Glycemic index of flours – which is better for diabetics?

The refined wheat flour allows you to bake more airy breads and delicate desserts. However, in the preparation of this types of flour, the vegetable fiber is also eliminated, and this means that its glycemic index is high.

Therefore, classic white flours such as wheat dramatically increase blood sugar levels, which is linked to an increased risk of type 2 diabetes and weight gain.

Fortunately, there are several types of flour with a lower glycemic index than the traditional ones, which are ideal for diabetics. Read on to find out the glycemic index values ​​for various types of flour.


Glycemic index of flours

The glycemic index (GI) is one of the parameters best known by diabetics, since it allows us to understand which are the “good” carbohydrates from the “bad” ones. Many diets are based on limiting your intake of high-GI refined carbohydrates , including white wheat flour and foods made from it.

Regular consumption of large amounts of foods with a high glycemic index leads to persistently high blood glucose levels. As a result, insulin resistance can appear as well as psychological dependence on sweets.

In the long term, a diet rich in white flour can lead to the development of type 2 diabetes, which may even require regular insulin injections and is associated with excess weight. That is why choosing whole grain low-glycemic flours is essential to maintain a healthy state and weight.

Below is a list of different types of flour, including high and low glycemic index examples:

1. Wheat flour

Refined wheat flour (has a fairly high glycemic index, around 70-85 units. However, the GI of whole wheat flour is 40-50 units. GI values ​​depend on the grind size and quantity total fiber in the composition of the grains.

2. Corn flour

Although corn flour does not contain gluten (remember that it is the main protein in wheat), its glycemic index is 70 units, which is comparable to regular white flour. In other words, baked goods with refined cornmeal cannot be considered the best for diabetics either.

3. Buckwheat flour

In many East Asian countries, buckwheat or sorghum flour is used in a wide variety of recipes. The glycemic index of buckwheat flour is approximately 50 units; In addition, it contains more essential amino acids than common wheat flour.

4. Oatmeal

Traditionally rolled coarse oats are used to prepare porridge. However, a finer grind is ideal for adding to cakes and other baked goods to replace common flour. The glycemic index of oatmeal is approximately 45 units. Plus, it contains a healthy type of soluble fiber .

5. Rye flour

The glycemic index of rye is about 45 units. However, it should be remembered that baked goods made from rye flour most often refined wheat flour, at least 20% otherwise the bread will crumble.

6. Coconut flour

The coconut flour is a product obtained by grinding the dried coconut pulp. It has an average glycemic index of about 45 units, as it contains fewer carbohydrates and more protein than wheat. In addition, 100 g of coconut flour contains up to 15 g of lauric acid, a type of healthy saturated fat.

7. Chickpea flour

The glycemic index of chickpea flour is about 35 units. Chickpeas are the oldest and widely used legumes for cooking in Turkey, India, as well as Arab and Asian countries. Chickpea flour has a light flavor and is ideal for preparing savory doughs for diabetics.

8. Almond flour

For various reasons, almond flour can be considered one of the most useful types of flour for diabetics. It has a very low glycemic index (25 units), a high protein content (25g per 100g) and a high content of healthy vegetable fats (50-55g per 100g).

How to lower the GI of flours?

The more ground bran (that is, the kernel husk) a particular flour contains, the lower its glycemic index. And while the glycemic index is specific to each flour, you can combine foods and other ingredients to lower their values.

How to lower the GI of flours? There are several ways. For example, recipes often allow you to replace at least 30-50% of premium refined wheat flour with whole grain, or with flour from other grains.

Second, you can use ground nuts or seeds instead of flour. Not only will this significantly lower the glycemic index, it will allow you to experiment with recipes for your favorite dishes. Baking with the addition of almond or coconut flour will definitely add a distinctive flavor.


Not only does 0000 refined wheat flour have a high glycemic index, but it also contains less protein and healthy fats. Coconut, almond and chickpea flours are examples of low glycemic flours ideal for diabetics. However, if you do not have these types of products in your pantry, the addition of bran (or seeds) allows you to significantly reduce the GI. 

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