Can Beans and Rice Work in Your Diabetes Diet?

Beans are an excellent choice for diabetics!

Those who have diabetes should include dried beans or canned beans that have been canned without salt into numerous meals each week, as recommended by the American Diabetes Association. They have a low glycemic index compared to many other starchy meals, which suggests that they may assist in more efficiently regulating one's blood sugar levels.

As a source of protein, fiber, and other nutritional benefits, beans are an excellent food choice for every meal. With the vast number of bean types on the market, you will likely be able to find a bean you like.

This article provides a deeper dive into the concept of the glycemic index.

Beans' advantages

Diabetics no longer have to choose between white rice and beans due to the former's potential health risks to the latter group. It was a rule that had to be followed ever since forever. Beans, a nutrient-dense portion of any diet, may prevent the rice from raising a person's blood sugar, according to a new study partially funded by the USDBC. Journal of Nutritional Science and Vitaminology featured the study's results. This study was published in the Diabetes Care journal.

Remember that a third cup of cooked beans equals one starch exchange if you have diabetes and are trying to manage your meals. Remembering these details is crucial. For those without diabetes, one starch exchange equals 3/4 of a cup. Around 80 calories and 15g of carbohydrates are available to the body per serving of beans. Diabetes patients may benefit from eating beans.

When using beans as a protein source instead of animal products, the optimal portion size is a diabetic exchange of half a cup. Add some lean protein and swap out one serving of carbs for every half cup of beans you eat. They should be found in the foods you eat.

Beans vary significantly in terms of their nutritional content

For various beans you may like to try, below are their nutritional values, measured out as 1/3 cup each −


Lima beans

Black beans

Red kidney beans

Protein (g)








Fiber (g)




Carbohydrates (g)




Because of their significant amount of protein, beans make for an excellent replacement for meat. In contrast to heart, beans do not include any saturated fat and have a large amount of fiber, making them a healthy option. Moreover, beans have a high protein content.

While examining trade lists, beans are often included with other carbohydrates, such as bread and potatoes, in the same category. However, beans usually have a much higher concentration than other starchy foods, protein, and fiber content.

Moreover, beans include a good amount of soluble fiber, contributing to healthy gut microbiota and overall excellent health. Soluble fiber helps maintain healthy gut flora.

A reduction in insulin resistance are shown in animal clinical tests. While further research on humans is necessary, the findings gathered up to this point are promising.


Beans provide a lot of benefits because they are not only nutritious but also free of fat. This makes them a beneficial food. You may prepare them as a flavorful side dish or integrate them into soups, salads, whole grain rice, casseroles, and other recipes. They are really versatile.

Keeping track of portion sizes is difficult when beans are combined with other types of meals; despite this, you should estimate as correctly as possible. Beans may appear in various contexts, including as components of main courses and side dishes.

Including black beans, fiber, and other nutrient sources, might benefit tacos cooked with chicken and tortillas from whole grains. A dish like a chili cooked with red kidney beans (garbanzo beans, black beans, or any combination) is practical because it often results in leftovers that are easy to reheat in the microwave. Other bean-based meals also fall into this category.

Although beans often have a mild taste, avoiding salting them to excess is essential, and avoiding preparing baked beans by frying them in hog fat. If you have diabetes, you have an increased chance of having problems with your heart.

The health advantages of beans should be preserved by overeating salt or dishes with high salt content. Consuming an excessive amount of salt might cause an increase in blood pressure. Instead, you could want to experiment with other spices, such as −

  • Sage

  • Garlic

  • cumin

Beans are an excellent food choice since they are a nutritious addition to your diet and economical and straightforward to put away. Canned beans have a longer shelf life than fresh beans, making them a fantastic low-glycemic food option that is simple to prepare.

Consult an Expert

See a dietitian or a trained diabetes educator to find out how beans and other healthy foods might fit into your diet. A qualified dietician will have extensive knowledge of nutritional approaches to managing diabetes. That's a credential held by a sizable percentage of the nutritionist workforce. Inquire of your medical staff about a CDE recommendation.

Diabetic meal planning is something the county extension department in your area may be able to assist you with. Join a diabetic support group or another organization where you may learn more about the disease and how to manage it via food and exercise.

If you have diabetes, you should make beans a regular part of your diet. Research published in JAMA found that people with type 2 diabetes who ate more beans, lentils, and other legumes had better control over blood sugar and a low heart disease risk.

The study abstract included the following statement from the researchers: "As health care practitioners, we must remain culturally competent and attentive to the needs of individuals who are different from ourselves." In light of the scientific evidence supporting a healthy diet that includes traditional foods like beans, "dietary guidelines, materials, and counseling should be culturally responsive and consider treasured traditional foods like beans.”