is idli good for diabetes
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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 Is idli 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. Know about south indian diabetic diet chart.

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. Also know about reversing type 2 diabetes.

Benefits of Idli

Do you think Is idli good for diabetes patients? 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. Also know about pp blood sugar

Here are the nutritive components of idli

     Components     Nutritional Value (Per 100 Grams 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%                  

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. Also know more about diabetes diet chart.

Also read about how to prevent diabetes

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Idli Glycemic Index

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 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. Know about peanut for diabetes.
  • 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. Also know about prediabetes diet

Best Time to Consume Idli for Diabetes?

Idli is one of the most popular and healthy South Indian dishes that can be consumed whenever one wants. However, if you have diabetes and are trying to lose weight, try having an idli or two at breakfast. If you experience hunger pangs at night, you can also have 2 idlis for dinner.

Other Health Benefits of Idli for Diabetes

If you were wondering does idli increase blood sugar, the answer is no (provided you consume it in moderation). Besides preventing blood sugar spikes during consumption, idli also has numerous other health benefits for people with diabetes. Some of the health benefits are listed below.

Beneficial for overall health

Since idli is rich in fiber, protein, and carbohydrates, it provides the nutrients the body needs to function correctly throughout the day. It also makes you feel full for longer hours, preventing you from overeating.

Help Fulfil Iron Requirement

Our body requires at least 8 milligrams of iron for men and 18 milligrams of iron for women. Having idli frequently can help fulfill this nutritional requirement, allowing our body to perform better.

It Can be Digested Easily

Idli is made using a fermented batter of rice and urad dal. These fermentation properties make it easily digestive, helping break down vitamins and minerals inside the body. The lactic acid in idli alters the pH levels of the intestines, indirectly contributing to better health and long life.

Helps in Weight Loss

Idli is rich in fiber, so consuming it daily (in moderation) can help improve digestion and aid weight loss.

Idlis can be prepared easily since its batter can be prepared once and preserved for longer. So make sure you include idli in your regular diabetes-friendly diet.


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.

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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.

What is the Glycemic Index of Idli?

Idli Glycemic index is 71. The food with low GI are considered to be healthy food

Is idli good for diabetes?

People with Diabetes should consume Idly in moderation as it is considered a high glycemic index food. Therefore it results in raising blood sugar levels and increasing carbohydrate intake.

What is the nutrition value 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%

How Many Calories Are There in Idli?

One idli has approximately 33 calories. Of this, around 28 calories can be considered carbohydrates and 4 calories as protein. The remaining 1 calorie is fat. Since idli takes up only a small portion of an adult’s total daily calorie requirement, including idli in a diabetes diet becomes easy.

Is Idli Good for Weight Loss?

Yes, idli is good for weight loss. Since it is made using a combination of rice and urad dal, it is primarily protein. Idli is also gluten-free, so if you are looking for tasty yet healthier food options to lose weight, idli is the best food item to include in your diet.

How Many Calories Are There in 2 Idli?

Two big size idli contain 140 calories. If you plan to have idli with sambar, the calories can increase. Since idlis are mostly gluten-free, feature zero saturated fat, and have a decent amount of protein and carbohydrate, you can include idli in your diabetes-friendly diet.    

Is Rava Idli Good for Diabetes?

Yes, idli made of rava or suji is good for people with diabetes. Rava (semolina) is rich in fiber, and the carbohydrate content in it makes you feel energetic throughout the day. It even helps prevent bad cholesterol, making it a good food choice for people with diabetes.  

How Many Calories Are There in Idli Sambar?

The calorie of a cup of sambar and 3 idli is approximately 304 calories. Of this, a cup of sambar is around 130 calories, and the 3 idlis are around 174 calories. It has a good amount of protein, carbohydrates, fiber, and a minimum amount of fat. Owing to the calorie count and nutritional profile idli sambar have, people with diabetes can easily include them in their diet.




This website's content is provided only for educational reasons and is not meant to be a replacement for professional medical advice. Due to individual differences, the reader should contact their physician to decide whether the material is applicable to their case.