How This Helps

The nutritional guidelines of eating healthy for a pre-diabetic mainly includes eating a fiber rich diet containing complex carbohydrates from unprocessed/minimally processed cereals, whole pulses, legumes, colorful fruits and vegetables and healthy fats from nuts, seeds and oils. The portion size of each food consumed is important, because it has an impact on the blood glucose level. In a pre-diabetic’s diet, out of the total calories, 55-60% should be made of complex carbohydrates, 15% protein and 25% fat. Refined sugars and processed foods are best to be avoided.

Science and Research

Pre-diabetes can simply be defined as a condition where blood sugar levels are higher (i.e. fasting blood sugar is 100-125mg/dl) than normal but not high enough to be classified as Type 2 diabetes. It is like a red flag or a warning sign to caution that a pre-diabetic is vulnerable to develop Type 2 diabetes. But the good part is, he/she can take the following 3 simple yet vital steps to prevent the development of Type 2 diabetes:


1. Eating healthy meals

2. Exercising regularly

3. Losing weight, if overweight and maintaining the lost weight


Characteristics for Pre Diabetes Dies Plan:

This is a sample vegetarian pre-diabetes diet plan that provides 1400 kcal and 50g protein which consists:

No. of Servings Food Group     Amount per serving

5                             Cereals                 30g

2 ½                         Pulses/Dals                  30g

3     Low fat milk and milk products 100g

3         Non-starchy Vegetables         100g

2                             Fruits                         50g

½                     Nuts and seeds         15g

3                         Cooking Oil                 5g



Below given is a one-day sample Indian vegetarian meal plan for pre diabetes that is of 1389 calories, 52g protein, 202g carbohydrate, 35g total fat and 23g dietary fibre:


On empty stomach – Roasted black cumin seeds

Dry roast or microwave black cumin seeds until you get a bland taste. Take ½ teaspoon in the morning on empty stomach. (Can either be taken in the powdered or whole seed form)

Per Serving: Serving size (1 teaspoon-5g), 18 calories, 0.9g protein, 1.8g carbohydrate, 0.7g total fat, 1.5g dietary fiber.

Nutrition Fact:

Black cumin seeds also known as black onion seeds/kalonji in hindi (Botanical name- Nigella Sativa) has shown strong evidence in reducing blood glucose levels. The most active compound called thymoquinone present in it is known to trigger insulin production in the pancreas and improve its sensitivity, thus increasing glucose absorption by cells and in turn reducing glucose levels in the blood stream.

Breakfast - Whole green gram savoury pancakes (pesarattu) with ginger chutney

Per Serving: Serving Size 2nos. (Recipe serves 7) 148calories, 7g protein, 17g carbohydrate, 5.4g total fat, 5.3g dietary fiber



Nutrition Fact:

Whole green gram is a good source of low-fat protein rich food. The high fiber content in whole green gram slows digestion and absorption of carbohydrates that stabilizes blood sugar levels. It is a wholesome ingredient that is also rich in essential micronutrients like B-complex vitamins, Vitamin C and minerals.

Ginger has potent bio-active compounds that contribute to its anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant properties. Recent researches have shown evidences that it plays a role in controlling elevated blood sugar and cholesterol levels.

Midmorning Snack – Pear 

(Optional – can add 1 teaspoon unsweetened peanut butter)

Per Serving: 1 medium sized (100g) 52 calories, 0.6 protein, 11.9 g carbohydrate, 0.2g total fat, 4.3g dietary fiber

Nutrition Fact:

Pear is a juicy low-glycemic fruit rich in dietary fiber both soluble and insoluble fibre, that keeps blood sugar levels under check.  It is also rich in anti-inflammatory flavonoids and antioxidants that engulf the free radicals and reduce body’s oxidative stress.


        Lunch – Vegetable Oats bisi belle bhaath and buttermilk

Per Serving: Serving Size 1 cup (Recipe serves 2) 446 calories, 18.3g protein, 61g carbohydrate, 14g total fat, 3.6g dietary fiber

Nutrition Fact:

Oats is a nutritious ingredient that has a beneficial effect on the glycemic control and insulin sensitivity due to its active soluble fiber compound called β-glucan. It is backed by strong evidence in controlling blood sugar levels. 

Dals or lentils used in the recipe is a rich source of protein. When it is combined with a cereal or whole grain, the quality of protein is enriched and favors the absorption of protein 

Buttermilk is made from curd, and is an excellent source of probiotic that maintains gut micro-flora and aids in digestion. It has a low glycemic index and is also a good quality protein.

Evening Snack 1 – Khakra Canapés


Per Serving: Serving Size 3-4 khakras (Recipe serves 4) 235 calories, 8g protein, 48g carbohydrate, 1g total fat, 1.4g dietary fiber

Nutrition Fact:

Khakras are mostly popular in the western region of India. It is a form of Indian bread called roti that is made of whole wheat flour and is dry roasted on a pan until the bread turns crispy. It is a low calorie, low fat tangy wholesome, light snack option which can be consumed directly or can be made more nutritious by adding colorful vegetable combinations with a dash of yogurt on it. It is rich in fiber and prevents hunger pangs which is a common symptom during pre-diabetes.

Evening Snack 2 – Indian Blackberry/Java Plum (Jamun)

Per Serving: Serving Size 8-10 blackberries (70g) 43 calories, 0.4g protein, 9.8g carbohydrate, 0.2 g total fat, 2.4g dietary fiber

Nutrition Fact:

Java Plum is a dark purple colored fruit known for its astringency taste. It is rich in carotenoids and antioxidants like anthocyanins, ellagic acid that scavenge the free radicals and reduce the oxidative stress that is marginally high during the pre-diabetic phase. Apart from its rich antioxidant property, it is known to have a hypoglycemic effect due to the presence of enzyme jamboline that controls blood sugar levels.

Dinner – Pearl Millet Pongal with Indian-style salad

Per Serving: Serving Size 1 cup (Recipe serves 2) 326 calories, 13g protein, 48.9g carbohydrates, 8.4g total fat, 6.5g dietary fiber

Nutrition Fact:

Pearl millet is a gluten-free whole grain, low glycemic food that along with dal makes it a fiber and protein-rich low glycemic load recipe. The high fiber content is not only known to control blood sugar level but also cholesterol and triglyceride levels. Peppercorns, curry leaves, turmeric mentioned as spices apart from making the recipe tastier, play an important role in activating bio-active compounds like piperine, polyphenol and curcumin respectively that have anti-oxidant, anti-cancer, anti-inflammatory properties.

Cucumber has a high water and fiber content, tomato is rich in lycopene, capsicum is rich in thiamin and the Vitamin C content of lemon juice helps to brighten the color and preserve these nutrients from getting lost. Since it can be consumed raw, it makes it rich in both soluble and insoluble fiber that has a combined role in stabilizing the blood sugar levels.

Bedtime snack – Skimmed Milk

Per Serving: Serving Size 1 cup (150ml) 100 calories, 4g protein, 6.6g carbohydrates, 6g total fat. 

Nutrition Fact:

Consuming a protein-rich snack before bed has shown to have controlled fasting blood sugar levels. Milk is a high biological value protein-rich food that has all the essential amino acids and is known to induce sleep. It is also a rich source of calcium and Vitamin D (if fortified) that is known to regulate blood sugar levels and prevent episodes of hypo or hyperglycemia.

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