Can diabetics eat Dosa? (Dosa for type 2 diabetics)

Dosa is one of the very famous delicacies of Southern India. It is commonly eaten food in the rest of India as well. It is served with Coconut Chatni and Sambhar Dal. In this article we will see how the ingredients of Dosa, for type 2 diabetics, in their respective proportion have an impact.

“I’ll have just one, said no one ever…”

– Just told you, no one said that ever!


Dosa has rice and split black lentils (urad dal) as its main ingredients.

A. Rice

Rice, although not in its typical form, is an important ingredient of the Dosa. It, along with the split black lentils, is crushed and fermented.


Table showing nutritional facts of 100g of rice

Saturated fats0.1g

Glycemic index and Glycemic load

GI = 73.

This lies within the higher glycemic index range. Moreover, the rice is the main ingredient of the Dosa. Therefore, while analyzing the Dosa for diabetic individuals we need to consider all other ingredients simultaneously.

Glycemic load = 73 * 28 / 100 = 20.44

This is a high glycemic load value due to high GI and high carbohydrate content.

Now as you see, rice has high glycemic index and high glycemic load. Although, the rice does not have all the sugars but both these high values cause rapid rise and high value rise in the blood sugar levels.

Protein and Fats

The amount of fats is nil in rice. So, there is no question of bringing it up here. Proteins are 2.7g per 200g of boiled rice. Rice protein is low in lysine. Therefore, Indians usually consume rice with daal (pulses) or pea containing curries which make up for this deficiency. So, overall, rice increases your blood sugar rapidly, takes it to higher levels and gives you incomplete content of protein by only saving you from harmful effects of saturated fats. What do you think? Is it worth it?


Rice provides for 5% RDA of Vitamin B6 and 3% RDA of Magnesium. Thus in this section too, rice has a very little to offer. However, brown rice is believed to have better nutrients as compared to white boiled rice. We will see the difference between the two in a separate article focused upon rice and diabetes.


B. Black lentils (split)


Table showing nutritional facts of 100g of black lentils

Saturated fats0g

Glycemic index and Glycemic load

The glycemic index of split black lentils specifically is not known. However, overall lentils have GI value within lower range, even as low as 18. Which is definitely good for diabetics.

The value of glycemic load with the GI value of 28 will compute to 18*20/100 = 3.6 => Damn NEAT! 

Okay, so, the glycemic load does not stop you from eating the split black lentils.

Other Macronutrients

The black lentils lack the fats almost entirely, so you need to have another source for good fats. However, the protein content is good. 100g of black lentils serve you with 17% of the RDA of protein content.

C. Other ingredients (Dosa for type 2 diabetics)

Dosa can have variations with few other ingredients such as chana daal, fenugreek seeds (to facilitate the process of fermentation). Since, these are not added in a considerable amount, there role to understand the effect of Dosa for type 2 diabetics isn’t discussed here. You can email your query here: or join our Facebook community.


The ingredients discussed above are mixed in the proportion of 3 parts rice and 1 part split black lentils. A medium sized dosa will require nearly 170g of rice and 60g of split black lentils. 

Thus, with this proportion of ingredients, the glycemic load will be:

Rice => 34.748 | Lentils => 2.16

Total GL = 34.748 + 2.16 = 36.9 Which is very high for a diabetic

So, to conclude, Dosa is not the choice of food for diabetics. Although, the fermentation may be beneficial for blood sugar levels, but the amount of rice is not suitable.

Eating, half a dosa with half amount of ingredients can be eaten occasionally, but definitely with high fiber foods and walks. 

References (Dosa for type 2 diabetics)


Hey there, I'm a final year undergrad medical student at Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam Medical College (SSRMC), Mauritius.

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