Low Glycemic Flour Options
Last updated: April 2023
Who doesn’t love bread, muffins, biscuits, cookies, and scones? There is something about these high carb goods that are oh-so-satisfying and delicious. As you already know, these types of foods have the highest potential to spike your blood sugar. Foods like this are made with wheat flours, so even just 1 slice of bread can come in at 74-76 on the glycemic index.3 Thanks to certain alternative flours, you can still make and eat foods like cookies and bread without experiencing a huge spike in your blood sugar.
Almond, tigernut, soy, coconut, and spelt flour are not only low on the glycemic index, but they also offer protein and a variety of other benefits. The American Diabetes Association considers a food low glycemic if it is rated 55 or lower.2 Try using some of these low glycemic flours to recreate some of your favorite baked goods!
Best types of flour for type 2 diabetes
The glycemic indexes of the flours listed below are taken from the Diabetes Council website.1
Glycemic index: less than 1
Almond flour is probably the most common substitute for regular wheat flour in diabetic recipes. For good reason too! This flour is high in protein, and very low on the glycemic index. The glycemic index is less than 1, so there will be little effect on blood sugar. Additionally, almond flour is very flexible; it can be used in sweet or savory recipes. Try making cookies, muffins, and bread with almond flour! It can also be used in pizza crust and bread or used to bread foods.
Glycemic index: 5
Soy flour is certainly less common than almond flour but is also very low on the glycemic index. With a glycemic index of 5, it will also have little effect on blood sugar. Soy flour is naturally gluten-free, and a quick way to incorporate more protein into a recipe. Try using soy flour in pancakes, biscuits, and muffins!
Glycemic index: 49-51
Coconut flour is well known amongst those who follow a low carb, keto, or paleo diet. Its glycemic index is higher than the previous flours but still considered on the low side at about 49-51. It maintains its coconut-y flavor after being cooked or baked, and can also be eaten in recipes that are not cooked. Another perk is that coconut flour is typically very affordable!
Glycemic index: 44
Surprise! You can make baked goods out of legumes. Chickpeas have a mild flavor, so they work well as flour. Chickpea flour falls in the low to medium range on the glycemic index, and chickpeas are rich in fiber and protein. I recently made chickpea blondies with chocolate chips, and it was excellent!
Glycemic index: 44
I find oat flour to be very flexible for baked goods. Oats are naturally gluten-free, so this is a good option if you avoid flours that contain gluten. Oats are high in fiber, and this flour is my favorite for making cookies. You can easily make oat flour yourself by blending oats on high in a blender or food processor.
Glycemic index: 55-67
Spelt flour is a type of wheat flour, but its glycemic index is lower than your typical white or whole wheat flour. It has the highest glycemic index out of the previous flours but is still considered low to medium on the glycemic index. This flour has a sweet, nutty taste. This is an excellent flour for making bread or muffins, and you could also mix it with a flour that is lower on the glycemic index.
Have you ever baked with an alternative flour?
How often do you find yourself craving sweet snacks?