Is Diabetes Diet?

Preparing the right meal for a diabetic patient might be a difficult task. The most important fact is to control the blood sugar within the optimum level. With the proper diet and decreasing any form, sugary foods can reduce the risk of diabetic complications such as heart diseases and kidney diseases.

Important nutrition and foods for diabetic


Carbohydrates are the major source of energy and can be easily obtained because they can be found in almost every food that contains starch and sugar. However, most carbohydrates will affect the blood sugar level, so consuming the right amount of carbohydrates and the suitable form of carbohydrate is quite important.

carbohydrate intake for a diabetic has to be within the range of 45 to 65 percent of total calories per day. Diabetics are urged to consume at least 130 grams of carbohydrates every day as well.

Foods should be AVOID by diabetic patients:
  • All forms of sugar, such as brown sugar, white sugar, Melaka sugar, rock sugar and honey

  • Sugary drinks such as carbonated drinks, fizzy drinks, syrups and sweetened condensed milk

  • Variety of jams and kaya (Malaysian coconut egg jam)

  • Sweets, desserts, chocolates and cakes

  • Ice cream, sweet flavoured yoghurt, sweet flavoured lassi

  • Preserved food such as canned fruits dipped in syrup and gelatin

Foods with complex carbohydrates that can be eaten with SOME RESTRICTIONS

Cereals and grain products:

  • White rice or brown rice, porridge

  • Bread, biscuits, sugar-free cookies and cakes, oats

  • Pasta, macaroni, spaghetti

  • Noodles, vermicelli, kuey teow, laksa

  • Capati, roti canai, dosa, idli

  • Atta flour, rice flour and wheat flour

Starch-rich vegetables:

  • Carrots, potatoes, yams, breadfruit, corns and pumpkins

  • Radishes and turnips

Lentils and beans product:

  • Green beans, red beans, black beans

  • Peas, chickpeas, dhal beans and kidney beans

  • Papadom

Milk and dairy products:

  • Fresh milk, UHT, low-fat milk, creamer

  • Skim milk powder, full cream milk powder, low-fat milk powder

  • Natural yoghurt, sugar-free yoghurt

Fruits (fruits are high in fructose, a diabetic can only consume a small amount):

  • Apples, pears, oranges, starfruit

  • Ciku, kiwi, lemon, papaya, pineapple, watermelon, honeydew

  • Guava, mango, banana

  • Langsat, longan, rambutan, lychee, prunes, raisins, dates, mangosteen

  • Jackfruit, cempedak, durian

Foods that can be consumed at will:

  • Green leafy vegetables include spinach, broccoli, Chinese broccoli, water spinach, long beans, tomatoes, cucumbers, parsley, and others.

  • Suitable drinks for diabetic patients are sugar-free drinks such as Chinese tea, mineral water, plain barley, black coffee and black tea.

  • Spices and herbs, such as chilli powder, curry powder, cinnamon, cloves, coriander, ginger, lemongrass, cumin, black pepper, tamarind and chia seed.


Daily fat intake should be between 20 to 25 per cent of the total calories. Normally, consuming food, as usual, can obtain a sufficient amount of essential fat. Taking in excess fats will lead to an increase in calories causing weight gain and a high risk of heart diseases as well as high blood pressure, hypertension.


Mainly the intake of saturated fats should be well controlled, the examples are ghee, coconut milk, cream, coconut oil, margarine and mayonnaise.


Proteins are beneficial for promoting the growth of cells and muscles. Ideally, the daily diet should contain as much as 10 to 20 percent of protein out of the total calories. In another way, consume a protein-rich diet on average 2-3 servings per day. Furthermore, the examples of foods with high amounts of proteins are fish, shrimps, squids, skinless chicken, lean meats, soybeans, tofu, and tempeh and low-fat dairy products.


Fibre is very good in terms of slowing down the absorption of glucose into the bloodstream. Fibre also slows down the emptying of the stomach content so that the feeling of fullness lasts longer and it prevents constipation. Fibre intake of 20 to 35 grams per day from various food sources is recommended. There are two types of fibre:

  • Water-soluble fibre such as oats, legumes, vegetables and fruits.

  • Water-insoluble fibre such as whole-grain products, brown rice and wholemeal biscuits.

Diabetic products

Examples of diabetic products are diabetic jam and diabetic chocolate. However, these products also contain carbohydrates. Other than that, artificial sweeteners can give off a sweet taste. Artificial sweeteners claim that it does to raise blood sugar levels and contain no calories. Please refer and consult a dietitian or nutritionist before consuming these products.

Diet schedule for diabetic patients

A regular diet schedule is highly recommended, such as taking 3 main courses: breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Adapting a regular diet can help the patients to control their blood sugar levels more efficiently. If hunger kicks in before or after a meal, having additional meals such as high tea and supper are allowed, just the foods should be in small quantities and sugar-free.

Furthermore, following a regular diet can also help them remember the right time to take antidiabetic medications. This will prevent the patients from becoming hypoglycemic or having low blood sugar. Hypoglycemia is a common emergency condition that can be experienced by diabetic patients, usually after they missed a meal or took overdose antidiabetic medications. The symptoms of hypoglycaemia are trembling, palpitations, sweating, rapid heartbeat, blurred vision and nausea. What can be done is to consume up to 3 candies or mix a tablespoon of sugar in a cup with 250 ccs of water and drink it immediately. Wait for 15 minutes and observe If the symptoms are relieved or not. If the symptoms persist, you may repeat the steps above or visit any hospital or even clinics. If blood sugar has returned to an optimal level and without symptoms, you may have some foods as soon as possible to prevent relapse hypoglycemia.

Suggested eating schedules are:

  • Breakfast from 6 to 8 p.m.

  • Lunch from 12 to 2 p.m.

  • Dinner from 6 to 8 p.m.

  • Supper from 9 to 10 p.m.

Diabetic patients can prepare their meals according to Malaysian healthy plates. Preparing food as described in Malaysian healthy plates can assist anyone to acquire balanced nutrition and it is suitable for diabetic patients as well as any healthy person. You may also refer to a dietitian and nutritionist for your meal plan.


Exercise is very important for diabetic patients too. Exercising for at least 150 minutes a week or 3 to 5 days per week can help your body’s insulin function more efficiently. Examples of exercise are brisk walking, jogging, cycling, swimming and more depending on your interest.

For those who are looking for recipes for diabetics, you may attempt to follow the foods menu as described above. However, the suggested way of serving is not necessarily suitable for you. Hence, you may also modify the recipes and the methods of preparation according to your favour. The fundamental aim is to minimize the use of any byproducts or seasoning such as sugar, oil and salt.

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