Urad Dal and Diabetes- Is Urad Dal Good for Diabetes ?

Reviewed By Dietitian Dt. SEEMA GOEL (Senior Dietitian, 25 Years of Experience) January 23, 2024


Dal, the go-to comfort food in the Northern part of India, is a daily affair in North Indian households. It’s hard to find a day where a pot of dal isn’t bubbling away on the stove. It is a household favourite, particularly celebrated in Punjabi cuisine and South Indian kitchens. Urad Dal or split black lentil is one of the most used dals, from classic dals chawal to mouthwatering snacks like idlis, dosas, and puris. The best part about dal is that it’s a breeze to prepare and is cost effective. In a country where 24% people are strictly vegetarians, dal can be a good source of nutrition. 

Considering the popularity of staples like dal, it only makes sense for the ones enjoying it to be aware of its nutritional value, especially for those dealing with diabetes. Stick around as we take a look at the goodness that Urad Dal brings to the table and understand why urad dal for diabetes management is a good idea

Is Urad Dal Good for Diabetes?

Urad dal and diabetes have a good relationship. Urad dal has a low glycemic index, meaning it gradually raises blood glucose levels, a crucial factor for those managing diabetes. But that’s not all – its rich content of indigestible fibre further positions it as a stellar option for maintaining stable blood sugar levels.

According to NCBI, whole pulses like Urad Dal have a carbohydrate-protein combination that is better than even whole-grain cereals. For instance, 30 grams of pulses deliver a commendable 7 grams of protein and 15 grams of carbohydrates. The beauty lies in the fact that these carbohydrates are of the “good” variety, being complex and not easily digestible. Packed with soluble and insoluble dietary fibres, resistant starches, and oligosaccharides, they earn their badge as low glycemic index (GI) carbohydrates.

Urad dal brings satiety to the table and acts as BG level stabiliser, making it not just nutritious but downright beneficial for those dealing with diabetes. 

Read More: Is Ash Gourd Good For Diabetes?

Nutritional Values of Urad Dal

According to Netmeds, the nutritional value of urad dal per 100 grams is given below:

  1. Energy: Urad Dal packs a punch with 341 Kcal of energy per 100 grams, making it a substantial source of calories that can fuel your daily activities.
  2. Carbohydrates: Boasting 58.99 grams of carbohydrates, Urad Dal provides complex carbs, offering sustained energy and supporting bodily functions.
  3. Protein: With an impressive 25.21 grams of protein, Urad Dal surpasses many legumes, aiding in muscle development, repair, and overall body strength.
  4. Essential Fats: Low in total fat at 1.64 grams, Urad Dal provides a heart-healthy option, contributing to a balanced diet without compromising on taste.
  5. Dietary Fibre: Abundant in dietary fibre (18.3 grams), Urad Dal promotes digestive health, aids in weight management, and enhances satiety.
  6. Vitamin:
  • Folates (216 mcg): Crucial for cell division and DNA synthesis.
  • Niacin (1.447 mg): Supports metabolism and overall cardiovascular health.
  • Pantothenic Acid (0.906 mg): Essential for energy production and stress response.
  • Pyridoxine (0.281 mg): Contributes to neurotransmitter synthesis and metabolism.
  • Riboflavin (0.254 mg): Important for energy production and tissue repair.
  • Thiamin (0.273 mg): Supports energy metabolism and nerve function.
  1. Mineral Marvels:
  • Vitamin-A (23 IU): Contributes to vision health and immune function.
  • Sodium (38 mg): Maintains fluid balance and supports nerve function.
  • Potassium (983 mg): Crucial for heart health and fluid balance.
  • Calcium (138 mg): Essential for bone health and muscle function.
  • Copper (0.981 mg): Contributes to iron absorption and overall health.
  • Iron (7.57 mg): Vital for oxygen transport and preventing anaemia.
  • Magnesium (267 mg): Supports muscle and nerve function, bone health.
  • Phosphorus (379 mg): Essential for bone and teeth formation.
  • Zinc (3.35 mg): Supports immune function and wound healing.
Nutrient Amount per 100g
Energy 341 Kcal
Carbohydrates 58.99 g
Protein 25.21 g
Total Fat 1.64 g
Dietary Fibre 18.3 g
Folates 216 mcg
Niacin 1.447 mg
Pantothenic Acid 0.906 mg
Pyridoxine 0.281 mg
Riboflavin 0.254 mg
Thiamin 0.273 mg
Vitamin-A 23 IU (1%)
Sodium 38 mg
Potassium 983 mg
Calcium 138 mg
Copper 0.981 mg
Iron 7.57 mg
Magnesium 267 mg
Phosphorus 379 mg
Zinc 3.35 mg

Read More: Is Coconut Milk Good for Diabetics?

Benefits of Urad Dal-

Benefits of Urad Dal

Incorporating black gram into your diet can bring about a positive impact on your overall well-being. Listed below are the Benefits of Urad Dal

  1. Energy: Black gram is a rich source of iron, a crucial element for the production of red blood cells. With an increased count of RBCs, the body receives more oxygen, leading to enhanced energy levels and reduced fatigue.
  2. Better Heart Health: Packed with magnesium, fibre, folate, and potassium, black gram contributes to heart health. Its dietary fibre content aids in cholesterol regulation, promoting a healthier cardiovascular system.
  3. Better Digestion: Thanks to its abundant dietary fibre, black gram supports effective bowel movement, making it an ally against constipation and promoting overall digestive health.
  4. Healthy Skin: Minerals found in black gram possess anti-aging properties. Increased iron content facilitates better oxygen flow to cells, resulting in radiant and blemish-free skin.
  5. Reduces Pain and Inflammation: Black gram’s antioxidant-rich composition makes it effective in relieving pain and inflammation throughout the body.
  6. Stimulate Urination: Acting as a natural diuretic, black gram aids in preventing kidney stones by clearing toxins, uric acid, excess fat, water, and calcium from the kidneys.
  7. Stimulates Hair Growth:The minerals present in black gram contribute to repairing damaged hair, helping it retain its natural lustre and promoting healthy hair growth.
  8. Healthy Bones: A rich source of calcium, black gram increases bone density, ensuring strong and healthy bones.
  9. Boost the Nervous System: Nutrients in black grams play a crucial role in enhancing the body’s nervous system.
  10. Promote Muscle Growth: With a high protein content, black gram supports muscle health, making it an essential part of a balanced diet.
  11. Good for Pregnant Women: The iron-rich composition of black gram is especially beneficial for pregnant women, helping prevent congenital disabilities by increasing haemoglobin levels.

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

Benefits of Urad Dal for Diabetes

Benefits of Urad Dal for Diabetes

Urad Dal is good for diabetes. Incorporating Urad Dal into your diabetes management plan can bring about multifaceted benefits, supporting not only blood sugar control but also promoting heart health, digestive well-being, and overall vitality. Here are some benefits of urad dal for diabetes.

Blood Sugar Management:

Urad Dal plays a crucial role in regulating blood sugar levels, thanks to its substantial dietary fibre content. These fibres aid in slow release of insulin, maintaining stable blood sugar levels, making it a valuable addition to a diabetic-friendly diet.

Impact on Insulin Sensitivity:

Beyond managing blood sugar, Urad Dal positively influences insulin sensitivity. The nutrients present in black gram contribute to better insulin function, assisting the body in utilising insulin more effectively.

Weight Loss Support:

With its rich content of fibres and proteins, Urad Dal becomes a boon for weight management. It not only helps in shedding excess pounds but also contributes to keeping your body full.

Heart Health:

Urad Dal promotes a healthy heart by keeping cholesterol levels in check. Its low cholesterol content contributes to overall cardiovascular well-being, indirectly aiding in maintaining optimal blood pressure levels.

Digestive Health:

Diabetes often coexists with digestive issues, and constipation is a common concern. Black gram proves to be a digestive champion, promoting healthy and effective bowel movements, offering relief to those dealing with constipation.

Nervous System Support:

The nutrients found in Urad Dal play a role in supporting the nervous system. By providing essential components for nerve function, it contributes to the overall well-being of the nervous system in people with diabetes.

Pain and Inflammation Relief:

Antioxidants present in Urad Dal have anti-inflammatory properties, providing relief from pains and inflammation often experienced by people who have diabetes.

Improved Blood Circulation:

Ensuring proper blood flow throughout the body is crucial for people with diabetes. Urad Dal aids in maintaining optimal blood circulation, contributing to overall health and well-being.

Read More: Top 6 Dry Fruits For Diabetics.

Urad Dal Glycemic Index

The Glycemic Index (GI) is a numerical scale that measures how quickly and to what extent a particular food can raise blood glucose levels. Foods are ranked on this scale from 0 to 100, with higher values indicating a faster and greater increase in blood sugar. Low-GI foods are those that are absorbed more slowly, leading to a gradual rise in blood glucose levels.

According to Netmeds, Urad Dal has a low Glycemic Index of 43. This implies that it has a relatively slower impact on blood sugar levels compared to high-GI foods. Moreover, when soaked, the Glycemic Index for every 30 grams stands at 7.6, showcasing an even more controlled impact on blood glucose. The richness of Urad Dal in fibre plays a pivotal role in this. Fibre facilitates a slow absorption of nutrients into the bloodstream, consequently slowing down the release of blood glucose. This characteristic makes Urad Dal an excellent choice for people aiming to manage their blood sugar levels effectively.

Different Ways to Consume Urad Dal for Diabetes

Urad Dal and Diabetes, Different Ways to Consume Urad Dal for Diabetes ,

Here are some delicious urad dal recipes and some tips on how you can make them fir into your diabetic friendly diet.

Dal Makhani:

This popular North Indian dish is made using whole urad dal. Also known as kali dal, it features a distinctive richness with butter and/or cream. Although it’s best enjoyed with rotis, parathas, or rice and lots of butter, it is best if you don’t add any extra butter or ghee while having it for managing diabetes.

Tips: Opt for ghee in moderation for added flavor.

Enjoy with high-fiber rotis to help regulate blood sugar levels.

Safed Dal:

This is a dry preparation of urad dal with a spiced tomato base. This dish uses skinless/split urad dal and pairs well with hot rotis topped with ghee.

Focus on spices and herbs for flavor without excess oil.

Serve with a generous portion of non-starchy vegetables.

Bengali-Style Urad Dal:

Also known as Biuli’r Dal, this is a flavorful Bengali preparation using split urad dal. It has both vegetarian and non-vegetarian versions.

Tips: Choose the vegetarian version for a lighter option.

Pair with a portion of lean protein like grilled fish or chicken.

Urad Dal Vada (Biuli Dal Er Boda):

This crisp and indulgent Bengali snack is also made with urad dal. It has onions and chillies which make it perfect for tea time or special occasions.

Tips: Bake or air-fry instead of deep-frying for a healthier snack.

Consume in moderation and pair with a side of vegetables.

Medu Vada:

This popular South Indian delicacy is also made using urad dal. These deep-fried fritters are shaped like doughnuts, and are served with coconut chutney and sambar.

Tips: Use whole urad dal for added fiber.

Serve with coconut chutney for a more balanced GI of the complete meal.

Dahi Vada:

This dish is made from urad dal paste, submerged in sweetened and flavoured dahi. It is a refreshing and cold treat, perfect for summer.

Tips: Opt for low-fat yogurt and limit added sugars.

Control portion sizes to manage carbohydrate intake.

Dhuli Urad Dal:

This urad dal is flavoured with ginger, garlic, chillies, coriander, and Indian spices. It’s ideal for a simple lunch or dinner.

Tips: Incorporate plenty of vegetables for added nutrients.

Combine with a small portion of whole grains for a balanced plate.

Urad Dal Kadhi:

A unique version of besan kadhi, the urad dal kadhi has fried fritters made of urad dal, cooked in dahi and tempered with spices.

Tips: Use minimal oil for frying fritters.

Pair with a variety of colorful vegetables for a nutrient-packed meal.

Read More: Is Cauliflower Good for Diabetic Patients?

Urad Dal And Diabetes:

Tips on Portion Control:

  • Measure portions to manage carbohydrate intake.
  • Include a variety of vegetables to increase fiber content.
  • Opt for cooking methods like steaming, baking, or grilling to reduce added fats.

For Balanced Meal Planning:

  • Include lean proteins like poultry, fish, or tofu.
  • Choose whole grains in moderation.
  • Prioritise non-starchy vegetables for added nutrients.
  • Remember to consult with a healthcare professional or a nutritionist to tailor these suggestions to individual dietary needs and preferences.

FAQs (Frequently Asked Question)

Is Urad Dal Good for Diabetes?

Yes, Urad Dal is a good choice for individuals with diabetes. It is a low glycemic index food, which means it has a slower impact on blood sugar levels.

Is Urad Dal Good for Diabetic Patients?

Urad Dal is indeed good for diabetic patients. It is rich in fiber and protein, promoting a slower release of glucose into the bloodstream, which can help in managing blood sugar levels.

Is Urad Dal Vada Good for Diabetes?

Urad Dal Vada can be a good snack option for diabetes when prepared with minimal oil. Baking or air-frying is a healthier alternative to deep-frying.

Is Urad Dal Good for Diabetic Patients?

Yes, Urad Dal is good for diabetic patients. However, individuals should monitor portion sizes and overall carbohydrate intake to maintain a balanced diet.

Last Updated on by Dr. Damanjit Duggal 


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