Intermittent Fasting for Diabetes: What to Eat and What to Avoid

Intermittent fasting is the practice of going for set periods of time without eating and is increasingly gaining acceptance among experts.

With this, it is currently one of the world’s popular health and wellness trends people are following.

According to, intermittent fasting makes a bit of intuitive sense, especially for diabetes.

In simple words, it involves certain alternate cycles or breaks of fasting and eating.

Intermittent fasting tips for diabetics

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With this, individuals taking medicines and pills for diabetes should look out for their diet as it is necessary to eat at certain intervals to balance the sugar level.

Intermittent fasting reduces insulin resistance and thus promotes control of blood sugar levels.

In a survey, it has found that on intermittent fasting, blood sugar levels have been reduced by 4-6% in the course of 8-12 weeks.

Note: Before indulging in intermittent fasting diabetes patients should consult doctors in order to avoid any sort of issues.

Foods to Eat When Intermittent Fasting

It is critically important to choose nutrient-dense foods such as veggies, fruits, lean proteins, and healthy fats when you intermittent fast.

Here is a list of some foods that can be super healthy when consumed in a regular diet while fasting:

Intermittent fasting tips for diabetics

1. Tomatoes

In the article, nutritionists termed them fat-fighting foods and blood sugar level maintainers.

They also help in balancing the metabolic rate and appetite. Tomato salad can also be an option for snacks or to add in daily portions of meals.

Tomatoes are somewhat rich in potassium and dietary fibers which makes the stomach full for a longer duration of hours.

It comes as no surprise that they are an excellent source both in terms of weight loss and diabetes.

2. Avocado

Avocados are a full package of many vital nutrients such as fiber, proteins, and vitamins.

There is the presence of good fats in avocados which helps in fighting diabetes and also prevents heart attack and stroke.

Thus, avocados can be a great food while fasting. Avocado, due to its high unsaturated fat content keeps the person satiated during the periods of fasting.

It has high calorific value but serves to be an excellent choice in intermittent fasting.

Intermittent fasting tips for diabetics

3. Papaya

Papaya is best when consumed during the odd or final hours of fasting.

It comes in a package of various beneficial antioxidants, Vitamins C, and high levels of Vitamin A.

It is one of the best fruits which not only strengthens the immune system but also lowers blood sugar.

As it contains various types of flavonoids which help in regulating the blood sugar level thus it is a good choice for diabetic patients.

Related: Easiest Way To Intermittent Fast For Beginners

4. Whole Grains

Whole grains decrease the risk of not only diabetes. Whole grains and oats are very rich in fiber which helps to reduce the risk of heart ailments and also helps in managing blood sugar levels.

Moreover, they are easy to include in fasting as they take a time to digest thus the stomach remains full for a larger period of time. Whole grains are considered to be a key component of any nutritious diet.

5. Milk and Yogurt

Milk and yogurt both contain healthier proteins and vitamins. Indeed, they are beneficial for diabetic patients.

Dairy products mainly yogurt and milk are good for overall health and more specifically for diabetes only when they are low fat or non-fat.

As low-fat dairy products have a relatively low amount of Glycemic Index (GI) which makes it more ideal for people suffering from diabetes.

But as milk has some carbohydrate content that can impact blood sugar levels so it’s good to have only a limited number of dairy products to maintain the balance between blood sugar levels.

Intermittent fasting tips for diabetics

6. Non-Starchy Vegetables

Non-starchy vegetables such as asparagus, baby corn, and bean sprouts have the power to satisfy the appetite and maintain insulin balance.

Also, vegetables such as broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, and carrots deliver a powerful punch of vitamins, minerals, and other important antioxidants which helps in managing diabetes and also control the blood sugar level.

The vegetables mentioned above have very negligible amounts of starch and are completely safe to eat.

7. Fiber-Rich Fruits

Adding fiber to a daily diet and especially during intermittent fasting helps to manage diabetes.

Many fruits which are quite rich in fiber and other necessary antioxidants such as apples, berries, bananas, grapes help in controlling diabetes and other cardiovascular diseases as well.

With this, they also help in fighting inflammation and speeding up the metabolism.

Fruits are the best thing one can consume during fasting.

It will not only help to reduce belly fat but also help in maintaining other functions of the body.

Intermittent fasting tips for diabetics

Foods To Avoid When Intermittent Fasting

Eating and fasting regularly sounds good and might help in many ways but one can easily sabotage all the efforts by consuming foods that are totally not recommended.

What to eat during intermittent fasting can be a bit confusing but it’s equally important to look out for the foods that should be neglected.

These foods not only sabotage healthy efforts but also makes one undernourished.

Keeping this in mind below are some foods that should be excluded from the intermittent fasting foods list:

1. Sugary foods

Sugar promotes weight gain.

It triggers insulin production in the body.

Sugar or sugary foods and drinks tend to increase the blood sugar level which also risks other chronic diseases as well.

Sugary foods include candies, cakes, cookies, desserts, and sweetened drinks.

A study found that consuming too much added sugar can intentionally raise blood pressure and eventually cause inflammation.

Apart from diabetes, excessive sugar intake is the main cause of weight gain. Refined sugar can suppress overall metabolism which leads to belly fat gain.

Related: Try this 7 Day Sugar Detox

Intermittent fasting tips for diabetics

2. Starchy foods

A diet that is rich in starch and carbs is often linked to chronic diseases like diabetes, heart ailments, and mainly excess weight gain.

Starch foods disrupt the blood sugar level in the body. Undoubtedly, starch is a vital part of any diet but when consumed in high quantities it can eventually cause health risks especially for diabetic patients.

Foods such as pasta, bread, potatoes, and corn are some of the foods which should be avoided at all costs.

3. Processed foods

Processed foods are loaded with high content of sugar and empty calories.

Moreover, they don’t have any nutritional value. All they do is increase weight and fluctuate blood sugar levels.

An important point to note about highly processed foods is they have ingredients that are more common in industrial food manufacturing such as emulsifiers and flavoring agents.

With physical health problems, these foods also disturb mental health causing mood disorders, anxiety, and insomnia.

Intermittent fasting tips for diabetics

Tips for Intermittent Fasting For Diabetic Patients

Intermittent fasting especially for diabetic patients requires a lot of additional care and guidance.

If the diabetes is not well controlled then fasting can lead to severe health risks.

And one should be prepared for future minor side effects. Here are a few simple tips related to intermittent fasting to keep in mind:

1. Monitor blood sugar levels

Fasting causes long periods without eating anything that can cause a drop in blood sugar levels, so it’s important to check glucose levels now and then.

Monitoring blood sugar levels helps to determine the effect of diet and further detect the low and high blood sugar as it’s important to stay in a healthy range of blood sugar levels.

Should Diabetics Fast

2. Monitor mood swings

Mood swings are also another major effect on diabetic patients as restricting any part of meal intake can affect their mood.

Signs like irritability, frustration, and anxiety are some of the indicators, one should keep a check on mood behaviors and look out for the solution to improve mood.

3. Balance carbs

The diet mentioned above is more protein-rich because of which there could be a spike in blood sugar levels.

Also, choosing whole grains and low-fat dairy products can balance the starchy carbohydrates.

Bottom Line

Starting from weight loss to improving heart rate and metabolism, intermittent fasting has shown proven results to be effective and a cure to all sorts of health ailments.

Overall, there is still some research to be done on intermittent fasting specifically for people going through diabetes.

But before switching onto a diet plan and skipping meals, one should make sure to check with their doctor or a good healthcare expert for best results.


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