Is Brown Bread Good for Diabetics – Check the Glycemic Index of Brown Bread

Reviewed By Dietitian Dt. SEEMA GOEL (Senior Dietitian, 25 Years of Experience) January 16, 2024


The number of cases of diabetes is rising worldwide. As per the latest reports of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there were around 12 lakh new cases of type 2 diabetes in 2021. One of the primary reasons for diabetes is consuming the wrong diet. Therefore, choosing the correct food is important for diabetes patients. Walking on the path of choosing diabetes-friendly foods today, we analyse brown bread. Praised for its whole wheat virtues and labelled as a healthier choice, brown bread sparks curiosity among individuals steering through the complexities of diabetes. In this blog, we find out whether is brown bread good for diabetes patients. Further, we also go through brown bread nutrition content and its glycemic index and also discuss its benefits and side effects. So, let’s commence our step towards a healthier life.

What is Brown Bread?

Brown bread is a bread variety that uses whole wheat flour as the main ingredient. The flour includes the bran, germ, and endosperm of the wheat kernel. It is a healthier option when compared with white bread. This is because brown bread retains more nutrients and fiber from the whole grain.

Brown Bread Nutrition Data

Brown Bread Nutrition Data, 2 slices brown bread calories

Brown bread has a good nutritional profile consisting of various macro and micronutrients. So here are some brown bread nutritional facts according to USDA:

Brown bread nutrition facts 100g Amount
Calories 294 kcal
Carbs 52.9 g
Fat 2.9 g
Sugar 5.9 g
Fiber 5.9 g
Calcium 32 mg
Iron 2.9 mg
Potassium 188 mg
Protein 11.8 g
Niacin 2.94 mg

Read More: 15 Ways To Lower Your Insulin Levels Naturally

Brown Bread Glycemic Index

The glycemic index of brown bread, according to the Glycemic Index Guide website, is about 65. This classifies brown bread GI in the medium GI category. The glycemic load of brown bread is 34.38, which means it has a high glycemic load.

Brown Bread for Diabetes

Now it’s time we answer the question, is brown bread good for diabetes patients? Yes, brown bread for diabetes patients in moderation is a good food option. Since brown bread is made of whole wheat, it contains a good amount of complex carbs and dietary fiber. As per USDA, 100 grams of wheat contains 52.9 g of complex carbs and 5.9 grams of fiber. Complex carbs and fiber help in delaying digestion, thus, preventing blood sugar spikes. Moreover, there are studies that show brown bread benefits diabetes patients. A 2021 study published by the NLB (National Library of Medicine) shows eating brown bread for sugar patients for 3 months helps them control blood glucose and HbA1c.

Another study by NLM (National Library of Medicine) showed the glycemic responses after eating brown bread are much lower than white bread. However, brown bread is a medium GI food therefore, one needs to exercise portion control. As eating too much brown bread may bring a blood sugar spike and breach your daily calorie intake.

Another thing you need to take care of when choosing brown bread is the quality. Today, there are many brown breads in the market, which are simply white bread colored brown. Bakeries use brown food color, which gives these breads brown bread colors but not their properties. This is done to increase the shelf life of these breads. However, these kinds of breads are harmful to diabetics, and they should avoid them. Always choose a good quality original whole wheat brown bread and check its ingredients before buying it.

Read More: Are Sugar-Free Biscuits Safe for Diabetics? 

Is Brown Bread Good for Weight Loss

Yes, brown bread is good for weight loss and can be in a meal of your weight loss diet plan. Especially overweight or obese diabetes patients are concerned with weight loss. Brown bread in moderation for sugar patients who are overweight helps with weight loss. Brown bread has complex carbs and dietary fiber, which delay the absorption of glucose. Dietary fiber also makes you feel full for longer, curbing your cravings.

Benefits of Brown Bread for Diabetes Patients

Benefits of Brown Bread for Diabetes Patients, is brown bread good for weight loss

Brown bread for diabetes patients can be beneficial due to its higher fiber and complex carb content compared to white bread. The benefits include:

Fiber Content

One of the main benefits of brown bread for diabetes patients contains a good amount of dietary fiber. Fiber helps in regulating your sugar levels by slowing down the absorption of glucose. 

Healthier Carbs

The carbs in brown bread are complex type. Complex carbs are different from simple carbs that are present in white bread. Complex carbs take time to digest and, therefore, don’t instigate a blood sugar spike.

Nutrient Retention

Brown bread for sugar patients retains more nutrients, such as vitamins and minerals. These nutrients help in digestion, thus contributing to healthy blood sugar levels.


The fiber in brown bread promotes a feeling of fullness for extended periods. This potentially aids in weight management, which is very essential for diabetes control.

2 slices brown bread calories

When on a diabetes diet, you should know what is the amount of calories you eat throughout the day. Brown bread can be consumed in breakfast as well as an evening snack. The 2 slices brown bread calories are around 148 calories. Considering two slices have 56 grams of weight. The slices will give you 4.9 g of protein, 1.7 g of fiber and 26.4 g of carbs.

Read More: List for Best Ice-Creame for Diabetes?

Ways to Include Brown Bread in a Diabetes Diet

Ways to Include Brown Bread in a Diabetes Diet, brown bread nutrition data

Incorporating brown bread for sugar patients into their diet can be done in various ways suggested below:


Use brown bread for sandwiches with lean protein like grilled chicken or paneer, along with plenty of vegetables. Be mindful of condiments and opt for healthier choices.

Toast with Nut Butter

Toast brown bread and spread a thin layer of nut butter (unsweetened and without added sugars) for a satisfying and nutritious snack.

Chapati or Roti Substitute

Replace some of the regular chapatis or rotis with whole wheat or multigrain brown bread to increase fiber intake.

Bread Upma

Make a diabetes-friendly upma using crumbled brown bread instead of semolina. Add vegetables and use minimal oil for a healthy twist.

Bread Poha

Prepare a diabetes-friendly poha using small pieces of brown bread instead of flattened rice. Include green veggies and use less oil.

Whole Wheat Bread Upma

Create an upma by sautéing pieces of brown bread with vegetables, spices, and a touch of oil for a quick and healthy breakfast or snack.

Healthy Bruschettas

Top toasted brown bread with diced tomatoes, onions, and a sprinkle of herbs for a delicious and diabetes-conscious bruschetta.

Read More: Best Yoga Asanas For Diabetes To Control At Home Naturally

Side Effects of Eating Brown Bread Daily

Side Effects of Eating Brown Bread Daily
, brown bread is good for weight loss

While brown bread can be a healthier option for diabetes patients, it’s important to note potential considerations:

Carb Content

Brown bread in diabetes, like any other bread, contains carbs and has medium GI. Therefore, monitoring portion sizes is crucial to manage blood sugar levels.

Individual Responses

The glycemic response to brown bread can vary among individuals. Some may experience spikes in blood sugar levels, so it’s essential to monitor personal reactions.

Added Ingredients

Commercially available brown bread for diabetes patients may contain added white flour, sugars, preservatives, or other ingredients. Reading labels and choosing brands with minimal additives is advisable.

Gluten Sensitivity

Some diabetics may also have gluten sensitivity. In such cases, alternative options like gluten-free bread may be more suitable.

Weight Management

While brown bread can contribute to satiety due to its fiber content, excessive consumption without considering overall calorie intake can affect weight, which is important for diabetes management.

Read More: Normal Blood Sugar Level for Adults Age-wise.


In conclusion, the debate over whether brown bread is a boon or bane for individuals managing diabetes is nuanced. While it offers the benefit of higher fiber content, potentially aiding in blood sugar control and satiety, it’s crucial to approach its consumption with mindfulness. Ultimately, the decision to include brown bread in diabetes-conscious diets should align with an individual’s overall health goals. With informed choices and a balanced approach, brown bread can find its place in the diabetes diet plan.

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

Can we eat brown bread daily?

Yes, brown bread for diabetes patients can be consumed daily as part of a diet plan. You can make brown bread sandwiches, toast, etc. However, it’s important that you exercise portion control and keep yourself limited to 2 to 3 slices.

Does brown bread contain maida?

Yes, the majority of the brown bread sold in the market is simply maida bread, which is dyed with brown food color. Therefore, it’s very important you buy real brown bread made of whole wheat. Check the labels and find a bakery which makes the real ones.

How many slices of brown bread is healthy?

Generally, two to three slices of brown bread can be consumed in the morning for breakfast. However, include brown bread as part of your daily meal plan to prevent overeating and breaching your set calorie limit.

Is brown bread equal to chapati?

No, brown bread is not equal to chapati. Brown bread has more calories than chapati. Moreover, many bakeries add maida, sugar and preservatives, which can be found in chapati. Brown bread is only a substitute and can never replace chapati. Given a choice, diabetes patients should always choose chapati over brown bread.

Last Updated on by Dr. Damanjit Duggal 


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