Diabetes: Essential Foods to Control Blood Sugar in Summer | Health

What we eat can have a lasting effect on our overall health. Mindful eating can increase the risk of certain diseases while mental diet planning can even help reverse them. Diabetes is a disease that needs to be well managed to prevent its many complications. Summertime can be especially difficult for those struggling with the disease as some medications can increase the risk of dehydration. Not having enough fluids in your system means that your blood sugar levels can rise, putting you at risk for nerve damage, heart attack, kidney problems and a host of other health problems. 1.5-2 liters of water is said to be of great benefit to diabetics, while consuming curd, coconut water, fresh lemon juice and hydrating foods like watermelon, cucumber, curd, curd can help ward off the effects of heat. And keep you healthy. (Also Read: New Covid version Arcturus or XBB.1.16: What people with chronic diseases should do as cases rise)

Summer can be difficult for people with diabetes because some medications can increase the risk of dehydration.  (freepik)
Summer can be difficult for people with diabetes because some medications can increase the risk of dehydration. (freepik)

How extreme summer heat can affect people with diabetes

People with diabetes are at greater risk for medical emergencies because extreme heat can damage blood glucose levels and affect how the body metabolizes insulin.

“Hot weather, along with extreme heat, can adversely affect the health of people with diabetes. It can affect their sugar levels, skin and overall health. It can lead to medical emergencies like heat exhaustion or heat stroke. Some regular diabetes medications, such as diuretics, can also make you can make you feel dehydrated. Hence, people with diabetes need extra care during summer,” says Dr Navneet Aggarwal, Chief Clinical Officer, BeatO.

“Extreme heat is dangerous for diabetics because heat affects blood glucose levels. High heat can cause excessive sweating, which can increase blood glucose levels, which can increase urine output and add to existing dehydration. Complications of diabetes can damage blood vessels. And nerves that carry your Sweat glands can be affected so that the body cannot cool down effectively. Not drinking enough fluids also leads to increased glucose levels and high blood glucose. High temperatures change how the body metabolizes insulin and so insulin patients need to adjust their dosage and meals. Accordingly, ” Says Dr Anurag Aggarwal, Consultant-Internal Medicine, Fortis Escorts Hospital Faridabad.

“Patients with diabetes need to be careful because high heat can negatively affect sugar levels. High environmental temperatures can cause excessive sweating and low water levels can cause dehydration, which causes the blood to concentrate and increase sugar levels. If heat causes the body to release stress hormones such as cortisol and vasopressin which increases the body’s endogenous glucose production leading to sugar spikes. Another factor to be kept in mind is that high heat can lose its potency if medicines and insulin are not stored properly. This in turn affects sugar levels,” Dr Tushar Tayal – Consultant, Internal Medicine, CK Birla Hospital, Gurugram says.

How diet can help diabetics manage their blood sugar

While the summer heat is harsh, the fruits and vegetables available in this season are highly hydrating. Watermelon, spinach, cucumber, celery and others should be included in the diet to maintain the required level of hydration.

“Your diet plays an important role in diabetes management; therefore, you should pay more attention to what you consume. Summer fruits are a good choice for people with diabetes. You should include watermelon, tomatoes, peppers, spinach, cucumber, celery, etc., in your diabetes diet. Apart from being diabetes-friendly, they are also rich in magnesium, potassium, calcium, vitamin K, vitamin A and essential antioxidants,” says Dr Navneet Agarwal.

Healthy habits for people with diabetes to manage blood sugar during summer

Start your day with fiber-rich foods

Dr Aggarwal says starting your day with a fiber-rich breakfast helps prevent sugar spikes.

“You should eat a breakfast rich in fiber. This allows the sugar in your bloodstream to slow down, preventing spikes in your glucose levels. You should also choose foods with a low glycemic index, such as non-starchy fruits and vegetables, legumes, dairy products, whole grains, etc. Avoid fried and sugary foods,” says Dr Agarwal.

Lemon juice, vegetable juice, coconut water

“Water has zero calories and is a favorite drink for diabetics but such patients should also include electrolytes if they are exposed to the sun more than usual. Lemonade without sugar is also advised. Fruit juices may contain natural sugars, vegetable juices are better. For diabetics “Coconut water is best, but stay away from artificially sugary drinks and juices,” Dr. Anurag Aggarwal says.

Dr. Tushar Tayal adds more foods to this list:


This cool drink made with curd milk can not only cool your body but also strengthen your digestive health. It contains the perfect blend of nutrients that help keep energy levels high in summer.

Seasonal fruits

Consuming two seasonal fruits like watermelon, papaya, mango and citrus fruits daily helps to keep the hydration level high.

curds and curds

Eating these cold foods not only controls hunger but also controls blood sugar levels.


Add cucumbers, lettuce and tomatoes to your diet to maintain the right level of fiber.

Dos and don’ts to remember

It is necessary for diabetic patients to take the following precautions in summer

* Drink at least 1.5-2 liters of water or fluids daily.

* Monitor your glucose levels regularly.

* Reduce alcohol intake as it can cause dehydration and increase blood sugar.

* Do not drink too many cups of tea and coffee as it increases the water loss in the body.

* Reduce your intake of added sugar and processed foods.

* Exercise during cool, low-humidity times of the day.

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