General Health

120 Nigerian foods for Diabetics: managing diabetes in Nigeria

What are the Nigerian foods for Diabetics? What should a Nigerian diabetic eat? What Nigerian foods should diabetes milletus patients avoid? Are there low sugar Nigerian diets for diabetics?  What is the meal plan for diabetes patients?

This article also covers more than 50 Nigerian food ideas for diabetics….

Being diabetic is not easy especially in Nigeria.  The main problem of being diabetic is knowing the right food combinations. For a Nigerian diabetic or an African diabetic, our diets contain a lot of sugar or starch. Our quest for Nigerian foods without sugar or low sugar could be arduous or at best confusing.

Nobody including health care providers have been able to successfully draft up a comprehensive Nigerian food timetable for diabetic patients.  Also during consultions, Endocrinologists, because of their work load, almost always do not have time to sit with their patients for long in order to discuss a diabetic food plan.

Nigerian diabetics  end up resorting to the internet for guidance and counselling on low sugar diet as evidenced by the following google searches  below which I will try as much as possible to answer.

“Nigerian food timetable for diabetic patients”

“Nigerian foods  without Sugar”

“Managing diabetics in Nigeria”

“African food for diabetes patient”

“List of foods for diabetic patients”

“Food recipes for diabetic patients”

“Best Nigerian foods for diabetic patients”

“List of Nigerian foods for diabetics”

“is fufu good for diabetes?”

“non starchy foods in nigeria”

“is wheat good for diabetics?”

“what are good carbs for a diabetic to eat”

Now to answer these queries,  the underlying principles of diet management in diabetes is to: avoid sugary or starchy foods (low carbs diet),  avoid fatty meals, eat plenty vegetables,  eat fruits,  run away from alcohol, flee from smoking, and drink plenty of water.

Comprehensive list of best Nigerian foods for diabetic patients

This list contain African or Nigerian  foods that a diabetic should eat or avoid for better glycemic or sugar control.

  1. Bitter leaf soup is good for diabetic patients and helps reduce body sugar
  2. Water leaf soup contains low sugar
  3. Afang soup is very good for sugar control.
  4. Ewedu soup should be in your food plan
  5. Avoid yam or pounded yam.  It contains too much sugar. Yam or pounded yam is not ideal for diabetics
  6. Egusi soup is a controversial meal for diabetics. While some recommend it,  others believe it contains too much sugar.  In my opinion, foods that are controversial are best avoided.
  7. Green leafy vegetables are perfect for you
  8. Amala from unripe plantain is highly recommended for diabetic patients.
  9. Unripe plantain must be in your menu
  10. Do not eat ripe plantain because it contains too much sugar.
  11. Avoid red meat
  12. Eat fish please-any type
  13. Do not eat cow intestines- “shaki”, ring, or “round about”
  14. Eat liver
  15. Kpomo or cowskin is good for you
  16. No beer
  17. No dry gin,  liquor or spirits
  18. No coke
  19. No Fanta
  20. No Sprite
  21. No Seven Up
  22. No pepsi
  23. No Mirinda
  24. Youghurt should be in your meal plan
  25. Eat cocoyam or pound it for soup
  26. Please no sweet potatoes
  27. Irish potatoes is perfect for diabetics
  28. You can drink Amstel malt and only Amstel because of its low sugar  Please avoid other malt drinks.
  29.  Say no to Eba
  30. Eat sea foods
  31. Eat snails
  32. No buns, egg roll, meat pies or junks
  33. If you want to eat chicken 🐔 or turkey  🦃 please peel or the back skin before eating. Their skins contain a lot of fats.
  34. No smoking
  35. White soup is good
  36. Oha soup is perfect
  37. Eat rice but in very small amount
  38. Eat beans but in very amount
  39. For swallow, please eat wheat
  40. Do not eat any other bread 🍞  apart from wheat bread
  41. No sugar cane
  42. Take oranges
  43. Eat apples
  44. Do not eat mango because of its high glycemic index.
  45. Corn is good
  46. Irish Potato is good
  47. You can eat groundnut soup if you enjoy it
  48. Eat small bananas
  49. No spaghetti
  50. Tuwo shinkafa,  and tuwo masara is  good for diabetes
  51. Eat bush meat
  52. No sharwama
  53. Pap and milk with no sugar is OK
  54. Three Crowns Milk is the best for diabetics
  55. Small beans is OK but if it disturbs you stop eating
  56. You can eat tomato stew
  57. Do not eat starch please
  58. Banga soup is ok 👌 for diabetics
  59. Periwinkles are perfect for you
  60. Eat pepper soup with goat meat or fish
  61. Eat goat meat
  62. Semovita is good but low quantity
  63. Poundo yam is nice but low quantity
  64. Eat guava fruit
  65. Eat garden egg or igba
  66. You can eat quacker oats
  67. Eat plenty of vegetable soup
  68. Eat ofada rice, it has low glycemic index
  69. Soyabeans is good
  70. Eat Avocado pear
  71. No pineapple or in small quantities
  72. Eat water melon in small quantities
  73. Eat plenty of carrots
  74. Eat plenty of cucumbers
  75. Ogbono soup is good for sugar control
  76. Okra soup is recommended
  77. Eat shrimps or crayfish
  78. Eat millet (Joro)
  79. Drink Kunu
  80. Drink dawa (guinea corn)
  81. You can eat cow leg
  82. Nkwobi
  83. Eat walnuts
  84.  Eat tiger nuts (Hausa groundnuts)
  85.  Eat coconut
  86. Wheatmeal swallow
  87.  Zobo is good
  88.  Eat Akara balls
  89.  Eat chicken gizzard
  90.  Agidi
  91.  Isi ewu in small quantities
  92.  Chop onions
  93.  A little of water yam is ok
  94.  Moi moi
  95.  Eat spinach
  96.  Avoid any kind of butter
  97.  No energy drinks
  98. Don’t eat cakes,  chocolates
  99. Eat eggs but reduce the quantity. At most 2 eggs a week if you want to eat at all
  100.  Use vegetable oil to cook
  101.  Take fruits juices with low sugar
  102.  Edikan Ikong
  103.  Cabbage
  104.  Fibre biscuits is ok
  105.  Oatmeal
  106.  Garlic
  107.  Ginger supplements in food
  108.  Avoid refined sugar or sugar of any type
  109.  No macaroni or spaghetti, too starchy
  110.  Black soup is perfect for diabetics. It reduces blood sugar and good for glycemic control. 
  111.  Okporoko stock fish is recommended for diabetics.
  112.  No herbal concoctions  please
  113.  Take soursop fruit
  114.  African almond (Agbalomo) is good for diabetes patients
  115.  A little of banga rice please
  116.  African pear( small small pear) is good for you
  117.  You can eat fuku (cow lungs)
  118.  Cow tongue is good
  119.  Eat cow penis or testis
  120.  Do not eat tapioca
  121. Add uziza and utazi to your diet. . They help lower blood sugar.
  122.  Bitter leaf soup…is cool
  123. Take little akamu with honey
  124. Guinea corn is good for diabetes
  125. Fruits for diabetic patients in Nigeria: apples, avocadoes, tomatoes, soursop, grapefruit, garden eggs, blackberries, peaches, plums, oranges, figs, cherries, raisins, strawberries, blackberries,
  126. As a diabetic, do not eat fruits like water melon, pineapple, dates, pawpaw, mango, banana because of their high glycemic index and can spike your blood sugar to high levels.
  127. Eat groundnut
  128. A diabetic can drink ijebu garri…..yes a diabetic can eat garri but not eba sha.
  129. Semovita
  130. Eat tiger nuts
  131. Semolina

As a diabetic, eat but with moderation,  feel free to say no when offered food especially high carbohydrates diet in parties, from friends or family 👪 .  Take charge of your health.

Nigerian foods for diabetics: a perfect combination

Are there any suggestions or contributions on Nigerian foods for diabetics?  Please leave a comment.


This post was last modified on April 9, 2023 6:20 am

Udomoh Eshemokha

I am a practicing medical doctor, a philosopher, critical thinker, a globalist, a patriot, SEO expert and a patient blogger.

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      • Regards! The best advice for diabetics is for them to determibe the meals that are best for them. I realised that wheat bread, green plantain and green plantain flour raises some patients sugar level very high. Recommended is very little quantity of food whenever you must eat, sleep very well and do a lot of exercises. To know the best meal for you, measue your sugar level one hour after every meal. Might sound expensive but this is the right route to go.

  • God bless you for this eye opening I have been searching for this for a long time thank you so much.

    • Goodmorning, food time-table is no longer in vogue for diabetics. Just eat moderately and appropriately.

      Thank you

  • Thanks so much sir. Tuwo shinkafa is made from rice while tuwo masara is made from maize flour, I thought diabetic patients are to avoid these tuwo. God bless you.

  • you said no yam or pounded yam in no.5 and said small pounded yam in no.63.
    can an ulcer diabetic take amstel malt and beans?

    • That may be a type... It will be corrected.

      Ulcer patients should avoid beans and carbonated drinks until they have been fully treated.

  • Am aghast about tapioka, in preparing we always soak it overnight to remove the starch before eating

  • Please sweet potato is better than irish. They have almost same amount of carbohydrates. However, sweet potato has more fibre and lower glycemic index which makes it a better choice. Pick whole wheat foods or grains (E.g whole wheat bread, whole wheat pasta), brown rice.

    In short, no food is bad. It is just the type and amount that matters.