Onion and Diabetes: Is Onion Good For Diabetes?

Reviewed By Dietitian Dt. SEEMA GOEL (Senior Dietitian, 25 Years of Experience) January 24, 2024


Onion come from the family of allium genus of flowering plants. There are many different types of allium, like garlic and leeks. Onions are widely grown in India and are used in many different cuisines.

They’re versatile, cheap, easy to grow, and make a delicious addition to almost any meal. Moreover, onions pack a number of health benefits. Although some people might not like the strong taste, consuming onions can be very beneficial if eaten adequately. 

In this article, we’ll understand more about the benefits of onion and its benefits in diabetes

Usefulness of Onion

usefulness of onion benefits for onion

Onions, renowned for their versatile culinary applications, serve various purposes in cooking and beyond. Here are some advantages of eating onions.

Flavor Enhancer:

Onions add depth, complexity, and a distinctive taste to various dishes. They are a fundamental ingredient in many cuisines, providing a savoury and aromatic base for soups, stews, sauces, and stir-fries.

Raw in Salads:

Another major benefit of onion is how easily it can be blended with any salad. Sliced or diced raw onions contribute a crisp texture and spicy flavour to salads, enhancing their overall taste. Red onions, mainly, are famous for their vibrant colour and mild sweetness when eaten raw.


When cooked, onions undergo a transformative process called caramelisation. This imparts a sweet and rich flavour to the dishes, making them a key ingredient in various savoury preparations like French onion soup, caramelised onion tart, or as a topping for burgers and sandwiches.


The usefulness of onion also includes pickling. Onions can be pickled to create tangy and crunchy condiments. Pickled onions are often used as toppings for tacos, sandwiches, and salads, providing a burst of acidity and flavour.

Base for Sauces and Gravies:

Chopped or sautéed onions form the flavorful foundation for many sauces and gravies. They meld with other ingredients to create a savoury backdrop for various dishes.

Dehydrated or Powdered:

Dehydrated onions or onion powder are convenient alternatives, adding onion flavour without the bulk. These forms are commonly used in spice blends, seasoning mixes, and processed foods.

Medicinal Uses:

Another one on the list of benefits of onion is its medicinal uses. Beyond the kitchen, onions have been traditionally used for their potential health benefits. According to the National Institutes of Health, onions are believed to have antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties and are sometimes used in home remedies for ailments such as coughs and colds.

In Garnishes:

Finely chopped green onions or chives make excellent garnishes, adding a fresh and mild onion flavour to dishes before serving.

Onions are a culinary cornerstone, offering a spectrum of flavours and textures that elevate the taste of countless dishes across global cuisines.

Read More: 16 Best Fruits Juice For Diabetes.

Benefits of Onions

Benefits of Onions advantage of eating onion

Onions boast a range of health benefits, including potential advantages for individuals with diabetes:

Antioxidant Properties:

According to a study published by the NLM, one of the benefits of onions is their antioxidant properties. Onions are rich in antioxidants, such as quercetin, which may help combat oxidative stress and inflammation, contributing to overall health.

Heart Health:

Another advantage of eating onion is good heart health. Onions may support heart health by lowering cholesterol levels and blood pressure, potentially reducing the risk of cardiovascular complications often associated with diabetes.

Blood Sugar Regulation:

The lesser-known advantage of eating onion is blood sugar regulation. According to a study conducted by the Endocrine Society, it was found that onions may help regulate blood sugar levels. Compounds like allyl propyl disulfide in onions may have anti-diabetic effects by enhancing insulin sensitivity.

Anti-Inflammatory Effects:

Onions contain anti-inflammatory compounds that may assist in managing inflammation, which is crucial for individuals with diabetes as chronic inflammation is linked to insulin resistance.

Digestive Health:

According to WebMD, the fiber content in onions aids digestion and promotes gut health. The major advantage of onion juice is that it is generally consumed to improve digestive health. It can also contribute to better blood sugar control in individuals with diabetes.

Weight Management:

Onions can contribute to weight management, particularly when incorporated into a balanced diet. Onion for weight loss also helps in diabetes management.

Immune Support:

Onions contain vitamins and minerals, including vitamin C, which supports immune function. This can be beneficial for individuals with diabetes, as they may be more susceptible to infections.

Helps Promote Skincare:

Onions have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties that can benefit skincare by promoting collagen production, reducing inflammation, and preventing oxidative stress, contributing to a healthier complexion and potential scar reduction.

Cancer Prevention:

According to the National Library of Medicine, some compounds in onions have been associated with a reduced risk of certain cancers, providing additional health benefits.

While onions can be a valuable part of a diabetes-friendly diet, it’s important for individuals to monitor their blood sugar levels and consult with healthcare professionals to ensure that dietary choices align with their specific health needs and overall diabetes management plan.

Read More: Indian Diet for Diabetes Reversal.

Nutritional Value of Onions

There are various nutrients of onions provide significant health benefits if eaten the right way. According to the USDA, here’s the nutritional value of 100 grams of onion. 

Nutritional Value of Onions
Nutrients (in 100 grams of raw onion) Amount
Water  89.1 g
Calories 40 kcal
Protein  1 g
Total fat 0.1 g
Ash 0.35 g
Carbs 9.34 g
Fiber 1.7 g
Total sugars 4.24 g
Sucrose  0.99 g
Vitamin C 7.4 mg
Glucose 1.97 g

Read More: Top 6 Dry Fruits For Diabetics.

Eating Raw Onion Health Benefits

Allicin Content:

Eat raw onion benefits the allicin content in your body. Raw onions are a rich source of allicin, a compound known for its potent antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties. Studies published on the Springer Link suggest that allicin may exhibit antibacterial effects against various pathogens, contributing to immune system support. Additionally, allicin’s anti-inflammatory properties have been associated with potential cardiovascular benefits, highlighting the importance of consuming raw onions for overall health.

Antioxidant Retention:

Eating raw onion health benefits also include high antioxidant retention. Raw onions boast higher levels of antioxidants like quercetin than their cooked counterparts. Quercetin has been linked to reducing oxidative stress and inflammation in the body. According to the research conducted by Cancer Cell International, quercetin may have potential anti-cancer properties, emphasising the unique health benefits associated with consuming raw onions.

Vitamin C Preservation:

The preservation of vitamin C in raw onions is crucial for immune function. Eating raw onion health benefits extend to the preservation of vitamin C. Vitamin C acts as an antioxidant, protecting cells from damage, and studies suggest that adequate intake may reduce the duration and severity of common colds. Including raw onions in the diet helps maintain optimal vitamin C levels. These onion vitamins contribute to immune resilience.

These studies collectively highlight how eating raw onions is good for health, showcasing how specific compounds and nutrients are better preserved in their raw form, offering potential health benefits.

Read More: 7 Day Indian Diet Plan for Diabetic Patients

Benefits of Onions for Diabetes

Benefits of Onions for Diabetes , onion for diabetics ,onion is good for diabetic person

Onions generally have a positive impact on your overall well-being. However, here are some specific health benefits of onions for diabetes:

Low Glycemic Index (GI):

Onion glycemic index is known to be low 10, meaning it causes a gradual rise in blood sugar levels, promoting better glucose control.

Rich in Fiber:

High fiber content in onions aids in slowing down digestion and absorption of sugars, preventing rapid spikes in blood glucose.

Quercetin Content:

Onions contain quercetin, a flavonoid with antioxidant properties that may contribute to improved insulin sensitivity, potentially lowering the risk of insulin resistance.

Anti-Inflammatory Effects:

Onions possess anti-inflammatory properties, which may help alleviate inflammation associated with diabetes and its complications.

Vitamin and Mineral Content:

Onions provide essential vitamins and minerals, supporting overall health and potentially assisting in managing diabetes-related deficiencies. Incorporating onions into a balanced diet, alongside regular monitoring and medical guidance, can be a valuable component of diabetes management.

Read More: Best Indian Diet Plan Chart for Weight Loss

Bottom Line

In conclusion, onions, belonging to the allium genus, offer many culinary and health benefits, making them a versatile and valuable addition to various cuisines. Their role as flavor enhancers, salad ingredients, caramelisation agents, and there are various medicinal properties of onions too. Onions also boast potential health benefits, particularly for individuals with diabetes. From antioxidant-rich properties, supporting heart health, and aiding in blood sugar regulation to anti-inflammatory effects and digestive health promotion, onions provide a holistic approach to well-being. Furthermore, the nutritional profile, including low calories, high water content, and essential nutrients, underscores their positive impact on health. Whether consumed raw or cooked, onions contribute to a balanced diet, offering a range of flavors and textures that elevate the taste of countless dishes worldwide. Embracing onions responsibly, individuals can harness their potential advantages for overall health and diabetes management.

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

Can a diabetic patient eat onion?

Yes, diabetics can eat onions in moderation. Their low glycemic index and fiber content can help manage blood sugar levels.

Is onion good for cholesterol and diabetes?

Yes, onions may benefit cholesterol levels and diabetes. They contain compounds like quercetin that can lower cholesterol and help regulate blood sugar.

Is it good to eat onions every day?

Yes, incorporating onions into a daily diet can provide various health benefits, including antioxidants, vitamins, and potential support for heart health.

Is onion skin good for diabetes?

While onion skin isn’t typically consumed, the inner layers of onions, rich in beneficial compounds, may have positive effects on diabetes.

How much onion can a diabetic eat?

Diabetics can include moderate amounts of onion in their diet, typically as part of a balanced meal, while monitoring overall carbohydrate intake.

Are onions high in sugar?

No, onions are not high in sugar. They have a relatively low sugar content and a low glycemic index, making them suitable for diabetes management.

Does onion have side effects?

While generally safe, onions may cause digestive discomfort in some, and rare allergies can occur. Moderation is advised to avoid potential side effects.

Is raw onion good for you?

Yes, raw onions are beneficial, containing allicin with antimicrobial properties and higher antioxidant retention, contributing to immune support and potential cardiovascular benefits.

Which onion is best for diabetes?

All onions can be included, but red onions are often preferred for their milder flavor and potential additional health benefits, including higher levels of antioxidants like quercetin.

Last Updated on by Dr. Damanjit Duggal 


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