is onion good for diabetes
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Can Diabetics Eat Onion?

When we are dealing with diabetes or know someone who is living with diabetes the first few things that we think about are how they live and what they eat. When you’re someone who is living with diabetes or is living with someone with the disorder, it is common knowledge that not every fruit or vegetable or food item can be consumed. People with diabetes have to be extra careful about what they eat and drink as every little thing makes an impact on their condition. Something we often wonder about is ‘are onions good for diabetics?'

is onion good for diabetes
onion for diabetes

Is Onion Good For Diabetes?

To answer the question ‘is onion good for diabetes’ we must first get acquainted with the vegetable. They are part of the Allium genus of flowering plants, which includes other edible plants such as garlic, shallots, leeks, and chives. These veggies are rich in a variety of vitamins, minerals, and powerful plant chemicals, all of which have been demonstrated to be beneficial to health in a variety of ways. Onions have been known to have therapeutic characteristics since antiquity, when they were used to cure maladies such as headaches, heart disease, and mouth ulcers, among others. So simply put, when someone asks ‘is onion good for diabetes’, the answer is yes, they are good for diabetes as they are a low calorie and a nutrient packed vegetable that has many health benefits.

The glycemic index of onion

The glycemic index (GI) of onion can vary depending on the type of onion and how it is prepared. Generally, onions have a low to medium GI score, meaning they have a relatively low impact on blood sugar levels.

The GI score of raw onion ranges from 10 to 15, which is considered low. Cooked onions, on the other hand, have a slightly higher GI score ranging from 35 to 45, which is still considered low to medium.

It's worth noting that the glycemic index is not the only factor that affects blood sugar levels. The glycemic load (GL), which considers both the GI and the carbohydrate content of food, is a more accurate measure of a food's impact on blood sugar levels. Onions are also a good source of fibre, which can help slow down glucose absorption and further reduce their glycemic impact. Sometimes the glycemic index of onion is necessary to know before including it in your diet to ensure that you eat well.

Health benefits of Onions

1. Packed With Nutrients

Whenever we think of controlling diabetes we hope for some or the other vegetable or fruit to be miraculous and control diabetes. If you’re wondering ‘does onion control diabetes’ we must first understand the nutritional composition of onions. Onions are nutrient-dense, meaning they contain few calories but a lot of vitamins and minerals. A medium onion has just 44 calories but is loaded with vitamins, minerals, and fibre. This vegetable is abundant in vitamin C, which is crucial for immune system control, collagen production, tissue healing, and iron absorption. Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that protects cells from damage caused by unstable chemicals called free radicals. Vitamin C promotes healthy skin and hair. To top it all off, onions are loaded with B vitamins, such as folate (B9), which is vital for metabolism, red blood cell production, and brain function. Finally, they are a great source of potassium, which many people need. Capacities of the human body are determined by the amount of potassium in the blood.

Since it is a nutrient-dense food, onions contain fewer calories and more nutrients. They are a great source of potassium and manganese. Potassium can help to increase energy and metabolism. Moreover, manganese can help the body create connective tissues and aid bone health. This can also lower the chances of forming blood clots

2. May Benefit Heart Health

Is onion good for your heart? Onions include antioxidants and chemicals that combat inflammation, cut triglycerides, and lower cholesterol levels, all of which may lessen the risk of heart disease. Their significant anti-inflammatory qualities may also aid in the reduction of excessive blood pressure and the prevention of blood clots. Quercetin is a flavonoid antioxidant that is abundant in onions. Because it is a powerful anti-inflammatory, it may aid in the reduction of heart disease risk factors such as high blood pressure. A study of 70 overweight persons with high blood pressure revealed that a daily intake of 162 mg of quercetin-rich onion extract decreased systolic blood pressure by 3–6 mmHg compared to a placebo. Onions have been demonstrated to lower cholesterol levels. So to answer ‘are onions good for diabetes’, yes they are. 

One particular type of flavonoid – quercetin, is a protective antioxidant and has anti-inflammatory effects. This compound is one of the most effective ones that can help promote healthy heart health. Studies have also supported the consumption of onions and reduced risk of heart disease as it lowers blood pressure helps to optimize the levels of cholesterol in the body, and can also reduce inflammation.

3. Loaded With Antioxidants

Antioxidants are chemicals that protect cells from oxidative damage. Oxidative stress is a factor in diseases including cancer, diabetes, and heart disease. Cooked onions are a wonderful source of antioxidants. They include over 25 flavonoid antioxidants. Anthocyanins are flavonoid pigments that give red onions their rich color. Anthocyanins, which give red onions their color, are found in red onions. Several studies have demonstrated that anthocyanin-rich diets reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease.

4. Contain Cancer Fighting Compounds

Eating Allium vegetables like garlic and onions has been related to a decreased risk of stomach and colorectal cancer. A research found that individuals who ate the most allium veggies had a 22% lower risk of stomach cancer than those who ate the least. Linked to sulfur compounds and flavonoid antioxidants present in allium plants. Onionin A, for example, is a sulfur-containing molecule that has been found to inhibit tumor growth and limit the spread of ovarian and lung cancer in vitro. Onions also contain flavonoid antioxidants that may slow tumor development. Researchers have found that a moderate consumption of onions is linked to a lower risk of colorectal, laryngeal, and ovarian cancers. 

5. Helps Control Blood Sugar

Onions may help manage blood sugar, which is important for diabetes and prediabetes. After four hours, ingesting 3.5 ounces (100 grams) of fresh red onion lowered fasting blood sugar levels by roughly 40 mg/dl in 42 persons with type 2 diabetes. Onion eating may also help manage blood sugar levels in animals. In one research, diabetic rats given 5% onion extract for 28 days exhibited lower fasting blood sugar and body fat than the control group. Onion components including quercetin and sulfur compounds have anti-diabetic properties.

6. May Boost Bone Density

Though dairy is often credited with improving bone health, several other foods, like onions, may also contribute to healthy bones. A study of 24 middle-aged and postmenopausal women found that those who drank 3.4 ounces (100 ml) of onion juice daily for eight weeks had better bone mineral density and antioxidant activity than a control group. Onions are thought to help reduce oxidative stress, increase antioxidant levels, and minimize bone loss, which may help prevent osteoporosis and increase bone density.

Onions in the diet are associated with improved bone density. This could be attributed to the strong antioxidant properties in onions as they can reduce oxidative stress. It reduces bone loss. Studies conducted to assess this property have shown promising results.

7. Have Antibacterial Properties

Onions may kill microorganisms including E. coli, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Staphylococcus aureus, and Bacillus cereus. Onion extract also inhibits Vibrio cholerae development, a serious public health problem in the underdeveloped nations. Onion quercetin seems to be especially effective in fighting germs. In vitro, quercetin from yellow onion skin reduced the development of Helicobacter pylori and Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus.

Since earlier times, onions are being used for their medicinal properties. They have been used to relieve cough, cold, etc owing to their antibacterial compounds. The older the onions, the more potent they are. The presence of different bacteria like e. coli and other can help limit the growth of infections and deadly diseases in the body.

8. May Boost Digestive Health

Onions are high in fiber and prebiotics, which are essential for gut health. Prebiotics are nondigestible fibers that are digested by gut microorganisms. Prebiotics nourish gut bacteria, which produce acetate, propionate, and butyrate. Prebiotics also aid probiotics like Lactobacillus and Bifidobacteria strains, which promote digestive health. Onions are high in inulin and fructooligosaccharides, both prebiotics. These boost gut friendly bacteria and immunological function.

Onions have a higher level of prebiotics and fiber. This can help improve the gut health as it assists in the process of digestion. Compounds in onions are also known to reduce inflammation in the body 

9. Supports gut health

Onions, which are rich in fiber, especially the non-digestive type, are essential in maintaining gut health. The body does find it difficult to digest prebiotic fiber, but the bacteria that live in the gut do use it as fuel to increase in numbers. They produce by-products called short-chain fatty acids and these are important in helping the existence of a healthy gut and can also support and maintain immunity and better digestion.

10. Easy To Add to Your Diet

Onions are a common ingredient in kitchens all across the globe. They provide taste to savory foods and may be eaten either raw or cooked, depending on the recipe. Not to mention that they may help you get more fiber, vitamins, and minerals into your diet. Onions are a versatile ingredient that may be used in a variety of savory meals, including eggs, guacamole, meat dishes, soups and baked goods.

11. Reduces risk of Alzheimer’s disease

Several studies have been conducted and have discovered a positive relationship between the consumption of onions and thre reduced risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease. This could be due to the higher levels of quercetin in onions

12.Great source of Vitamin C

Since onions have a high level of Vitamin C, the functions of the body are maintain optimally. This vitamin is hughly useful for the formation of blood vessels and can also help improve the immune system greatly.  Additionally, it is also essential to build cartilage systems in the body.

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Which onion is best for diabetes?

Many people are often in a dilemma with the question: which onion is best for diabetes? Since there are several varieties of onions available in the market, the multiple choices can often get confusing and one might not be aware of which type of onions to buy for people living on a diabetes diet. Many dieticians and studies support the consumption of fresh red onions for people with diabetes. Hence red onion is best for diabetes. Approximately 100 grams of red onions are associated with the reduction of blood sugar levels by 40md/dL 4 hours post-consumption. All types of onions come with their advantages, however, the consumption of red onions is known to be the most beneficial for people with diabetes.

Are onions good for diabetes 2?

“Is onion good for diabetes?” – yes, it is. This vegetable contains several vitamins, minerals, and important nutrition along with plant compounds. They have been shown to promote good health in multiple ways. The medicinal properties of onions have been recognized and accepted since ancient times. Onions are packed with nutrients and are also low in calories. This means that, especially for people with diabetes, onions can be one of the best vegetables to consume as they may not lead to any unhealthy rise in blood sugar levels. A medium-sized onion has only 44 calories, along with being high in Vitamin C. This helps in regulating overall immune health and can also produce collagen. Vitamin C in onions can also repair damaged tissues and can promote healthy iron absorption in the body. 

Moreover, onions are good for diabetes type 2 as they also have Vitamin B, including folate and pyridoxine which plays an important role in metabolism and the production of red blood cells. This vitamin is also important for nerve function. Another advantage associated with this vegetable would be its higherlevels of potassium. Normal cellular functioning, fluid balance in the body, nerve transmissions, kidney function, etc are regulated by optimal potassium levels in the body. Also know more about diabetes diet chart.

Does onion increase sugar level?

“Does onion increase sugar level?” – No. In fact, onions are known to help control and regulate blood sugar levels within the body. This property is significantly helpful for people with diabetes – type 1, type 2, and prediabetes. With a mere 9 grams of carbs in 100 grams of onions, its glycemic index is 10. This makes it an ideal food to consume when living with diabetes. Loading your daily diet chart, vegetables, salads, etc with onions can provide significant benefits in terms of carb load and lowering the glycemic load of the meal. In fact, onions are known to lower sugar levels in the body after consumption. Also know about pre diabetes levels.

What kind of nutrients are in onions?

Onions are used for their flavor and the health-related benefits that they provide. They can enhance the taste of any food and cooked vegetable without increasing the calorie load Since onions have a substantial amount of folate, vitamin c, calcium, iron, manganese, phosphorous, zinc, and potassium, nutritionists recommend people with diabetes consume onions as much as possible. They can control sugar levels and can also help to bring them down.

In approximately 100 grams of onions, the following nutrients are present:

Nutritional value          
Carbs             9 grams  
Sugar             4.2 grams
Fat               0%        
Protein           1%        
Calorie           40        
Water             89%      
Fiber             1.7 grams

The necessary vitamins, minerals, and nutrients in onion can provide holistic health and all-round well-being for people with and without diabetes Also read about how to prevent diabetes.

How to use onions for diabetes?

Onions can be a healthy addition to a diabetes-friendly diet as they have a low glycemic index and are a good source of fibre, antioxidants, and other beneficial compounds. Raw onions are low in calories and high in fibre and can add crunch and flavour to your salads. Add onions to stir-fries with other low glycemic index vegetables such as broccoli, peppers, and spinach. Stir-frying can help retain the nutrients in onions while keeping the carbohydrate content in check. Onion soup can be a comforting and healthy option for people with diabetes. Use low-sodium broth, herbs, and spices to flavour the soup instead of high-calorie ingredients like cheese and croutons. Thus, you can use onion for diabetics.


There are several health advantages associated with onions, all of which are pretty astounding. In addition to being high in nutrients, these veggies contain strong chemicals that may lower your chance of developing heart disease and some malignancies. Onions contain antibacterial qualities and may help to enhance digestive health, which can help to increase immunological function in certain cases. Furthermore, they are adaptable and may be utilized to enhance the taste of any savory food, regardless of its origin. Increasing the amount of onions you consume is a simple method to improve your overall health. Also know about fasting blood sugar level.

Is onion good for diabetes?

Yes, onion is good for diabetes. The consumption of onions is associated with healthy blood sugar levels and control. It can help people with diabetes and prediabetes. Studies have also proven the reduction in fasting blood sugars after the consumption of onions

Do onions help control blood sugar?

Yes, with a low glycemic index, onions are known to control and maintain optimal blood sugar levels. It is nutrient-dense and is low in calories and rich in minerals and vitamins. Specific compounds in onions like sulfur possess anti-diabetic properties.

Are onions high in sugar for diabetics?

No, onions are not high in sugar. 100 grams of onions will only contain approximately 4.2 grams of sugar. This means that the overall glycemic index and glycemic load upon the consumption of onions will also be low. A person with diabetes can freely consume onions and will see significant changes in their physical health in terms of better blood sugar values. The several beneficial properties in onions make them a highly sought-after food for people living with diabetes.




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.