Dietary habits and sedentary lifestyle are the major factors for rapidly rising incidence of DM among developing countries. Diabetes mellitus is a group of metabolic diseases characterized by chronic hyperglycemia resulting from defects in insulin secretion, insulin action, or both. It is basically classified as

  • Type1
  • Type 2
  • Gestational

Type 1 diabetes is called the insulin- dependent diabetes where the body does not produce insulin and it occurs mostly in young people. The second type is called insulin- independent diabetes where the body creates insulin, but it is either not enough or the body is resistant to it. It is more common in adults and old age people. Lifestyle management is apparently the cornerstone of management of diabetes mellitus. Thus, proper diet, physical activity and a healthy lifestyle is essential to keep diabetes under control.


Control of blood glucose level is the primary management of diabetes. Carbohydrate being the major determinant of postprandial glucose level, maintaining both the type and amount of carbohydrate in meals is important to maintain normal blood glucose levels. There is a close relationship between glycemic index (GI) and diabetes. High GI foods result in higher, more erratic blood glucose levels. Low GI foods help control diabetes as they produce lower, more stable blood glucose levels. Low GI foods can also make you feel fuller for longer, which can assist in controlling appetite.

The Glycemic Index (GI) of a food indicates how quickly and how high your blood glucose levels rise after eating that food. It applies only to carbohydrate foods.


People with diabetic condition should consume a low fat diet, as intake of high fat increases LDL and VLDL levels. Thus a low fat diet of about 20-25 percent of total calories including more of polyunsaturated fatty acids than saturated fat would be recommended. Good fats such as Omega-3 rich foods should be added to the diet.


High protein intake helps to compensate the defect in glucose mediated insulin secretion since the amino acids present in the protein stimulates insulin secretion and it also promotes satiety.

Dietary fiber

Soluble fiber can be beneficial for diabetic patients as they delay gastric emptying by increasing the transit time thus glucose absorption slows down. Whereas insoluble fiber works by increasing the transit time, delay glucose absorption and slows down starch hydrolysis. Hence dietary fiber improves glucose metabolism without increasing insulin secretion and are considered beneficial for diabetic patients.

Diabetics have specific needs and their food is as critical as the medicines they eat. Being an irreversible lifestyle disease, it is extremely essential for the people with diabetes to change their food habits in a way that helps them manage their condition better.