Is chia good for those with Diabetes?


Leigh-Anne Wooten MS, RDN/LDN, FAND

Registered Dietitian


Diabetes is a chronic disease affecting over 37 million Americans, that’s about 10% of the population. When someone has diabetes, their body isn’t able to effectively process and use glucose (sugar) from the food they eat. There are different types of diabetes, each with different causes, but all share the common issue of having too much glucose in the bloodstream. Chronic high blood sugar eventually damages the body and can cause other serious health issues, including vision loss, nerve damage, kidney disease, and cardiovascular disease, to name a few.

How to Treat Diabetes 

Some people with diabetes require medication in order to keep their blood sugar in check, and even then, these individuals still need to adopt a healthy lifestyle to combat the disease and its complications. Some are able to manage their diabetes without medications focusing on proper nutrition, maintaining a healthy weight, and staying active. Specific to nutrition, here are four tips to support diabetes. A focus on eating more:

  • Plants
  • Lean sources of protein
  • Fiber
  • Heart-healthy fats (aka omega-3 fatty acids or omega 3’s)
  • Foods with less added sugar
  • Foods that are not ultra-processed

How Chia Can Play a Part in Diabetes Management

It turns out that chia seeds check all the boxes above, perfectly balanced with fiber, plant protein, and healthy fats, which all work to slow down sugar entering the bloodstream. Not to mention, they are loaded with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, all supporting long-term health. 

In fact, researchers have specifically studied the role that chia can play in supporting those with diabetes. Studies have found that chia lowers:

  • Weight
  • Waist circumference
  • Post prandial glycemia (how high blood sugar rises after eating)
  • Blood pressure
  • HbA1C (average measure of blood sugar over the past 2 to 3 months)
  • C-Reactive Protein (a marker of chronic inflammation)

When these indicators are relatively lower, we see fewer secondary health issues in diabetics. You may be wondering how chia is able to positively impact all of these measures. It’s the high concentration of fiber, omega-3 fatty acids, plant protein, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, each acting in a unique way to elicit these benefits.

A diet rich in plants, including chia, is one of the best ways to manage diabetes. Luckily, incorporating chia is easier than you may think. Try this SOW Chia Milk at breakfast with one of these tasty recipes or simply drizzle, dip, or sauté with our cold-pressed Chia Oil. Fun Fact - Cold pressing oil ensures that the properties of the oil don’t get damaged. This is why, when pressed cold, most of the chia’s nutritional value is retained in the oil!