India has become the diabetes capital, so we must take collective action to eradicate this metabolic disorder. We Indians need to create our lifestyle as per the low-carb diet that is vegetarian or plant-based.
In the old times, when medicines were not in use for diabetes management, the only treatment was the low-carb diet and this treatment must not be forgotten in today’s times (source).
Restricting carbohydrates to 20 to 90 grams per day is the goal and is known to have a good effect on blood sugar levels, and weight reduction and pose other health benefits as well.
The timing of food matters as well, for example, the ‘subsequent meal effect’ is noted in the case of lentil consumption. For example, if you ate lentils/pulses at lunch, then your blood sugar levels will rise less even after dinner.
The plant-based diet is the best option to manage your diabetes levels as it improves insulin sensitivity and many other benefits (source).
Best Low Carb Diet for Vegetarian Diabetics in India
- Veggies like Spinach, Mushroom, Cabbage, eggplant, cucumber, fennel, green bean, onions, kale, broccoli, lettuce, radish, spinach, peas, tomato, turnip & zucchini etc
- Nuts & Seeds – Walnuts, almonds, pistachios, peanuts, Coconut, cashews, pumpkin seeds, Chia Seeds, flaxseeds, sunflower seeds, etc.
- Fruits – Avocado, Watermelon, Oranges, strawberry, cape gooseberry (rasbhari), Indian gooseberry (amla), etc.
- Plant-based Oil – coconut oil, olive oil, sunflower oil, etc
- Replace wholegrains with millets – Millets like foxtail millet/ kangni, finger millet/ ragi, Sorghum/jowar, pearl millet/ bajra, quinoa, buckwheat/ kuttu etc
Sprouts – Even the high-carb beans & legumes change into low-carb after they are sprouted (source)
- Nut-based butter like Peanut butter, almond butter, etc
- Eat in moderation – dark chocolate and red wine.
How to Divide Low-Carb Diet Between Meals
- Protein-based smoothies & smoothie bowls for breakfast
- Salads and lentils in lunch
- Millets roti, lentils or veggies for dinner
Avoid These High-carb Food Items
- White flour or wholewheat Bread
- wheat-based cookies & biscuits
- White sugar-based deserts
- high -starch food products like Potatoes, cereals, sago or tapioca pearls or sabudana
- Carbonated drinks and juices, beer, etc
Things to consider If You are a Vegetarian Diabetic On a Low Carb Diet
- Take some amount of carb in your every meal instead of one high-carb meal and two zero-carb meals.
- Reduce medication or insulin dosage to decrease the incidence of hypoglycemia.
- Exercise is the most effective way to use up the free-flowing sugar in your blood.
- Sleep hygiene is very important to maintain stable blood sugar levels. Try to sleep and wake up at a set time.
- Mindfulness, meditation, and pranayama help in maintaining stress levels as well as sugar levels.
- Every packaged food item like sauces and ready-to-eat snacks has hidden sugar in them, so be mindful of that.
- Don’t limit your carbs to zero, they are important for easy glucose that should be readily available to your body to perform some important functions.
Vitamin C is important to increase the absorption of fiber present in the carbs so don’t forget to add a dash of lemon to your salad and your meals (source).
- Please note that Low carb diet can cause constipation, headache, and weight loss as well.
- Maintain a Healthy Weight for a healthy you.
Low Carb Vegetarian Meal Plan Options for Diabetics
- Spinach, cauliflower, mushrooms, and broccoli sauteed in olive or coconut oil.
- Overnight oats & chia pudding
- Sprouted Moong Dal Chila
- Smoothie Buddha bowl (a healthy mix of chunky oats smoothie, topped with nuts and fruits)
- Paneer + oats Chilla (make a smooth batter & make savory pancakes)
- Low-carb muesli in low-fat skimmed milk with stevia drops
- Make your own muesli bowl with seeds, nuts, coconut shreds, almond flour, and milk, full recipe here
- Roasted nuts (sunflower seeds, almonds, walnuts, pumpkin seeds)
- Tomato & carrot salad
- Popped up millets
Lunch & Dinner Ideas
- Salad + A cup of fruits (watermelon, cape gooseberry, strawberry, oranges, peaches etc) + Cauliflower sabzi + Lentils
- Millet Roti + mix veg + lentils
- One tablespoon Brown rice (preferable) + chickpeas + cucumber salad
- Mushroom & tofu Stir fry
- Soya + millet roti + vinegar shallots
- Mushroom Soup + Tossed Multigrain homemade bread
- Cauliflower rice bowl with lentils or curry veggies of your choice
- Mix Veg Soup + tossed multigrain bread sticks
- Peanut butter & oats bites
- Peanut butter, oats & dark chocolate balls
- Peanut butter cookies
More low carb recipe ideas are here
recommended read – Diabetes Home remedies That work better than insulin
A Low-carb diet is the best measure for diabetes management, weight loss, and prevention of all side effects of high blood sugar levels (source).
As the digestion of carbs is impaired in a diabetic person, this clearly means you must switch to a low-carb diet to manage your blood sugar levels. Making this your lifestyle will go a long way in not only keeping your blood sugar levels stable but your weight in check and even good heart function and will keep your cholesterol levels up to the mark.
I hope this article will be of some help to all the diabetics out there. Wishing you great health and happiness ahead!