Which Beans Are Good for Diabetics? 10 Best Varieties

Last Updated on April 18, 2023 by Dr Sharon Baisil MD

Updated and medically reviewed by Dr. Sharon Baisil MD on 29 April 2023

Diabetes is a condition that affects millions of people worldwide, making it essential for individuals to be aware of the food choices available to them.

Beans are an excellent source of nutrition and provide several health benefits, especially for those suffering from diabetes. This article will discuss 10 beans suitable for diabetics, outlining their nutritional content and potential health impacts.

Benefits of Including Beans in a Diabetic’s Diet

Beans are an excellent source of fiber, which is beneficial for regulating blood sugar levels and reducing the risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Eating beans regularly can also improve insulin sensitivity, making them a low-glycemic index food. Many varieties of beans are rich in protein, which provides a great source of nutrients for diabetics.

Low glycemic index

Diabetes is a serious condition that requires careful management, and the glycemic index (GI) of foods can be an important consideration for those living with diabetes.

Veggie causing Diabetes

The GI measures how quickly glucose levels rise after consuming certain foods; lower GI foods are digested slowly and cause a slower release of sugar into the bloodstream.

Fortunately, there are many low-GI beans on offer that make excellent additions to any diabetic diet. Black beans, adzuki beans, navy beans, kidney beans, chickpeas, and cannellini beans all have a GI score below 55 – making them ideal options for diabetics looking to keep their glucose levels in check.

Incorporating these healthy varieties of beans into your diet will help you maintain stable energy levels throughout the day. With so many delicious recipes available it’s easy to add some variety to your meals while still managing your diabetes effectively!

High in fiber

In addition to having a low glycemic index, beans are also high in fiber which is beneficial for those with diabetes.


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Eating foods that contain adequate levels of dietary fiber can help improve blood sugar control and reduce the risk of developing Type 2 Diabetes.

Fiber slows down digestion and helps keep glucose from entering the bloodstream too quickly, helping to maintain stable energy levels throughout the day.

Furthermore, increasing your intake of fiber-rich foods such as beans can help you feel full for longer periods of time; this not only helps with weight management but also reduces cravings for unhealthy snacks which can lead to spikes in blood sugar levels.

For diabetics looking to manage their condition effectively, incorporating high-fiber bean varieties into their diet is an excellent choice!

Rich in protein

Including beans in a diabetic’s diet can have numerous benefits, including their rich protein content. Beans are an excellent source of protein for diabetics, with a low glycemic index that helps regulate blood sugar levels. In addition to being high in fiber, which can reduce the risk of heart disease and improve digestive health, the protein found in beans is also essential for building and repairing tissues in the body.

Incorporating beans into meals can help diabetics feel fuller longer, leading to better portion control and weight management. By choosing the right types of beans and incorporating them into a balanced diet plan, diabetics can enjoy the many benefits that these versatile legumes have to offer.

Packed with vitamins and minerals

Including beans in a diabetic’s diet has many benefits. Beans are packed with vitamins and minerals, including iron, potassium, and folate. They are also rich in fiber, which can help regulate blood sugar levels and improve digestion. Moreover, beans have a low glycemic index, meaning they do not cause a rapid spike in blood sugar levels.

Eating beans regularly can help reduce the risk of heart disease and other chronic illnesses that often accompany diabetes. To make the most out of their health benefits, it is recommended to include the 10 best varieties of beans for diabetics in your diet from the list below.

10 Best Beans for Diabetics

It’s a great idea to incorporate beans into your diet, as there are many types of beans with a variety of nutritional benefits.

Let’s discuss the different types of beans that are available, the nutritional benefits of consuming them, and some tasty meal ideas!

For those with diabetes, some types of beans are better than others, so it’s important to do your research.

Black Beans

Black beans are a nutrient-dense food that is beneficial for people with diabetes. They contain high amounts of fiber, which helps regulate glucose levels and reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes.

Additionally, black beans have a low glycemic index rating, meaning they don’t cause spikes in blood sugar levels when consumed regularly. This makes them an excellent choice for diabetics who need to manage their blood glucose levels.

Studies have shown that consuming black beans can promote heart health and lower cholesterol levels due to the antioxidants present in them.

Black beans are also highly affordable and widely available at most grocery stores, making them an accessible option for people looking to incorporate more nutritious options into their diets.

Chickpeas Or Bengal Gram

Chickpeas, or Bengal Gram, are incredibly nutritious food and a must-have for any diabetic diet.

Not only do they have an impressively low glycemic index that helps to regulate blood glucose levels, but they also contain high amounts of fiber and essential vitamins and minerals such as iron and magnesium.

Furthermore, chickpeas can help with weight management by promoting feelings of fullness due to their protein content.

Incorporating this amazing bean into your daily routine is made easy thanks to the many delicious recipes featured in; from salads to hummus and roasted snacks – there’s something for everyone!

With all these health benefits, it’s no wonder why chickpeas should be at the top of every diabetic grocery list. The added bonus? They taste great too!

Make sure to stock up on them today so you can enjoy all their nutritional goodness tomorrow.

Kidney Beans

Kidney beans are a great choice for individuals looking to improve their kidney health and overall well-being. They provide a wealth of essential nutrients, including plant-based protein, dietary fiber, vitamins, and minerals.

This makes them an ideal addition to any healthy eating plan as they can help reduce inflammation and keep blood sugar levels steady. Studies have shown that regularly consuming kidney beans can lower cholesterol levels and reduce the risk of heart disease.

Furthermore, their high fiber content helps promote digestive regularity and supports gut health. For those looking to increase their intake of plant-based proteins, kidney beans make an excellent alternative to animal sources of protein such as meat or dairy products.


When it comes to diabetic-friendly beans, lentils are an excellent choice. Lentils have a low glycemic index, meaning they can help regulate blood sugar levels and improve insulin sensitivity.

Furthermore, due to their high fiber content, lentils also aid in digestion and may further assist with controlling blood sugar levels.

As far as taste is concerned, lentils come in various colors such as green, brown, red, and black, each offering its own unique flavor profile that’s sure to satisfy any palette.

They can be used for soups or stews or added to salads for extra nutrition.

Whatever the preparation method might be – from roasting them whole or pureeing them into a spread – lentils provide an abundance of health benefits while providing deliciousness at every bite!

Navy Beans

Navy beans are an excellent choice for diabetics due to their low glycemic load, which helps regulate glucose levels. Additionally, navy beans have a high fiber content that can help reduce insulin resistance and help maintain healthy blood sugar levels. Studies have shown that the consumption of navy beans on a regular basis can lower the risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

Navy beans provide numerous other health benefits as well; they offer essential vitamins and minerals such as iron, folate, vitamin B6, and magnesium. Furthermore, these beans are rich in protein and contain no fat or cholesterol making them suitable for any diet plan.

Navy beans also boast anti-inflammatory properties and may aid in weight loss by providing long-lasting energy without spiking blood sugar levels. All of this makes navy beans a great addition to any diabetic’s diet.

Pinto Beans

Pinto beans are like the chameleon of legumes, adapting to various dishes and dietary needs. They provide a lean source of protein, complex carbohydrates for sustained energy release, and nutrient-rich vitamins and minerals.

Here’s why pinto beans can be a great addition to any diet:

  • High in fiber – helps keep you fuller longer
  • Low glycemic index – good for those with diabetes who need to regulate blood sugar levels
  • Versatile – adds texture and flavor to soups, stews, chili, salads, etc.
  • Affordable – easy to find at most grocery stores

It is important for people with diabetes to monitor portion sizes when consuming pinto beans as part of their meal plan. However, these beans make an excellent healthy choice that will add variety and nutrition to your plate.

Red Beans

Red beans are a great choice for diabetics due to their low glycemic index and the range of nutrients they provide. They contain high levels of protein, fiber, magnesium, and antioxidants that can improve heart health. Red beans can be consumed in many ways, such as baked beans, chili, salads, or soups.

The following table provides an overview of the nutritional content per 100-gram serving size:

NutrientAmount% Daily Value
Protein5 g10%
Fiber8 g30%
Magnesium97 mg24%
Antioxidants2.4 mg12%

A diet rich in red beans is beneficial for diabetic patients since it helps regulate blood sugar levels while providing essential vitamins and minerals needed for optimal health. Eating red beans in moderation is recommended to help avoid sudden spikes in blood sugar levels.


Red beans are a great choice for those with diabetes as they provide fiber and protein, two important components of any diabetic meal plan.

However, soybeans can be an even better alternative for people living with diabetes due to their high nutritional value.

Soybeans contain isoflavones that have been proven to improve insulin sensitivity and help maintain healthy blood sugar levels.

Furthermore, the proteins in soybeans are essential for weight management which can also impact blood glucose levels.

In addition to being cooked alone or added to soups and stews, these legumes come in various forms such as tofu and tempeh which offer more variety when it comes to creating meals without sacrificing nutrition.

When preparing foods made from soybeans, it’s important to keep portion size in mind given the high caloric content of these beans.

With careful consideration of food choices and mindful eating habits, including soybeans in one’s diet may prove beneficial for people with diabetes looking to manage their condition through food.

White Beans

White beans are a great option for diabetics as they have a low glycemic index, high fiber content, and essential nutrients such as iron, magnesium, and potassium.

According to the American Diabetes Association, these types of legumes can provide individuals with an array of benefits including improved blood glucose control and reduced risk factors associated with metabolic syndrome.

In addition to being incorporated into soups, stews, and salads, white beans can also be mashed and used as a substitute for potatoes or added to veggie burgers. This provides diabetics with more options when it comes to meal planning while still ensuring that their dietary needs are met.

Furthermore, studies have shown that regular consumption of white beans may help reduce hemoglobin A1c levels which is an important factor in managing diabetes.

Winged Beans

Winged beans are an excellent source of nutrition for people with diabetes. They contain a low glycemic index which helps to regulate blood sugar levels, and they are also high in fiber and other essential vitamins and minerals such as Vitamin C, iron, and potassium.

These beans can be used in different dishes such as salads or stir-fries. One cup of cooked winged beans contains just 80 calories, making them an ideal addition to any diabetic diet. Additionally, their unique nutty flavor adds extra flair to meals.

Here is a 3 item numeric list that highlights the benefits of consuming winged beans:

  1. Low glycemic index regulates blood sugar levels
  2. High in fiber content
  3. Unique nutty flavor enhances meals

Therefore, diabetics should consider adding winged beans to their daily meal plan because it provides numerous health benefits without compromising taste or texture.

Precautions to Take When Consuming Beans as a Diabetic

Beans are an excellent source of protein, fiber, and vitamins, but it’s essential to take precautions when consuming them as a diabetic. Before adding beans to your diet, consult with a healthcare professional. Monitor your blood sugar levels regularly after consuming beans. Also, make sure that you choose low-glycemic index beans such as black beans, navy beans, and kidney beans. Avoid canned beans with added sugars or salt.

Although beans are good for diabetics, it’s important to be mindful of portion sizes and balance your diet by pairing them with other low-carb foods. Incorporating the right kind of beans in your diet can help regulate blood sugar levels and improve overall health.


It is evident that a variety of beans can provide meaningful nutrition for individuals with diabetes. Many types offer essential vitamins and minerals, along with dietary fiber to help maintain blood sugar levels and support overall health. Moreover, these legumes are highly versatile in terms of culinary applications and can be used as the foundation for many different dishes.

Including the selection of the best legumes in one’s meal plan yields numerous benefits associated with the management of diabetes. For instance, each type provides valuable nutrients necessary for metabolic regulation while also providing flavor diversity to meals. Thus it is prudent for those seeking optimal glycemic control to consider incorporating various forms of legumes into their diets on a consistent basis.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Much Fiber Is In Each Type Of Bean?

When it comes to fiber content, beans are well-known for their high fiber capacity.

On average, a cup of cooked beans contains up to 15 grams of dietary fiber which is more than half the recommended daily intake!

This makes them an ideal food choice for those with diabetes as they can help keep blood sugar levels in check.

But not all types of beans have the same amount of fiber – some contain much higher amounts than others.

So if you’re looking to increase your fiber intake and regulate your blood glucose levels, be sure to pay attention to the specific type of bean you’re eating!

Are There Any Specific Recipes For Diabetics That Include Beans?

When it comes to diabetes and diet, beans can be a great choice.

Many varieties of beans are low in carbohydrates but high in fiber and protein, making them an excellent option for those managing their blood sugar levels.

To get the most out of this food group, diabetics should consider looking up recipes that specifically cater to their dietary needs.

There are plenty of delicious meals featuring beans that are both healthy and tasty – perfect for anyone with diabetes!

How Much Protein Is In Each Type Of Bean?

As a doctor, I understand the importance of protein in your diet. Beans are an excellent source of it and there is a wide variety available for diabetics to enjoy.

From navy beans to lentils, each type offers different amounts of protein per serving – ranging from 8-20g depending on the bean.

As you consider which types of beans work best with your diabetes meal plan, be sure to factor in their nutritional value as well!

Are Canned Or Dried Beans Better For Diabetics?

When it comes to managing diabetes, the question of whether canned or dried beans is better can be a tricky one.

While both types offer an array of health benefits, there are some differences between them that should be taken into consideration.

Canned beans tend to have more sodium than their dried counterparts.

However, they also provide convenience and may help make meal preparation easier for those with diabetes who find themselves in a time crunch.

On the other hand, dried beans can often provide higher levels of fiber since they don’t contain added salt like their canned counterparts.

Ultimately, when deciding which type of bean to include in your diet as a diabetic, it’s important to look at all factors involved and consult your doctor for further advice on what would best suit you.


  1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK279012/
  2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5519190/
  3. https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/1100403/nutrients
  4. https://www.cdc.gov/diabetes/data/statistics-report/index.html
  5. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0965229914000028
  6. https://care.diabetesjournals.org/content/41/6/1299
  7. https://www.heart.org/en/health-topics/caregiver-support/what-is-a-serving

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