Is Chana Good for Diabetes?

Chana is one of the oldest legumes known to mankind. It is particularly popular in India, Europe, Northern Africa, and Mediterranean countries. Chana serves as a major and cost-effective source of protein, making it a valuable alternative to animal protein. It is further categorised into three main types: desi/kala chana, safed/kabuli chana (chickpeas), and chana dal. These distinctions are based on seed size, colour, and taste, contributing to the diverse culinary applications of Chana. Given its nutritious profile, Chana proves to be a valuable component in managing diabetes. Let’s see how chana is good for diabetes.

Types of Chana

Types of Chana benefits of chana

1. White Chana

Known as Chickpea or Bengal gram in English, White Chana is a nutritional powerhouse cherished by Indians. Beyond its delightful taste, it proves to be a valuable addition to a healthy diet. One of the notable white chana benefits is its contribution to weight loss due to its high fibre content.

2. Kabuli Chana

Considered one of the earliest cultivated legumes, Kabuli Chana stands out with its small, hard, knobby appearance resembling a wrinkled hazelnut. Its nutty and creamy flavour, firm texture, and minimal fat content make it an incredibly versatile ingredient. Whether featured in salads, stews, or curries, Kabuli Chana adds a distinct touch to dishes, making it a kitchen favourite.

3. Chana Dal

Chana Dal, often referred to as baby chickpeas, takes the form of split lentils and holds a special place in Indian cuisine. Beyond its popularity, it’s recognized for its high nutritional value and delightful taste. Used in both sweet and savory dishes, it’s no wonder this split lentil finds its way into a diverse range of recipes.

Read More: 7 Day Indian Diet Plan for Diabetic Patients.

Chana Nutritional Value

The nutritional value of Chana varies according to the type.

  • Black Chana: Rich in protein, fiber, iron, folate, and antioxidants, with 130 calories per serving.
  • Roasted Chana: A crunchy snack with 70 calories per 20g serving, providing 4g of protein, 12g of carbohydrates, and essential nutrients like calcium and iron.
  • Boiled Chana: Offers 141 calories per serving, making it a nutritious addition to various dishes.
  • White Chana: With 164 calories per serving, it serves as a versatile source of protein and other essential nutrients.
  • Dal (Lentils): A low-fat source of protein (4.2g) and dietary fiber (13g), with minimal saturated fat (0.6g) and cholesterol (0mg), making it a healthy choice for balanced nutrition.
Type of Chana Calories (per 130g serving) Protein (g) Fiber (g) Iron (mg) Folate (mcg) Antioxidants
Black Chana 130 7.8 6.2 2.5 150 High
Roasted Chana 70 (per 20g serving) 4 8 1 18 Moderate
Boiled Chana 141 7.7 5.9 2.2 130 Moderate
White Chana 164 8.7 5.4 3.1 160 Moderate
Chana Dal 300 7.6 13.2 2.3 120 Moderate

Read More: Are Peas Good for Diabetes?

Is Chana Good for Diabetes?

Chana stands out as a favourable choice for individuals with diabetes due to its notable impact on blood sugar levels.

1. Chana Glycemic Index

Chana has a low glycemic index of 28, indicating that it is digested and absorbed slowly by the body. This helps prevent rapid spikes in blood sugar levels after meals. The gradual release of glucose into the bloodstream supports better blood sugar control.

2. Regulation of Blood Sugar Levels:

The low glycemic index of chana makes it an ideal component for regulating blood sugar levels, especially in the post-meal period. Including chana in meals can contribute to a more stable and controlled blood sugar response.

3. High in Fibre:

The high fibre content slows down the digestion and absorption of carbohydrates, preventing rapid increases in blood sugar levels.

4. Protein Content:

Protein-rich foods, like chickpeas, have been shown to have a positive impact on blood sugar regulation. Protein helps in slowing down the absorption of sugar, leading to more controlled and stable blood sugar levels over time.

Chana’s combination of low glycemic index, high fibre, and protein content works synergistically to prevent blood sugar spikes. This makes it a particularly valuable food choice for individuals with diabetes, allowing them to enjoy balanced and nutritious meals without compromising their blood sugar control.

Read More: Vegetarian Diabetes Diet Plan With Indian Foods.

Benefits of Chana: Chana for Weight Loss

Benefits of Chana: Chana for Weight Loss benefits of eating chana

Chana proves to be an excellent addition to a weight loss diet, offering various benefits that contribute to effective weight management.

1.  Promotes Satiety:

Chana helps in curbing hunger and promoting a feeling of fullness, which is crucial for weight loss. Research from NCBI indicates that legumes, like chana, can keep you satisfied for longer periods, reducing overall calorie intake and supporting weight loss.

2. Rich in Protein:

Chickpeas are high in protein, beneficial for building and maintaining muscle mass. Increased muscle mass contributes to a higher metabolism, aiding in weight loss. The proteins in chana not only provide energy but also help in maintaining fullness, boosting metabolism, and reducing cravings, all of which are essential for weight loss.

3. High in Fibre:

Chana is good for health and is an excellent source of both soluble and insoluble fibre. Dietary fibre plays a crucial role in weight loss by slowing down digestion, reducing hunger, and improving waste expulsion from the intestines. The fibre in chickpeas contributes to prolonged feelings of fullness, ultimately reducing food intake.

4. Low in Fat:

With only 3 grams of fat per 100-gram serving, cooked chickpeas are a low-fat option for those aiming to lose weight. This makes chana an ideal choice compared to other protein sources, helping in calorie control for effective weight management.

5. Contains Good Fats:

Chana dal contains a significant proportion (70%) of healthier fats, including polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats. These fats do not contribute to weight gain and may even aid in weight loss. Studies suggest that these fats can improve heart health and contribute to anti-inflammatory processes.

6. Low Glycemic Index:

Chickpeas have a low glycemic index of 28, leading to slow absorption and digestion. This characteristic prevents rapid spikes in blood sugar levels, helping to prevent cravings and overeating, thereby supporting weight loss.

7. Rich in Antioxidants:

Chana is rich in antioxidants, particularly flavonoids, known for their anti-inflammatory properties. Research from NCBI suggests that these antioxidants can contribute to overall health and may aid in the weight loss process.

Chana is good for weight loss and incorporating chana into your diet, whether in soups, stews, or curries, can be a flavorful and nutritious way to support your weight loss journey.

Read More: Is Rice Good For Diabetes?

Other Health Benefits

1. Chana for Overall Health:

Chana offers a multitude of health benefits that extend beyond weight management and diabetes control. Its nutritional profile makes it a valuable addition to promote overall well-being.

  • Rich in Nutrients: Chickpeas are packed with essential nutrients, including vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. These nutrients contribute to the body’s overall health and support various physiological functions.
  • Heart Health: The fibre, potassium, and magnesium content in chana contribute to heart health by helping regulate blood pressure and cholesterol levels. These factors play a crucial role in preventing cardiovascular diseases.
  • Digestive Health: The high fibre content in chickpeas aids in maintaining a healthy digestive system. It promotes regular bowel movements, prevents constipation, and supports gut health.
  • Energy Boost: Chana’s combination of complex carbohydrates and protein provides a sustained release of energy, making it an excellent choice for maintaining energy levels throughout the day.

2. Roasted Chana Benefits for Skin:

Roasted chana, in particular, brings additional benefits to the skin.

  • Antioxidant Properties: Roasted chana is rich in antioxidants that help repair cellular damage, protecting the skin from oxidative stress. This can contribute to a healthier and more youthful appearance.
  • Moisturization: The antioxidants in roasted chana, along with its zinc content, contribute to moisturising the skin. This can be especially beneficial in preventing dryness and maintaining skin hydration.
  • Anti-Aging: The combination of magnesium and zinc in roasted chana may help reduce fine lines, spots, and wrinkles. It enhances the elasticity of the skin, preventing signs of premature ageing.
  • Acne Prevention: Zinc in roasted chana plays a role in regulating oil production, potentially preventing acne and promoting clearer skin.

3. Roasted Chana Benefits for Hair:

Roasted chana provides specific benefits for hair health.

  • Iron Content: The iron in roasted chana can contribute to preventing hair loss by supporting proper blood circulation to the scalp.
  • Vitamin B6 and Zinc: These nutrients in roasted chana help strengthen hair strands and promote growth, contributing to overall hair health.

Read More: Indian Diet for Diabetes Reversal.

Ways to Consume Chana for Diabetes

Ways to Consume Chana for Diabetes boiled chana benefits

The benefits of Roasted Chana can be experienced in the following ways:

  • As a standalone snack.
  • Sprinkled with a dash of spices like cumin, chaat masala, or black salt for added flavour.
  • Tossed into salads for a crunchy and protein-packed topping.

Ways to Enjoy Boiled Chana Benefits:

  • In salads for added texture and protein.
  • As a base for chaat
  • Tossed with vegetables and spices for a flavorful stir-fry.

Soaked Chana Benefits:

Soaking chana before consumption enhances its nutritional benefits and eases digestion. Soaking reduces anti-nutrients, making it easier for the body to absorb essential nutrients. Soaked chana is gentler on the digestive system, reducing the likelihood of bloating or discomfort.

Drinking Soaked Chana Water:

The water in which chana has been soaked can also offer health benefits. Soaked chana water is a refreshing and hydrating beverage. The water absorbs some nutrients from the chana during soaking, providing a mild infusion of vitamins and minerals.

Ways to Enjoy Soaked Chana:

  • As a topping for yoghurt or oatmeal.
  • Blended into a smoothie for added nutrition.
  • In soups or stews for a hearty and nutritious addition.

The benefits of eating chana can be had by incorporating roasted, boiled, or soaked chana into various dishes. This allows for a diverse and enjoyable approach to including this nutritious legume in a diabetes-friendly diet.

(FAQs) Frequently Asked Questions

What are the benefits of eating chana daily?

Eating chana daily provides a range of health benefits, including being a rich source of protein, fiber, vitamins, and minerals. It supports weight management, improves digestion, and provides sustained energy.

Is roasted chana good for diabetes?

Roasted chana can be a good choice for individuals with diabetes. Its lower glycemic index provides a slow release of glucose, aiding in better blood sugar control.

Is chana good for diabetes?

Yes, chana is considered good for diabetes. With its low glycemic index and high fiber content, it can be a suitable choice for managing blood sugar levels.

What are the benefits of drinking soaked chana water?

Soaked chana water may contain leached nutrients and can be a hydrating beverage. While it may offer some vitamins and minerals, it’s essential to note that the amounts might be relatively small.

Is chana good for health?

Absolutely! Chana is a nutrient-dense food, providing essential nutrients like protein, fiber, vitamins, and minerals, contributing to overall well-being.

Is yellow chana good for diabetes?

Yes, yellow chana is considered good for diabetes due to its lower glycemic index, providing a gradual release of glucose and aiding in blood sugar management.

How is kabuli chana for weight loss?

Kabuli chana can be beneficial for weight loss. The combination of protein and fibre helps in maintaining satiety and supporting a weight management diet.

What are some roasted chana side effects?

While roasted chana is a healthy snack option, overconsumption may lead to an excess intake of calories. It’s crucial to enjoy it in moderation as part of a balanced diet.

What are some bhuna chana benefits in pregnancy?

Bhuna chana can be a nutritious snack during pregnancy. It provides protein, iron, and other essential nutrients important for both maternal and foetal health.

Last Updated on by Dr. Damanjit Duggal 


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