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  • Writer's pictureDr. Karuturi Subrahmanyam

Is Wheat Chapati Good for Diabetes?


Diabetes is a condition that affects how your body uses sugar or glucose. When you have diabetes, your blood sugar levels can become too high or too low. This can cause various health problems.


To keep your blood sugar levels in a healthy range, you need to eat a balanced diet that includes foods that are good for your diabetes. One of these foods is chapati, a type of flatbread that is popular in India and other parts of the world.


But how does chapati affect your blood sugar levels? And how much chapati can you eat if you have diabetes?

The answer depends on several factors, such as:

  • The kind of chapati you eat

  • The ingredients you use to make chapati

  • The amount of chapati you eat

  • The other foods you eat with chapati

Let’s look at each of these factors in more detail.


The kind of chapati you eat

Chapati can be made from different kinds of flour. The most common kind is whole wheat flour, which is made from the whole grain of wheat. This kind of chapati is good for diabetes because it has a low glycemic index (GI). The glycemic index is a way of measuring how fast a food raises your blood sugar levels after you eat it. Foods with a low GI (below 55) are digested slowly and cause a gradual rise in blood sugar levels. Foods with a high GI (above 70) are digested quickly and cause a sudden spike in blood sugar levels.


Whole wheat chapati has a low GI of around 52-55. This means that it does not raise your blood sugar levels too much or too fast. It also has more fiber, protein, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants than refined wheat flour or maida, which is made from the inner part of the wheat grain. Refined wheat flour or maida has a high GI of about 89. This means that it raises your blood sugar levels too much and too fast. It also has less fiber, protein, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants than whole wheat flour.


Therefore, if you have diabetes, you should choose whole wheat chapati over refined wheat chapati.


The ingredients you use to make chapati

The ingredients you use to make chapati can also affect how it impacts your blood sugar levels. For example, adding oil, ghee, or butter to the dough or to the cooked chapati can increase its fat content and lower its GI. Adding salt or spices can also change its taste and nutritional value.


Some people also add other ingredients to the chapati dough, such as fenugreek seeds, oats, barley, millet, or other grains. These ingredients can add more fiber, protein, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants to the chapati and lower its GI. However, they can also change its texture and flavor.


The amount of chapati you eat

The amount of chapati you eat is another important factor to consider when you have diabetes. The more chapati you eat, the more carbohydrates you consume, and the more your blood sugar levels will rise. Therefore, it is advisable to limit your intake of chapati to one or two pieces per meal, depending on your carbohydrate allowance and your blood sugar goals.


The other foods you eat with chapati

The other foods you eat with your chapati can also affect your blood sugar levels. For example, if you eat your chapati with high-carbohydrate foods, such as rice, potatoes, or sweets, you will increase your total carbohydrate intake and your blood sugar levels. On the other hand, if you eat your chapati with low-carbohydrate foods, such as vegetables, salads, lentils, or lean meats, you will balance your carbohydrate intake and your blood sugar levels.


Some tips for eating chapati with diabetes are:

  • Choose whole wheat chapati over refined wheat chapati

  • Use minimal oil, ghee, or butter to make or cook chapati

  • Add some fiber-rich ingredients to the chapati dough, such as fenugreek seeds or oats

  • Limit your portion size of chapati to one or two pieces per meal

  • Eat your chapati with low-carbohydrate foods, such as vegetables, salads, lentils, or lean meats

  • Avoid eating your chapati with high-carbohydrate foods, such as rice, potatoes, or sweets

  • Monitor your blood sugar levels before and after eating chapati


Summary

Chapati is a common food that many people eat in India and other parts of the world. It is a flatbread made from wheat flour that can have different effects on your blood sugar levels depending on the kind of chapati; the ingredients; the amount; and the other foods you eat with it.


If you have diabetes; you can still enjoy chapati as part of a healthy diet if you follow the tips above. Eating well and being physically active are important parts of managing your diabetes. Along with other benefits; following a healthy meal plan and being active can help you keep your blood glucose level in your target range; prevent or delay diabetes complications; feel good and have more energy.


You can also talk to your doctor for more personalized advice.


Dr. Karuturi Subrahmanyam, MD, FRCP (London), FACP (USA)

Internal Medicine Specialist


Kify Hospital

Danavaipeta

Rajahmundry

Phone : 85000 23456

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1 Comment


Pervin Surti
Pervin Surti
Nov 24, 2023

A very useful post Thank u.. It helps me.

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