Living With Type 2 Diabetes

5 Flour Options for Diabetes

I love baked goods. Cinnamon rolls, apple pie topped with cheddar cheese and a scoop of vanilla ice cream, flaky, buttery croissants….heaven.

I was diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes 6 months before my 62nd birthday.  I decided it was not a life sentence but a chance to experiment with alternatives because finding healthy low-carb recipes can be challenging.

One of the easiest and most effective ways to give dishes a diabetes-friendly twist is by modifying recipes. Simply swap out ingredients like white flour for healthier alternatives. Fortunately, there are several flour options suitable for people with diabetes.

Almond Flour

Almond flour is made from finely ground almonds and a great gluten-free alternative to regular flour. 

It’s low in carbs and high in protein, fiber, and heart-healthy fats, giving it a low glycemic index, which is a tool used to measure how much certain foods affect your blood sugar levels.

Keep in mind that it may give foods a denser texture, as it’s free of gluten, which is the protein that gives dough its elasticity and helps baked goods rise.

Generally, you can substitute 1 cup of almond flour for 1 cup of regular flour.

Oat Flour

Oat flour is a popular whole grain flour made by grinding rolled oats to a powder-like consistency.

Oat flour is a good source of fiber and protein and contains a specific type of fiber (beta glucan) that has been shown to decrease blood sugar levels in people with diabetes.

Oat flour has a mild, nutty flavor and gives baked goods a chewy, unique texture.

You may need to use slightly more oat flour when substituting it for regular flour –  about 1 1/3 cups of oat flour for each cup of regular flour.

Coconut Flour

Coconut flour is made from coconut meat that has been dried and ground.

It’s lower in carbs and higher in fiber when compared with regular flour. This can can provide better support for blood sugar management.

You will need to adjust your recipes if you use coconut flour in place of wheat flour, as it absorbs more liquid and can give foods a dry, gritty texture.

For each cup of regular flour, you will need 1/4 cup of coconut flour. You may need to increase the liquid by the same amount.

Chickpea Flour

Made from dried garbanzo beans that have been ground into a fine powder, chickpea flour is a common flour substitute for people with diabetes.

This is due to its high protein content, which may help prevent insulin resistance, a condition that impairs your body’s ability to regulate blood sugar levels efficiently.

It also has a naturally dense texture and strong binding properties, making it a great vegan and gluten-free substitute for wheat flour.

You’ll generally need slightly less chickpea flour, substituting about half the amount of regular flour with chickpea flour.

Spelt Flour

Spelt flour is produced from spelt, a type of ancient grain that’s closely related to wheat.

It’s especially rich in fiber, which can help stabilize blood sugar levels after meals.

Spelt flour has a slightly sweet flavor and light texture that can be used in recipes without weighing down the final product.

It works especially well as a flour substitute in foods like bread, tortillas, muffins, and biscuits.

You can generally substitute 1 cup spelt flour for 1 cup regular flour.

Food Shopping

Glycemic Index Food Guide

Low GI Meals leave you feeling fuller longer, ease food cravings and provide you with greater and more sustained energy levels. If you’re looking to either lose weight or maintain your existing weight, a low GI lifestyle is the perfect option. Also, if you find yourself lethargic, losing concentration, or experiencing mood swings an hour or so after eating, a change to low GI foods may show immediate benefits.

Remember that food is fuel for our bodies – eat well and your body will reward you. 

Glycemic Index Food Guide cover

The glycemic index (GI) is a scale that ranks a carbohydrate-containing food or drink by how much it raises blood sugar levels after it is eaten or drank. Foods with a high GI increase blood sugar higher and faster than foods with a low GI.

“I am a type-2 diabetic, and they took me off medication simply because I ate right and exercised. Diabetes is not like a cancer, where you go in for chemo and radiation. You can change a lot through a basic changing of habits.”

Sherri Shepherd

"Trying to manage diabetes is hard because if you don't, there are consequences you'll have to deal with later in life."

Bryan Adams

"Diabetes is all about insulin levels and sugar levels and what you put in your body."

Jay Cutler

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