9 Diabetic Friendly Grains Beyond Brown Rice

Diabetes is one of the most prevalent condition throughout the world. Be it Type 1, Type 2 or gestational (which was in my case), as soon as we realize that we have joined the Diabetics camp, we immediately start controlling our sweet tooth in order to keep our sugar consumption under control.

Apart from cutting down on sweets and adding less sugar in your coffee, it is also extremely important to understand that we have to limit our calories intake and add more foods which are of low glycemic index in our diet.

Low glycemic Index foods are those which take longer time to get digested and therefore release the sugars in our blood at a slow pace. This in turn prevents sudden spikes in the sugar levels.

In addition to its high carbohydrate content, white rice also has a high glycemic index. Replacing it with either brown,red or black rice which are high in fiber helps to keep the sugar levels stable.


1. Amaranth

Health benefits: Gluten free, High protein (15-18%), great source of calcium, fiber, iron, potassium, and many other vitamins and minerals.

How to cook: Add 2 cups water to 1 cup amaranth grain, bring to a boil, then simmer for 15-20 minutes

2. Foxtail millet

Gluten free, high in dietary fiber, Low Glycemic index, reduces the levels of triglycerides, LDL and VLDL, magnesium present in millets is a co-factor in various enzymes involved in the secretion of insulin and metabolism of glucose in the body

How to cook: Pressure cook 1 cup of foxtail millet with 2.5 cups water and 1/2 tsp salt for three whistles. Turn off the flame.

3. Quinoa

Highest protein content, gluten free, Rich in fiber, iron, magnesium etc, easy to cook

How to cook: Pressure cook 1 cup of quinoa with 2.5 cups water for three whistles. Simmer for 5 minutes and turn off the flame.

4. Kodo millet

High fibre and energy content, tastes like rice, Kodo contains Copper, deficiency of which impairs sugar tolerance. Research has identified anti-diabetic compounds i.e. Quercetin and Phenolic acids which are present in kodo millet.

How to cook: Pressure cook 1 cup of kodo millet with 2.5 cups water and 1/2 tsp salt for two whistles. Turn off the flame.

5. Buckwheat

High in magnesium, phytonutrients, and dietary fiber, gluten free

How to cook : Add 2 cups water to 1 cup buckwheat grain, bring to a boil, then simmer for 20 minutes

6. Little millet

Low cholesterol, gluten free, high in protein and dietary fiber

How to cook: Pressure cook 1 cup of little millet with 2.5 cups water and 1/2 tsp salt for two whistles. Turn off the flame.

7. Barnyard millet

Gluten free, has the highest fibre and iron content of all the millets

How to cook: Pressure cook 1 cup of barnyard millet with 2.5 cups water and 1/2 tsp salt for two whistles. Turn off the flame.

8. Barley

High in soluble fiber which prevents the carbohydrates from getting absorbedtoo quickly and raising the blood sugar level. Low glycemic index, high in magnesium

How to cook: Pressure cook 1 cup of Barley with 3 cups water for about 25 minutes after the first whistle.

9. Rye

A very good source of dietary fiber, phosphorus, magnesium, and vitamin B1. a rich source of magnesium

How to cook : Soak 1 cup of rye grain for about 2 hours. Combine the grains with 4 cups of water in a pan, bring to a boil, simmer, close with a lid and cook for about 45 minutes.

50 Replies

  • Thanks Ashka9 ...very useful information for me...

  • Millet should be restricted for people with hypothyroidism.

  • yeah I read that...and as such millets are very heavy to digest on daily basis...like bajri once in a while...not fond of jowar or makai...other millets not tried...don't like taste of brown rice as well...

  • Ashka9

    Add lots of ghee to brown rice and mix well.

  • Please add the photographs of the grains. Thanks.

  • Aiyaraj

    Pl find all the grains at below site...go to shop tag and search for a particular grain, you will find picture as well as details of each grain


  • Ashka9

    Please give names of all these useful grains in gujarati.

  • barley = jav

    kodo millet= kodari

    Amaranth= Rajagro...we use it as faradi item in fasting of agiyaras

    all other quinoa and fox millet etc do not have gujju names...

    however you can find all these grains on naturallyyours.in


  • Ashka9

    i tried but even images can't give clear clue. For rye there are 4-5 images but show different grains.

    Yes. One thing i made out is that all the grains that we eat during fast are low calorie. See how intelligent our forefathers were.

  • Dr. for each grain or millet, give the name in search and see the results...results will show grain, flakes and flours of each grain differently...so images for all these three will be different.



  • suramo -- All grains are same - +/- 5% difference. One has to look at total carbs in diet as that's what controls the insulin demand for the day.

    Dr Bernstein said once in one video -- there's a "lot of nonsense" going around wrt GI and diabetics. I have posted that video more than once on this site.

    All GI data is based on Non Diabetics. We are diabetics.

  • Anup

    you are absolutely right. I don't recommend any grain - gluten free or with gluten.

    I also prefer keto diet around 50 g carbs per day. Why take 100g? Keto is better for us. Vegetarians have to learn to manage keto diet. Grains are not essential for our lives. We can get reasonable amount of carbs from other sources for our thyroid.

  • Keto is a very tight rope walk. Rest we concur. Grains are not at all necessary. Whole grain talk is also a Myth. When you grind whole wheat, there's nothing "WHOLE" left in it except the "BELIEF" that it's "WHOLE".

    Brown, White, Multi grain bread etc is all food company's marketing gimmick. Even oats spike hard to make us diabetics sing



  • Run on ketones then:-) what else? I know grains are better less taken overall...but avoiding it completely and taking 50 g carbs as in a ketogenic diet is not favorable or possible for all diabetics

  • Ashka9

    You can do anything. 2 issues.

    1) determination to get rid of D complications.

    2) diet management.

    Nothing is impossible. Throw out negative thoughts from your mind. અડગ મન ના મનુષ્ય ને કદી હિમાલય નડતો નથી. Even himalaya can't hinder your path if you have strong motive. Maanzi was a recent example.

  • suramo

    what is this "Maanzi" by the way? I do not know...

    Yeah I am trying to control my PPBS levels by diet management to avoid any diabetes complications. FBS levels are around 100

    As such , I do not have any negative thoughts in mind...how do u feel so?

  • Ashka9

    "ketogenic diet is not favorable or possible for all diabetics". This is the negative thought.

    Maanzi is the guy From bihar who alone cut a hill to make a way through. He worked for 20 or more yrs alone to complete the herculian - almost impossible task.

  • Ashka9

    Believe or not keto diet is good for us. Carbs are an essential part of our food so we can't avoid but for us its requirement is for keeping our thyroid working. Also ketones are more energy efficient.

    If you know grains are better less taken you should convince others also rather then questioning and arguing for grains. Yes initially keto diet is difficult but once you are used to it you will have no problem. I see lots of medical colleagues who suffer grave complications because of faulty diet. One of my senior colleagues and good friend has D cardiomyopathy. Now he is taking interest in my preaching. Even doctors do not understand D properly. Faulty training. 2 roties with a glass of milk is a healthy food for them !!🙀🙀🐒🐒.

  • suramo

    Are bhai...what I am saying is we are vegetarians and all plant based foods have 50% or more carbs in it. What to eat then? So, I said we can eat less of grains and more of milk, curd, fruits, vegetables etc...and it's healthier. Keto diet is an extreme diet and I would not like to throw my thyroid out of normal range of working. So, 100-120 g carbs in a day is a better choice to adopt for lifetime without any other side effects and you won't feel devoid of certain dishes you have eaten since you were born.

    One more thing, one of the endo I consulted few days ago told me there are some growth hormones working in the morning which counter regulatory hormones so your blood sugar may come high at a particular time of the day...for me no matter what I eat, my PPBS levels after breakfast is around 200...if I eat the same food in lunch or dinner, it is <140 and sometimes even after eating roti....it is 101 in lunch and 123 in dinner. So, it's not about grains ONLY...it's about hormones also and thyroid regulates all metabolic activities and have effect on all systems of the body...if it goes haywire...it will be as difficult for you to control it as it is for you to control BS levels...

    This time where growth hormones work is different for different people...say some people it works till 3 am for some it may work till 11 am...so for me I will try and see by trial and error and if it would be always higher after breakfast, option would be to avoid breakfast at all...though I have decided to eliminate wheat and rice completely from my diet...

  • Ashka9

    Oh yes. 100 g good for you. But for those who don't have thyroid problem can take carbs as less as possible.

    Cabbage, cauli and other nonroot vegetables have negligible gi. One can take vegetables without roti or rice.

  • suramo

    See...what I personally feel is...you do not have to be completely grain free for life time and be devoid of dishes you would like to savor once in a while...

    As I have told you....medicines are made to help us manage diseases...I have started Gymnema (Meshashringi, Gurmar) since about 2 weeks and my PPBS levels after breakfast is coming down...for you I feel Gurmar is ideal. Please buy Meshashringi 250 mg from Himalaya Herbals and take it once in morning and once in evening, your FBS levels would come to normal around 100 if you take it regularly for few months...it's effects start in couple of weeks but for a complete effect, you have to take it for about 18-20 months...anyway, this is my suggestion...otherwise it is upto you

    Magnesium 500-1000 mg daily and Chromium Picolinate 200-400 mg daily supplements too would help you reduce your FBS levels..

    Also take Vit. B12 in the form of mecobalamin 1500 mcg sublingually daily to prevent neuropathy problems as a part of diabetic complication in the long run due to high sugar levels...it is a must since as we age, absorption of certain vitamins and minerals reduce...

    Vit. D should be also >50 in test results and it is also a must supplement for diabetes...take 2000 IU daily after you reach optimal level of >50 ...but if your test results show <30...it is insufficient level and you must take 60,000 IU per week sachet ...Calcirol granules..from Cadila

  • Ashka9

    Thanks. But i don't want to whip my pancreas as far as possible. I want to get my bs controlled naturally. It'll take time because my ir has yet to come down further.

  • suramo

    See, u can do as you think appropriate but you are under the strong influence of GURU for LCHF Or KETOGENIC diet. Whipping pancreas is different and treating pancreas by herbs is different. Hope, as a doctor you can come out of the influence of somebody and make a clear judgement about what is good for you...LCHF diet or KETO DIET is not recommended as complete treatment of diabetes ..it is just a tool to control high blood sugar levels which is a symptom. Treat the cause of diabetes which is BCF degeneration....revive pancreas with the help of herbs, vitamins and mineral supplements and see the difference. I am just your well wisher and I do not wish or see anybody suffer due to some prejudice of ineffectiveness of Ayurvedic principles or herbs for that matter! BEST OF LUCK!:-)

  • Hope, as a doctor you can come out of the influence of somebody

    And why do you feel that he is under influence? Just because he follows something that you don't like or cannot follow?

    I am sure he knows much more than you do under the influence of dubious Ayurvedic claims of regenerating pancreas.

    It's good to be under influence of science than dubious Ayurvedic claims. Yes, I call it dubious when someone claims to regenerate beta cells through diabecon when actually all it does is elevate insulin levels. And they make such claims despite the evidence to the contrary. Diabecon doesn't regenerate it just pushes up the already high insulin levels in blood. Gurmar? Worthless stuff.

    LCHF diet or KETO DIET is not recommended as complete treatment of diabetes ..it is just a tool to control high blood sugar levels which is a symptom.

    Who said so? Your personal opinion? It has worked for even a diabetic that I know of with Hashimoto.

    Treat the cause of diabetes which is BCF degeneration....revive pancreas with the help of herbs, vitamins and mineral supplements and see the difference.

    Show us some scientific proof rather than Ayurvedic beliefs of regenerating beta cells through Gurmar. It's all dubious claim that Ayurveda makes when it comes to pancreas regeneration. They just whip the pancreas to produce more insulin.

    some prejudice of ineffectiveness of Ayurvedic principles or herbs for that matter!

    In the absence of any scientific evidence, all one can say is that your comments are more of a prejudice against something which has data to prove that it works. Ayurveda stuff for diabetes is just tall dubious claims to fool people.

  • Ashka9


    "LCHF diet or KETO DIET is not recommended as complete treatment of diabetes ..it is just a tool to control high blood sugar levels which is a symptom."

    "Treat the cause of diabetes which is BCF degeneration....revive pancreas with the help of herbs, vitamins and mineral supplements and see the difference."

    Both the above quotes are true.

    Yes. The treatment of D is revival of beta cells but at present there is nothing that can revive beta cells. Till then controlling bs is the only remedy. But if you believe that some ayu meds, vitamins etc can regenerate beta cells please carry on with gudmar and or diabecon and if you become drugfree - that has to happen if in long run your beta cells regenerate fully - i/ we all will be happy. Let's all wait. You carry on with what you believe in and we with what we believe in. But as a colleague here and a good knowledgeable friend i warn you not to take high carbs. See my reports and then decide. Sorry if i have crossed a line. 🙏🙏🙏🙏🙏

  • Ashka9

    My dear madam. The study was conducted on mice / rats whose beta cells damaged with streptozotocin. This is anticancer drug for beta cell tumors. We are a different class if people. We have defective genes. Can't be cured. No medicine or herbs can cure the nuclear weakness. We have to manage our D by diet management only. You are right. Bs is very important to be controlled.

    I'm not carried away by anybody. I'd controlled my ppbs by avoiding carbs well before i came across this forum. But frankly i dreaded fats because of my faulty training. I just updated my knowledge and after i have reduced my weight by 10 kg taking lots of good fats i can vouch that lchf is pretty right diet for me and for we all.

    Seems you have decided to oppose what is good for us for some unknown reason.

    I got my tests done yesterday only and waiting for the printed reports. That will increase our understanding as to lchf / grainfree diet is the right diet for me / us or not. But think logically that we are poor at clearing carbs so we have to find an alternative diet for us. No need to be a doctor for that.

  • Ashka9



    Root cause of type 2 is insulin resistance with excess Insulin secretion

    So the need to control this excess Insulin secretion rather than beta cells regeneration

    But as type 2 progresses then beta cells get damaged . This is the later stage

    So lowering insulin secretion by taking less carbs is the best method

    Also substituting carb energy with good fat energy is the strategy

    We are all here to defeat diabetes

    Not to fight among ourselves

    Our will to control diabetes should be bigger than our egos

  • So the need to control this excess Insulin secretion rather than beta cells regeneration

    Beta cells regeneration is a MYTH.

    Yes, we need to get the residual insulin levels in blood down and not gulp something that pushes it up.

  • Beta cells regeneration is a MYTH.

    I do remember some one said that loosing one gram of fat from pancreas kick start beta cells again :P

    True @anup ??

    Further is there any confirm study which proves that beta cells really die???

  • Newcastle Study on 11 odd diabetics used that "kick start" word? Or was it from some Vegan doctor who quoted as some "slush" being created because of fat in diet so everyone should be eating only plants?

    On beta cell death:

    Collection of studies is available on Jenny Ruhl's site. I can't reach that. But her blogpost:


    Maybe you can try following URL and see if it can be accessed from your end -- not just for beta cells but organ damage also:


  • hmmm yes @anup

    read here.....from the site u just mentioned...

    .....Beta Cell Destruction Begins at Levels Over 100 mg/dl (5.6 mmol/L)

    ....When a team of Italian researchers led by A Gastardelli started examining beta cell response to glucose in people with normal blood sugars, they discovered that a small amount of beta cell dysfunction began to be detectable in people whose blood sugar rose only slightly over 100 mg/dl

    Isn't this looks like juggling of words????

    what is reality??? dysfunction...or destruction???


    at the end of same article here is one link...


    Type 2 diabetes is characterized by impaired insulin secretion. Some but not all studies suggest that a decrease in β-cell mass contributes to this. We examined pancreatic tissue from 124 autopsies: 91 obese cases (BMI >27 kg/m2; 41 with type 2 diabetes, 15 with impaired fasting glucose [IFG], and 35 nondiabetic subjects) and 33 lean cases (BMI <25 kg/m2; 16 type 2 diabetic and 17 nondiabetic subjects). We measured relative β-cell volume, frequency of β-cell apoptosis and replication, and new islet formation from exocrine ducts (neogenesis). Relative β-cell volume was increased in obese versus lean nondiabetic cases (P = 0.05) through the mechanism of increased neogenesis (P < 0.05). Obese humans with IFG and type 2 diabetes had a 40% (P < 0.05) and 63% (P < 0.01) deficit and lean cases of type 2 diabetes had a 41% deficit (P < 0.05) in relative β-cell volume compared with nondiabetic obese and lean cases, respectively.

  • Also, there is controversy whether β-cell mass is decreased in type 2 diabetes (9,17–24). These discrepancies are in part due to the paucity of available data in humans. It is difficult to obtain pancreatic tissue from humans, since this usually only becomes available at autopsy, when the pancreas may have undergone extensive autolysis. Also, reliable clinical information about autopsy cases is often unavailable. It is therefore not surprising that there are few studies of islet morphology in humans with diabetes, and in most of these, only small numbers of cases were included. Also, clinical data before death is minimal in many of these studies.

  • If they don't die, why does a type 2 finally end up with insulin? What happened to the beta cells? If you are looking for some studies, there will only be data for how to replace the pancreas. So, let's use some deductive logical reasoning also :)

  • Why break our head on these things when we know we cannot regenerate what has pushed us to type 2?

    Well, as for juggling around of words, entire medical science take refuge of one word -- MAY -- when it comes to offering definitive answer to anything. Isn't it?

    For me, beta cells regenration is not possible. Period. We can only manage our "D". Whether we want to manage by diet or by adhering to cultural/habitual norms and covered by medications is personal choice :)

  • yes... true.... may be or may not....

    But sure LCHF helps in controlling sugar

  • But sure LCHF helps in controlling sugar

    You bet!!!

    I am medication free (though Ashka9 somehow claims for some odd unexplained reasons that I am speaking lies and misleading people here) and will be completing six years in Feb 2017.

    My first target is medication free for a decade. Dr Jay Wortman is for more than 12 years now -- maybe more and no one said that he is speaking lies :)

  • Bhai tum dil pe mat lo.....

    wo gana gun gunaneka.....

    kutch toh log kahenge....

    logo ka kam hai kahena....

    Chodo bekar ki bate..kahi bit na jaye raina.... :P

    But one thing....what you do is not possible for mortal humans...:P

    I always say....you are hath yogi....

  • But one thing....what you do is not possible for mortal humans...:P

    And, I am not alone :)

    70 gram makkhan khana bhi sirf hath yogi hi kar saktay hain. You do that. Only a hathh yogi can do :)

  • bhai Bhagwan Krishna Raj yogi the....I follow Bhagwan Krishna.... so eat makkhan.... :P

    radhe radhe bolo jai kanhiyaa lal ki....

    hathi ghoda pakli.....jai kanhiyaa lal ki.

  • Anup

    "For me, beta cells regenration is not possible. Period. We can only manage our "D". Whether we want to manage by diet or by adhering to cultural/habitual norms and covered by medications is personal choice :)"

    I fully agree with you.





    And all the friends here.

    Anybody please give me your mail id, watsup no so that i can send you my reports which then you can post here.

    So much to learn and debate. Please someone send me pm if not here.

  • @suramo sent you my email adress...

  • check ur PM

  • Thanks bro. Very eager to share my reports and get comments.

  • Great Bhai suramo got ur reports in email....

    If u wish I can post them here in new thread...

    however they are just pertaining to Lipid profile ..

    Have you done Hba1c also??? and liver profile???

  • cure

    I have sent 14 pages of my reports but there seems to be delivery problem. I'm trying to send asap.

    I'm posting on anup's fb page. Please wait.

  • cure

    These all findings ?? are highly speculative. May be true for those who are preD. If any cell has to degenerate it / they would not wait for all its brothers and sisters to die / degenerate / become dysfunctional. In t2d the main machinery - cell nucleus,the dna - is at fault. This pathological condition is present throughout our body - ir so we have to be reborn with the main machine to be corrected. Wait for the days when the scientists find out the defect in embryo before it gets implanted and then correct it - an engineered child. Till then low carb is the only solution.

  • cure

    These are all postulations. Nothing concrete. But for losing one g fat from P you need to shed lots of fat. That is the key and not kick starting P. Obviously if you decrease your ir bcf is going to increase but that should not be interpreted as " kick start " or " regeneration of beta cells."

  • hmmmm God knows.... But One very very LEARNED EX MEMBER of this forum said that earlier....

  • Shashikantiyengar

    You are absolutely right.

  • All diabetic medicines are worsening the disease since they act almost in a similar way ie. Taking sugar from blood and dumping it into the liver and other tissues. The only way to come out of this problem is to remove sugar from the body by LCHF and IF.

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