What are the Best Indian Breakfasts for Diabetes? 25 Best Options

Last Updated on May 4, 2023 by Dr Sharon Baisil MD

The verbal meaning of breakfast is breaking the fast or overnight fast. The combination of all types of foods is necessary in breakfasts.

For diabetics, a healthy breakfast is the most prominent way to control your blood sugar in a desirable number.

Being a diabetic, you may often become disheartened to hear about the restricted food menus. Sometimes it seems too hard to quit all the favourite foods of yours. Let me tell you some facts.

Diabetic diet doesn’t always mean to give up sweetened desserts, rice, fast foods. You need to focus on the glycemic index value, amount and calorie count.

Veggie causing Diabetes

Indian food items have a huge variation. And it is the best part that helps to combine tasty and healthy breakfasts and other meals.

A moderate mixture of complex carbs, fresh fruits and vegetables, low fat milk is perfect for creating different menus.

It is suggested by doctors that the breakfast must contain the ratio 60ঃ20ঃ20 for carbs, proteins and fats respectively. The calorie value should be in a range of 1500-1800.

To make a Indian breakfast, you must have to include these items-


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  • Complex carbs(Whole grain wheat) – oats, barley, bajra, buckwheat, ragi, bulgur etc.
  • Protein source- eggs, moong dal
  • Vegetables- Bitter gourd(karela), pudina, coriander, spinach(palak)
  • Fruits- seasonal low glycemic fruits
  • Fat source- low fat milk, buttermilk, curds

Whole grain wheat

Indian breakfasts usually has 4 parts-

1. Carbohydrate items- roti, paratha  chapati, idli, poha, upma, dosa, thepla, dhokla etc.

2. Vegetables and fruits – cooked vegetables, vegetable bhurji, vegetable stuffing on carb items, seasonal low glycemic fruits.

3. Protein items: egg bhurji, moong dal cheela etc

4. Drinks: tea, low fat milk, buttermilk, chaas etc.

roti-paratha -chapati

I will give 25 best options for breakfast in indian cuisine involving these 4 parts. I can assure you about the overall nutrition value of them.

  1. a) Nachni (Ragi Wheat) roti
  2. b)Cauliflower  with fenugreek cooked with olive oil
  3. c) Low fat curd
  4. d)Cinnamon tea

This package of items will maintain the targeted ratio of carbs, fats and proteins. These items also give satiety and prevent hunger upto lunch.

Olive oil sauteing will add omega-3 fatty acid, which is a great source of unsaturated fat. Cauliflower will give vitamins, minerals and fiber.

Curd will reduce the overall glycemic index.

Cinnamon tea has numerous health benefits including blood glucose lowering and proper digestion.

  1. a) Bajra roti stuffed with paneer and tomato stuffing.(including carbs, vegetables and fats)
  2. b) Blackberries ( 8-10)
  3. c) Black tea

Here stuffed bajra roti will combinedly meet up the need of all the necessary requirements.

Blackberry has a low glycemic value. So it will not cause a rapid blood glucose spike.

Unsweetened black tea will give antioxidants that can boost up immunity in diabetics.

  1. a) Oats idli with boiled carrot, beans
  2. b) Pudina chatni
  3. c) Low fat milk

Traditional idli is made with parboiled rice. It has a very high glycemic index value. So oats can be a healthy substitute in this case.

Here rolled oats and urad dal are grinded into powder. This powder is then mixed with curd, ginger-chili paste, fruit salt etc and set them aside for 1 hour. You can also add boiled veggies with it.

Then steam them like traditional ones. Here oats and urad dal instead of rice play a significant role in lowering glycemic index. Oats has beta glucagon, which also has properties that control blood sugar and cholesterol.

Curd and veggies will do the best to provide necessary fiber, vitamins, minerals and fat.

Pudina chatni can enhance the flavour and taste of the whole dish.

Low fat milk is a preferable health drink at the breakfast table for diabetics.

vegetable idli served with sambhar

  1. a)Moong dal and vegetable idli served with sambhar
  2. b) Curd
  3. c) Black coffee

This is another alternative idli recipe to the traditional South Indian version. Moong dal is a pretty good source of plant based proteins. Replacing it with rice is a great way to control blood sugar in diabetics.

Addition of vegetables to the batter will increase the nutritional value. Serving with sambhar is a conventional way. This sour lentil and vegetable stew makes digestion smooth.

Curd will do the same as the previous menus.

Black coffee without sugar will assure the presence of antioxidants and give a positive drive towards work.

Oats upma with vegetables

  1. a) Oats upma with vegetables
  2. b) Healthy mint chaas(buttermilk)

Upma is another South Indian recipe traditionally made from high glycemic rava(semolina). Here rava is replaced with soluble fiber rich oats.

Like the oats idli it provides the same benefits. You should roast the oats in such a way that there is no raw smell.

You can use olive oil to make this dish. It will help to reduce inflammation and prevent the onset of any disease or existing disease.

Mint chaas or buttermilk gives a soothing effect in summer time and can be eaten in mid morning snacks or other meal time.

To make it, you need to make a paste of mint, whisk it with yogurt, add some chilled water and blend it with a hand blender.

You can also add a pinch of cumin powder, black salt for better taste. Black salt can minimize stomach issues and provide minerals.

It is a very refreshing and nutritious summer drink.


  1. a) Nutritious thalipeeth
  2. b) Blueberries( 8-10)
  3. c) Low fat milk

Thalipeeth is a Maharashtrian item. It is made from a healthy mixture of whole wheat, jowar, bajra, besan flour and topped with onion, carrots, cabbage etc.

The whole grains are low in glycemic index value. Also help to reduce bad cholesterol. Veggies add extra nutrition.

Eating blueberries will not raise blood glucose very high. So it is more appropriate than other fruits.

Fats shouldn’t be totally removed from the diet. In this case, low fat milk can be a great option.

Sprouts dhokla

  1. a) Sprouts dhokla
  2. b) Cinnamon tea

Dhokla is a traditional food of Gujarati cuisine. But sprout dhokla is something different. It is more healthy due to its ingredient list.

It includes sprouted moong, spinach, some indian spices and a small amount of besan.

Moong is a protein source and also provides vitamins and minerals. Spinach also contains vitamins and minerals. Besan has folic acid and so helps in blood cell growth.

The steaming procedure of sprouts dhokla makes it more special for diabetic breakfast.

Cinnamon tea acts as a healthy potion.

  1. a) Buckwheat dosa
  2. b) Chutney
  3. c) Black tea

Apart from the traditional one, buckwheat dosa is a preferable one for diabetics. Buckwheat has a high amount of fiber which keeps the heart healthy. Also the iron and folate content can help in anaemia correction.

It is actually made from buckwheat, urad dal. It is an instant recipe. Urad dal lowers the overall glycemic index.

The chutney that is served with the dosa also increases the nutritional value.

Black tea provides energy for daily work.

  1. a) Healthy oats dosa
  2. b) Chutney and Sambar
  3. c) Low fat milk

Another version of dosa can be made using oats, not rice. Oats are rich in fiber and protein. So it has a minimum effect on blood sugar.

Gluten free property makes them affordable for the persons with celiac disease also. This instant recipe will hardly consume your time.

Chutney and sambar will make the serving more appealing and nutrition rich.

We have already known about the facts of low fat milk in other breakfast options.

  1. a) Sprouted moong and methi cheelas
  1. b) Curd

It is another healthy recipe of sprouted moong.

These are a type of pancakes made from varieties of whole grain flours, sprouted moong and fenugreek(methi).

It needs no farmenting to make cheelas. You can easily add this yummy recipe to your breakfast.

The benefits of whole grain flour is well known to us. Fenugreek seeds singly or in food items have an impact on blood sugar lowering.

Curd is a food full of probiotics. A cup of curd can improve your digestion and reduce the overall calorie and glycemia.

Masala tea

  1. a) Doodhi( bottle gourd) Theplas
  2. b) Masala tea

The traditional Gujrati theplas are very tasty. Here, the main ingredients of theplas are a bit different.

Lauki, doodhi or bottle gourd are chopped into small pieces and mixed with the dough of whole wheat flour and curd. Some indian spices like turmeric and red chili powder are also used here to enhance the quality.

A perfect dough with a little amount of oil is necessary to make yummy theplas.

Theplas can control blood pressure and cholesterol. So they are perfect in diabetic diet.

Masala tea with cinnamon, cardamon, ginger, cloves etc can boost up your immunity in the morning.

  1. a) Moong dal and paneer chilla
  1. b) Black tea

It is another type of pancake. Soaked and blended moong dal with salt, green chili and asafetida and besan are the ingredients.

Paneer( cottage cheese) and some vegetables are used as topping. All these make it a highly nutritious one for anyone.

It is digested without any fuss and also good for the heart. The ingredients provide protein, fat and fiber that slows the blood glucose elevation.

Unsweetened black tea in the morning is a great drink.

  1. a) Quinoa veg upma
  2. b) Cinnamon tea

Upma is conventionally made of rava. Quinoa is replaced here to decrease the glycemic index value.

Quinoa is a healthy grain for diabetes and weight loss. The veggies, peanuts and onions added give the upma numerous benefits.

Quinoa is protein and fiber rich. So consumption of quinoa keeps you satiated for a long time. It helps in reducing cholesterol also.

Peanuts also provide a large amount of protein, carbohydrate and fiber.

Veggies have antioxidants and help to decrease inflammation in diabetic persons.

Benefits of cinnamon tea are already discussed.

  1. a) Vegetable Poha
  2. b) Masala tea

Poha is eaten throughout India in different forms. Vegetable poha provides pretty good benefits.

Poha is a modified form of rice. It helps to control blood sugar by the slow and steady release of sugar into the blood.

Poha is a great source of probiotics due to their manufacturing process. So it promotes gut function.

It is a healthy source of carbs, fiber, iron also. As it is low in calories, weight control is possible by eating poha.

We have discussed masala tea before.

  1. a) Whole wheat roti
  2. b) Mixed vegetables
  3. c) 1 hard boiled egg
  4. d) Curd

Whole wheat is adequately filled with healthy carbs and fiber. So they can handle the sugar release in blood and are indicated in diabetes.

Vegetables have  countless benefits to be a part of diabetic diet.

Eggs are protein sources. Protein in diabetic diet is necessary so that they can affect the carbohydrate digestion and absorption.

Curd is already discussed.

  1. a) Diabetic Adai
  2. b) Curd
  3. c) Cinnamon tea

Adai is a dosa-like snack of South India which is traditionally made from rice and lentils. But in the diabetic variant, rice is replaced by broken wheat.

It provides both carbs, fibers and proteins. Glycemic index is also low due to the presence of lentil and broken wheat.

The discussion of curd and cinnamon tea is written above.

  1. a) Quinoa Khichdi
  1. b) Black tea

Quinoa is a diabetic friendly grain. It is gluten free also. Khichdi is a popular indian dish usually made of rice and lentils or moong.

Here rice is substituted with quinoa. Quinoa helps to control blood sugar and cholesterol.

It has many macro and micronutrients. If you add some fresh veggies into the khichdi, it will be more nutritious.

Check the benefits of black tea in the above options.

  1. a) Paneer stuffed Ragi paratha
  1. b) Tomato chutney

Ragi is a whole grain that can control glycemia.

Paratha is usually known as an unhealthy, oily food. But ragi flour makes it worth eating.

You must have to be careful about the oil. Paneer stuffing makes the paratha a nutrition package.

Tomato chutney will add some sourness and the overall glycemic index of the food items will be managed.

  1. a) Jowar and vegetable porridge
  1. b) Any seasonal low glycemic fruit

This item can help you to overcome your boredom about the regular breakfast choices.

Jowar is a nutritious cereal and also rich in protein, fiber and minerals like iron.

The vegetables will add more vitamins and  minerals. This dish can keep you satiated for a long time. So weight management is possible by taking this.

Low glycemic fruits raise blood glucose slowly and give plenty of vital nutrients.

  1. a) Tofu stir fry
  1. b) Masala tea

Tofu is a great source of protein and fiber. It can regulate blood sugar and control hunger.

So it is a diabetic friendly food choice.

Check the above section to know about masala tea.

  1. a) Tomato oats omelet
  1. b) Pudina chaas( buttermilk)

We have already talked about the benefits of oats. It is a complex carb. The tomato oats omelette can provide the combination of carbohydrate, protein, fiber, vitamins and minerals.

Pudina chaas is discussed earlier.

  1. a) Besan Chila
  1. b) Skimmed milk

Besan contains soluble fiber and protein. This makes the blood glucose release slower. It is gluten free also.

This dish is easily made and diabetics can eat without any tension.

The fat portions are skimmed from the milk and make it more healthy for diabetics.

  1. a) Palak(spinach) paratha
  1. b) Curd
  2. c) Lemon tea

The paratha are typically unhealthy due to their ingredients and making process. If any vegetable like spinach is added, the food value is changed.

Paratha served with curd will cause further reduction of glycemic index and make the diet more nutritious.

Lemon tea is an immunity enhancer.

  1. a) Jowar bajra garlic roti
  2. b) Tomato chutney
  3. c) Green tea with honey

Jowar and bajra are regarded as complex carbs. So they have potential to release blood sugar slowly.

Garlic has tremendous good effects in the body, especially on heart and blood glucose. The glycemic index value of garlic is 0.

We know the benefit of sour tomato chutney from previous discussion.

Green tea with honey has a soothing effect on the body and mind. Along with the blood. glucose regulation, it reduces cholesterol and fat. Antioxidants of green tea fight with inflammation.

Dalia khichdi

  1. a) Dalia khichdi
  2. b) Black tea

Dalia is another source of complex carbs. They give energy to the body and release glucose steadily into the bloodstream.

Khichdi of dalia mixed with lentils is a complete food for a diabetic.

Check the information about black tea above.


Eating healthy is one of the most special suggestions for the diabetic persons. These options for breakfast are modified from different sources. You must need to contact your health care provider before starting anything new.


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