26 Low Glycemic Pulses that are Best for Diabetics

Last Updated on July 1, 2021 by Dr Sharon Baisil MD

Pulses are of great assistance to complete a balanced diet and meet the requirements of a meal. For diabetic patients, pulses can play an essential role in regulating blood sugars and keeping them under control.

Here is a list of 25 such great pulses that can be included in the diabetic diet:

1. Chickpeas


Chickpeas are diverse among the many available pulses and have the best effects for all.  They have a low Glycemic Index, which makes them even better for consumption by people with diabetes.

Chickpea flour is also a great alternative instead of regular white flour and other high-carb variety ones.

Veggie causing Diabetes

Chickpeas are high in protein and used in the making of Hummus, a very famous Mediterranean dip.

Chickpeas can make an excellent snack supplement as well as be a good ingredient for salads.

2. Kidney Beans

Kidney Beans

The Glycemic Index of these pulses falls in the lower range category, thus, making it fit for consumption by people with diabetes. The starch present in kidney beans does not have an extreme impact on one’s blood sugar levels; instead, it helps in the slow release of sugar in the bloodstream.

The carbohydrate present in Kidney beans is a complex carbohydrate that is better for the body than simple carbs.


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These kidney beans are famous as staple diets and can be included in curries, soups, salads, dips, etc.

3. Black-eyed Beans

Black-eyed Beans

The black-eyed beans, also known as cowpeas, are an excellent legume supplement that adds many nutrients in one’s body and keeps the blood sugar levels under control.

Beans are considered fantastic food items for diabetics as they are low in the Glycemic Index and help manage diabetes.

They add proteins, minerals, and fiber to the diet and are better than starchy carb-rich foods.

4. Adzuki beans

Adzuki beans

Also known as red beans, aduki beans, azuki beans, etc. are Asian native beans included in many recipes in admiration of their high-nutrient properties.

Adzuki beans are known for their ability to block sugar absorption in the metabolic process, which helps control blood sugar levels. Therefore they are significant to be included in meals by people with diabetes. They have the potential to lower the risk of diabetes development, especially the ones with Type 2 Diabetes.

Adzuki beans are also rich sources of antioxidants and fiber, necessary for the body’s good health and functioning.

5. Butter beans

Butter beans

Also commonly termed as the Lima beans, these beans make a great addition to the pulses list that are fit and recommended by dieticians for diabetic patients.

Their high-quality carbs are high for the body and do not have any ill effects on the body’s sugar levels. They help in the slow release of sugars that promote balanced sugar levels in the body and help avoid diabetes.

They also have lean proteins, soluble fibers, ad many such high nutrients that promote a healthy digestive system and satisfy the body’s nutritional needs.

6. Borlotti / Cranberry beans

Borlotti / Cranberry beans

These varieties of maroon and red speckled beans are fantastic additions to one’s health and diet chart. They are versatile and have essential nutritional properties that even make them great for being included as healthy food items in a diabetic diet chart.

The cranberry beans are commendable for their richness in fiber, which is vital in correcting and maintaining proper digestion. It can also reduce cholesterol levels, blood pressures, and risks of developing any heart-related conditions.

7. Pinto Beans

Pinto Beans

The natively Spanish-speckled Pinto beans are among the many recommended pulses that make the right choice in one’s grocery list.

They are nutritionally satisfying and have qualities to help reduce and maintain blood sugar levels as well. Like many other beans, these are low in the Glycemic index and prove to be fit for patients with diabetes.

The content of protein and fiber make them of more significant advantage.

8. Black Turtle Beans

Black Turtle Beans

The black turtle beans are known for their great cholesterol-free goodness. They also make an excellent reserve of fiber, iron, and protein.

As a vegetarian, one can easily include this bean to fulfill the nourishment in their meal. It is also amazing for consumption by diabetic patients.

They can be easily included in your everyday recipes and even added to various cuisines. They are great if you are looking for low-carb pulses to include in your diabetic diet.

9. Broad Beans

Broad Beans

Among the many kinds of pulses good for diabetic health, the beans make a great addition. They are generally on the lower categories of the Glycemic Index and, thus, help manage the body’s blood sugar levels.

Broad beans are also such high supplements that add to the fiber content in the body, having an overall advantage of health.

10. Cannellini Beans

Cannellini Beans

Cannellini beans are also better known as Italian kidney beans or white kidney beans. These are magical items for patients who have diabetes.

Their soluble fibers prove to be excellent for encouraging better absorption of nutrients in the body and slowing the pace of sugar release, thus managing blood sugar spikes.

They also have other added benefits to one’s diabetic life.

12. Garden peas

Garden peas

One very important to keep the blood sugars under check is potassium. Garden peas are very rich in this nutritional element have a small amount of them also have the right quantity of potassium.

The garden sweet peas are very versatile peas that one can add to their diets, and they can be beneficial for the health. Add these peas to various recipes and enjoy their benefits. 

13. Flageolet Beans

These French flageolet beans have a very pleasing taste, and not just that, they are also very great for people who are looking for healthier options to reduce their diabetes and switch to better food items.

They are low in sugar content and have high dietary fiber. These qualities allow these to be consumed by diabetics and reap its benefits.

14. Bengal Gram

Bengal Gram

Also termed as the Chana Dal, this pulse is a basic one among many households. You may not be aware of its excellent nutritional values, and its curing qualities helpful for diabetes.

With a low Glycemic Index of only 8, the Chana Dal also has good quality proteins and Folate.

15. Green Gram (Moong Dal)

Green Gram (Moong Dal)

The Green Moong dal is among the healthiest pulses. This is great for diabetic patients and is a good source of protein. They help in reducing the risks of heart diseases, weight gain, thyroid, etc. It is very nutritious and a critical item to be added to your meals.

16. Urad Dal

Urad Dal

This dal is a base item for preparing idli, dosa, and many other south Indian dishes. This is safe for consumption by diabetics as its GI is 43. It can be beneficial for the protein gain in the body and also benefits one’s skin. 

17. Soybean


The soybean is used in producing many other products and is a source of many useful nutrients. It has isoflavones that help in reducing diabetes and the risk of heart diseases.

It is also great for lowering cholesterol in the body and improves the body’s glucose tolerance.

18. Masoor Dal

Masoor Dal

The GI of this dal being low makes it great for being taken by people with diabetes. It has a lot of protein, which is necessary for better functioning.

Masoor dal has complex carbs that help the sugar level in the blood not to rise dangerously and rather helps to manage it.

19. Arhar Dal

This variety of pulse is another optimal pulse supplement that one must include in their diabetic diet.

It has properties that help lower diabetes, cholesterol levels, heart diseases, and even help in weight control.

20. Yellow gram

Just like other dals and lentils, this one is a good one too for lowering diabetes. Yellow gram is an excellent source of protein as well as fiber. It is also low in fat content and rich in minerals such as calcium and potassium. It helps in reducing diabetes. 

21. Moth beans

This is an excellent source of plant-based fiber, protein, and energy. It is not only suitable for diabetics but also other ailments and health conditions.

Apart from protein and fiber, it is also packed with essential minerals like magnesium, iron, zinc, and Folate.

22. Field Beans

Commonly called Val beans, they are high pulse supplements for diabetic patients. The inclusion of these increases the protein content in the diet, adds fiber, and many other essential nutrients.

They are also helpful in managing the rise in blood sugar and thus great for reducing diabetes.

23. Baked beans

Other famous beans for diabetes patients are baked beans. They can be easily added to any diet and included in a variety of recipes and dishes. It has high potassium and fiber, along with vitamins A, C, and D.

24. Red beans

Often confused with kidney beans, the red beans are also great for the body and for keeping blood sugars under check.

They are also rich in phosphorus, iron, and potassium. They are low in fat and also high in protein and fiber.

25. Blacked beans

These are very popular in a variety of dishes and help keep away heart diseases and diabetes. The Folate, potassium, Vitamin B6, and phytonutrients help regulate the various bodily functions and maintain overall health. They are related to reducing the risks of developing heart risks.  It is also high in fiber and controls cholesterol in the body.

The fiber content makes it great to facilitate a sound gut system and improve the absorption of nutrients in the body with digestion.  It helps slow the rate of sugar release in the body, therefore, keeping in mind the blood sugar levels.

26. Refried beans

This is a recipe that is made using mashed beans and other ingredients. It is made into a creamy and rich mix that can be matched with many meal items and added as a good side.

It has the goodness of beans and adds proteins and fiber to the diet. As beans are low in GI, thus this dish is also great for diabetic individuals.

NOTE: When buying beans and pulses from stores, make sure to buy low sodium varieties. Canned ones are also more processed and have additives that can be harmful to diabetic patients. Always check before you choose items.


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