Can Diabetics Eat Gulab Jamun? What is the Glycemic Index?

Last Updated on March 18, 2021 by Dr Sharon Baisil MD

Do you miss out on enjoying your favorite foods as a diabetic patient? Do you fear that your sugars can spike up high on eating those sweets that you adore? Well, this is the same for everyone trying to control diabetes and maintain a healthy lifestyle.

Diabetes is a condition of the metabolic system where the body produces insufficient insulin. This leads to improper and inefficient digestion and the release of sugars. This causes mismanagement in the body’s blood sugar levels leading to several other dysfunctions and health issues.

Everyone knows and is fond of gulab jamun. But the way diabetics and non-diabetics know it is different. Let us find out …

  • Can diabetics eat gulab jamun?
  • What is its glycemic index?
  • What is the nutritional composition of gulab jamun?
  • What are the benefits of eating gulab jamun?
  • What are the side effects of eating gulab jamun?

These are questions that come to your mind very often, don’t they? Well, we will help you solve and answer today’s questions.

Veggie causing Diabetes

So without any more ado, let us start with our basic but necessary introductory topic of discussion. Here we go!

What is Gulab Jamun?

This is not a question that needs to be answered whether you are an Indian or not. Gulab Jamun is known by all. It is one of the most popular and favorite sweets of all time.

It is a delicacy that we all enjoy all over the world. It is a famous and delicious dessert or popularly called – mithai of the Indian Subcontinent. It is available throughout the country and is a must dessert item on all occasions and events.

Gulab Jamun is made of dough balls, and milk solids dipped in sugary syrup that fills it with sweet juice. It is a soft and silky-textured sweet dish with the most amazing taste.


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The sugar syrup is also flavored and scented with rose water and petal essence. This is where the name of this dessert dish comes from. The word ‘Gulab’ stands for rose, and ‘Jamun’ indicates the berry that this sweet resembles in size, color, etc.

But from the description of its ingredients that we just mentioned, you would be able to tell that it is not the best addition to a healthy diet.

Carbohydrates? Calories? Sugars? Fats? It has got all of that! No wonder it is a delicious treat to the tongue.

But what do diabetics have to say? What do diabetes specialists have to say about this famous Gulab Jamun? Let us find out.

Can Diabetics eat Gulab Jamun?

Can Diabetics eat Gulab Jamun

Well, it is a big NO for diabetics. Even before we can explain it to you, you might be well aware that diabetes and sweets do not go hand in hand.

As the name suggests, Sweets are filled with sugar and other harmful ingredients strictly restricted for diabetic patients. It can cause dangerous effects on the body of a blood sugar patient.

This sweet and dessert item is a strictly avoided food for diabetics. It is empty calories and loaded with fats as well. There is not a lot to say when it comes to diabetics asking whether gulab jamun is safe or not; it just is not.

Gulab jamun can rapidly increase your body’s blood sugar levels, which can cause immediate and eventual harm to the health.

A small serving or a very rare piece of Gulab Jamun can be had to please your tongue. But be sure not to make it a daily or even frequent deal to have gulab jamun. Otherwise, your body will surely suffer.

It is better to opt for healthy desserts, fruits, or dry fruits, for that matter, to satisfy your sugar cravings. But gulab jamuns are to be restricted.

It can raise your diabetic blood sugar levels and send it shooting out of the regular levels. It can also hamper the insulin or other diabetic medicine that you take.

It is bad for any individual’s health, especially health-conscious people, diabetics, and particularly Type 2 diabetics.

Now let us see why it is so.

What are its ingredients of Gulab Jamun and their effects on the Diabetes?

What are its ingredients of Gulab Jamun and their effects on the Diabetes

To find out why the body is badly affected by the consumption of gulab jamun, we will have to go to its roots.

Let us individually discuss the ingredients used in the making of gulab jamun and break it down as to why gulab jamun is bad for a diabetic patient’s health.

  1. All-purpose flour/ white flour/ Maida is the refined wheat flour that is processed and stripped of its good nutrients. The roughage found in wheat is lost, and it is left with a high quantity of starch.

This can be very harmful to the diabetic body and is not recommended for consumption.

Maida is also responsible for weight gain, blood sugar rises, stomach uneasiness, etc.

Therefore, it can not only encourage the prevailing diabetic situations but also cause metabolic discomforts and dysfunction.

  1. Khoya/ sweetened milk solids – Khoya is a commonly used ingredient in sweets. It is filled with fat from the milk and adds calories to the gulab jamun.

It is also made out of full-fat milk. Diabetics are recommended to have low-fat milk to keep their blood sugar levels secure.

  1. Sugar Syrup – this is a mixture of whole parts of sugar and water. This syrup is only simple carbohydrates that can raise blood sugar levels in a moment. It is extremely dangerous for the body.

The gulab jamun is fried and left in this syrup to fill up with the juice. It makes the gulab jamun soft and sugary.

Thus, it adds more calories and carbs to the already endless lot found in gulab jamuns.

Moreover, this is deep-fried in oil or even ghee. With each step and ingredient, the gulab jamun starts to become more and more heavy, calorific, and carb-filled.

What is the glycemic index of gulab jamun?

It is essential to take care of what you do and do not include in your diets. The glycemic index of food helps determine which food is safe and unsafe for the diabetic body.

Let us have a look at the glycemic index categories and their margins.

Sl. No. Glycemic Index categoriesGlycemic Index ranges
1.Low Glycemic Index (safe for diabetics) 0 to 55
2.Medium Glycemic Index (safe if taken in controlled quantities)55  to 69
3.High Glycemic Index (unsafe for diabetics)From 70 and above

As per the above table, let us now see what the glycemic index of gulab jamun is.

The lowest GI of gulab jamun is around 68. This is also a medium but on the higher side of the glycemic ranges.

With the difference in preparation, the glycemic index also changes. It has a higher possibility have an increased glycemic index due to the high level of carbs and sugars in the dish.

Therefore, it is now proven that the gulab jamun is harmful to the health. Diabetics must stay away from it and indulge in a safer and healthier diet plan.

What is the nutritional composition of Gulab jamun?

What is the nutritional composition of Gulab jamun

Let us now have a closer look at the nutrients that are found in one gulab jamun. The table below consists of the list of nutrients that are available in one gulab jamun.

Here we go.

Sl. No. Nutrients available per gulab jamunAmount available % Daily value
2.Protein2.3 g4%
3.Carbohydrates22.6 g8%
4.Fiber0 g0%
5.Fats2.8 g4%
6.Cholesterol0 mg0%
7.Vitamin A28.5 mcg1%
8.Vitamin B10 mg0%
9.Vitamin B20.1 mg9%
10.Vitamin B30.1 mg1%
11.Vitamin C0.6 mg2%
12.Folic acid0 mcg0%
13.Calcium101.8 mcg17%
14.                        1Iron0 mg0%

Thus, it is clear that the calories, carbs, and fats in just one gulab jamun are perilous enough. Besides, it lacks a lot of other minerals and vitamins as well.

Now, let us move forward to know what the effects of these nutrients attained from the gulab jamun are.

Are there any benefits of eating gulab jamun?

Are there any benefits of eating gulab jamun

There are very minimal or no benefits of the gulab jamun when it comes to health. They are balls of calories that please the tongue and taste buds. They do not add a lot to health, nutrition, and immunity.

  • They are very satisfying to taste with a sweet and moist texture and rose-scented aroma.

They are similar to junk foods as they add no advantage but ruin a safe diet’s health and maintenance.

They can harm the diabetic condition. Despite this, you can have one gulab jamun once in a while. Make sure you consume a fiber-rich diet and also exercise well to kill those extra calories.

What are the disadvantages of eating gulab jamun?

Unlike advantages, the list of disadvantages is long. Here are some common side effects of having gulab jamun:

  • Weight gain
  • High blood sugar levels and heightened diabetes
  • Mismanaged and slow metabolism
  • It increases the craving for other unhealthy foods.
  • Has saturated fats
  • Filled with excess empty calories and simple carbs that harm health in several ways.



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