Diabetes-Friendly Pongal: Include These Foods in Your Thali

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Diabetes-friendly Pongal

A festival of harvest; Pongal symbolises “prosperity” in Tamil culture. The word “Pongal” literally means “overflowing”, suggesting an abundance of dishes made from milk, ghee and rice. While the celebration is inevitable as one needs to thank the Sun God for his blessings and rewards, people with diabetes can’t enjoy the festive season without worrying about their sugar levels. Hence, we have curated a list of things you can include in your Thali for a diabetes-friendly Pongal Celebration. 

Pongal celebration has a history of 2000 years. It started during the Sangam Period when people started offering gratitude to the Sun God for the plentiful harvest. Since Pongal is all about food celebration, I have specially designed a Pongal Thali that diabetics can enjoy without impacting their blood glucose levels. 

Traditional Pongal Thali

A traditional Pongal Thali is rich and high in protein. It includes delicacies like 

  • Plantain Fry/Poriyal
  • Cucumber Carrot moong kachumbar
  • Mix Vegetable Fry/Poriyal
  • Chakkarai Pongal
  • Ven Pongal
  • Till Jaggery Mix/Ellu-Bella
  • Coconut Lemon Rice
  • Cooked White Rice
  • Parappu Boli/Bele Holige
  • Medu Vada
  • Mix Vegetable Curry/Sambar
  • Rasam/ Obbattu Saaru
  • Buttermilk
Diabetes-friendly pongal

A single thali contributes to more than 3/4 daily energy requirement. This one thali contributes to nearly one whole day’s total protein requirement. The ingredients used are especially helpful in keeping the body warm naturally during Winter and have a lot of antioxidants in them. However, people with diabetes need to be extra cautious when it comes to diet and nutrition. 

Read More: 7 Ways to Build a Healthy & Sustainable Diet for Diabetics

What to Include in Diabetes-friendly Pongal Thali

A healthier version of Pongal Thali that is low in carbohydrates & contributes to a safer, nutritious and healthier festival. The thali is ‌high in health-promoting nutrients like fibre and protein which aids in promoting good metabolism. It also has good fats which help to keep the body warm naturally during winter, soothe nerves and lubricate bones and joints. Fats support the function of hormones such as the adrenals, which maintain healthy stress responses and support immunity.

Follow this combination of food during the Pongal festival.

ITEMSgmCupENERGY (Kcal)PROTEIN (g)CARB (g)FAT (g)FIBER (g)
Cucumber carrot moong kachumbar/salad750.5 Katori491.75.72.62.2
Mix vegetable fry/Poriyal500.5 Katori421.35.51.82
Sugar-free Brown rice Pongal (sweet)500.5 Katori541.59.51.11.2
Till jagerry mix/Ellu-Bella101 tbsp571.43.34.51.1
Lemon quinoa51.50.25 CUP812.110.33.61.4
Cooked Brown rice620.5 CUP551.211.40.40.5
Sugar free Parappu Boli/bele holige501 PC1884.221.19.63.6
Air fried masala vada401 PC854.412.71.93.2
Mix vegetable Curry/sambar750.5 Katori6026.43.11.6
Rasam/ Obbattu Saaru750.5 Katori331.84.60.80.4
Buttermilk250 ml1 Glass452.32.330
Total74923.992.832.417.2
Daily requirement (rda)1400-150030-40100-15020-35more than 15 gms

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