Sri Lanka is loved for its rich landscape of medicinal herbs and tropical fruits. Moreover, our country is abundant with flavors, blends and colours of food that, if prepared with care will help to combat diseases. This read will guide you to 7 Sri Lankan food items you can use in your daily meal planning if you are a diabetic. Henceforth, squash the false belief that diabetes stops you from eating delicious meals. The truth is, your food can be both healthy and tasty at the same time, if only you make informed nutritional choices.
Here’s a 7 diabetic-friendly food to include in your meals – Sri Lankan Style!
- Ambarella (June Fruits)
This is a tropical fruit, easily available around Sri Lanka. Notably, this is useful to regulate blood sugar levels. Moreover, ambarella is a great source of dietary fibre, which is an important mechanism to control insulin release into the blood steam. Likewise, it facilitates the pancreas to produce more insulin.
Furthermore, vitamins A, C and B complex are found in this fruit along with iron, protein and calcium. Finally, it facilitates weight loss, which may be useful for people on a weight management journey.
Given these benefits, ambarella is a fruit you would not want to overlook. You can whip together a flavourful ambarella curry with local spices to have it with your rice and curry. Meanwhile, it is also an ideal side dish for whole grain bread, dosa or roti.
2. Bitter melon Dish
Bitter melon is traditionally known for its medicinal properties such as anti-diabetic, anticancer, anti-inflammation, antivirus, and cholesterol lowering effects. It contains many phenolic compounds that may have the potential as antioxidant and antimutagen. The various preparation options of this bitterly exotic and flexible vegetable makes it a healthy accompaniment with rice.
3. Alternate Types of Roti
You might be a fan of flatbreads, or what we Sri Lankans lovingly call “roti”. But did you know that you could make healthy variants of rotis to give your body a meal it deserves?
Some of the ideas are as follows:
- Murunga Roti
Murunga (Moringa/Drumstick) is packed with vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. Moreover, it has substances that act like insulin, which helps to regulate blood sugar levels. Besides, murunga is easy to find. Furthermore, it also helps to improve other health conditions such as heart problems, infections, inflammations as well as cancer.
If these reasons are not enough, the idea of coupling your favorite condiment with murunga rotis’ certainly should be. For this, all you have to do is add powdered murunga to your flour mixture when making the roti dough.
- Oats Roti
Oats, with its superfood reputation is loved and hated for the same reason. Despite its advantages, oats can get pretty boring to consume in its cooked form. However, adding powdered oats into your roti dough is a great way to welcome a fibre-rich diet, without subjecting yourself to the torture of munching bland oats.
Meanwhile, oats have a low glycemic index. This means its digestion will be slow, ensuring that absorption and metabolism is kept low. As a result, the sugar level and insulin level in the body will merely rise at a gradual rate. Moreover, oats reduce the dependency on insulin medicine.
Similarly, it offers various other health benefits such as aiding weight loss, digestion and keeping cholesterol levels under control. This implies oats are a great source of heart health friendly food
4. Kiri-handa (Cockscomb/Quail Grass)
Before you think, “Oh, no, yet another leafy vegetable”, read on!
The best part about the Lankan style of cooking is you can convert any vegetable into a lip-smacking curry that sizzles with aromatic spices. Firstly, Kiri-handa has a history of serving Ayurveda uses to treat diabetes. Moreover, studies now show that this plant contains anti-hyperglycemia and antioxidative qualities.
Therefore, use leaves from this plant to cook a wholesome curry, and include onions and curry leaves in the dish. Indeed, onions contain quercetin and sulfur compounds, which support the management of blood glucose levels. Similarly, curry leaves facilitate weight loss. Therefore, adding these to your meals regularly is beneficial for an effective diabetes management.
5. Murunga Sambol
Who can ever turn down a condiment? Moreover, if it has diabetes-friendly properties, you should include it in your diet. For instance, Murunga (moringa) leaves are perfectly edible in the form of a sambol, mixed with grated coconut, onions, chillies and your favourite spices. This is because the moringa plants contains certain proteins that act like insulin. As a result, it facilitates diabetes control.
6. Kos Kola (Jackfruit Leaves)
Some love it while some cannot stand its smell. However, if you can get kos kola, which are the leaves from the jackfruit tree, then you have definitely hit the jackpot. The mature leaves of this fruit are known to have cholesterol and blood sugar lowering agents. The key point here is that the leaves are not edible in its raw form. Thus, the ideal way to consume this is by using it as a food wrapper, such as to steam rice.
On the other hand, jackfruits contain high levels of carbs such as natural sugars, which may lead to raised glucose levels. However, it has a low glycemic index, proteins and fibre. Consequently, the leaves are excellent for diabetes management while the fruit must be taken with caution.
7. Garlic curry
Hasn’t garlic always been on the sidelines? But did you know, it is filled with about 400 chemical properties that improve health conditions? Moreover, raw, cooked or mature garlic improve blood sugar levels, cholesterol levels and also aids the fight against infections. However, some people are allergic to garlic and it is best consumed in moderation.
Furthermore, the golden rule is to find interesting combinations to that make consuming these food a simpler task. For example, lentils such as dhal makes a perfect pair to cook garlic curry. Certainly, dhal is a fantastic source of both soluble and insoluble fibre, as well as protein and iron.
In conclusion, effective diabetes management is the right balance of food, exercise, mental health and treatment. Therefore, ensure you take your diabetes medicine alongside a careful meal plan. Meanwhile, enhance your system of ordering long term medicine through an online pharmacy. In conclusion, for refill reminders and reliable medicine, order online from your trusted e-pharmacy.
WebMD (2019) Health benefits of moringa. Available at:
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Healthline (2020) Oatmeal and diabetes: do’s and don’ts. Available at:
Hamza, R. U. et al. (2018) ‘Methanolic extract of Celosia argentea var. crista leaves modulates glucose homeostasis and abates oxidative hepatic injury in diabetic rats’, Comparative Clinical Pathology, 27(4), pp. 1065-1071. doi: 10.1007/s00580-018-2702-9
The Island (2004) Anti-diabetic foods. Available at:
Nature World (2020) Jackfruit leaves benefits for diabetes. Available at:
Diabetes Organisation UK (2011) Garlic could benefit diabetes management, according to study. Available at: