diabetic biscuits
Nutrition

Are Biscuits good for Diabetes?

Biscuits can be declared as a national snack. They are easy to store, economical, and kind to our taste buds. Can you think of a better companion for evening tea? Be it adults or kids, everyone enjoys biscuits. These crunchy munchies are a good companion anytime your mouth feels lonely.

Diabetes is a condition where the glucose level in the body becomes higher than normal. Glucose or sugar is the major source of energy in our body, which comes from the food that we eat. Glucose is absorbed by the cells of our body under the effect of the hormone called insulin.

If insulin is produced in a lesser amount than required, the level of glucose in the blood rises. The higher glucose level in the blood damages the arteries supplying blood to important organs. It raises the risk of heart disease, stroke, kidney disease, vision issues, and nerve disorders.

Diabetes is chronic and takes a long time to develop. People who suffer from this condition are advised to live a carefully structured routine that includes selective food choices.

Before we decide if biscuits are good or bad, let’s try to understand the composition and nutritional values of the biscuits in question. The key ingredient of biscuit is refined flour and sugar. These ingredients have a high glycaemic index, which means they spike blood sugar levels.

Any food with a high glycaemic index is recommended unsafe. If we consider salty biscuits, they have a low glycaemic index but contain high sodium content which can cause blood pressure to shoot up. Hence even though Diabetic Biscuits are advertised as 'Sugar-Free', their existing composition of flour and sugar itself is considered an unhealthy food choices for people who have diabetes. Even those brands claiming of using only raw ingredients, their manufacturing processes vary widely making it harder to ascertain how raw or refined it may be.

Although, both Plain and Digestive biscuits claim to be healthy, their If list of ingredients says otherwise. One Biscuit of 15 g approx. contains 71 Calories and 0.5 g of Fibre. No matter how healthy a biscuit claims to be, refined flours like Maida are often combined with whole grain flour inevitably adding fat and carbohydrate content to the biscuit.

The most common ingredients found in many of these biscuits are-

  • Whole Wheat Flour
  • Ammonium Bicarbonate
  • Sodium Bicarbonate
  • Tartaric Acid
  • Vegetable Oil
  • Powdered/Skim Milk
  • Baking Soda
  • Sugar
  • Preservatives

Can I Eat Biscuits for Breakfast?

Breakfast is the first food you have after an overnight fast, and is considered the most important meal of the day. Along with replenishing our glucose supply and energizing the whole body, it also supplies other vital nutrients required by the body to get through the day.

Biscuits can be consumed only If being eaten in smaller portions and accompanied by other wholesome food like Milk or Fruits. But substituting an entire breakfast with just biscuits is highly undesirable for several reasons including-

  • An ideal Breakfast must provide essential nutrients including fibres. Consuming only biscuits will deprive the body of essential nutrients and fibres, leading to digestive issues.
  • Biscuits contains a very unhealthy amount of sugar and sodium, that can cause increased sugar level and blood pressure.
  • It is a very Indian thing to add chai to breakfast and have a biscuit to dip in it. It is not recommended if it is going to be the first food you have, especially if the biscuit or the tea is sweet.

Alternatives

Alright, so we understood the biscuit, its plus and minus. We know the nutritional content, its merits and its demerits. But it does not seem fair to deprive someone of a biscuit just because they have a condition.

You must be wondering if sugar-free biscuits are good for individuals with diabetes. Let’s discuss the alternative for such people. Fortunately, there are some diabetes-friendly biscuits available in the market. These Diabetic biscuits are made up of whole wheat biscuits added with jaggery and have no added preservatives.

Although the biscuits suitable for people with diabetes are a better alternative, still, they are not entirely healthy. As opposed to the myth, jaggery and sugar or even honey are practically the same thing and contain the same amount of sugar. If taken sometimes, one or two of these would not harm much and are certainly better than other biscuits.

Other alternatives to the common commercially available biscuits are the ones prepared with oats, whole wheat, ragi, and other nutritious whole grains. For example, Threptin biscuits are good for people with diabetes. These Diabetic biscuits are rather healthy, and one can have 2 to 3 biscuits twice a week.

The best alternative is to prepare biscuits or cookies at home. Some bakeries also provide the option to bake customised biscuits to meet their customer’s needs. Buy some healthy whole wheat flour, add some peanut butter or artificial sweetener and have these special treats ready for yourself. Fried, unsalted dry fruits like makhana also provide a good substitute and satisfy your taste buds.

Are Sugar-free Biscuits Beneficial for Diabetics?

Yes, a sugar-free biscuit is beneficial for people with diabetes. The sugar-free biscuit versions are protein-centric and offer numerous health benefits. Both children and adults diagnosed with diabetes can have sugar-free biscuits as a snack. Since these biscuits for diabetes have been made after thorough research and tests, diabetic patients can have them without worry. However, people with diabetes should avoid overconsumption of sugar-free biscuits.

When taken in an appropriate amount, these biscuits can help you maintain the following:

  • Healthy weight
  • Good heart rate
  • Normal blood glucose levels

These biscuits are rich in casein protein, vital vitamins, minerals, etc., so eating them helps achieve a strong body, faster recovery from cravings, long-lasting nourishment, and quicker recovery from hunger pangs.

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5 Sugar-Free Biscuits for Diabetics

Switching to sugar-free digestive biscuits can be the best and most healthy eating choice you can make. If you are struggling to currently find the best sugar-free biscuits, consider getting any one or more of the following options:

  1. Diabliss Millet Cookies

Diabliss is a well-known brand offering a range of healthy and diabetic-friendly biscuits. The Diabliss millet cookies are low on GI, less processed, and nutritionally rich. They also have zero cholesterol and trans-fat, making it a healthier biscuit choice. Millets used in these cookies are the primary healthy item, helping people with proper digestion, controlling diabetes, aiding weight loss, maintaining blood glucose levels, and more. These cookies get their sweetness from natural sugar, which don’t contribute to glucose spikes, making them a safer option for diabetics.

  1. Diabodelite Multi-Grain Sugar-Free Cookies

If you are looking for tasty yet healthy cookies that can safely become a part of your diabetes-friendly diet, the multi-grain sugar-free cookies from Diabodelite should be your choice. These diabetic-friendly biscuits are made using the goodness of oats, ragi, bajra, wheat flour, and soya. What makes these cookies best for diabetes and prediabetes patients is its rich in fiber and contain zero trans-fat and cholesterol. It also has some fenugreek, an excellent source of amino acids and protein. Although these cookies have a low GI and are safe for diabetes, one should avoid eating more than four cookies a day.

  1. Sunfeast Farmlite Digestive Cookies with Oats with Almonds

These sugar-free digestive biscuits are the best in the range. They are high in protein and good fiber and contain zero trans-fat. What makes these cookies stand out is their taste. If good taste and healthy biscuits are non-negotiable aspects of your sugar-free biscuit-buying process, Sunfeast farmlite digestive cookies won’t disappoint you. Every oat and almond cookie from Sunfeast is loaded with nutrients and prevents blood sugar spikes. Whether you have Type 2 diabetes or prediabetes, this cookie is the perfect biscuit you can get.

  1. Britannia Nutrichoice Essentials

Another excellent sugar-free biscuit choice is Britannia Nutrichoice Essentials. Whether you have diabetes or are simply health-conscious, this biscuit is perfect for you. It tastes delicious yet doesn’t result in any unusual blood glucose spike. It is made primarily with the goodness of ragi and oats. They contain zero trans-fat and no harmful added sugar. These cookies have a low GI, are fiber-rich, and contain essential complex carbohydrates. Overall, their nutritional profile is strong and safe for people with diabetes.

  1. Diabexy Diabetic Almond Cookies

Looking for delicious cookies with a low glycemic load and low glycemic index? If yes, your search ends here. These cookies have little to no impact on your blood sugar (glucose) levels, making them a safe snacking option for diabetics. The nutritional content of these cookies is also strong, and sweet fibers are used in place of refined sugar. The total carbohydrate content is also low. The best part of these biscuits for diabetes is they are easy to digest. Since they have zero trans-fat, these cookies can also be an excellent option for people willing to lose weight.

Tips to Avoid Less Healthy Snacks

It can be challenging to give up cravings for unhealthy snacks, but it is possible. If you are trying to give up consuming unhealthy snacks, try the following tips for the best results.

  • Include more fresh vegetables, seasonal fruits, beans, whole grains, pulses, etc., in your regular diet. They are highly nutritious and also increase satiety.
  • Try taking a quick walk to distract your mind whenever you crave unhealthy food items.
  • Always keep some stock of healthy snacks ready. They can be nuts, low-fat hummus veg sticks, sugar-free cookies, wholegrain crackers, fruits, etc.
  • You can also consider having a big glass of water or a cup of green tea/regular tea/coffee when tempted to eat unhealthy food items.

Following all these tips will require strong determination and discipline, but it can help keep your overall health in check.

Bottomline

Almost every biscuit is made from refined flour, sugar, fat, preservatives, and sodium. Many ‘healthy’ biscuits have refined flour like Maida as their primary ingredient, with a small percentage of whole-grain flour. Such biscuits are not recommended if you consume biscuits as the first food item in your day. Fortunately, some diabetes-friendly biscuits are available in the market. They are made from whole wheat and jaggery, with no added preservatives. They are healthier alternatives to regular biscuits. People with diabetes can have 2 to 3 biscuits twice a week.

FAQs

Are low sugar biscuits good for diabetes?

Any food item with a high glycemic index is considered not good for a diabetes patient. Biscuits are made with flour and sugar which means it has a high glycemic index and therefore it's unsafe for a diabetic person to munch on them. On the other hand, salty biscuits can spike your blood pressure. However, you can go for biscuits that are exclusively made for diabetic people, these are manufactured with the correct ingredients like wheat and jaggery which makes them safe for diabetic people. If your cravings are too much then you can have 2-3 biscuits in 14 days but munching on them daily can bear dangerous consequences in the long term.

What biscuits are low GI?

The biscuits that have a low glycemic index are comparatively safer options for diabetic people. Instead of sugar and flour, these biscuits are made with healthier ingredients like wheat and jaggery which makes them preferable for a diabetic person. These sugar-free biscuits are manufactured by many top brands. Better ingredients like oats and ragi are also being used for making diabetic-friendly biscuits. Intaking biscuits according to their GI would affect the glucose level of your body.

Are sugar-free biscuits healthy?

The answer to this question completely depends on the ingredients that are used to make a particular biscuit. Though sugar-free biscuits are a good option for diabetic people as they are low in glycemic index and keep the blood sugar level unaffected. However these days artificial sweeteners are being used to make biscuits which is not a good choice for diabetic people therefore it is highly recommended to go through the ingredients before consuming items that might affect your blood levels.

Which Biscuits are Good for Diabetes?

If you have been diagnosed with any diabetes type, you can consider including millet cookies, multi-grain sugar-free cookies, sugar-free biscuits, oats and almond cookies, etc. Britannia nutrichoice is also a good biscuit choice for diabetics. Irrespective of the biscuits you choose from this list, ensure to consume them in moderation to prevent any unwanted blood sugar spikes.

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