Nigerian Food Recipes for Diabetic Patients

46 Local Nigerian Food Recipes for Diabetic Patients

Find the best Nigerian food recipes for diabetic patients you can follow to fight, prevent and stop Type 1, Type 2 or Gestational diabetes in your body.

See here: 8 Best fruits for diabetic patients

Diabetes describes a group of metabolic diseases in which the person has high blood glucose (blood sugar), either because insulin production is inadequate or because the body’s cells do not respond properly to insulin or both. It is a long-term condition that causes high blood sugar levels.

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There are three types of diabetes, namely:

  1. Type 1 diabetes: in this case, the body does not produce insulin. It is referred to as insulin-dependent diabetes, juvenile diabetes, or early onset diabetes. People usually develop type 1 diabetes before the age of 40, often in early adulthood or teenage years. Type 1 diabetes is nowhere near as common as type 2 diabetes. Approximately 10% of all diabetes cases are type 1.
  2. Type 2 diabetes: this is whereby the body does not produce enough insulin for proper function, or cells in the body do not react to insulin (insulin resistance). Approximately 90% of all cases of diabetes worldwide are type 2. Some people may be able to control their type 2 diabetes symptoms by losing weight, following a healthy diet, doing plenty of exercises and monitoring their blood glucose level. Type 2 diabetes is typically a progressive disease –it gradually gets worse and the patient will probably end up having to take insulin, usually in tablet form. Overweight and obese people have a much higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes compared to those with a healthy body weight. The risk of developing type 2 diabetes is also greater as we get older. Men whose testosterone levels are low have to be found to have a higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
  3. Gestational diabetes: this type of diabetes affects females during pregnancy. Some women have very high levels of glucose in their blood and their bodies are unable to produce enough insulin to transport all of the glucose into their cells, resulting in progressively rising levels of glucose.

Nigerian Food Recipes for Diabetic Patients

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Symptoms of Diabetes

A condition is known as pre-diabetes often leads to type 2 diabetes also produces no symptoms. Type 2 diabetes and its symptoms slowly develop. Type 1 diabetes can go unnoticed but it less likely to do so. Some of its symptoms listed below can come on abruptly and be accompanied by nausea, vomiting or stomach pains.

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Common signs and symptoms of diabetes

  • Frequent urination
  • Intense hunger
  • Unusual weight loss
  • Irritability
  • Cuts and bruises don’t heal properly and quickly
  • Disproportionate thirst
  • Weight gain
  • Increased fatigue
  • Blurred vision
  • More skin or yeast infection
  • Itchy skin
  • Gums are red and/or swollen: gums pull away from teeth
  • Frequent gum disease infection
  • Sexual dysfunction among men
  • Numbness or tingling especially on the feet or hand

Causes of Diabetes

Type 1 diabetes:

  • Family history
  • Diseases of the pancreas
  • Infection or illness

Type 2 diabetes:

  • Obesity or being overweight
  • Impaired glucose tolerance
  • Insulin resistance
  • Ethnic background
  • High blood pressure
  • Low level of HDL (“good”) cholesterol and high levels of triglycerides
  • Gestational diabetes: if you have gestational diabetes, this raises your chance of getting type 2 diabetes later in life.
  • Sedentary lifestyle: exercising less than three times a week
  • Family history
  • Polycystic ovary syndrome
  • Age: people over the age of 45 and overweight

Gestational diabetes:

  • Obesity or being overweight
  • Glucose intolerance
  • Family history
  • Age

Whatever the risk, there is a lot to delay or prevent diabetes:

  • Manage your blood pressure
  • Keep your weight within or near a healthy range
  • Get 30 minutes of exercise on most days
  • Eat a well-balanced diet

Recommended: How to Lose Weight Using Nigerian Food

Best and Worst Nigerian Food Recipes for Diabetic Patients

Your food choices matter when you’ve got diabetes. Some are better than others. Nothing is complete of limits. Even items that you might think of as “the worst”, could be occasional treats in tiny amounts. But they won’t help you nutrition-wise, and it’s easiest to manage your diabetes if you mainly stick to the best options. Before we mention the best Nigerian food recipes for diabetic patients, here are best and worst natural intakes you should be mindful of.

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Carbohydrates (starches):

Your body needs carbs, but you need to choose them wisely.

Best choices

  • Whole grains such as brown rice, oatmeal, millet
  • Baked sweet potato
  • Items made with whole grains and no (or very little) added sugar

Worst choices

  • Processed grains such as white rice or white flour
  • Cereals made with no/little with whole grains and lots of sugar
  • White bread
  • French fries
  • Fried white flour tortillas


Best choices

  • Fresh veggies, eaten raw or lightly steamed, roasted or grilled
  • Plain frozen vegetables, lightly steamed
  • Greens such as kale, spinach and arugula go for a variety of colours such as dark greens, red or orange (carrots and red peppers), white onions and even purple (eggplants).
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Worst choices

  • Canned vegetables with lots of added sodium (salt)
  • Veggies cooked with lots of added butter, cheese or sauce
  • Pickles, if you need to limit sodium because of high blood pressure otherwise pickles are okay
  • Sauerkraut, for the same reason as pickles



They give you carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals and fibre. Most are naturally low in fat and sodium

Best choices

  • Fresh fruits
  • Plain frozen fruits without added sugar
  • Sugar-free or low sugar jam or preserves
  • No-sugar-added applesauce

Worst choices

  • Canned fruits with heavy sugar syrup
  • Chewy fruit rolls
  • Regular jam, jelly and preserves (unless you have a very small portion)
  • Sweetened applesauce
  • Fruit punch, fruit drinks, fruit juice drinks and soft drinks


Best choices

  • Plant-based protein such as beans, nuts, seeds or tofu.
  • Fish and seafood
  • Chicken and other poultry (choose the breast meat if possible). Trim the skin off poultry
  • Eggs and low fat-fat dairy

Worst foods

  • Fried meats
  • Higher fat cuts of meat such as ribs
  • Pork bacon
  • Regular cheeses
  • Poultry with skin
  • Deep fried fish and tofu
  • Beans prepared with lard


Keep it low in fat. If you want to splurge, keep your portion very small

Best foods

  • 1% of skim milk
  • Low-fat yoghurt
  • Low fat cottage cheese
  • Low fat or non-fat sour cream

Worst foods

  • Whole milk
  • Regular yoghurt
  • Regular cottage cheese
  • Regular sour cream

Fats, oil and sweets:

They are tough to resist, but it’s easy to get much and gain weight which makes it harder to manage your diabetes.

Best foods

  • Natural sources of vegetable fats such as nuts, seeds or avocados (high in calories, so keep portions small)
  • Foods that give you omega-3 fatty acids, such as salmon, tuna or mackerel
  • Plant-based oils, such as canola, grapeseed or olive oil

Worst foods

  • Anything that has artificial trans-fat in it. It’s bad for your heart. Check the ingredient list for anything that is “partially hydrogenated” even if the label says it has 0grams of trans-fat.
  • Big portions of saturated fat, which mainly come from animal products but also are in coconut oil and palm oil. Ask your doctor what your limit should be, especially if you have heart disease and diabetes


Best choices

  • Water, unflavored or flavoured sparkling water
  • Unsweetened tea (add a slice of lemon)
  • Light beer, small amount of wine or non-fruity mixed drinks
  • Coffee, black or with added low-fat milk and sugar substitute
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Worst choices

  • Regular sodas
  • Regular beer, fruity mixed drinks, dessert wines
  • Sweetened tea
  • Coffee with sugar and cream
  • Flavoured coffee and chocolate drinks
  • Energy drinks

Nigerian Food Recipes for Diabetic Patients

Nigerian Food Recipes for Diabetic Patients – 46 Local Diets You Shouldn’t Ignore.

Get your FREE Copy – Download Our Diet Guide On 6 Delicious Nigerian Soup Recipes For Diabetes

Fufu (swallow):

  • Wheat meal fufu (natural wheat)
  • Guinea corn fufu
  • Unripe plantain fufu

Stews and sauces to serve with brown rice or boiled unripe plantain:

  • Tomato stew
  • Garden egg stew
  • Vegetable stew cooked with amaranth and tomatoes
  • Vegetable stew cooked with ugwu (fluted pumpkin)
  • Shredded chicken sauce
  • Shrimp sauce
  • Fresh fish sauce/stew
  • Smoked fish sauce
  • Bitter leaf sauce

Low carbohydrate meals:

  • Brown basmati coconut rice with vegetables
  • Brown basmati fried rice
  • Jollof brown basmati rice with cole slaw
  • Brown basmati rice and stew
  • Unripe plantain porridge
  • Boiled unripe plantain with stew and moi moi
  • Roasted unripe plantain with fish sauce
  • Unripe plantain with beans porridge
  • Boiled unripe plantain with vegetable egg sauce
  • Beans and whole wheat bread
  • Ewa agonyin (mashed beans)
  • Guinea corn agidi with stew
  • Brown beans and guinea corn meal
  • Millet fufu


  • Water
  • Zobo without sweetener
  • Guinea corn kunu
  • Unsweetened yoghurt
  • Pepper soups
  • Kunu geida from guinea corn or millet

Healthy Nigerian comfort foods:

  • Isi ewu
  • Nkwobi
  • Cow leg
  • Cow tongue
  • Fish pepper soup
  • Chicken pepper soup
  • Snail pepper soup
  • Peppered snail

Nigerian snacks for diabetes:

  • Garden egg with Nigerian peanut butter (pepper cola)
  • Coconuts (ask your doctor the amount to consume
  • Boiled groundnuts
  • Akara
  • nuts

Get your FREE Copy – Download Our Diet Guide On 6 Delicious Nigerian Soup Recipes For Diabetes

Check Out: Our 1 Week Meal Plan For Diabetes

While these Nigerian food recipes for diabetic patients will help you control your sugar level, it doesn’t negate the need to see a family doctor for proper medical advice.

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