What is Glycemic Index of Onion? Is it Bad for Diabetics?

The value of Glycemic Index of onion is very low in comparison to other vegetables and therefore, it is known as low glycemic food because it gives many health benefits. Continue reading to understand the values of glycemic index, glycemic load and detailed nutritional Information of onion.

What is the Glycemic Index of Onions?

What is the Glycemic Index of Onions

The Glycemic Index value of onion is just 12 and so, it is considered as low glycemic food.

 Glycemic IndexServe (g)Carb per Serve (g)Glycemic Load

Assigning foods along with a Glycemic Index rank under the value 55 are consider foods that have a low value of the glycemic index and it will help to supply energy at a slow rate directly into the bloodstream.

Foods with the low value of glycemic index are beneficial for the people who have diabetes disease, and also helps to reduce the excess weight, after eating food with a low glycemic index will become sufficient and it completes therefore no there is no need to eat afterward.

Higher the value of glycemic index or food with a high rank value of 70 will result in a quick rise in blood sugar levels in the body. When this situation occurs, the pancreas starts to release insulin to transfer other cells to release more energy in the body.

A person with diabetes disease, their pancreas is not capable of producing sufficient insulin hormones to regulate blood glucose levels; due to this reason having a diet with a high rank glycemic index is harmful to the person with diabetes disease.

Veggie causing Diabetes

Onions are helpful for cardiovascular health because the low value of the glycemic index of onions shows the capability of controlling blood glucose levels. There is a huge variety of onions, relying on the varieties, onions are of different sizes, different colors, and most importantly different shapes. The taste of onions is generally sweet and mild.

Nutritional Information of Onion 

Raw Onions
# Serving size 100 g
Nutrient Amount Unit DV
Calories40 KCAL
Fat0.1 G0%
Protein1.1 G2%
Carbohydrate9.34 G3%
Folic acid UG
Vitamin D (D2 + D3), International Units IU
Betaine0.1 MG
Isoleucine0.014 G1%
Leucine0.025 G1%
Lysine0.039 G2%
Cystine0.004 G
Valine0.021 G1%
Arginine0.104 G
Histidine0.014 G2%
Aspartic acid0.091 G
Serine0.021 G
Butanoic acid G
Hexanoic acid G
Decanoic acid G
Hexadecanoic acid0.034 G
Octadecanoic acid0.004 G
Eicosanoic acid G
Octadecenoic acid0.013 G
Octadecadienoic acid0.013 G
Octadecatrienoic acid0.004 G
Eicosatetraenoic acid G
Octadecatetraenoic acid G
Eicosenoic acid G
Docosenoic acid G
Monounsaturated fatty acids0.013 G
Polyunsaturated fatty acids0.017 G
Pentadecanoic acid G
Cis,cis-eicosadienoic n-6 acid G
Eicosadienoic acid G
Lutein + zeaxanthin4 UG
Tocopherol, beta MG
Tocopherol, gamma MG
Tocotrienol, alpha0.04 MG
Tocotrienol, beta MG
Niacin0.116 MG1%
Pantothenic acid0.123 MG2%
Vitamin B60.12 MG9%
Choline6.1 MG
Sugars4.24 G
Calcium, Ca23 MG2%
Potassium, K146 MG3%
Zinc, Zn0.17 MG2%
Fluoride, F1.1 UG
Selenium, Se0.5 UG1%
Vitamin E0.02 MG0%
Sucrose0.99 G
Glucose (dextrose)1.97 G
Maltose G
Water89.11 G
Cryptoxanthin, beta UG
Lycopene UG
Tocopherol, delta MG
Tocotrienol, gamma MG
Tocotrienol, delta MG
Vitamin C7.4 MG8%
Thiamin0.046 MG4%
Riboflavin0.027 MG2%
Folate19 UG
Vitamin K (Dihydrophylloquinone) UG
Vitamin K0.4 UG0%
Folate, food19 UG
Tryptophan0.014 G5%
Threonine0.021 G2%
Methionine0.002 G
Phenylalanine0.025 G
Tyrosine0.014 G
Alanine0.021 G
Glutamic acid0.258 G
Glycine0.025 G
Proline0.012 G
Saturated fatty acids0.042 G0%
Octanoic acid G
Dodecanoic acid G
Tetradecanoic acid0.004 G
Docosahexaenoic n-3 acid (DHA) G
Docosanoic acid G
Tetradecenoic acid G
Hexadecenoic acid G
Eicosapentaenoic n-3 acid (EPA) G
Docosapentaenoic n-3 acid (DPA) G
Phytosterols15 MG
Heptadecanoic acid G
Tetracosanoic acid G
Heptadecenoic acid G
Pentadecenoic acid G
Ash0.35 G
Starch G
Fructose1.29 G
Lactose G
Alcohol, ethyl G
Galactose G
Fiber1.7 G6%
Iron, Fe0.21 MG1%
Magnesium, Mg10 MG2%
Phosphorus, P29 MG4%
Sodium, Na4 MG0%
Copper, Cu0.039 MG4%
Manganese, Mn0.129 MG6%
Carotene, beta1 UG
Carotene, alpha UG
Retinol UG
Vitamin A, RAE UG
Vitamin A2 IU0%
Folate, DFE19 UG5%
Fatty acids, total trans G
Caffeine MG
Theobromine MG
Cholesterol MG0%
Vitamin B12 UG0%
Vitamin E, added MG
Vitamin B12, added UG
Vitamin D UG0%
Tocopherol, alpha0.02 MG
Phenylalanine + Tyrosine0.039 G2%
Methionine + Cysteine0.002 G0%
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Is Onion Bad for Diabetes, based on Glycemic Index?

Is Onion Bad for Diabetes, based on Glycemic Index

Glycemic index or GI is a measurement of a rapid rise in blood sugar or glucose through food. Only foods with carbohydrates have a Glycemic index, and those foods containing lipids, fats, and protein alone have zero glycemic index.

If a person has diabetes disease, a high value of the glycemic index in diet can make it difficult for people to maintain blood sugar levels in the body.

Not all types of carbohydrates do not give the same energy in the body. Some types of carbohydrates stimulate a rapid rise in blood glucose, while other types of carbohydrates work slowly, maintaining blood glucose levels in the body more evenly.

The glycemic index tells us the differences between the high and low values in food with a number to the diet that results in a rapid rise in the blood sugar level in comparison to natural or pure glucose in the body.

The glycemic index scale lies between 0 and 100. Pure forms of sugar have the maximum value of the glycemic index and it assigns the value as 100.

Consuming a diet with low values of glycemic index will help people to maintain the blood sugar level of the body.

Concerning the values of the glycemic index of foods will help the people to manage the equal level of sugar in the body if they have diabetes disease, with the presence of carbohydrates. 

9 Health benefits of Onions in Diabetes

9 Health benefits of Onions in Diabetes

 Onions are full of Nutrients

Onions have low calories but they are rich in nutrients, it also includes vitamin C, vitamin B, and the mineral potassium. 

  1. Helps to regulate Blood Sugar level

Including onions in the diet may help maintain the blood sugar level in the body, which is essential for the people who have symptoms of diabetes disease or prediabetes disease.

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Various compounds are present in onions, like sulfur and quercetin compounds, which helps to control the blood sugar level or we can say they have anti diabetic effects.

For example, quercetin always interconnects with the cells present in the small intestine region, pancreas, with the skeletal muscle, adipose tissues, and liver cells to regulate the blood sugar level in the whole body system.

Because of the presence of most of the significant compounds present in onions, including the onion in the daily diet may help to regulate the high blood sugar level in the body.

Onions are a major source for minerals like chromium, vitamin C, and most importantly dietary fiber.

Chromium is a rare trace mineral that helps to regulate the blood glucose levels in the body because it helps to provide the blood sugar to the cells of the body and due to this reason it can maximize delicacy towards insulin.

Confirming with the World’s Healthiest Foods, research says that including onions in the diet regularly may also help to fight many other diseases. 

  1. Onions Have Antibacterial properties

Onions Have Antibacterial properties

Onions can fight against probably harmful bacteria, like Escherichia coli, Staphylococcus aureus, and Bacillus cereus

Quercetin present in onions who have the properties of antidiabetes may also have a specifically powerful way to fight against these bacteria. 

  1. Onions are helpful for heart diseases

Onions have many antioxidants and elements which help to fight inflammation and helps to reduce bad cholesterol levels which helps to reduce the risk of heart disease.

Every research says that including onions in the diet may help to reduce risk factors of heart diseases, for example  high blood pressure, cardiac arrest, heart attacks, and inflammation.

  1. Full of Antioxidants

Antioxidants are the molecules that restrain the addition of oxygen (oxidation), a procedure that guides the destruction of cells and comes up with diseases such as cancer, heart diseases, and diabetes.

See also  Glycemic Index of Wheat - Is it Good for Diabetes?

Onions are a great resource of antioxidants. They comprise different types of 25 varieties of pigments known as flavonoids. Red onions contain a large number of powerful plant pigments known as anthocyanins, which helps to fight diseases like cancers, heart disease, and diabetes. 

  1. Restrain compounds which help to fight Cancer

Eating a diet that contains many species of the Allium genus such as onion and garlic helps reduce the risk of many cancers, including gastric and intestinal.

These onions contain molecules that fight against cancer because of the presence of antioxidants like flavonoids and compounds of sulfur.

A diet that contains allium vegetables such as onions and garlic has properties to fight against cancers and have a protective effect on the body. 

  1. Onions can Boost the Density of the bone

Onions can Boost the Density of the bone

Though dairy products have many abilities for boosting the density of bone and bone health, there are many other ways like some other foods, including onions, which may improve the bone density and help strengthen bones.

  1. Reduce Oxidative Stress

It is a belief that onions support to decrease oxidative stress, increases antioxidant levels, and helps to minimize bone loss, which may also stop diseases like osteoporosis and increases bone density.

Many studies show that including onions in daily diet always works.

It helps to improve the mineral density of the bone.

Raw onions have various special health benefits and it contains so many compounds that help to fight against many diseases.

  1. Rich source of Vitamins and Flavonoids


The onions include great absorption of phytonutrients like flavonoids which are present in the layers outside of the onion.

Onions are a good resource for vitamin B6 and C, and also it is rich in dietary fiber, minerals like potassium, biotin, manganese, and omega 3 fatty acids which helps to boost the immunity system.

The presence of these compounds gives us properties like anti oxidant and anti inflammatory which help basically to maintain the blood sugar level in the body and solve many other health issues.

Final Words

Concluding as the glycemic index of onion is 10 units so it is safe for people with diabetes disease to add onions in their diet because it contains many beneficial properties like it has flavonoids, antioxidants, and many important compounds which are helpful to control the blood sugar levels of the body.


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Dr Sharon Baisil MD
100 Best Foods for Diabetes

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