A bowl of sabudana with vegetables and fruits in the background.

Is sabudana good for diabetes?

Tapioca pearls, commonly known as sabudana, are widely used in Indian cooking because they can be added to many different recipes. People also eat them on fasting days since they provide a quick boost of energy. Let's explore how sabudana can be helpful for managing diabetes.

Nutritional Value of Sabudana

One cup of sabudana has:




135 g


1.37 g


0.29 g


0.03 g


30.4 mg


2.4 mg


1.52 mg


16.7 mg

Effect of Sabudana on Blood Sugar Levels

  1. Glucose Spike: Sabudana is broken down into glucose upon consumption, leading to potential spikes in blood sugar levels.

  2. High Carbohydrate Content: Due to its high carbohydrate content, individuals with diabetes must be cautious about the quantity of sabudana they consume.

  3. High Glycemic Index (GI): Sabudana has a relatively high GI, causing rapid increases in blood sugar levels, which can be challenging for diabetic individuals to manage.

  4. Moderation is Key: It is important for individuals with diabetes to consume sabudana in moderation and pair it with foods that have a lower GI to minimize its impact on blood sugar levels.

  5. Fiber-Rich Foods: Incorporating fiber-rich foods alongside sabudana can aid in better blood sugar level management for individuals with diabetes.

Benefits and Risks of Consuming Sabudana for Diabetics


Sabudana, also known as tapioca pearls, holds both benefits and risks for individuals managing diabetes. Let's delve into the advantages and drawbacks of incorporating sabudana into a diabetic diet.

  • Low fat content: Sabudana is low in fat, which can be advantageous for individuals looking to control their fat intake.

  • Gluten-free: Sabudana is gluten-free, making it a viable option for those with gluten sensitivities or celiac disease.


  • High carbohydrate content: Sabudana is rich in carbohydrates, which can lead to spikes in blood sugar levels for individuals with diabetes.

  • Impact on blood sugar: Due to its high carbohydrate content, sabudana can have a significant effect on blood glucose levels, necessitating moderation in consumption for diabetic individuals.

When considering sabudana for diabetes management, it's crucial to balance its benefits with the potential risks. While it offers certain nutritional advantages such as being low in fat and gluten-free, individuals with diabetes should be mindful of its carbohydrate content and its impact on blood sugar levels. By understanding the benefits and risks associated with sabudana consumption, individuals with diabetes can make informed decisions about including this ingredient in their diet.

How much sabudana should you eat?

Sabudana is a popular food ingredient in many Indian dishes. If you are wondering how much sabudana you should eat, the recommended serving size is about 1/2 to 1 cup per serving, depending on your dietary needs and preferences. Enjoy this nutritious food in moderation for a balanced and healthy diet.

Alternatives to Eating Sabudana

Sabudana, also known as tapioca pearls, is a popular ingredient in Indian cuisine, especially during fasting periods. However, if you are looking for alternatives to sabudana or simply want to switch up your diet, here are some options to consider:

  1. Quinoa: Quinoa is a nutritious grain that is gluten-free and high in protein. It can be cooked and seasoned similar to sabudana and used in dishes like pulao, khichdi, or salads.

  2. Buckwheat: Buckwheat groats, commonly known as kuttu, are another excellent alternative to sabudana. They are rich in fiber, nutrients, and can be used in various recipes like pancakes, porridge, or dumplings.

  3. Arrowroot: Arrowroot flour is a starchy substance that can be used as a thickening agent in cooking or baking. It is a good substitute for sabudana in puddings, soups, or sauces.

  4. Sweet Potato: Sweet potatoes are a healthy and versatile alternative to sabudana. They can be boiled, mashed, or roasted and used in various dishes like chaat, tikkis, or soups.

  5. Millet: Millets such as barnyard millet, fox millet, or pearl millet are nutritious grains that can be used as a replacement for sabudana in recipes like upma, pongal, or dosa.

Experimenting with these alternatives can add diversity to your meals and provide a range of textures and flavors to enjoy. Give them a try and discover new favorite options for your diet.

To conclude:

Sabudana, a gluten-free and low-fat ingredient commonly used in Indian cuisine, can be a beneficial addition to a diabetic-friendly diet when consumed in moderation. Due to its high carbohydrate content, it may affect blood glucose levels, so portion control is important. Pairing sabudana with protein and fiber sources can help regulate blood sugar levels. Consult a healthcare provider for personalized advice on including sabudana in your diabetes diet.



  1. Is Sabudana suitable for diabetic individuals?

    Sabudana is high in carbohydrates and can cause a spike in blood sugar levels if consumed in large quantities. It is recommended for diabetic individuals to consume it in moderation to avoid sudden fluctuations in blood glucose levels.

  2. What is the glycemic index of Sabudana?

    Sabudana has a high glycemic index, which means it can raise blood sugar levels quickly after consumption. Diabetic individuals should be cautious when including Sabudana in their diet and monitor their blood sugar levels regularly.

  3. How can Sabudana be prepared to make it more diabetes-friendly?

    To make Sabudana more suitable for diabetes, it can be combined with protein-rich foods like nuts, seeds, or cottage cheese to slow down the release of sugar into the bloodstream. Additionally, soaking Sabudana before cooking can help reduce its glycemic index.

  4. Are there any alternatives to Sabudana for diabetic individuals?

    For diabetic individuals looking for alternatives to Sabudana, options like quinoa, bulgur, or barley can be considered as they have lower glycemic index values and can be included in a diabetes-friendly diet.

  5. How often can diabetic individuals consume Sabudana?

    Diabetic individuals can consume Sabudana occasionally and in moderation as part of a balanced diet. It is essential to monitor blood sugar levels and consult with a healthcare provider to determine the appropriate frequency and portion size of Sabudana consumption.

Back to blog

Leave a comment

Please note, comments need to be approved before they are published.