Home
arrow
Diabetes
arrow
Are Chia Seeds Good for Diabetes? 3 Benefits of Chia
Diabetes

Are Chia Seeds Good for Diabetes? 3 Benefits of Chia

HR_author_photo_Edibel
Written by Edibel Quintero, RD | Medically reviewed by Medically reviewed by Rosmy Barrios, MD check
Published on 2022 August 25
69 Views
6 min

Chia seeds are filled with fiber and fatty acids and are a healthy addition to any diet, but are they good for diabetes management? We take a look at the health benefits of these seeds and how they affect blood sugar in this article.

are chia seeds good for diabetes
Shutterstock.com

We may earn a small commission if you buy via links on our site. Learn more.

The diabetes diet is designed to help keep blood sugar levels within the target range. The diet usually recommends eating foods with a low glycemic index, low saturated fat content, avoiding refined and processed foods, and increasing your whole grain intake. But do chia seeds fit into the diabetes diet?

In this article, we’re going to take a look at the health benefits of chia seeds for the diabetes diet, whether eating chia seeds can help people with diabetes, and how chia seeds may affect blood glucose levels. Take a look now to find out more.

Are Chia Seeds Good for Diabetes?

Chia seeds may be good for people with diabetes as they are thought to improve blood sugar levels and insulin resistance. Some studies have found that consuming chia seeds could increase insulin sensitivity, therefore reducing symptoms of type 2 diabetes. Additionally, another study has shown that if you consume chia seeds in bread after a meal, they can help lower your post-meal blood sugar level fluctuation.

Chia seeds may also be good for diabetes due to their high fiber content. Per 100g, chia seeds have 34.4g of fiber, making them an incredibly high-fiber food. Fiber is good for diabetes because it helps with blood glucose management. As the body cannot digest dietary fiber, it is not broken down when consumed and does not cause a spike in blood sugar.

Another health benefit of chia seeds for people with diabetes is that they are considered a very low-glycemic food. This means that when consumed, chia seeds will not cause a massive blood sugar spike, supporting good diabetes management.

Lastly, chia seeds may have some benefits for weight loss. Indeed, it is thought that due to the high fiber and protein content of chia seeds, consuming them will help you feel more satiated and help curb hunger cravings, reducing your calorie intake. Furthermore, some studies have shown that the consumption of chia pudding could support weight loss.

Weight loss is good for diabetes and could help control the disease better. Other methods of weight loss include eating at a calorie deficit each day by reducing food intake and burning more calories as well as getting more active. Increasing fitness levels could include going on a daily walk, running more regularly, or taking up cycling to burn calories.

How Do Chia Seeds Affect Blood Sugar?

Chia seeds affect blood sugar levels in a number of ways. To begin with, they contain lots of fiber, meaning that when they are eaten, they will not cause a blood sugar spike and, instead, stimulate the slow release of glucose into the blood. Additionally, some research suggests that people who eat chia seeds may improve their insulin sensitivity, making it easier for the hormone to control blood sugar levels.

Chia seeds come with many other benefits for health, too, including supporting better weight management, improving bone health, and helping reduce blood pressure. You can find chia seeds in health food stores and some supermarkets, which can be added to your diet easily.

Eating a healthier diet can support better diabetes management and help you maintain a healthy weight. Other ways to maintain a healthy weight include getting more exercise, like going on long-distance runs or walking 5 miles a day, and getting better sleep.

Nutritional Value of Chia Seeds

The nutritional value of chia seeds per 100g is as follows:

  • Energy: 486kcal
  • Protein: 16.5g
  • Fat: 30.7g
  • Carbohydrates: 42.1g
  • Fiber: 34.4g

Chia seeds also contain many minerals, including iron, phosphorus, potassium, zinc, selenium, and calcium, as well as B vitamins, and vitamins A, C, and E. They also contain some fatty acids.

Glycemic Index of Chia Seeds

The glycemic index of chia seeds is 1, making them a very low-glycemic food. The glycemic load of a food refers to the rate at which said food will increase blood glucose levels in comparison to glucose itself. Low-glycemic foods usually have a value between 1 and 55.

Klinio
  • Personalized and diabetes-safe meal plan
  • An integrated shopping list that matches the meal plan
  • No-equipment home workouts
  • All-in-one health and progress tracker
  • Detailed activity log
Our rating:
4.4
Learn More

People with diabetes are usually recommended a diet that is filled with low-glycemic foods. This means avoiding refined and processed sugars and opting for whole-wheat flour-based carbohydrates and whole grains in general.

Eating a diet filled with low-glycemic foods is thought to help control blood glucose levels and keep them within a healthy range. Foods with a low glycemic load tend to have lots of fiber, a macronutrient that is essential in your diet and helps you stay healthy.

When managing diabetes through diet, it may be worth taking a look at some of the diabetes-friendly diets that are currently popular. There is some evidence that both the keto diet and the intermittent fasting method are good for diabetes, though you should always speak with a doctor before trying anything new.

How to Use Chia Seeds for Diabetes?

If you’re looking for ways to add chia seeds to your diet, then there are many ways you could try. These tiny black seeds are very versatile and can be added to many different food types.

You could add chia seeds to your morning smoothie to boost fiber and fatty acid intake. They can also be used to create other drinks, like the chia lemon drink, which involves infusing lemon in chia water.

Chia seeds can also be used in cooking. You can add chia seeds to recipes for muffins and cookies, or you could hunt down some chia seed flour or powder.

3 Benefits of Chia Seeds for Diabetes: Why Should You Eat More Chia?

Not only can they reduce blood sugar and boost insulin tolerance, but chia seeds are also thought to have many other benefits for those with diabetes. Take a look below to find out more about how these seeds can help you manage diabetes as well as reduce the risk of developing diabetes.

#1 Source of fiber

Chia seeds are an incredible source of soluble fiber, with nearly 35g per 100g. Fiber is an important macronutrient for our health and helps control blood glucose. Foods with higher fiber content will not cause a spike in blood glucose levels, making them great for the diabetes diet.

#2 Helps to control blood sugar

Chia seeds may have some benefits for blood sugar management. They are thought to reduce insulin resistance and boost glucose tolerance in the blood, giving those with diabetes better control over their blood sugar level.

#3 Supports heart health

Chia seeds may be good for heart health and may even reduce the risk of developing heart disease. For those with diabetes, the risk of heart problems is increased, and so consuming chia seeds could be beneficial.

Chia seeds contain lots of fatty acids, including omega-3s, which are great for the heart. They are thought to reduce cholesterol levels and help manage blood pressure. Both of these factors could help improve heart health.

FAQs

Are chia seeds low-glycemic?

Yes, chia seeds have a very low-glycemic value of just 1. This makes them a low-glycemic food and suitable for those following a diabetes diet.

Who should avoid chia seeds?

There is some evidence to suggest that those who are allergic to members of the mint family, mustard seeds, and sesame seeds should avoid chia seeds.

Can I eat chia seeds every day if I have diabetes?

Yes, chia seeds are a low-glycemic food with lots of fiber. They are thought to help with blood sugar management and may benefit those with diabetes.

A Word From Our MD

Chia seeds are a healthy addition to any diet. With lots of fiber, protein, and fatty acids, they’re good for supporting the management of a range of health conditions, including type 2 diabetes.

Chia seeds come with many benefits, including supporting better diabetes management, helping you lose weight, promoting bone health, and reducing your risk of developing heart disease.

As with any “superfood” or diabetes “miracle” food, we always recommend combining chia seeds with a diabetes-friendly diet, like intermittent fasting, increased activity levels, and any other recommendations given to you by your doctor. While chia seeds are great, they’re not a miracle cure for diabetes.

To support your diabetes management, we suggest following a diet filled with low-glycemic foods that are low in saturated fats and refined flours. You could opt to try a low-carb diet, like the ketogenic diet, which may have some benefits for diabetes.

In addition, you should increase your exercise level. This could mean joining a gym class, like pilates, or taking up running each day.

While there are many foods that can help reduce diabetes symptoms, no food will cure you of the condition. Always listen to your doctor’s recommendations and run any new ideas by them before trying them out.

Conclusion

Chia seeds could be good for those with diabetes as they can help keep blood sugar levels within a healthy range and contain lots of fiber. Chia seeds should not be relied upon as the only method of managing your condition, and you should speak with a doctor before trying them.

HR_author_photo_Edibel
Written by
Edibel Quintero is a medical doctor who graduated in 2013 from the University of Zulia and has been working in her profession since then. She specializes in obesity and nutrition, physical rehabilitation, sports massage and post-operative rehabilitation. Edibel’s goal is to help people live healthier lives by educating them about food, exercise, mental wellness and other lifestyle choices that can improve their quality of life.
Medically reviewed byRosmy Barrios, MD
Share on
facebook twitter pinterest linkedin

0 Comments

Leave a comment

Advertisement
Klinio Klinio
company-logo