Healthy Low Carb Eating with Diabetes

A low carb diet implies cutting down the number of carbs consumed, around less than 150 grams per day. Putting a limit on carbohydrates can help in controlling Type 2 Diabetes. However, the benefits of this diet can be reaped over some time and not instantly. When a person has diabetes, their body loses the ability to effectively process carbohydrates. Usually, when a person eats carbs, they are broken down into very small units of glucose that end up becoming blood sugar.

So, whenever the blood sugar levels in the body go up, another part of the body, the pancreas, produces a hormone called insulin to allow blood sugar to enter the cells of the person’s body. Now, people who do not have a diabetic condition stay within a limited range of blood sugar levels throughout the day. However, for people suffering from diabetes, this is not how it goes. They can face a challenging situation when they eat too much or too little carbs during the day.

Low Carb Diet

Carbohydrates and Diabetes

Carbs raise the level of blood sugar more than other types of food items. The type of carbs consumed also play a role in the spike of blood sugar. Simple carbs are easily absorbed whereas complex carbs take time to digest. Hence blood sugar rises gradually in the case of complex carbs.

Carbohydrates and Diabetes

This indicates that to counter this consumption, the body has to secrete more insulin to digest the ingested carbs. On the other hand, if you consume less carbohydrate-rich food items, your blood sugar may stabilize. It can also help battle other symptoms of diabetes, including heart disease, an increase in weight, and more. However, instantly switching to a low carb diet can also be harmful to your body and its functioning because some carbohydrate-rich foods contain essential nutrients, including vitamins, fiber, and minerals.

So before making any significant changes in your diet, especially in your carb intake, here is all you need to know about what a low carb diet is, what kinds of food items can you eat and what you must avoid, and how you can manage your diet to lessen your intake of carbs. 

What is a low carb diet?

In simple words, a low carb diet is when your carb intake is less than 150 grams per day. It is not a diet that everyone should follow. Although it is safe and effective, especially for people battling diabetes, it should still be followed only after proper consultation with the dietitians. The evidence-based diet shows that people with type 2 diabetes can manage their condition and weight increase in the short term with this diet. However, on the other hand, the diet has also been shown to affect growth in children and young adults. Also, this low intake diet does not help people with Type 1 Diabetes. However, knowledge on carbohydrate counting can still be valuable to them. So, before you decide on following this diet, it is important to consider its benefits and potential risks. 

Here are some food items you can eat during your low carb intake diet to manage your diabetes.

Foods to Eat During Low Carb Intake Diet

Most of the food items in this list are healthy and come from natural resources.

  1. Vegetables are always a good idea. You can go for green vegetables like spinach, beans, and more.
  2. Food items with good fats, including avocados, olives, and more.
  3. You can also eat fruits but only in moderation because they have natural sugar in them, which can increase the body’s blood sugar levels.
  4. Lean protein is really good for this diet. Some food items that offer the same include tofu, nuts, eggs, fish, etc.

Besides that, here are some food items that you should avoid if you are planning to follow this diet.

Foods to Avoid During Low Carb Intake Diet

  1. All the sugar-rich foods are a big NO, including cakes, candies, cookies, juices, pastries, sodas, and more.
  2. Do not indulge in junk food as it has a lot of oil and grease, which are rich in carbs.
  3. Processed and packaged food items, including salty snacks and sugary drinks, must also be avoided at all costs. This is not a healthy idea even if you are not following this diet because it can instantly spike your blood sugar levels.
  4. Alcoholic beverages are also a NO.
  5. Starchy vegetables like potatoes are also not advisable.
  6. Food items that have starches, including white bread.

To help you figure out a diet plan for this kind of diet, we have prepared a simple meal plan for you.

Diet Plan for Low Carb Intake

  • Eggs
  • Yogurt
  • Fruits including berries, bananas, or fiber rich smoothies
  • Avocados
  • Vegetables sautéed in olive oil
  • Cottage cheese
lunch & Dinner
  • Salad with Nuts
  • Cauliflower rice along with tofu and sautéed vegetables
  • Whole grain pasta with vegetables or fish if you eat non-vegetarian food
  • Eggplant
  • Chicken and vegetables
Mid Meal Snacks
  • Olives
  • Sautéed vegetables
  • Fruits like apples, pomegranates, guavas, etc.
  • Nuts
  • Dark chocolate
  • Peanut butter
Other Benefits of Low Carb Intake

Besides diabetes control and management, a low carb diet plan also helps the body in various other ways. Here are some of its benefits:

  • Reduces the craving for food
  • Helps in weight loss
  • Lowers the risk of hypoglycaemia & hyperglycaemia
  • Helps prevent high & low glucose fluctuation
  • Helps stabilize blood glucose
  • It gives more energy to a person
  • Lowers cholesterol

The Bottom Line

Less intake of carbs can help reduce the blood sugar levels in your body by stabilizing the production of insulin hormone. However, before altering your diet majorly, it is important to consult a professional because every person may have different health conditions. They should practice a diet that suits them well. If you want to get in touch with a nutritionist who can help you with your diet and carb intake keeping in mind your diabetic condition, then you can do so right at the comfort of your home. All you have to do is download the Diahome smartphone application on your phone. You can connect with experienced nutritionists and health coaches online via your smartphone through the Diahome application.

You can also get the proper diet and meal plans based on your blood sugar levels to maintain your health and get online consultation for your diabetes from your home. Isn’t that great? So, download the application now on your phone and get online consultation for diabetes right away!


Mrs.Sripriya Ravi, M.Sc, Senior Dietitian
    Miss. Priyadharshini  M.Sc, Dietitian