Is Jowar Good for Diabetes?

Reviewed by Dietitian Dt. SEEMA GOEL (Senior Dietitian) September 22, 2023

Last updated on September 30th, 2023

As diabetes continues to rise globally, there is a growing interest in identifying wholesome, diabetes-friendly foods. So today, we take up the burning question: Is jowar good for diabetes patients? Jowar is famous for its nutritional profile and potential health benefits. Let’s see whether jowar for diabetes patients emerges as a viable choice or just normal grain which you can take occasionally. In this article, we dive into the nutritional value, jowar flour glycemic index, comparison with wheat, potential benefits and recipes that may help you manage the chronic condition of diabetes. So, let’s begin!

What is Jowar?

Jowar, also known as sorghum, is a cereal grain commonly grown in many parts of the world, including India. It’s known for its versatility and is used for various purposes, including human consumption, animal feed, and even ethanol production. Jowar, or sorghum, is believed to have originated in Africa. It has a long history of cultivation, dating back thousands of years. It’s one of the world’s oldest known grains and has been an important staple crop in many African countries.

Over time, it spread to other parts of the world, including Asia and the Americas. Today, jowar is cultivated in various regions worldwide and plays a prominent part in the diets of many people due to its adaptability to different climates and its nutritional value. There are different types of jowar present in the market, like whole grain jowar and refined white flour jowar. However, the unrefined whole grain jowar is the healthier type.

Jowar is gluten-free and rich in nutrients. Carbohydrates in jowar are complex carbs, it has a good amount of dietary fibre, antioxidants, etc. This makes it a valuable food source for people with dietary restrictions or those looking for a nutritious alternative to wheat or rice. It can be ground into flour to make roti (flatbread), used in porridge, or even processed into various food products like snacks and cereals.

Read More: How Intermittent Fasting Helps in Diabetes?

Nutritional Value of Jowar

Nutritional Value

Jowar or sorghum comes in refined and unrefined types. However, when confused among types of jowar, always choose whole grain jowar for diabetes patients and generally as well. Jowar has a good nutritional profile consisting of many essential nutrients. These include dietary fibre, antioxidants, iron, magnesium, potassium and more.

Nutritional Value of Jowar
Nutrients (per 100 grams) Its amount
Calories 329 cal
Carbs 72.1 g
Fiber 6.7 g
Protein 10.6 grams
Fats 3.4 gram
Iron 3.3 g
Magnesium 165 mg
Potassium 363 mg
Calcium 13 mg
Selenium 12.2 mcg

As per the nutritional chart, we may think that carbohydrates in jowar are very high. But remember, the carb content in jowar is 72-75% complex carbs. So it gets digested slowly and doesn’t spike your blood sugar too much.

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Glycemic Index of Jowar

The glycemic index of jowar is 62, which categorises it as medium GI food. The moderate glycemic index of jowar flour indicates it does have some carbs content. However, the carbohydrates in jowar are complex carbs and these are good for our body. The glycemic load of jowar 13.4 means it has medium GL as well.

Read More: What are the Glycemic Index and ways to calculate the Gi Value of Food Items?

Is Jowar Good for Diabetes? 

Jowar for diabetes patients can be a good choice. It has a lower GI value compared to some other grains like rice and wheat. The low glycemic index of jowar flour indicates that the carbohydrates in jowar are digested and absorbed more slowly. This steers to an incremental increase in blood sugar levels rather than a quick spike.

Studies say including jowar in your diet can help in regulating your sugar levels. Jowar is good for diabetes also because it’s a good source of dietary fibre and various essential nutrients. A 2012 study by the National Institutes of Health in America found sorghum or jowar for diabetes can be beneficial as it exerts anti-diabetic effects by improving insulin sensitivity. However, this study was conducted on mice, but the results are indeed promising. And strongly advocate jowar benefits for diabetes.

Jowar is high in nutrients like fibre, niacin, folate, riboflavin and many more. These delay the digestion rate and gastric emptying. Thus leading to a slower release of sugar in the bloodstream. Moreover, jowar for diabetes patients can lessen the symptoms of hepatic gluconeogenesis. However, it’s essential to monitor portion sizes. And incorporate jowar in an organic manner to get maximum jowar benefits for diabetes patients. balanced diet as part of a diabetes management plan.

Read More: Is Butter Milk Good for Diabetes?

Is Jowar Roti Good for Diabetes?

Yes, jowar roti is a good option for diabetes patients. The glycemic index of jowar flour is moderate. It has a lower glycemic score than wheat flour, which is commonly used to make rotis. Therefore, jowar roti can be very well included in the diabetes-friendly meal plan.

White jowar roti glycemic index is just 49.85 and the yellow jowar roti glycemic score is 52.56. Both classifying as low GI foods. Another added benefit of jowar roti is that its gluten free. This makes jowar more suitable for diabetics having gluten intolerance. Plus, jowar for diabetes patients is also good because of its rich antioxidants content which reduces inflammation.

Jowar Roti vs Wheat Roti

At the present time, there are many diabetes patients confused about a question. Wheat or jowar for diabetics, which is better? So now we clear the facts.

  • Jowar roti glycemic index is 62 when compared to wheat roti GI of 72. So jowar ka atta for diabetics is better than wheat. Due to lower GI, it releases sugar in the bloodstream slower than wheat.
  • Roti of jowar flour for diabetes is better because it’s gluten-free. Moreover, jowar has a presence of phenolic content, which helps in diabetes regulations. These are absent in wheat.
  • Jowar for diabetes patients has a higher antioxidant content. Therefore it more effectively reduces the risk of colon cancer.
  • Jowar atta for diabetes patients is better as it has good amounts of nutrients. These include dietary fibre, protein, iron and antioxidants like tannins and anthocyanins. These prevent damage, which free radicals can do.
  • But the downside of jowar roti for diabetic patients is that it produces heat in our body when consumed in good amounts. When considering the question of jowar or bajra which is better for diabetes patients? The only downside of these grains is that they are coarse grains. And when consumed significantly, they produce heat in our bodies. So it’s best to consume them more in winter. Jowar for diabetes patients in summer can be included in summer organically in a weekly diet plan.

Read More: Is Bottle Gourd Good For Diabetes?

Jowar Benefits for Diabetes Patients

Jowar Benefits for diabetes patients

Sorghum, or jowar for diabetes patients, offers several potential benefits. Some of these are:

Moderate Glycemic Index

The glycemic index of jowar is moderate. But still low compared to many other grains like wheat, white rice, etc. Jowar flour glycemic index is around 49.85, categorising it as a low-GI food. This means it doesn’t result in sudden spikes in sugar levels when consumed. Thus, jowar atta for diabetes is a suitable choice for managing blood glucose levels.

Read More: Is Bitter Gourd Good for Diabetes Patients?

Dietary Fibre

Jowar is good for diabetes as it’s rich in dietary fibre. Jowar is good for diabetes as it’s rich in dietary fibre. Dietary fibre helps in slowing the rate of digestion and absorption of carbs. This initiates a gradual discharge of glucose into the bloodstream. And can help in better blood sugar management.

Nutrient Density

Jowar for diabetes patients, is a good source of essential nutrients. These include vitamins such as B vitamins. And minerals like magnesium, phosphorus, riboflavin folate, niacin, etc.These nutrients can be very beneficial to your overall health and may support diabetes management.

Read More: Is Mushroom Good for Diabetes Patients?


Jowar ka atta for diabetics is naturally gluten-free. This makes it a safe choice for diabetics with celiac disease or gluten sensitivity. Celiac disease is often associated with diabetes.

Weight Management

Due to its fibre content, jowar for diabetes can provide them with a feeling of fullness and satiety. This can aid in weight management, which is crucial for many overweight diabetes patients.

Read More: Is Apricot Good for Diabetics?

Heart Health

Another jowar benefits for diabetes patients is that it has positive cardiovascular effects such as lowering cholesterol levels. Managing heart health is critical for diabetics. This is because they are at a higher risk of heart disease.

Versatility in Cooking

Jowar for diabetes patients can be used to make a variety of dishes, including roti (flatbread), porridge, and even snacks. This versatility allows for creative and nutritious meal planning.

Jowar benefits for diabetes patients are many, so it is a beneficial addition to a diabetes-friendly diet. However, it’s important to know that the overall diet and portion control play a significant role in managing diabetes. Individuals with diabetes should consult a healthcare doctor/ registered dietitian. They will help include jowar and jowar flour for diabetes in their meals.

Read More: Is Cranberry Juice Good for Diabetics?

Ways to Consume Jowar for Diabetes Patients

Ways to Consume Jowar

As jowar good for diabetes patients, it should be included in their diet. So here are some flavourful recipes and tasty types of jowar for diabetes patients:

Jowar Roti

Jowar ki roti for diabetes patients is one of the most common and popular ways to enjoy this grain. You can make rotis using jowar flour, just like you would with wheat flour. Serve them with your choice of low-carb vegetable curries or dal.

Read More: Is Cauliflower Good for Diabetic Patients?

Jowar Bhakri

Bhakri is a thicker, more rustic flatbread made from jowar flour. It’s often paired with yoghurt, pickles, or cooked vegetables. It’s a filling and nutritious option.

Jowar Khichdi

Swap rice with jowar grams as a wholesome khichdi. The khichdi of jowar for diabetes patients can be a good diabetes-friendly lunch option. Cook jowar with lentils, vegetables, and spices for a delicious one-pot meal.

Read More: Is Fish Good for Diabetes?

Jowar Porridge

Turn jowar for diabetes patients into a creamy porridge by simmering it with low-fat milk or soy or almond milk. Add a little sweetness with honey, or use sugar substitutes for sweetness.

Jowar Upma

Prepare jowar upma by sautéing jowar rava (semolina) with vegetables and spices. It’s a nutritious and savoury breakfast option. This recipe of jowar for diabetes patients can be a good snacking option.

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Jowar Snacks

Make use of low jowar flour glycemic index. And make healthy snacks like jowar chakli (a crunchy spiral snack), jowar dhokla (steamed savoury cakes), or jowar-based pakoras (fritters). These can be enjoyed in moderation.

Jowar Idli and Dosa

Now, it’s the turn of a South Indian recipe of jowar for diabetes patients. Blend jowar flour with urad dal (black gram) and rice flour to make idli and dosa batter. These South Indian favourites can be part of a diabetes-friendly diet when consumed in moderation.

Read More: Are Peanuts Good for Diabetics?

Jowar Salad

Sprout jowar benefits for diabetes are many. Make jowar sprouts and toss them with fresh veggies and herbs. Add tangy dressing for a nutritious and refreshing salad. This recipe of jowar for diabetes patients can be a good evening snacking option.

Jowar Soup

Incorporate jowar grains into soups. They add texture and nutrition to both clear and creamy soups. This recipe of jowar for diabetes patients can be included as a mid-day or evening snack.

Read More: Top 6 Dry Fruits For Diabetics.


In conclusion, jowar for sugar patients can be a valuable addition to nourishment. Its high fibre content, the moderate glycemic index of jowar flour, and rich nutritional profile make it a smart choice for adjusting sugar levels. Thus, answering the question, Is jowar good for diabetes patients? Jowar also helps regulate glucose spikes, promotes satiety, and provides essential antioxidants and fibre. However, it’s crucial for individuals with diabetes to monitor their carbohydrate intake and consult with their doctor to formulate a personalised meal plan incorporating jowar rationally. Are you finding a problem figuring out the jowar quantity in your diet or any other diabetes-related queries? We at Breathe Well-Being can easily pull you out of your misery. Our experienced health experts have proven records of numerous diabetes reversals. Our foolproof diabetes management techniques will definitely help you control your diabetes. So why wait? Connect with us today!

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Who Should Avoid Jowar?

Jowar for diabetes patients and non-diabetics should be avoided by those having kidney problems. Although rare, some people are allergic to jowar, and they, too, should avoid it.

Is Jowar Bhakri Good for Diabetes?

Yes, jowar bhakri is good for diabetes as it’s a thick jowar flatbread and is a filling meal. However, remember to have it in a full-course meal and not as a snack because it has decent calories. Overweight diabetics looking to reduce weight should consume jowar bhakri occasionally only.

Does Jowar Increase Blood Sugar?

No, jowar for diabetes patients is a better whole-grain option. This is because jowar has complex carbs and dietary fibre in reasonable amounts, which do not bring a sudden spike in blood sugar. Consuming jowar brings a gradual rise in blood glucose, which is optimum for diabetics.

Last Updated on by Dr. Damanjit Duggal 


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