If you have diabetes, finding healthy low carb recipes can be challenging.
Modifying recipes to meet your needs is one of the easiest and most effective ways to give dishes a diabetes-friendly twist. Doing so often requires you to swap out ingredients like white flour for low carb alternatives.
Fortunately, several flour options are suitable for people with diabetes.
Here are a few of the best flour options for people with diabetes, along with a few that you may want to limit or avoid.
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 (
It has a mild, nutty flavor and can be used in many recipes, including muffins, cookies, bread, and biscuits, in place of wheat flour.
However, 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 (
You can generally substitute 1 cup of almond flour for 1 cup of regular flour.
Almond flour is low in carbs and high in protein, fiber, and heart-healthy fats. It has a mild, nutty flavor and can be used in place of wheat flour in baked goods.
Coconut flour is a type of flour made from coconut meat that has been dried and ground.
Compared with regular flour, it’s lower in carbs and higher in fiber, which can slow the absorption of sugar in the bloodstream to support better blood sugar management (
It has a slightly sweet flavor and can be used in a variety of recipes, including many cakes, cookies, muffins, brownies, and breads.
However, remember to adjust your recipes accordingly if you use coconut flour in place of wheat flour, as it absorbs more liquid and can give foods a dry, gritty texture.
You’ll generally need about 1/4 cup of coconut flour for each cup of regular flour, and you may need to increase the total amount of liquid by the same amount of coconut flour added to the recipe.
Coconut flour is low in carbs and high in fiber. It has a slightly sweet flavor that works well in baked goods.
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 has a rich, nutty flavor that’s suitable for both sweet and savory recipes like fritters, flatbreads, pancakes, and cookies.
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.
Chickpea flour is high in protein, which may help prevent insulin resistance. It has a rich, nutty flavor and dense texture that’s suitable for both sweet and savory foods.
Oat flour is a popular whole grain flour made by grinding rolled oats until they reach a powder-like consistency.
Oat flour is not only a good source of fiber and protein but also contains beta glucan, a specific type of fiber that has been shown to decrease blood sugar levels in people with diabetes (
Oat flour has a mild, nutty flavor and can help soften baked goods while giving them a chewy, unique texture.
Although you may need to make a few slight adjustments, oat flour can be used in most recipes that call for white flour, including cookies, breads, muffins, and pancakes.
You may need to use slightly more oat flour when substituting it for regular flour. You’ll need to substitute about 1 1/3 cups of oat flour for each cup of regular flour.
Oat flour is high in protein and fiber, including a specific type of fiber called beta glucan. It has a nutty flavor and can add a soft, chewy texture to baked goods.
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 spelt flour for regular flour at a 1:1 ratio.
Spelt flour is rich in fiber and has a light texture that can be used in place of white flour in baked goods without weighing them down.
Although there are many flour options available for people with diabetes, there are a few types that you may want to use infrequently.
These varieties of flour are very high in carbs and low in fiber, protein, or heart-healthy fats. As such, they may cause sudden spikes and crashes in blood sugar levels.
Here are a few of the flours you should use less often:
- all-purpose flour
- corn flour
- millet flour
- white rice flour
- pastry flour
- cake flour
Many types of flour are high in carbs and low in fiber, protein, or heart-healthy fats. As such, they may increase your blood sugar levels.
There are plenty of diabetes-friendly flour options you can easily swap into your favorite recipes.
Be sure to look for flour varieties that are low in carbs and high in fiber, protein, or heart-healthy fats.
You should also use flours that are high in carbs and low in fiber infrequently, as they may cause spikes and crashes in your blood sugar levels.