Are Chickpeas (Kabuli Chana) Good For Diabetes??

Chickpeas (Kabuli Chana) are rich in protein that curbs your appetite and keeps you full. It also helps manage healthy weight, improves digestion and prevents risks of developing cancer. But are chickpeas good for diabetes? What are the health benefits of chickpeas for diabetes? How much chickpeas can a diabetic eat daily? There’s more than what this article would help you with regarding chickpeas and its overall health benefits for diabetics.  

  • Chickpeas : Nutritional Profile
  • Advantages of Chickpeas For Diabetes
  • Ways to Consume Chickpeas For Diabetes
  • Best Time to Consume Chickpeas For Diabetes
  • Risk of Over Consuming Chickpeas For Diabetes
  • Other Health Benefits of Chickpeas
  • Don’t Have Time To Read?
  • FAQs

Chickpeas: Nutritional Profile

Chickpeas, also known as garbanzo beans or Kabuli chana, contain a vast range of nutrients. Chickpeas are rich in proteins that are beneficial for your bones, muscles, and skin health. The chickpeas glycemic index is 28 on scale which is considered as a low GI-legume suitable for diabetics. 

100 grams of Chickpeas contains the following nutrition: 

Advantages of Chickpeas For Diabetes

For people suffering from diabetes, chickpeas prevent your sugar and insulin levels from going up too fast. Apart from this, chickpeas are a dependable source of protein for people who do not consume any type of meat. Also, chickpeas are rich in dietary fiber. 

  • Rich in protein
  • Helps in weight management
  • Regulates blood sugar levels
  • Improves digestion
  • Prevents cancer, heart diseases and type 2 diabetes
  • Improves memory
  • Prevents iron deficiency

Ways To Consume Chickpeas For Diabetes

1. Mediterranean Chickpea Salad

Boil a cup of white chickpeas with a pinch of salt. Once they become soft, mix them with some other freshly chopped tomatoes, red onions, cucumber, feta, and parsley. Add a touch of some spices and sauces to give the salad a unique taste.

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2. Chickpea Avocado Sandwich

The chickpea avocado sandwich is a quick and easy-to-make dish. A wholesome sandwich can work as a complete meal for you. Make a good mix of boiled and mashed chickpeas with fresh avocado, add some spices, dressing, lime and place the filling in-between the slices of toasted brown bread.

3. Roasted Chickpeas

What could be a better evening snack than roasted chickpeas? Just add some oil or butter to a pan along with some boiled chickpeas. Add some lime and a dash of salt and pepper to complete your crispy, roasted, and healthy snack.

Best Time To Consume Chickpeas For Diabetes

The best time to consume chickpeas is breakfast (early morning, around 8 to 9 AM). However, chickpeas are pretty versatile and can be consumed round the clock if you have a good metabolism. Still, It is advised to avoid consuming chickpeas before sleep.

Risk of Over Consuming Chickpeas For Diabetes

While chickpeas are considered healthy for every body type, and most people consider them safe, some risks of overconsumption of chickpeas must be noted. Overeating raw or uncooked chickpeas can cause the problem of increased acidity.

Other Health Benefits of Chickpeas

Chickpeas are beneficial for diabetes in many ways, but there are several other health benefits of chickpeas that cannot be ignored:

  • Chickpeas improve bone health.
  • Chickpeas help in maintaining blood pressure levels.
  • Chickpeas decrease the risk of heart diseases.
  • Chickpeas reduce the level of LDL cholesterol in the blood.

— Update: 06-01-2023 — found an additional article Chickpeas suppress postprandial blood glucose concentration, and appetite and reduce energy intake at the next meal from the website for the keyword are chickpeas good for type 2 diabetes.


After the industrial revolution and especially with the development of food industry, processed foods have become more available at a lower price causing people to move from the consumption of their traditional, unprocessed foods to highly refined and caloric-dense meals. The imbalance between the excess caloric ingestion than its expenditure resulting in weight gain is well established. Obesity poses a major risk factor for diet-related chronic diseases such as type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular heart diseases, and hypertension, etc. According to the Centre for Disease Control (CDC) above 29 million people in the United States alone have type 2 diabetes (Boyle et al. 2010). The prevalence of diabetes has increased 120% in the past 25 years and is projected to increase from affecting 382 million adults in 2013 to 592 million by 2035 worldwide (Guariguata et al. 2014).

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This epidemic level of obesity, and consequently type 2 diabetes prevalence are becoming a challenge for health professionals who are struggling to explore a breakthrough in preventive strategies for weight control. Restrained eating and dieting practices have a notorious rate of failure (Ohsiek and Williams 2011). Reduced energy consumption could become possible through improved satiating and satiety ability of the diets. Legumes are a major source of carbohydrate, quality protein, dietary fibers, resistant starch and valuable bioactive compounds that may become beneficial in suppressing appetite (McCrory et al. 2010). Health authorities such as Dietary Guidelines for Americans (USDA 2010) and Canada’s Food Guide recommend consumption of legumes regularly to prevent the diet-induced risk of chronic diseases (Health Canada 2007). Many observational studies and controlled trials have associated legume’s consumption with weight loss and reduced chronic diseases in populations (Bazzano et al. 2001; Jenkins et al. 2012; Abete et al. 2009, Mollard et al. 2012a, b). However, the role of legumes ingestion on food intake regulation needs further understanding.

Acute studies have reported controversial results in the literature on the consumption of beans on satiety and subsequent energy intake. Canned navy beans fed to young men suppressed EI more than a glucose control drink when administered in a volume of 50 g available carbohydrate, yet they failed to decrease EI when compared to white bread as a control consumed in an either 50 g available carbohydrate or isocaloric amount (Wong et al. 2009). Chickpea flour supplemented white wheat bread failed to suppress EI or reduce glycemic effect when consumed at a portion of 50 g available carbohydrate (Johnson et al. 2005), but not when pulses were eaten ad libitum 4 h before the test meal (Mollard et al. 2012a, b). Subjects were feeling hungrier when chickpea flour supplemented bread was fed compared to white bread after 90 min (Zafar et al. 2015). These discrepancies manifest differences in the effect of legumes on glycemic response, satiety and EI from a subsequent meal.

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The standard practice of testing carbohydrate foods in an amount of 50 g available carbohydrate is necessary for controlling the confounding effect of variation in absorbable glucose on the glycemic response of the test food and consequently, the impact on satiety or EI for a given period. However, it is important to note that this practice may not hold when legumes are assessed on satiety and EI, because legumes are consumed as cooked food holding a lot of liquid that when given in equal portion of 50 g available carbohydrates are bulkier compared to control such as bread that holds less moisture. For example, canned beans in 50 g available carbohydrate portion weighed 350–450 g whereas white bread weighed around 110 g per 3–4 slices (Wong et al. 2009). The recommended pulses consumption is a 3/4th cup that weighs around 150 g (Guenther et al. 2013) but administering the required amount of cooked beans to achieve 50 g of available carbohydrate muddles their effect on satiety and EI, especially if the interval between preload and test meal is short.

The objective of the present study was, therefore, to explore the effect on glycemic response, subjective appetite, and EI from a test meal offered at 60 and 120 min, by giving realistic portion sized preloads of canned chickpeas and white bread equalized in available carbohydrates, energy density, and total volume. Canned chickpeas and white toast bread as 1 cup (200 g) and two slices (50 g), respectively, provided 18 g of available carbohydrate and 218 kcal each. The study was conducted using young healthy female volunteers. In the recruiting interview, it was learned that two bread slices were a usual portion size as their regular breakfast. Obesity is overwhelming women more than men, it was, therefore, intended to explore the satiety cues and EI in this population group (Badr et al. 2012).


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