Is Arbi Good for Diabetes Patients? Check the Glycemic Index of Arbi

Reviewed By Dietitian Dt. SEEMA GOEL (Senior Dietitian, 25 Years of Experience) January 5, 2024

Managing diabetes involves making mindful choices about what goes on your plate. One vegetable that often sparks curiosity in the diabetes community is arbi, also known as colocasia or taro root. With its starchy nature and distinct flavor, arbi finds its way into various culinary traditions. But its impact on blood sugar levels raises questions for those navigating diabetes. In this blog, we’ll explore the nutritional profile of arbi and delve into the question, is arbi good for diabetes patients.  So, let’s unravel the mysteries surrounding arbi and its potential role in diabetic-friendly eating.

What is Arbi (Taro Root)?

Arbi, which also goes by the name colocasia or taro root, is a starchy, tuberous vegetable widely consumed in various cuisines around the world. It belongs to the Araceae family and is known for its distinctive flavor and texture. Arbi, or colocasia, is believed to have originated in Southeast Asia. It has a long history of cultivation in tropical and subtropical regions, especially in parts of India, China, and Polynesia.

Over time, arbi has spread to various parts of the world and is now grown and consumed in diverse cuisines. The plant grows well in warm as well as humid climates.

Arbi is often used in both savoury and sweet dishes and can be prepared by boiling, frying, or baking. It’s a good source of carbohydrates, fiber, and certain vitamins and minerals, making it a nutritious addition to many diets.

Nutritional Value of Arbi

Nutritional Value of Arbi , is arbi good for diabetes

According to the data of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the following are the nutrients in 100 grams of Arbi:

Nutrients per 100 grams Amount
Calories 42 kcal
Protein 4.98 g
Carbs 6.7 g
Ash 1.92 g
Fiber 3.7 g
Sugar 3.01 g
Vitamin K 108.6 ug
Vitamin E 2.02 mg
Vitamin A 241 ug
Niacin 1513 mg
Folate 126 ug
Beta carotene 2895 ug
Calcium 107 mg
Potassium 648 mg
Sodium 3 mg
Iron 2.25 mg
Phosphorus 60 mg

Read More: Is Coconut Milk Good for Diabetics?

Glycemic Index of Arbi (Taro Root)

The glycemic index of arbi is just 48, according to the Glycemic Index Guide. This makes it a low-glycemic food. Moreover, the glycemic load of arbi is 12.7, categorising it in the medium glycemic load category.

Taro Root and Diabetes

Now, it is time we answer the question, is arbi good for diabetes patients? Yes, definitely arbi is good for diabetes patients when consumed in a measured amount. Arbi glycemic index is low which means it won’t cause a major blood sugar spike upon consumption. Along with this, arbi or taro root for diabetes patients is beneficial because it contains resistant starch and fiber. According to the WebMD website, resistant starch and fiber both delay the digestion rate, thus regulating your blood sugar.

Along with this, arbi for diabetes patients also helps with related health conditions. The potassium content in taro root helps regulate blood pressure, according to the WebMD website. However, do remember to exercise portion control and consume taro root as part of your diet plan.

Benefits of Arbi for Diabetes Patients

Benefits of Arbi for Diabetes Patients

Arbi can offer potential benefits for diabetes patients due to its nutritional composition:

Read More: Is Cauliflower Good for Diabetic Patients?

Low Glycemic Index (GI)

Arbi vegetable for diabetes has a relatively low glycemic index. Low GI foods are recommended for diabetes patients. Taro root is good for diabetes patients as it impacts blood sugar less than other high-GI foods.

Dietary Fiber

Arbi has a good presence of dietary fiber. It is the dietary fiber that helps regulate your sugar levels by slowing down the absorption of glucose. Fiber also aids in digestion. It promotes a feeling of satiety, potentially helping with weight management for obese or overweight diabetics.

Nutrient Content

Arbi for diabetes patients contains essential nutrients such as vitamins (folate, vitamin C) and minerals (potassium, magnesium). These nutrients help with your overall health and may support diabetes management. Potassium helps to control blood pressure, and magnesium helps regulate blood sugar.

Resistant Starch

The starch in arbi has been identified as a type of resistant starch, which means it resists digestion in the small intestine. According to studies published in the National Library of Medicine, resistant starch positively impacts insulin sensitivity and glucose metabolism.

Lowers the Cancer-Associated Risks

Arbi contains antioxidants like quercetin, which come from the plant’s purple pigment. According to the WebMD website, these antioxidants guard your body from free radicals. Thereby reducing the risk of cancer.

However, individual responses to foods can vary, and it’s crucial for diabetics to monitor their sugar levels. You should always consult with your doctor for dietary guidance. Moderation and balanced eating remain key to managing diabetes effectively.

Read More: Is Rice Good For Diabetes?

Arbi Side Effects

While taro root or arbi for diabetes patients has potential benefits, it’s essential to be mindful of portion sizes and preparation methods. Here are some considerations:

Portion Control

Keep portions moderate to avoid consuming excessive carbohydrates. Controlling portion sizes helps manage the impact on blood sugar levels.

Cooking Methods

When cooking arbi for diabetes patients, go for healthier cooking methods like boiling or steaming instead of frying. These methods retain the nutritional value of taro root without adding extra unhealthy fats.

Pairing with Fiber

Combine taro root with high-fiber foods to slow down the absorption of glucose. This can include incorporating vegetables, legumes, or whole grains into the meal.

Balanced Meals

Include taro root as part of a balanced meal that includes protein, healthy fats, and a variety of vegetables. This helps create a more gradual and steady rise in blood sugar levels.

Regular Monitoring

Monitor your blood sugar in constant intervals, especially when introducing new foods like taro root into the diet. This allows for a better understanding of individual responses and adjustments if necessary.

Read More: Is Bottle Gourd Good For Diabetes?


In the world of diabetes management, the verdict on arbi, or colocasia, appears to be a positive one. With its low glycemic index, dietary fiber content, and a host of essential nutrients, arbi and diabetes have a positive relationship. However, as with any food, moderation and thoughtful preparation are key. So, in the grand tapestry of diabetic-friendly foods, arbi might just weave in seamlessly, offering not only its earthy flavors but also nutritional perks for those seeking a diverse and balanced diet.

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

Can diabetic patient eat taro root?

Yes, taro root for diabetes patient is a good veggie to include in their diet. Taro root good for diabetes pateints as it has the presence of dietary fiber and resistant starch. Moreover, taro root is a low-GI food, and it has nutrients like potassium and magnesium, which help in maintaining good health.

Does arbi have sugar?

Yes, there are about 3.1 grams of natural sugar per 100 grams of arbi. However, you should know this is a very meagre amount, and it won’t cause a blood sugar spike upon consumption.

Can I eat arbi everyday?

Yes, diabetes patients can include arbi in their meals every day. However, you need to exercise portion control and include arbi in accordance with your calorie allowance in your diet chart.


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