Is Idli Good For People With Diabetes- Sugar.Fit

Reviewed by

Shifa Fathima

Idli For Diabetes: Benefits & Recommendations

Right from babies who are just starting out with solid foods to adults with upset tummies, idli is a friend to all. It is a traditional dish that is enjoyed all over the country and is considered a healthy Indian breakfast. Have you ever wondered if idli is good for diabetes? Diabetes does not have a cure and only the symptoms can be managed. The issue in diabetes is low blood sugar or high blood sugar that can be caused due to the body producing inconsistent insulin. A person with a diabetes diet requires constant management of carbohydrates, starch, and sugars. Idli can be the perfect addition to this meal plan.

Is Idli Good for Diabetes?

Are you pouring over facts considering can people with diabetes eat idli and dosa? Idli is made from ground rice or rice flour mixed with ground black gram. Rice contains starchy carbohydrates that can lead to sudden spikes in blood sugar. However, a different version of idli that is people with diabetes friendly can prove to be an ideal breakfast for those with diabetes. One of the best things about idli is that it is oil-free since it is steamed. This is why it is safe to say that idli can be had provided you make some changes to it.

Benefits of Idli

Do you think idlis are good for people with diabetes? Multiple benefits of idli include its nutritive profile and its ease of preparation. It is made with things found in every household and no exotic ingredients are used. There are many benefits of idli, one of them being it can be paired with multiple accompaniments.

  • Idli is easy to prepare and the batter can be stored for later use
  • All the accompaniments of idli are also healthy and safe for people with diabetes to consume.
  • Idli makes for a delicious and nutritious breakfast as it is low in calories. It is one of the ideal breakfasts that people on a weight loss regime can have. 
  • Idli is preferred by people of all ages as it is easy to chew and equally easy to digest. Everyone can reap the benefits of this healthy breakfast.

Here are the nutritive components of idli

  • Calories 58 
  • Fat 0.4 g 
  • Saturated fat 0.1 g 
  • Trans fat 0 g 
  • Polyunsaturated fat 0.2 g
  • Monounsaturated fat 0.1 g 
  • Cholesterol 0 g
  • Sodium 75 mg 
  • Total carbohydrates 12 g
  • Dietary fiber 0.5 g
  • Potassium 41 mg 
  • Sugar 0.1 g
  • Protein 1.6 g 
  • Vitamin A 0% 
  • Vitamin C 0.2% 
  • Calcium 0.8% 
  • Iron 3.3%

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Benefits of Idli for Diabetes

  • Idli is good for people with diabetes as it can be molded as per your requirement. You can make the same dish using ingredients that are diabetes-friendly. 
  • Starting from multigrain idli to rava idli this dish can truly make your breakfast healthier. You can add a variety of vegetables like carrots, peas, and onions to add more fiber to your diet. You can add spices and create a version of idli that you find tasty. 
  • Since idli is steamed it does not call for use of oil at all. 
  • You can add jowar, bajra, and ragi to this recipe and have it with hot sambar and chutney. 
  • Idli is a great choice as it makes you feel full and it does not contain any cholesterol and saturated fat. This reduces the risk of heart-related issues and stroke. 
  • Since idli is rich in iron it keeps the blood well oxygenated and that is crucial for a people with diabetes-friendly diet. 
  • Apart from helping in weight management, it can be easily digested by the body as the process breaks down vitamins and minerals quickly.

Glycemic Index of Idli

If you are thinking about can people with diabetes eat idli then the answer is yes. However, it is considered to be a high glycemic index food. The inclusion of other flours to make multigrain idli reduces the glycemic index and makes the dish healthier. Jowar and ragi are the ideal flours that can be added to idlis. Jowar is rich in fiber and not only helps digestion but also regulates blood sugar levels by staggering the supply of glucose in the bloodstream. Ragi is high in fiber as well and slows down the digestive pace keeping the blood sugar levels stable. Both these food items have a low glycemic index and can make idli more suitable. 

Glycemic index refers to the rate of release of sugars into the bloodstream after you have had a certain food item. Food items with a higher glycemic index should be avoided by people with diabetes. Idli itself is a high glycemic index item however it can be modified to suit the diet of a person with diabetes.

Different Ways to Consume Idli for Diabetes

If you are thinking “Is idli good for people with diabetes?” Then you should know rava idli is a great alternative for people with diabetes. You can add vegetables, peanuts, chillies, and much more to rava idli to make it tastier. 

  • You can pair the idli with chutney containing coconut or tomato and with sambar. Sambar is essentially made up of dal and is rich in proteins. You can devise your own chutneys to go with idli and make the taste as per your liking.  
  • Idli batter needs to be fermented if you are making it with rice. However, if you have to change the rice out for other ingredients you can make the batter at the last minute and get a delicious breakfast.
  • The recipe for multigrain idli will remain the same idli and all you need to do is replace your rice flour with which one you prefer. 


A lot of times people ask is dosa good for diabetes? Idli is the ideal breakfast for those with diabetes. If you are a fan of the soft and fluffy breakfast then you can enjoy it every day without having to worry about your blood sugar levels. The only thing that you need to do to make it safe for people with diabetes is to swap out the rice flour for people with diabetes-friendly ingredients.


What are the risks of overconsumption of Idli for people with diabetes?

Although it has been pointed out that Idli is one of the healthy breakfasts there are some downsides to overconsumption of this fluffy treat. Avoid using excessive oil to make this dish. Since this dish is fermented overnight it can cause heartburn or acidity resulting in burps, bloating, and cramps. Excessive consumption can lead to a surge in blood sugar levels as rice contains starch in carbohydrates and has a high glycemic index.

How many idlis can a person with diabetes eat?

Provided the idli is made with flours other than rice it can be had once a day and up to two servings. If the idli is made up of rice then 1 serving is enough for anyone with diabetes.

What is the best time to eat idli?

Although idli is a popular choice for breakfast, you can also include 1 to 2 idlis for dinner. The quantity should be fully considered keeping in mind your consumption of carbs and starch throughout the day.

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