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Is Sooji (Rava) Good for Diabetes? Benefits, Practical Tips and Risks

Published on: Jun 24, 2024
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We all enjoy eating upma, especially during breakfast or as a quick snack. Even when we crave something light, upma often comes to mind as a perfect choice to enjoy with coffee.

However, if you have diabetes, you might want to relook at sooji or rawa-based dishes – if it’s OK to have it in diabetes.

People with diabetes should avoid dishes made from sooji, such as upma, halwa, kheer, rawa ladoo, idli, or dosa. But why?

For that, you need to understand how sooji affects your blood sugar levels. Let’s start by understanding what is sooji?

What is Sooji?

Sooji (rava), also known as semolina, is a popular ingredient in many Indian households. It’s used in a variety of dishes, from breakfast items to desserts to mithais.

Sooji is a coarse flour made from gehu (wheat). It’s widely used in Indian dishes like the ones we mentioned earlier.

Sooji is known for its versatility and quick cooking time, making it a convenient choice for many meals.

Now, let’s break down the nutritional composition of sooji and understand what it provides in terms of nutrition after eating it.

What is the Nutritional Value of Sooji?

nutritional value of sooji

Sooji is rich in carbohydrates and contains a moderate amount of protein. It also provides essential nutrients such as calcium, magnesium, and phosphorus.

However, it is low in fiber, which is an important dietary requirement for people with diabetes.

What is the Glycemic Index of Sooji?

glycemic Index of sooji

The glycemic index (GI) measures how quickly a food raises blood sugar levels. Foods with a high GI (more than 70) cause rapid spikes in blood sugar.

Sooji has a moderately high GI (63 – 78, varies according to the cooking time), which means that when consumed, it can significantly increase blood sugar levels.

Is Sooji Good for Diabetes?

Given its high glycemic index and low fiber content, suji is not an ideal choice for people with diabetes. Foods with a high GI can lead to rapid spikes in blood sugar, making it challenging to manage diabetes effectively.

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What are the Other Health Benefits of Eating Sooji?

Despite its high glycemic index, sooji offers some health benefits:

1. Energy Boost: The high carbohydrate content provides a quick energy source, which can be useful for people who need an immediate energy boost, such as athletes or those engaging in physical activities.

2. Bone Health: Sooji is a source of calcium and magnesium, which help in keeping your bones strong and healthy.

While sooji can offer these benefits, do remember that these benefits can be easily found in food items like daliya, oats, besan, and jawar, which don’t come with the baggage of having a high glycemic index. So, instead of rava, you can choose these. These can be used to make both sweet and savory dishes.

Are There Any Risks of Eating Sooji in Diabetes?

The primary risk of consuming sooji for people with diabetes is that it can potentially cause blood sugar spikes. This can make it difficult to manage blood sugar levels effectively, leading to complications associated with diabetes.

Some Practical Tips for Including Sooji in a Diabetes Diet

If you enjoy sooji and want to include it in your diet despite having diabetes, here are some practical tips:

1. Portion Control: Limit the amount of sooji you consume to avoid large spikes in blood sugar.

2. Pair with Fiber: Combine sooji with high-fiber foods like vegetables or legumes to slow down the absorption of carbohydrates. For example, if you are making upma, you can add a lot of veggies like carrots, cabbage, pea, tomatoes, and onions to the upma to make it more fibre-rich. If you are making a sweet dish with sooji, have salad and a bowl of sprouts separately.

3. Choose Whole Grains: Opt for whole-grain or whole-wheat versions of sooji, which have a lower glycemic index. For example you can make upma with daliya or broken wheat or oats which gives the same flavour as the rava upma but is lower in carbs.

4. Monitor Blood Sugar: Keep track of your blood sugar levels after consuming sooji to understand how it affects you personally.

Sooji Recipes for People with Diabetes

Here are a few diabetes-friendly sooji recipes:

1. Vegetable Upma: Use a small portion of sooji and add plenty of vegetables to increase the fiber content. Cook with minimal oil and pair with a protein source like yogurt. You can also add some sprouts on your upma to give it a protein twist.

2. Dahi Sooji Cheela: Mix water, homemade dahi and sooji and let it sit for 10 minutes. Use whole-wheat sooji. Add finely chopped vegetables of your choice like carrots, cabbage, green peas, capsicum, onion, tomatoes etc, and spices like kadi patta, dhaniya patta, rai, and chana dal tadka. Make cheelas and serve hot with homemade pudina, dhaniya or tamatar ki chutney.

3. Sooji Porridge: Prepare porridge using whole-grain sooji, and add nuts, seeds, and a small amount of fruit for added fiber and protein.

How We At Fitterfly Can Help You?

That first bite of warm upma in the morning or the sweet aroma of freshly made rava ladoos can make anyone’s day. Sooji has always been a staple in every Indian kitchen, bringing comfort and nostalgia to our meals.

Yet, if you’re managing diabetes, you might feel like you have to miss out on these beloved treats because of Sooji’s high glycemic index.

At Fitterfly, we understand how much you love these dishes. That’s why our nutrition coaches are dedicated to modifying your favorite recipes into diabetes-friendly versions, allowing you to enjoy them without worry.

We also provide personalized exercise guidance from our fitness coaches and support from our success coaches to help you manage stress and stay positive.

Join the Fitterfly Diabetes Prime Program today. Just give us a missed call at 08069450746, and we’ll help you manage your diabetes with compassion and care 🙂

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Disclaimer

This blog provides general information for educational and informational purposes only and shouldn't be seen as professional advice.

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Frequently Asked Questions

What is the best time to consume sooji for diabetes?

Sooji is not recommended for people with diabetes due to its high glycemic index. It is best to avoid consuming sooji to prevent spikes in blood sugar levels.

How much sooji can a person with diabetes eat per day?

If you choose to include sooji in your diet, limit the intake to small portions, as little as possible per serving, and monitor your blood sugar levels to see how your body responds. It is important to consult with a nutritionist or a dietitian to determine the appropriate amount for your individual needs.

Are there any benefits of eating sooji in diabetes?

While sooji is not ideal for diabetes management due to its high GI, it does have some nutritional benefits. Though it is a good source of essential vitamins and minerals, micronutrients such as potassium, phosphorus and calcium, which are important for overall health, people with diabetes should avoid eating it.

- By Fitterfly Health-Team

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