Dalia for Diabetes – A Comprehensive Health Guide

Mehak Shah

January 27, 2023

Diabetes is a group of metabolic conditions distinguished by high blood glucose. It occurs when the pancreas does not create enough insulin or the cells in the body do not react to the insulin produced.

It is sometimes referred to as the “silent killer” because many individuals may not have any severe warning signs of diabetes, but it is identified through routine examinations. 

If you have diabetes, monitoring your diet carefully is essential as there is no alternative to controlling blood sugar; strictly following a balanced diet and regular exercise are the only ways to manage diabetes.

Various health professionals recommend eating whole grains daily since they are high in critical nutrients that the human body requires for overall wellness.

If you have diabetes, you may consider adding dalia or bulgar wheat to your diet. It is high in essential nutrients and can help regulate blood sugar levels.

So why not start your day with a wholesome bowl of dalia?

Read on to find out more about the benefits of this diabetic-friendly whole grain.

Dalia – An Overview

Dalia is a coarsely ground cereal also known as broken wheat with a high nutritional value and many health benefits. It is an excellent food for people of all ages, as it is light yet filling and easy to digest. That makes it an ideal lunch for adults and children. 

Incorporating Dalia into your regular diet can provide you with numerous fibres, proteins, and vitamins to keep you healthy and energised throughout the day. So whether you are looking for a sick-day dinner or something to eat at breakfast, lunch, or dinner, Dalia is a perfect choice.

Different Types Of Dalia

Wheat Dalia

Wheat Dalia is a product made from wheat grains, making it suitable for people of all ages and an overall healthier option. However, people who have celiac disease or gluten allergy may develop allergic reactions to it, as like any other wheat-based product Dalia also contains gluten.

Barley Dalia

Barley Dalia is an excellent option for people with diabetes, as it helps to manage blood sugar levels and reduce the risk of heart disease and gallstones. In addition, this cereal is packed with fibre, manganese, vitamins, and minerals, making it a nutritious choice.

Maize Dalia

Maize Dalia is gluten-free and hence suitable for those allergic to gluten. Furthermore, it is also rich in protein and vitamins, which give your body energy. In addition, it is high in Vitamin E and improves digestion.

Glycemic Index of Dalia

A food’s glycemic index (GI) measures how quickly it raises blood sugar levels on a scale of 0 to 100. High GI foods digest and absorb more quickly, leading to a sudden surge in blood sugar levels. Low GI foods, however, digest more slowly, gradually increasing blood sugar levels. Foods with a GI score of less than 55 are low, while anything above 70 is considered high. A food’s GI score between 56 and 69 is moderate. Knowing the GI score of a food can help you make an informed decision about which one is better for you.

A recent study has revealed that Dalia (Bulgur wheat) is an ideal food for people with diabetes, as it has a low glycemic index (GI) of 41. Thanks to this, it does not cause a sudden spike in blood glucose levels and has no adverse effects on the body. 

Since dalia has a low GI, people can easily combine it with other foods without worrying about it containing an excessive amount of potentially harmful carbohydrates. Furthermore, consuming a moderate amount of Dalia could even be beneficial for the health of diabetics, and they can include it in their diets without any worries.

The HealthifyMe Note

People with diabetes can benefit from Dalia due to its nutritional value. Whole wheat grains provide a good source of dietary fibre, which helps balance wheat’s natural sugar. In addition, Dalia’s low GI score can help control insulin spikes and maintain blood glucose levels, making it an ideal choice for those with high sugar levels.

Is Dalia Healthy for Diabetes?

Dalia, also known as Bulgar wheat, is an excellent food choice for diabetes patients. It is a natural, unrefined wheat cultivar with beneficial fibre and minerals. Its low glycemic index sets it apart from other wheat products, meaning you can consume more with fewer health risks. In addition, Dalia is both nutritious and versatile, making it the ideal accompaniment for any meal.

Since it slows digestion and helps control sugar release, Dalia has no adverse effects on diabetic blood sugar levels. Additionally, it contains a tremendous amount of fibre, which benefits those with high blood sugar levels. According to research, adding high-fibre foods to a diet can help regulate or improve glycemic control in people with type 2 diabetes.

The fibre in dalia helps to keep the digestive system functioning correctly. It slows down the digestion process, delaying the absorption and release of glucose, and helps to prevent blood sugar levels from rising. Additionally, consuming dalia can reduce the risk of insulin resistance, aiding in the successful management of diabetes.

Other Health Advantages of Dalia 

Effective for Weight Loss

Dalia, a unique wheat grain, is an excellent choice for weight loss due to its low-fat, high-fibre, and low-calorie count. Research shows that fibre helps to keep you full for longer, reducing the risk of overeating. As a result, it aids in weight loss.

One can pair dalia with fibre-rich and protein-rich vegetables and legumes for a balanced and nutritious diet. That will help create tasty, low-fat meals. Therefore, dalia is a fantastic food for weight management.

Improves Digestion

Dalia’s fibre content promotes healthy digestion and relieves constipation. Dalia is just wheat with a husk. According to a study, husk makes food rich in fibre, which cleanses the intestine and helps digestion, reducing constipation.

Increase Muscle Mass

Dalia is a high-protein food that helps improve muscular mass. In addition, it is high in essential vitamins that aid in developing your muscles. For this, one can incorporate Dalia into their daily diet. 

Improves Heart Health

Dalia is rich in magnesium. According to one study, magnesium benefits cardiovascular health. Magnesium is a mineral that aids in blood pressure regulation. Furthermore, the fibre content assists in the maintenance of cholesterol levels in a person’s body. Maintaining cholesterol levels is also beneficial to the heart and helps to prevent strokes and diseases characterised by chest pain.

The Side Effect of Dalia Consumption

Wheat allergies affect up to 1% of the population (wheat allergy is not the same as celiac disease). Wheat allergies are more common in children, but they usually outgrow them. If you are allergic to wheat, you should avoid eating bulgur since it might induce a severe allergic reaction.

One should also avoid bulgur if they have celiac disease or gluten intolerance because it contains gluten. Consult your healthcare practitioner for personalised guidance; HealthifyMe may be viable. Registered dietitians at HealthifyMe can assist you in planning healthy meals that incorporate dalia and other diabetes-friendly foods. They can also help to determine portion proportions and frequency of consumption.

HealthifyMe can help you track your blood sugar levels and advise how to improve your diet and physical activity to manage your diabetes, thereby improving your overall health effectively.

Ways to Consume Dalia

Now that it is clear that dalia offers various benefits, people with diabetes can consume it safely. However, it is better to consume it healthily to reap maximum benefits.

  • Khichdi: Boil dalia and serve with vegetables.
  • Upma: Instead of rava, use dalia and thoroughly cook it to ensure it is cooked. Include your favourite vegetables, such as beans.
  • Salad: Combine the boiled dalia with your favourite vegetables and light drizzle of dressing.
  • Cheela: Soak the grains in water for 2-3 hours before blending them into a batter. Spread it on a nonstick pan with a ladle and cook till golden brown.

Diabetic-Friendly Dalia Recipe to Try

Dalia Upma

Serving: 1

Preparation time: 5 minutes

Cooking time: 20 minutes


  • Dalia: 1 cup
  • Oil: 2 tsp
  • Mustard: 1 tsp
  • Urad dal: 1 tsp
  • Cumin/jeera: ½ tsp
  • Dried red chilli: 1
  • Green chilli (slit): 2
  • Carrot (chopped): ½ carrot
  • Peas: ¼ cup
  • Beans (chopped): 5
  • Turmeric: ¼ tsp
  • Salt: As per taste
  • Water: 3 cups


  • First, heat oil in a big kadai and add mustard, urad dal, cumin, a few curry leaves, and dried red chilli; fry and sputter on medium heat.
  • Now add the green chilli and sauté until softened.
  • Add the carrot, peas, and beans. Add turmeric and salt as well. Cook for 5 minutes.
  • Add 1 cup of dalia and roast for 5 minutes on low heat.
  • Pour boiling water into the pan while keeping the flame low. Cook for 2 minutes on high heat.
  • Finally, serve the hot mixed veggie dalia upma/broken wheat upma with coriander chutney.

Dalia Chila  

Serving: 1

Preparation time: 10 minutes

Cooking time: 20 minutes


  • Dalia: 20gm
  • Besan: 10g
  • Tomato: 10 g
  • Onion: 10g
  • Curry leaves: 2
  • Green chillies: 1
  • Ginger: 1 small piece
  • Black pepper powder: ½ tsp
  • Oil: ½ tsp


  • Chop the onion, tomato, green peppers, and ginger.
  • In a mixing dish, combine the soaked dalia and besan flour with the remaining ingredients.
  • Heat a heavy-bottomed tava or flat-bottom skillet over medium heat, brush with oil and spread a thick layer of batter.
  • Cover it with a suitable lid, reduce the flame to low, and leave it for 8-10 minutes.
  • Cook for another 4-5 minutes on the other side, uncovered.
  • Serve right away with tomato chutney.


Dalia is a whole-grain powerhouse. It contains all necessary carbohydrates, fibre, proteins, and other nutrients. Because of its complex carbohydrates and fibre content, it is an excellent choice for people with diabetes. 

Consuming dalia in your daily diet might benefit your overall health, from improved digestion to decreased fat content. Furthermore, it gives you the flexibility to consume it at any time. You can eat it for breakfast, lunch, or dinner, or whenever you choose. Including any vegetable or dal boosts its nutritional value. Simply eat a bowl of Dalia to get healthy!

The Research Sources

1. Chandalia M, Garg A, Lutjohann D, von Bergmann K, Grundy SM, Brinkley LJ. Beneficial effects of high dietary fibre intake in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus. N Engl J Med. 2000 May 11;342(19):1392-8. doi: 10.1056/NEJM200005113421903. PMID: 10805824.


2. Jenkins, D.J.A. & Wolever, Thomas & Giordano, C & Giudici, S & Thompson, Lilian & Kalmusky, J & Wong, G. (1986). Low glycemic response to traditionally processed wheat and rye products: bulgur and pumpernickel bread1’2. The American journal of clinical nutrition. 43. 516-20. 10.1093/ajcn/43.4.516.


3. Miketinas DC, Bray GA, Beyl RA, Ryan DH, Sacks FM, Champagne CM. Fiber Intake Predicts Weight Loss and Dietary Adherence in Adults Consuming Calorie-Restricted Diets: The POUNDS Lost (Preventing Overweight Using Novel Dietary Strategies) Study. J Nutr. 2019 Oct 1;149(10):1742-1748. doi: 10.1093/jn/nxz117. PMID: 31174214; PMCID: PMC6768815.


4. Jalanka J, Major G, Murray K, Singh G, Nowak A, Kurtz C, Silos-Santiago I, Johnston JM, de Vos WM, Spiller R. The Effect of Psyllium Husk on Intestinal Microbiota in Constipated Patients and Healthy Controls. Int J Mol Sci. 2019 Jan 20;20(2):433. doi: 10.3390/ijms20020433. PMID: 30669509; PMCID: PMC6358997.


5. Bo S, Pisu E. Role of dietary magnesium in cardiovascular disease prevention, insulin sensitivity and diabetes. Curr Opin Lipidol. 2008 Feb;19(1):50-6. doi: 10.1097/MOL.0b013e3282f33ccc. PMID: 18196987.


About the Author

Mehak holds masters in foods and nutrition from Amity university, Noida. She has a keen interest in public health and nutrition and has been in charge of various projects with milestone NGO. She has worked with people over the globe to bring out the changes in their lives and has always been working towards lifestyle modifications via good dietary practices. According to her a healthy lifestyle is not about the destination but all about the journey.

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