Mustard and Diabetes: A Healthy Condiment for Diabetics?

Mustard and Diabetes: A Healthy Condiment for Diabetics?

It's ok

Glycemic index:


Calories per 100 g:

60 kcal

Mustard is a major condiment that many people enjoy. Notably, it’s compatible with most meals and diet plans of people with underlying issues.

Another common belief is that mustard constitutes a healthy diet for people with blood sugar spikes. This means that people with pre-diabetes and diabetes should derive great healthful effects from including mustard in their food.

However, how accurate is this claim? This article answers this question by considering the nutrients and composition of one of the popular condiments in recent times.

Nutritional value

  • Protein 3.74 g
  • Carbohydrate 5.83 g
  • Fat 3.34 g
  • Fiber 4 g
  • Sugar 0.9 g
  • Cholesterol 0 g

A Look Into What Mustard Is

Mustard is a famous condiment eaten around the globe. It’s easy to mistake this spice for custard or similar food due to its yellow appearance.

The condiment is the final preparation from crushing the seeds of mustard and mixing them thoroughly with water or vinegar. Depending on a person's taste choices, some other liquid may substitute vinegar.

The mustard plant and seeds are edible. However, the latter—the most eaten part of the whole—are the major ingredient of the condiment.

Mustard seeds have a size of 1–2 millimeters when measured round. They could be plain yellow, whitish-yellow or black, depending on the species of the mustard plant.

The mustard plant originates from the Mediterranean region. It’s usually eaten as vegetables and is closely related to nutritious veggies like broccoli, pumpkins, brussels sprouts, and cabbage. Moreover, it’s very highly nutritious and is often sliced in meals.

While mustard is more known for its edible use, it does have other uses. For example, mustard extracts made from mustard seeds were used to treat several ailments during ancient civilization. Mustard oil was, and is still, one of the most popular mustard extracts with physical healing properties.

Although there are different areas where mustard plants have found use, our major focus in this guide is to consider mustard as a food condiment served with major meals.

Mustard adds a tasty flavor to foods that many people enjoy. It’s quite common to find many households incorporating mustard into their meals, and there are many reasons for this apart from its tasty nature. Remarkably, mustard is believed to have great health benefits, and experts recommend it as a healthy diet that works well with different underlying conditions, including diabetes.

A diabetic generally needs a good diet to keep blood glucose levels at the healthy range, and finding great-tasting foods that qualify for such goals is quite difficult. According to experts, mustard is one of the few foods that meet this requirement.

The subsequent section will consider the nutritional value of mustard and its respective healthful effects to fully understand how healthy it is. This will provide people with diabetes and other conditions insights into its content and the right way to eat it.

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The Nutritional Value of Mustard

The nutritional value of mustard proves it to be an excellent ingredient that helps formulate a balanced diet for people looking to follow a health goal or have certain underlying conditions. While the condiment isn’t incredibly high in fiber, it’s rich in lean proteins and fats.

However, we can’t overlook its carbohydrate content, which is why you should only consume it in minimal portion sizes. Surprisingly, this spice’s sugar level is somewhat low and works well for people struggling with blood glucose and weight gain. Whole grain mustard is the healthiest form of the spice and has a good amount of vitamin C.

Furthermore, modern science has shown a very good possibility of mustard helping people with many diet-related conditions become healthier versions of themselves. That said, let’s have a quick rundown on the various nutrients a 100 g (3.5 oz) serving of this spice contains.





267 kJ (66 kcal)


6 g


3 g

Dietary fiber

3 g


3 g


4 g


48 mg


152 mg


1,120 mg


From the nutritional value table, it’s clear that mustard is a great food for people struggling with weight gain and high blood sugar. It’s quite high in carbs, but dietary fiber accounts for a significant chunk of this amount. The lean protein, fats, and other important minerals it packs make it a great inclusion in a healthy diet plan.


Spicy mustard has a low glycemic index (GI) of 35 and rises slightly to 55 following the introduction of added sugar. Both GI values are significantly lower than the threshold of 75 that accounts for high GI foods.

Considering that a higher GI implies an increased tendency to raise blood sugar content, it’s safe to say that mustard is a somewhat perfect diet choice for people with low insulin levels. Also, being a rich source of minerals and antioxidants, it does an excellent job of boosting metabolism and immunity.

Health Benefits of Mustard

Mustard is more than a regular spice for improving food flavor. Research indicates that it does pack lots of beneficial effects, as we’ll observe below.

A Rich Source of Antioxidants

Mustard has many vitamins and minerals that promote enhanced metabolism. These nutrients also augment the overall function of the digestive tract and gut. It contains glucosinolates which comprise sulfur-containing compounds known to fight off diseases and improve immunity.

Prevents Cancer

Glucosinolates and myrosinase in mustard help prevent and reduce the possibility of cancer cells growing in the body. According to a study performed by the Human and Experimental Toxicology journal, mustard seeds offer chemopreventive properties that can prevent the effects of carcinogens.

Weight and Cardiovascular Risk Reduction

Mustard is great for weight reduction. Namely, the seeds majorly comprise lean protein and fats needed to replenish broken tissues and pseudo-energy.

The seed only has very small amounts of saturated fat, insignificant to weight gain. They also have incredibly low cholesterol levels, indicating that heart and cardiovascular disease risk is extremely low.

Strengthen Teeth, Gums, and Bones

Mustard seeds contain selenium, a mineral known to help improve bones all over the body. Namely, it has beneficial effects on the teeth, gum, nails, and hair. It also packs significant anti-inflammatory properties that reduce pain in the jaw and dental area.

Great for Skin

Mustard seeds are known to improve skin hydration which means longer life for the skin cells. The seed ensures that your skin is consistently hydrated, eliminates impurities, and reduces acne.

The Relationship Between Mustard and Diabetes

Based on the aforementioned nutrients mustard offers, it’s apparent that people with diabetes and those who struggle to control their blood sugar levels can enjoy immense benefits when they flavor their foods with this spice.

The major cause of blood sugar spikes is bad carbohydrates. Bad carbohydrates include those carbs with extremely high glycemic index (GL) and glycemic load (GL) values. The higher a food's glycemic index, the higher its likeliness to induce blood sugar spikes.

Higher glycemic foods mean that the body will convert the carbohydrates content to sugar quickly. When this happens, the glucose in the body occurs in amounts beyond what the body needs for energy, inducing a rise in blood glucose levels.

Since prepared mustard has a GI of 35, only increasing to 55 when you incorporate added sugars, it’s a good addition to a healthy diabetes diet, having a little impact on blood sugar levels.

Moreover, eating meals containing mustard oil makes it possible to prevent further complications such as heart disease — a phenomenon that occurs when the blood sugar rises to the extent that the coronary arteries get clogged. Apart from heart issues, mustard makes it easier for diabetics to avoid other cardiovascular diseases like stroke and kidney disease.

While personally made mustards are likely healthy and great for handling elevated blood sugar, people with the condition must understand that grocery sold mustards are usually processed, altering their benefits.

Condiments are generally sold in the grocery stores' condiment sections. So for a person managing diabetes, it’s important that you check the nutrition label and ingredients list of the product you’re purchasing to help you ascertain if you’re buying processed or unprocessed condiments.

As a rule of thumb, endeavor to read labels carefully and steer clear of mustard products containing added sugar.

Possible Side Effects of Mustard

Generally, mustard doesn’t trigger the symptoms of underlying conditions like diabetes. On the contrary, it’s great for diabetics, and they can consume it as part of their meal in the long term.

Edible mustard comprises prepared condiments, the seed, and the plant itself. While all can be eaten and used for food, overeating any of them could raise certain health concerns.

Excessive consumption of mustard seeds and extracts can induce diarrhea and abdominal pain. It can also trigger irregular movements in the guts, causing inflammation which could need treatment to manage.

There are reasons to believe that mustard can cause dermatitis. This concern was based on a report of a woman who developed dermatitis following the use of a Chinese-based medicine patch with mustard as an active ingredient. The case analysis results pointed towards mustard as the potential cause of the condition.

Uncooked mustard leaves and seeds are believed to have very high goitrogens. Goitrogens are compounds known to affect the optimal functioning of a person's thyroid, a gland responsible for metabolism regulation. People that suffer from this condition are those with a compromised thyroid. However, boiling, soaking, and cooking mustard seeds and leaves decreases the goitrogens content.

How Can People With Diabetes Eat Mustard?

Mustard doesn’t have any significant health risk for people with diabetes, and consuming a lot of it won’t cause much of a problem. However, the above section pinpointed certain side effects that accompany mustard use and consumption.

Regardless, you can easily circumvent mustard's potential side effects when you pair it with certain food options rich in fiber. Here are some excellent ones:


You can enjoy mustard with a sandwich — a good alternative to ketchup and corn syrup. You only have to ensure that the sandwich is as natural as possible and doesn’t include high GI ingredients. Moreover, you can make a hot sauce mustard condiment to improve taste and satisfaction.

Salad Dressing

You can also eat mustard with salad dressings, an incredibly healthy combination for people with diabetes. Namely, they’re rich in vitamins and nutrients that enhance metabolism and improve immunity. In addition, they have low glycemic index values, with the incredible salad nutrient profile compensating for mustard’s high amount of carbs.

Healthy Meals

Mustards generally work well with most diabetes foods. This means as long as you prefer the condiment in a particular diabetic meal, then you can easily pair them.

Prepare Mustard as a Tonic and Drink

You can actually drink mustard as a tonic. All you have to do is soak it overnight in warm water.


People with diabetes can enjoy mustard as condiments for their meals. The benefits of this spicy mix go beyond regulating blood sugar as it also helps build a person's immunity and improve metabolism.

In most cases, adding mustard to meals is extremely easy, and you only need to ensure that you’re getting enough nutrients and minerals that you need for a day. However, the major concern in formulating a great diabetic diet is selecting only those foods that regulate blood sugar.

You may need the recommendation of a doctor to successfully select the right foods and ultimately draft a good meal plan. However, a digital diabetes management meal planner like Klinio can make this process more seamless. Aside from suggesting excellent food options in tandem with your blood sugar levels, our app doubles as a great weight loss progress tracker and blood sugar monitor.

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