Which flour is best for a diabetic? Did you know there are flours with Zero Glycemic Index values?? How cool is that??
Knowing the GI of common flours can help you make good decisions. Instead of avoiding all flours, if you know which flours are bad for you, then you can make healthy eating choices, whether you are diabetic or pre-diabetic.
A little background about the data
Most GI values of flours seem to directly correlate with the net carbs in the flour. So, this serves as an intuitive check – the more carbs, less fiber in a particular grain, the higher the glycemic index and better to avoid/reduce our use of them.
Glycemic Index for Common Flours
Here are some numbers based on the glycemic index from the diabetes council website:
Flours with fantastic GI!!- 0:
- Walnut Flour – 0
- Almond Flour – 0
- Flax Seed Flour – 0
Notice these are nut/seed flours with high levels of fat (good fat).
Flours with low-ok GI
- Soy Flour – 25
- Chickpea Flour – 44
- Oat Flour – 44
- Coconut Flour – 50
Notice these start going into legume flour category.
Flours with high GI
(Although GI above 70 is considered as high, I started clumping anything above 50 in this category)
- Buckwheat Flour – 71
- Whole Wheat Flour – 69
- White Wheat Flour – 85
- Brown Rice Flour – 62
- White Rice Flour – 72
- Tapioca Flour – 67
Now notice the flours are almost all grain flours at this point.
For more information regarding other flours, Check out Diabetescouncil.com
Glycemic Load (GL) of common flours:
Now, let’s look at the flours through the lens of Glycemic Load. The glycemic load takes into account the portion size of the serving as well.
Here are some numbers based on the glycemic load from the gifoundation website:
Low GL (<5)
- Wheat Bran
- Psyllium Husks
- Rice Bran
These are all the fiber by-products from grain processing. High fiber flours!!
Medium GI (<20)
- Soya Flour
- Mesquite Flour
- Oat Bran
- Rolled Oats
Soya seems to be far superior in terms of GI compared to other legume family flours.
High GL Flour (<40)
- Chickpea Flour (Besan)
- Barley Flour
- Buckwheat Flour
- Wheat Flour
- Rice Flour
As usual, grain flours are the worst!!
Get information about more GL of flours here at GIFoundation.com
If you want to really be good about sugar control, eat less flour-based products. But, if you want to eat flour-based recipes, start considering flours or flour mixes that are super high in fat or fiber.
Especially when it comes to desserts and us Indian vegetarians :). Just think – desserts already have sugar. No matter what traditional flour you use, you are only going to make your dessert a sugar rocket.
So, why not use a flour that offers zero contribution to the GI of the dish? Especially a flour loaded with protein, omega-3, and protein; and much more affordable than almond flour. This is really the reason why I love Flax and I have a Flax Burfi recipe on my website.
Hope this post was helpful to you. If you were hesitating to try low GI flours until now, I would encourage you to experiment with some. Maybe start with a 20-80 mix and see how you feel.
Please post your comments below on your favorite low GI/GL flour. Please share this post with your friends on social media who would benefit from this information. Thank you for reading and supporting this blog.
Photo CreditsImage by Karolina Grabowska from Pixabay Image by congerdesign from Pixabay Image by Oldmermaid from Pixabay Image by jacqueline macou from Pixabay
I am not a health professional/nutritionist. I only research numbers and report them. Please talk to your doctor/nutritionist before making any significant changes to your diet.