Is Ragi Good for Diabetes?

Reviewed by Dietitian Dt. SEEMA GOEL (Senior Dietitian) September 29, 2023

Last updated on October 1st, 2023

In a world where dietary choices play a pivotal role in managing chronic health conditions, finding the right foods to support diabetes management is of paramount importance. One such superfood that has gained recognition for its potential benefits in this regard is “ragi”. This ancient grain, native to the Indian subcontinent and Africa, has been a staple in traditional diets for centuries. With its impressive nutritional profile and unique properties, ragi has sparked the interest of both researchers and individuals seeking effective ways to control blood sugar. In this article, we will explore the question: Is ragi good for diabetes patients? We’ll explore the usefulness of ragi for diabetes patients. Along with this, we discuss ragi nutritional values, glycemic profile, potential ragi benefits and side effects and much more. So, let’s embark on a journey in the world of ragi millet and its role in diabetes management.

What Is Ragi?

Ragi, also known as finger millet, is a cereal that is extensively produced and consumed in India and some other parts of Africa and Asia. It has a highly nutritious profile that is rich in calcium, iron, fiber, and essential amino acids. Ragi is often used to make various food products, including porridge, roti, dosa, and even alcoholic beverages. Ragi millet is believed to have originated in East Africa, specifically in the highlands of Ethiopia. It has been cultivated for thousands of years in this region.

From its African origins, ragi grain made its way to other regions of the African continent and eventually made its way to the Indian subcontinent. In India, it has a long history of cultivation and consumption, particularly in the southern states. Today, India is one of the top cultivators and consumers of ragi millet in the world. Its adaptability to different climates and its nutritional value have contributed to its popularity as a staple food in various regions. It is valued for its nutritional usefulness, and ragi flour benefits for diabetics are well known.

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Glycemic Index of Ragi

The glycemic index of ragi is in the low to medium range, ranging between 54 to 68. The whole ragi millet has a slightly lower glycemic profile, while ragi flour glycemic index is in the medium range. The whole ragi grain has greater fiber content than ragi powder and thus has a lower GI. 

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

Ragi for Diabetes

Ragi belongs to the millet family, and millets are considered good for diabetes. Ragi for diabetes patients is a better grain option compared to wheat and white rice. The high fiber content present in ragi for diabetes patients reduces and manages their blood sugar by delaying the absorption of carbs. A 2002 study published by the National Center for Biotechnology Information studied the consumption of finger millet or ragi in non-insulin-dependent diabetics. The study found that ragi-based diets considerably lessened plasma glucose levels. Eating ragi for diabetes patients resulted in lower glycemic response.

Studies have also found ragi millet has phenolic compounds that assist in regulating postprandial blood sugar and hyperglycemia. These phenolic compounds and peptides also release alpha-amylase inhibitors managing post-meal glucose rise. Another 4-week study conducted on diabetic rats showed consuming ragi for diabetes helps by releasing antioxidants and wound healing.

Adding 20% ragi millet based food to the diet for 6 weeks resulted in the reduction of the release of albumin and creatinine in urine in diabetic rats. Albumin is the protein present in our blood. Creatine, on the other hand, is a byproduct of absorbed protein. Many diabetes patients face this complication. However, these effects are yet to be tested in human trials. But the findings are indeed positive.

Read More: Is Cauliflower Good for Diabetic Patients?

Ragi Benefits for Diabetes Patients

Ragi Benefits for Diabetes Patients

Consuming ragi for diabetes patients can have several benefits. Some of them are:

Medium Glycemic Index

The glycemic index of ragi is in the low to medium range. This means it can help regulate sugar levels and prevent abrupt spikes.

High in Fiber

Ragi benefits for diabetes include its rich dietary fiber content. Fiber calms down the absorption rate of sugar and enhances blood sugar control.

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Rich in Nutrients

Ragi atta for diabetes patients is a nutritious source of vital nutrients like calcium, iron, and antioxidants. These are beneficial for overall health, especially for those with diabetes.


Ragi flour benefits for diabetics include its naturally gluten-free composition. This makes it a suitable grain option for diabetics with gluten sensitivity or celiac disease.

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Ragi for diabetes is beneficial because of its high fiber content. It can help you feel full and satisfied, potentially preventing overeating. This aids in weight management for overweight diabetic patients.

Heart Health 

Ragi millet for diabetes may help improve heart health by reducing cholesterol levels due to its fiber content.

Read More: Is Dragon Fruit Good For Diabetics?

Slow Digestion

Ragi grain takes longer to digest, which can help maintain steady energy levels. It prevents sudden blood sugar spikes and crashes.

Digestive Health

The fiber in ragi for diabetes patients can support healthy digestion, which is important for overall well-being, including diabetes management.

Remember to consult with your doctor before making crucial dietary modifications. And include ragi rationally in your daily diet.

Read More: Are Peanuts Good for Diabetics?

Ragi Flour Recipes for Diabetics

Ragi Flour Recipes for Diabetics

There are many ragi flour benefits for diabetes patients. So here are some delicious ragi recipes for diabetic patients:

Ragi Porridge

Ragi porridge is another simple and nutritious ragi flour recipes. Mix ragi flour with water or milk, add a pinch of salt, and cook until it thickens. Sweeten with a sugar substitute or a small amount of honey if desired.

Read More: Top 6 Dry Fruits For Diabetics.

Ragi Roti

In ragi recipes for diabetic patients, ragi roti comes at the top. Replace a portion of wheat flour with ragi flour when making rotis. This will add a nutty flavour and extra fiber to your meal.

Ragi Upma

Prepare ragi millet upma by sautéing ragi rava with vegetables and spices. It’s a filling and healthy breakfast option.

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

Ragi Idli or Ragi Dosa

Blend ragi flour benefits with urad dal and ferment to make idli or dosa batter. Ragi idli and ragi dosa are low glycemic index alternatives to traditional rice-based idlis or dosas. These South Indian ragi flour recipes for diabetics can be good breakfast options.

Ragi Khichdi

Combine ragi with moong dal, vegetables, and spices to make a nutritious and savory khichdi. This recipe of ragi atta for diabetes can be a good full-course meal.

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Ragi Ladoo

This is among the good ragi flour recipes that can satisfy your sugar tooth. Make ragi ladoos using ragi flour, chopped nuts, and a sugar sweetener like stevia. This recipe of ragi for diabetes patients can be a snacking option, but only in measured amounts.

Ragi Soup

Make hearty ragi recipes for diabetic patients to satisfy their evening cravings. Ragi soup can be made by blending cooked ragi with vegetables and spices.

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Ragi Vegetable Paratha

Combine ragi flour for diabetes patients with whole wheat flour and veggies to make ragi vegetable parathas. However, remember to stuff them with non-starchy veggies for optimum nutrition.

Ragi Cookies

Bake ragi cookies using ragi flour, oats, and a sugar substitute for a healthy treat.

Remember to monitor quantities and consult with a dietitian to ensure that these recipes align with your specific dietary needs. Additionally, it’s essential to choose natural sugar substitutes like stevia, erythritol, etc., in place of regular sugar when sweetening these dishes.

Read More: Is Jamun Good For Diabetes?

Side Effects of Ragi for Diabetes Patients

Side Effects of ragi for Diabetes Patients

Ragi for diabetes patients is generally considered safe and beneficial when consumed in moderation. However, as with any food, there can be potential side effects of ragi to keep in mind.

Digestive Issues

Ragi flour for diabetes patients may cause digestive discomfort for some. Some may experience bloating or gastric issues when consuming ragi powder due to its high fiber content. To minimize this, start with small portions and gradually increase your intake to allow your digestive system to adjust.

 Read More: 16 Best Fruits Juice For Diabetes.

Carbs Content

While ragi flour’s glycemic index is lower than some other grains, it still contains carbs. Diabetes patients should be mindful of portion sizes and control their sugar levels.


Although rare, ragi for diabetes patients can be allergic to some. If you experience any allergic reactions, such as itching, swelling, or difficulty breathing, seek immediate medical attention.

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Medication Interaction

Some may say ragi is not good for diabetes as it’s known to interact with some diabetes medications. However, if you’re taking medications to manage your blood sugar, consult with your doctor to ensure your diet does not interfere with the medicines.

Nutritional Balance

While ragi for diabetes patients is nutritious, it’s essential to maintain a balanced diet. Over-reliance on any single food, including ragi, may lead to nutritional imbalances.

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Portion Control

Diabetes management often affects portion control. Pay attention to the portion sizes of ragi dishes to manage your carbohydrate intake effectively.


In some cases, ragi’s slow-digesting nature might lower blood sugar levels too much if not consumed in appropriate portions. So, eating ragi for diabetes patients requires consumption in measured amounts.

Read More: Best Vegetable with Low Glycemic Index for Diabetics.


In conclusion, the answer to the question, Is ragi good for diabetes patients? is a big yes! Ragi millet for diabetes patients can be a beneficial addition to their diet plan. The low ragi flour glycemic index, gluten-free composition, abundance of dietary fiber, etc., helps to regulate blood sugar and reduce the risk of spikes. Additionally, ragi benefits for diabetes include essential nutrients like calcium, iron, and antioxidants, contributing to overall health.

However, it’s important to consume ragi for diabetes patients in moderation and as part of a well-balanced diet plan. Diabetics should monitor their sugar levels regularly. And consult with their doctor or nutritionist to include ragi according to their bodily requirements. Facing problems in incorporating ragi for a diabetes diet or any other diabetes-related complication? We at Breathe Well-being can help you out! Our experienced health experts have proven records of managing and reversing diabetes for numerous individuals. So why wait? Take a step toward a better tomorrow. Choose Life! Choose Breathe Well-Being!

Read More: Indian Diet for Diabetes Reversal.


How Much Ragi is Good for Diabetes?

Ragi for diabetes patients is good to be consumed in moderate quantities. A quantity of 10 grams to 20 grams of unrefined ragi grain for diabetes patients is okay for daily consumption.

What Happens If We Eat Ragi Daily?

Eating ragi in measured portions daily is fine for diabetes patients as it has good fiber content and activates memory centers in the brain. Consuming ragi-based meals brings a smaller spike in blood sugar as it has lower GI than other grains. However, the quantity for daily consumption should be measured.

Is Ragi Good for Gestational Diabetes?

Yes, ragi for diabetes for all types, including gestational diabetes, is a recommended food option. Doctors advice including ragi in meals for gestational diabetes patients as its rich polyphenol antioxidants reduce the development of gestational diabetes.

Is Ragi Ball Good for Diabetes?

Ragi ball is definitely a good food for diabetics as it provides an alternative to rice balls. White rice ball is a high-GI food and lacks fiber, which is essential for a diabetes-friendly meal. Ragi ball, on the other hand, scores lower on the glycemic scale and has a good fiber presence.

Ragi or wheat – Which is Better for Diabetics?

Comparing ragi and wheat, ragi seems a preferred grain option for diabetes as it has a lower GI profile and better fiber content. Ragi for diabetes is also beneficial due to the presence of antioxidants and phenolic compounds. These compounds provide anti-diabetic properties.

Last Updated on by Dr. Damanjit Duggal 


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