Best Wheat for Diabetes: Benefits and Disadvantages

Last updated on September 22nd, 2023

Wheat is a staple grain for millions of Indians, finding its way into various forms of breads, chapatis, biscuits, etc. However, in a country where diabetes is reaching alarming proportions, choosing the right wheat variety becomes crucial for managing this chronic condition. Diabetes mellitus is a lifestyle ailment that affects how our bodies utilise glucose, the primary source of energy. With a considerable portion of the Indians dealing with diabetes, there is a growing need to identify wheat varieties that are not only delicious but also conducive to blood sugar management. In this article, we’ll explore the nutritional value, wheat GI index, advantages and disadvantages of wheat for diabetes patients and the best wheat varieties for diabetes patients. Join us on a journey through the world of wheat, where taste meets health, and discover the best wheat variety in India for diabetes patients that can help maintain stable sugar levels.

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Nutritional Value of Wheat

Nutritional Value of Wheat

Whole wheat for diabetes patients is a decent grain option. This is due to the presence of decent dietary fiber, vitamins and other antioxidants. Let’s have a look at the nutritional chart of whole wheat:

Nutritional Value of Wheat
Nutrients (per 100 grams) Its amount
Calories 340 kcal
Carbohydrates 72 g
Protein 13.2 g
Fiber 12 g
Fat 2.5 g
Sugar 0.4 g
Water 11%
Vitamin D 0 mcg
Calcium 25 mg
Iron 3.6 mg
Potassium 340 mg

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Glycemic Index of Wheat

The glycemic index of wheat (whole wheat grain) is just 45, classifying it as a low-GI food. However, the glycemic index of wheat flour is around 54 and unenriched white wheat flour is very high, around 85. The lower the fiber content in wheat, the more its glycemic index. Low GI foods are recommended for diabetes patients as they slow the absorption rate of carbs in our body. Thus resulting in a lesser gradual spike in blood sugar. Diabetes should go for whole grain wheat because of its low GI profile and high dietary fiber content.

Read More: Best Vegetable with Low Glycemic Index for Diabetics.

Is Wheat Good for Diabetes Patients

Benefits of Wheat

Eating wheat for diabetes patients can have several benefits, but only when consumed in moderation. And as part of a balanced diet. As it contains,

Complex Carbohydrates

Wheat for diabetes patients is a rich source of complex carbs, which are digested much slower than simple carbs. This slower digestion can help prevent rapid spikes in blood sugar levels after a meal, promoting better glucose control.

Dietary Fiber

Whole wheat, in particular, is high in dietary fiber. Fiber aids in controlling your sugar levels by delaying the absorption rate of glucose and enhancing insulin sensitivity. Whole wheat is also considered one of the best wheat for chapati.

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Nutrient Profile

Wheat for diabetes patients contains essential nutrients like B vitamins, iron, and magnesium. These nutrients can help mitigate some of the diabetes-related complications.

Low Glycemic Index

Whole wheat GI index is lower compared to refined wheat products. Foods with a lower GI are less likely to cause abrupt spikes in your sugar levels.

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Wheat-based foods like whole grain bread, chapatis, or whole wheat pasta for diabetics can help them feel full and satisfied for longer periods. This puts a stop to overeating and cravings.

Heart Health

Whole grains, including whole wheat for diabetes patients, can contribute to heart health, which is often a concern for individuals with diabetes. They can help lower the risk of heart-related complications for diabetics.

Read More: Top 6 Dry Fruits For Diabetics.

Disclaimer: The benefits of wheat for diabetes patients mentioned above only apply to diabetes patients with controlled blood sugar and HbA1c levels. Diabetic patients looking to control or reverse diabetes should limit wheat consumption. Lentils and chickpea flour are a better option for them.

Disadvantages of Wheat for Diabetes Patients

Disadvantages of Wheat

Wheat for diabetes patients can be included in their diet. However, there are some potential disadvantages of wheat to be aware of. Especially if consumed in excess or if not chosen wisely. Here are a few disadvantages:

Excessive Carbohydrate Content

Although wheat is relatively high in complex carbs, it still has it in excess amounts. In 100 grams of wheat, there are more than 70 grams of carbs. This excess carb content can lead to spikes in sugar levels if consumed in large quantities or irrationally. Therefore, diabetes patients must monitor their carbs intake and can choose and alter between other whole grains and lentil flour.

High Glycemic Load

However, the GI of wheat flour is in the low GI category. Its glycemic load (GL) is around 26.6, which comes in the high GL category. Therefore, the glycemic impact on the blood sugar would be significant.

Read More: Indian Diet for Diabetes Reversal.

Increases Cholesterol

Wheat for diabetes patients isn’t good because it has negative effects on your LDL cholesterol levels.

Gluten Sensitivity

Some individuals with diabetes may also have gluten sensitivity or celiac disease. This can be challenging for them to consume wheat-based products. Gluten intolerance can lead to poor gut health and may heighten diabetes-related complications.

Read More: Can Diabetes Patients Eat Oranges?

Processed Wheat Products

Many wheat-based products are available in the market, such as white bread, pastries, and certain cereals. These are highly processed and stripped of their nutrients and fiber adding to the disadvantages of wheat. These refined wheat products can cause rapid spikes in sugar levels.

Weight Management

Whole wheat for diabetes patients can contribute to satiety and help with weight management. However, whole wheat recipes for diabetics, too, have high carb content. Overconsumption of wheat-based foods can lead to weight gain and unstable sugar levels.

All of these disadvantages of wheat for diabetes patients call for precaution. Or choosing the other best wheat variety in India whose nutritional profile aligns a bit more with diabetic needs. Keep reading and find them all.

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Best Wheat Variety in India for Diabetes Patients

Wheat comes in different varieties and qualities. Finding the best wheat may vary from person to person based on their specific needs. Finding the best wheat for diabetes patients would be the type of wheat variety having:

  • Higher fiber content
  • Lower glycemic index and glycemic load
  • Doesn’t bring rapid spikes in blood sugar
  • Helps in improving heart health
  • Easier to digest
  • Contains more nutrients
  • Help in reducing bad cholesterol

Based on these parameters, we have classified some of the best wheat flour for chapati for diabetics. Let’s know them one by one:

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Khapli wheat or Emmer wheat

Khapli wheat goes by the other popular name of emmer wheat. This particular wheat type is cultivated in Maharashtra. This wheat is light brown and has a long shelf life. Khapli wheat benefits include more fiber, healthy fat and protein content. However, in khapli wheat vs normal wheat, normal wheat has more calcium and iron content.

Emmer wheat benefits also include keeping you fuller for longer. And also higher fibre content that delays glucose secretion into the bloodstream. Moreover, khapli wheat glycemic index is lower than normal wheat, which is good for diabetics. The Khapli wheat also has the presence of polyphenols, which help in preventing cancer and promote good heart health. So khapli wheat is one of the best gehu in India, which you can switch from normal wheat.

Read More: 16 Best Fruits Juice For Diabetes.

Bansi Wheat

Bansi wheat is another best wheat variety that you can try. Bansi wheat benefits include its complex carb content, dietary fiber, proteins, etc. This wheat variety is grown from a grass called triticum. Bansi wheat is one of the best flours for diabetics because of its ability to help control

  • Type 2 diabetes symptoms
  • Gallstones
  • Weight and obesity
  • Asthma
  • Colon cancer
  • Postmenopausal symptoms
  • Inflammation
  • Cholesterol

This is a broken wheat variety and broken wheat good for diabetes patients. The magnesium present in bansi wheat positively affects insulin sensitivity in body cells.

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Spelt Wheat

Spelt is another best wheat variety that is diabetes-friendly. Spelt is a distinct type of wheat that has higher protein and zinc content. Whole grain spelt wheat has lower carbs content than normal wheat and, thus, has a lower glycemic index. Spelt wheat sprouts for diabetes patients help in reducing

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Durum Wheat

Durum wheat is popularly called bread wheat. Durum wheat benefits include its high folate content, higher fiber and lutein content than normal wheat. Durum wheat for diabetes patients can help them:

  • Lower and manage sugar levels
  • Lower bad cholesterol
  • Reduce the risk of colon cancer
  • Regulate bowel movements
  • Promote satiety

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Red Wheat

Red wheat for diabetes patients is another best wheat variety. Red wheat has higher protein and amino acids, which help your body grow. The red wheat gets its colour due to its exterior kernel. This wheat variety has a nuttier taste compared to the milder taste of normal wheat. Along with high proteins, wheat also has a good presence of

  • Dietary fibre
  • Manganese
  • Selenium
  • Antioxidants

This is one of the best wheat for diabetes patients because it has low saturated fat, low sodium and cholesterol. All these are necessary for diabetes-friendly food.

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Which flour is good for Diabetics?

Although, the above suggested are healthier best wheat variety in India. They aren’t the best flour for diabetics. There are other types of flour that are considered ideal for diabetes patients

Multigrain Atta

Wheat for diabetes patients isn’t a preferred choice due to its high glycemic profile. For diabetes patients, it’s important to choose foods with low glycemic profiles. Therefore to lessen the glycemic impact we can mix other low GI grains with the best wheat flour for diabetics. You can buy a good quality multigrain atta from the market. Or make multigrain atta at home by mixing:

  • Bajra flour
  • Jowar flour
  • Ragi flour
  • Besan (chickpea flour)
  • Grinded Oats
  • Fenugreek

Mix all these ingredients in appropriate portions with wheat flour for diabetics to make the best wheat multigrain atta.

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Lentil-based flour

When considering whole grains for diabetes patients, lentils are the most preferred choice. Lentils-based flour for diabetics are recommended by doctors and dieticians. However, go for unrefined whole lentils like green moong, chana dal, matar dal, arhar and more. Use these lentil flours for diabetics in making rotis, chella, vegetable-stuffed parathas and even idli and dosa.

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In conclusion, wheat remains a staple in Indian diets, and its choice can greatly impact diabetes management. This blog tries to find the best wheat variety in India for diabetes. Understanding the nutritional value of wheat, wheat GI index, and the potential benefits and disadvantages of wheat for diabetes patients is crucial. While wheat can be beneficial due to its fiber and nutrient content, individuals with diabetes should be mindful of portion sizes and choose whole grains with a lower glycemic index. Among the wheat varieties available in India, selecting whole wheat or high-fibre wheat varieties like the ones suggested can help maintain stable blood sugar levels. However, diabetics need to consult with a doctor as he can help them choose the best wheat variety and portion size for their specific dietary needs.

Are you facing any difficulty in choosing the best wheat variety or flour suitable for diabetes? Or are you dealing with any diabetes issues? We at Breathe Well-Being can help you out. Our experienced health experts will help you choose the best flour for diabetics. We have a proven record of controlling and reversing diabetes for numerous individuals. So choose a better life! Choose Breathe Well-Being!

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Which Atta is Best for Diabetes?

The best atta or flour for diabetics is lentil flour, as it has a lower glycemic index, fewer carbs and essential nutrients. You can also go for multigrain flour as they too, are a good choice. However, when choosing multigrain flour, look out for the ingredients used. You can also make multigrain atta at home by using different grains as suggested above.

Rice or Wheat – Which is Better for Diabetics?

Comparing rice and wheat, we find wheat for diabetes patients is a better choice. This is due to the lower glycemic score of wheat and more fiber content than rice. However, do remember to choose whole wheat as it has higher fiber content.

Ragi or Wheat – Which is Better for Diabetics?

Ragi is a better choice of grain as wheat for diabetes patients has a higher carb content and GI score. However, we wouldn’t recommend a total shift from wheat to ragi. You can use both in multigrain flour or separately for consumption as part of a well-curated, balanced diet.

Is Wheat Bread Good for Diabetics?

Whole wheat bread is a much better option than white flour bread. Whole wheat contains dietary fiber which is very beneficial for diabetes. Wheat bread will only be good for diabetics when consumed as part of a balanced diet. However, products of wheat for diabetes patients should be consumed in measured amounts due to their significant carb content.

Is Wheat Roti Good for Diabetics?

Yes, whole wheat roti is good for diabetes. But wheat has a considerable score on the glycemic index. The best flour for diabetics is low GI grain flour like lentil-based flour or even multigrain flour. Lentils have lower carb content than wheat flour thus impacting more gradually on the sugar level.

Last Updated on by Dr. Damanjit Duggal 


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