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Diabetes Indian Diet: Vegetarian and Non-vegetarian Meal Plan

| Reviewed By Karthika Thirugnanam

Every year, the month of November is observed as the Diabetes Awareness Month - celebrated globally to raise awareness about both Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes. And, 14 November is observed as World Diabetes Day which is the birthday of Sir Frederick Banting, who co-discovered insulin along with Charles Best in 1922.

The day was initiated in 1991 by the IDF and the World Health Organization as a response to growing concerns about the escalating health threat posed by diabetes. The theme of World Diabetes Day and diabetes awareness month 2019 is 'Family and Diabetes'.

Diabetes Awareness Month 2019 also aims to focus on the link between diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Diabetes mellitus or diabetes is a chronic condition that occurs when the pancreas doesn't produce any or enough insulin. Though there is no permanent cure for diabetes, it can be kept in check with a mix of a healthy lifestyle, exercise and medication [1] [2] .

Diabetes In India

According to the reports from the International Diabetic Foundation, India has more diabetics than any other country in the world, 62 million Indians which is, more than 7.2 per cent of the adult population are diabetic and nearly 1 million Indians die due to diabetes every year [3] .

Often regarded as the diabetes capital of the world, the prevalence of diabetes in the country is too high. Affecting every age group, from children, young adults to pregnant women, the country needs a diabetes-intervention.

In this article, we will provide you with a weekly diet plan that can help you manage the autoimmune condition and it is all Indian food - both vegetarian and non-vegetarian. So, take a look.

Sample Indian Diet For Diabetes

Early morning drink

  • 1 cup of warm water with lemon juice (made with 1 small lemon and 1 cup of water, optional addition 1 teaspoon honey)
  • 1 cup of bitter gourd juice
  • 1 cup of diluted apple cider vinegar (made with ½ tablespoon ACV and 1 cup of water)
  • 1 cup of plain green tea
  • 1 cup of ginger lemon tea


  • 1-2 Stuffed vegetable chapati (stuffed vegetable recipe)
  • 1-2 Stuffed egg/chicken chapati
  • 1-2 stuffed chana/rajma/mung beans chapati
  • 1 cup of poha (*see recipe)
  • A 2-egg masala omelette (*see recipe)
  • 1 cup masala oats (*see recipe)
  • 2-3 Idlis with 1 cup of sambar

Drink with breakfast

  • Black coffee or tea
  • Tea with milk (e.g. unsweetened almond milk/unsweetened soya milk)
  • Coffee with milk/ milk substitute (e.g. unsweetened almond milk/unsweetened soya milk)
  • Lunch or Dinner (choices):
  • 2 chapatis or ½ cup basmati/brown rice with 1 small cup of palak paneer
  • 2 chapatis or ½ cup basmati/brown rice with 1 cup of chicken/fish/meat curry
  • 2 chapatis or ½ cup basmati/brown rice with 1 cup of cooked non-starchy vegetables
  • Stuffed vegetable & paneer sandwich (made with whole wheat bread)
  • Stuffed chicken sandwich (made with whole wheat bread)
  • Chana and vegetable salad with olive oil and lemon juice dressing


  • ½ cup curd or ½ cup yoghurt with 5-6 walnuts/almonds
  • ¼ cup of roasted nuts/beans/seeds
  • 1 small piece of fruit (guava/apple/pear)
  • 10-12 grapes
  • ½ banana
  • ½ cup of sliced cucumber/carrot/celery flavoured with pepper/salt/lime juice
  • 1 cup of tomato rasam


Vegetable omelette

Serving: 1
Prep time: 10 min
Cook time: 10 min


  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon of olive oil/ ghee
  • 1 tablespoon chopped onions
  • 1 teaspoon chopped garlic
  • 1 tablespoon chopped tomatoes
  • 1 teaspoon chopped green chilli
  • 1 tablespoon chopped coriander
  • Salt to taste
  • Ground black pepper to taste


  • Place a heavy bottom pan on the stovetop and drizzle with oil
  • Beat the egg with the rest of the raw ingredients and salt
  • Pour the egg mixture into the hot pan and cook until the egg puffs up and the sides are crispy
  • Add pepper to taste and serve

*Tip: The eggs in this recipe can be replaced with besan flour and water

High-protein poha

Serving: 4
Prep time: 10 min
Cook time: 15 min


  • 2 cups of poha
  • ½ cup sprouted beans
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • ¼ teaspoon cumin seeds
  • ½ teaspoon grated ginger
  • 2 teaspoons chopped green chilli
  • 6-8 curry leaves
  • ¼ cup chopped onions
  • 2 tablespoons roasted peanuts (optional)
  • ½ teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon coriander
  • Salt to taste


  • Boil the sprouted beans in 2 cups of water for 15 to 20 minutes and set aside
  • Pour the dry poha into a colander and pour 3-4 cups of water over it to moisten them and drain immediately and keep aside
  • Heat oil on a pan, add cumin seeds and sauté for a minute
  • Add chopped green chilies, curry leaves, onions, turmeric powder, and boiled sprouts and sauté for 5 min until the onions are cooked.
  • Add poha and toss over medium heat until all the ingredients are heated through
  • Add lime juice and salt to taste
  • Garnish with chopped coriander leaves and serve

*Tip: The poha can be replaced with oats or other whole grains for the same recipe

Paneer burji (scrambled paneer)

Serving: 4
Prep time: 20 min
Cook time: 20 min


  • 1 cup crumbled paneer
  • 1 tablespoon of oil/ghee
  • ½ teaspoon of cumin
  • ½ cup finely chopped onion
  • 1 teaspoon ginger garlic paste
  • 1 teaspoon chopped green chilli
  • ½ cup chopped green capsicum
  • ½ cup chopped tomatoes
  • ½ teaspoon turmeric powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon red chilli powder
  • ½ teaspoon garam masala powder/ pav bhaji masala
  • 1 tablespoon chopped coriander


  • Add the oil/ghee to a hot pan, and then add cumin seeds and allow to splutter
  • Then add chopped onions and green chilli
  • Fry until the veggies are cooked
  • Add the ginger-garlic paste, sauté for a few 1-2 minutes
  • Add chopped tomatoes, salt and turmeric
  • Sauté until tomatoes are soft
  • Add chilli powder and garam masala/pav bhaji masala
  • Add chopped capsicum and fry until capsicum turns slightly soft
  • Add the crumbled paneer and add to the pan
  • Stir and fry until everything blends well for 2-3 minutes
  • Add lemon juice and salt to taste
  • Sprinkle coriander and serve

*Tip: Paneer can be replaced with crumbled tofu or eggs with the same recipe.

Note: Always consult your doctor or a dietician before starting any fitness programme or making any changes to your diet.

On A Final Note...

While diet plays a central role in the management of diabetes, getting your body to move is essential. Exercising helps by improving the functionality of different organs, lowering blood sugar levels, increasing insulin sensitivity and aiding weight loss [4] . Likewise, some tips for controlling your diabetes through the means of diet is by having an apple before going to bed to avoid hypoglycaemia at night and drinking one tablespoon of amla juice in the morning to reduce the oxidative stress inside the body [5] .

View Article References
  1. [1] Schwingshackl, L., Missbach, B., König, J., & Hoffmann, G. (2015). Adherence to a Mediterranean diet and risk of diabetes: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Public health nutrition, 18(7), 1292-1299.
  2. [2] Zuloaga, K. L., Johnson, L. A., Roese, N. E., Marzulla, T., Zhang, W., Nie, X., ... & Raber, J. (2016). High fat diet-induced diabetes in mice exacerbates cognitive deficit due to chronic hypoperfusion. Journal of Cerebral Blood Flow & Metabolism, 36(7), 1257-1270.
  3. [3] Maiorino, M. I., Bellastella, G., Giugliano, D., & Esposito, K. (2017). Can diet prevent diabetes?. Journal of Diabetes and its Complications, 31(1), 288.
  4. [4] Sleiman, D., Al-Badri, M. R., & Azar, S. T. (2015). Effect of mediterranean diet in diabetes control and cardiovascular risk modification: a systematic review. Frontiers in public health, 3, 69.
  5. [5] Chiu, T. H., Pan, W. H., Lin, M. N., & Lin, C. L. (2018). Vegetarian diet, change in dietary patterns, and diabetes risk: a prospective study. Nutrition & diabetes, 8(1), 12.
Karthika ThirugnanamClinical Nutritionist and Dietitian
Karthika Thirugnanam
Read more about: diabetes diabetes meal plan
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