Corn Tortilla and Diabetes

Corn Tortilla and Diabetes

It's ok

Glycemic index:


Calories per 100 g:

230 kcal

Which are Best for Diabetes? Wheat or Corn Tortillas?

There are ideal foods for diabetics and there are foods you should stay away from. While you can still enjoy many of your favorites (often with modifications), it can be overwhelming to know where to get started.

If you’re like many people, you love eating Mexican food and that leaves you wondering about tortillas. Corn tortillas and diabetes might not be something you’ve thought much about. The same is likely true for wheat tortillas and diabetes. Which is better? Find out below. 

Carbs and Tortillas

One of the nutrients you must closely monitor as a diabetic is carbohydrates. You don’t have to eliminate them from your diet altogether, but when it comes to carbs and diabetes you need to be sure you’re choosing quality carbs, which offer the nutritional benefits, without the risk of spiking your blood sugar levels. The carbs in tortillas are of special consideration as they vary among versions. Corn tortillas are made from whole grains, which makes them a better choice than refined flour tortillas. Overall, corn tortillas are also lower in carbs than wheat tortillas. 

Other Nutrients in Tortillas

Another thing to consider is fat and sodium content. That’s because when you have diabetes, you need to monitor your heart health as well. Diabetics are at a higher risk of developing heart disease and its subsequent complications. Corn tortillas contain approximately 1 gram of fat and 20 mg of sodium. In contrast, the average wheat tortilla weighs in with 331 mg of sodium and 4 grams of fat. The obvious choice for diabetics is corn tortillas. 

What About Blue Corn Tortillas?

Research has shown that blue corn tortillas for diabetics may be a better choice than the traditional white or yellow corn version. Why? Because those made with blue corn are lower on the glycemic index and have less starch. Blue corn is also higher in protein than white or yellow corn. The combination of these factors can contribute to more effective blood sugar management and weight control, both of which improve diabetes symptoms. 

Making a Healthy Choice

Keep in mind that tortillas can be used in a variety of ways. The best way to get the health benefits is to eat them warmed up, but not fried. Nachos, tortillas chips and crispy taco shells are higher in fat and calories, which can interfere with weight goals related to diabetes. Instead, enjoy fresh corn tortillas filled with vegetables and lean meats. Add some spicy chilies to increase blood sugar control.

When it comes to making eating choices, you must be careful with diabetes. You can certainly enjoy Mexican food but opt for corn tortillas whenever possible. 

Nutritional value

  • Protein 6 g
  • Carbohydrate 45 g
  • Fat 2.9 g
  • Fiber 6 g
  • Sugar 0.9 g
  • Cholesterol 0 g

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