Is Sooji or Rava Good for Diabetes Patients?

Reviewed By Dietitian Dt. SEEMA GOEL (Senior Dietitian) December 28, 2023

Suji, also known as rava, holds a significant place in Indian cuisine. This versatile ingredient, made from semolina, is widely used in various culinary preparations, ranging from traditional breakfast dishes to desserts. Its popularity in India is evident not only in its widespread use but also in the substantial amount produced each year. Around 268 thousand metric tons were produced in the fiscal year 2020 alone.

What makes suji intriguing, especially for diabetics, is its potential role as an alternative to certain high-carb, high GI and low fibre ingredients like maida. In this blog, we will take a look at the use of suji in Indian cuisine and explore whether it can be a diabetes-friendly option.

Suji in Indian Cuisine

Suji is a staple in Indian kitchens, cherished for its texture, versatility, and ability to absorb flavours. It is used to prepare dishes such as upma, halwa, idlis, and more. Its distinctive coarse texture adds a delightful texture to many recipes, making it a favourite among chefs and home cooks alike. India, being a major producer of wheat, contributes significantly to the production of suji. The annual output of suji in the country reflects its widespread consumption and cultural significance. As diabetics often need to be mindful of their carbohydrate intake, rava, good for diabetes, presents itself as a viable substitute. By opting for suji in recipes that traditionally call for maida, people can still enjoy a variety of dishes without causing a sharp spike in blood sugar levels.

While suji is good for diabetes, it is also rich in carbohydrates, and can impact blood sugar levels. Some other nutritional aspects of suji, like its low glycemic index and high carb make it a better choice that other high carb products like maida. By practising portion control, you can savour the flavour without overwhelming your body with an excess of carbs, allowing for better blood sugar regulation.

Read More: How to Stop Sugar Craving Naturally?

GI Index of Suji

The glycemic index measures how quickly a food item raises blood sugar levels. The glycemic index of sooji is low, around 66, indicating a slow and steady increase in blood glucose. The low GI index of suji makes it a potentially better option for individuals with diabetes.

While the GI provides an idea of the quality of carbohydrates in a particular food, the Glycemic Load takes into account both the quality and quantity of carbohydrates consumed. It is calculated by multiplying the GI by the grams of carbohydrates in a serving and dividing the result by 100. The glycemic load of suji is 14.7, which falls within the moderate range. A GL below 10 is considered low, 11-19 is moderate, and 20 or above is high.

Let’s see how sooji GI index and GL compare to other common foods:

Food Item Glycemic Index Glycemic Load
Suji 66 14.7
Brown Rice 50 16
White Bread 70 10
Quinoa 53 13

While suji falls into the moderate range, thoughtful meal planning and mindful consumption can contribute to better blood sugar management.

Nutritional Profile of Suji

Nutritional Profile of Suji

Beyond its culinary applications, suji boasts a rich nutritional profile that encompasses a range of macronutrients, micronutrients, and dietary fibre

A. Macronutrients in Suji

  1. Calories: 374

Suji serves as a reliable source of energy, providing 374 calories per serving. This can be beneficial for individuals with diabetes who need to manage their calorie intake while ensuring they receive adequate nutrition.

  1. Carbohydrates:
    a) Dietary Fibre: 2 g
    b) Sugar: 0 g

The carbohydrate content in suji is 81 grams, with 2 grams attributed to dietary fiber. The absence of added sugar makes suji a suitable option for those aiming to control their blood sugar levels.

  1. Fats: 1.03 g

With a low-fat content of 1.03 grams, suji aligns well with dietary recommendations for diabetics, contributing to heart health and overall well-being.

  1. Proteins: 7.51 g

Suji is a valuable source of protein, an essential nutrient for muscle health and overall body function. Including protein in your meals can aid in stabilising blood sugar levels.

  1. Water: 9.86 g

While suji is not a significant source of water, the way it is used generally adds hydration to dishes, contributing to overall fluid intake.

B. Micronutrients in Suji

Suji brings a wealth of micronutrients to your plate, each playing a vital role in supporting your health. These nutrients contribute to bone health, immune function, and overall well-being.

Nutrient Amount
Copper 0.284 mg
Calcium 71 mg
Manganese 1.035 mg
Magnesium 27 mg
Selenium 19.9 mg
Phosphorus 153 mg
Zinc 1.02 mg
Potassium 174 mg
Iron 0.74 mg
Sodium 2 mg

Read More: Is Cranberry Juice Good for Diabetics?

Benefits of Suji/Sooji for Diabetes

Benefits of Suji/Sooji for Diabetes

Incorporating suji in diabetes friendly diet can have the following benefits:

1. Heart Health

Suji plays a crucial role in maintaining a healthy heart. The fibre content in suji helps protect the heart by lowering HDL cholesterol and reducing the risk of heart-related problems. For individuals with diabetes, this heart-protective quality becomes even more significant, contributing to overall cardiovascular well-being.

2. Weight Management

Maintaining an ideal body weight is essential for individuals with diabetes. Suji-made meals are fulfilling, curbing unnecessary cravings and aiding in weight management. This aspect becomes particularly relevant when considering the dietary choices for people with diabetes.

3. Rich in Iron

Suji is a rich source of iron, promoting healthy blood circulation, boosting the immune system, and enhancing oxygen supply in the body. These benefits are crucial for individuals with diabetes, as a well-functioning circulatory system and immune system contribute to overall health.

4. Digestive Health

The fibre content in suji is good for diabetes and a boon for digestive health. It helps reduce the likelihood of digestive issues and immune-related problems, such as constipation and indigestion. 

5. Glucose Regulation

For individuals with diabetes, regulating glucose levels is a top priority. Suji creates less glucose in the blood, making it a suitable choice for those looking to manage their blood sugar levels effectively.

6. Magnesium’s Balancing Act

Magnesium, present in suji, plays a role in balancing sugar or glucose levels in the blood. This can be particularly beneficial for people with diabetes in preventing the progression of the condition.

7. Weight Control

Maintaining an ideal body weight is crucial for people with diabetes, and suji aids in this by being a heavy and satisfying food ingredient, reducing the urge to eat unnecessarily.

Read More: Top 6 Dry Fruits For Diabetics.    

Swapping Popular Indian Dishes with Suji or Rava for Diabetes Friendly Diet

Swapping Popular Indian Dishes with Suji or Rava for Diabetes Friendly Diet

As Indians, we don’t shy away from calorie heavy foods, but for those managing diabetes, certain modifications can make traditional favourites more health-conscious. As discussed in the beginning of this blog, sooji for diabetes is one versatile ingredient that can be used as a substitute to rice and maida. Here’s how you can transform some popular Indian dishes:

Dish Ingredients and Instructions
Suji Halwa
  • Roast suji in ghee until golden brown.
  • Add sugar substitutes like stevia or monk fruit, along with chopped nuts.
  • Use water or milk with a low-fat content for moisture.
Suji Pancakes
  • Make pancakes using a mix of suji, yoghurt, and eggs.
  • Include nuts or seeds for added healthy calories and better texture.
  • Top with sugar-free syrup or fresh berries.
Suji Dhokla
  • Combine suji with yoghurt and let it ferment.
  • Steam the mixture until it solidifies into a cake.
  • Temper with mustard seeds, curry leaves, and green chilies for flavour.
Suji Puri
  • Prepare a dough with suji, water, and a pinch of salt.
  • Roll out small puris and deep fry until golden brown, or use an airfryer to reduce the calories even more.


Suji Pasta
  • Cook suji pasta as per package instructions.
  • Toss with a variety of colourful vegetables and a tomato-based sauce.
  • Use whole wheat or multigrain suji pasta for added fibre.
Suji Cake (Sugarless)
  • Combine suji with baking powder, yoghurt, and sugar substitutes.
  • Add nuts or dried fruits for extra flavour and texture.
  • Bake until a toothpick comes out clean.

With these simple substitutions, you can make these classic Indian dishes diabetes-friendly. From the tangy Suji Dhokla to the crispy Rava Dosa and the comforting Suji Cake, these recipes are sure to delight your taste buds without compromising on health.

Sooji Special Breakfast Staple: Upma is a popular breakfast option in India. It is warm, delicious and the perfect energy boost needed in the morning. A major ingredient in upma is rava. Rava upma is good for diabetes as along with the goodness of rava, it also has a lot of veggies, which are otherwise difficult to incorporate in breakfast.

Read More: List for Best Ice-Creame for Diabetes? 

Potential Risks Associated with Excessive Suji Intake

When it comes to enjoying the versatility of suji in various dishes, moderation is key. While suji offers a range of culinary possibilities, it’s essential to be mindful of potential risks associated with overconsumption.

1. Gluten Content in Rava:

Rava contains gluten, a protein found in wheat and related grains. While the gluten content in suji is not as high as in wheat flour, it’s crucial to note that it may still affect individuals with gluten sensitivity or allergies. Gluten can be problematic for those with certain health conditions, leading to adverse reactions. Overconsumption of rava may lead to allergic reactions, manifesting as symptoms like constipation, stomach ache, and bloating.

2. Celiac Disease Concerns:

Individuals diagnosed with celiac disease, an autoimmune disorder triggered by gluten ingestion, should strictly avoid suji. Celiac disease affects approximately 1% of the population, and consuming gluten-containing foods, including rava, can lead to severe health complications. These may include damage to the small intestine, nutrient malabsorption, and long-term health issues.

3. Non-Celiac Gluten Sensitivity:

Non-celiac gluten sensitivity is another condition that warrants attention. Although less common than celiac disease, it can affect a significant portion of the population (0.5-13%). People with this sensitivity are advised to avoid foods with gluten, encompassing not only wheat but also rava and maida. Overconsumption of suji may lead to digestive discomfort and other symptoms in individuals with non-celiac gluten sensitivity.

Prioritise moderation, and if you have specific health concerns or conditions, consult with a healthcare professional or a registered dietitian for personalised guidance. 

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


Sooji and diabetes management can go hand-in-hand when consumed in moderation. Its lower glycemic index and nutritional benefits make it a preferable choice compared to refined flour. As with any dietary component, it’s crucial for individuals with diabetes to monitor their portion sizes and overall carbohydrate intake. By incorporating suji mindfully into their meals, diabetics can savour the flavours of Indian cuisine while making choices that align with their health goals.

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) 


What is the relation between rava and diabetes?

In the context of diabetes, rava, also known as suji or semolina, is a carbohydrate-rich food. Still, it is considered better than aata and maida because of its low GI and GL.

Why is suji good for diabetes?

Suji can be considered beneficial for individuals with diabetes due to its moderate glycemic index (GI) and the presence of essential nutrients. Its slow digestion and absorption may help in managing blood sugar levels

What is the value of suji ka glycemic index?

Suji has a moderate glycemic index, typically ranging from 50 to 69. The moderate GI suggests that it has a slower impact on blood sugar levels compared to high-GI foods

How is suji for diabetes patients?

Suji can be included in the diet of diabetes patients when consumed in moderation and as part of a balanced meal plan. It provides energy, dietary fibre, and essential nutrients.

Can we eat sooji in diabetes?

Yes, individuals with diabetes can include suji in their diet, but it should be consumed in moderation. It’s advisable to pair suji with other foods that have a low glycemic load to help maintain stable blood sugar levels.

Suggest some dishes that contain suji for sugar patients.

There are several diabetes-friendly dishes that incorporate suji. Some options include upma with vegetables, suji dhokla, or suji porridge.


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