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October 6, 2023
May 17, 2024
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Bulgur, a whole grain derived from cracked wheat, is emerging as a popular choice for those seeking a wholesome addition to their diets. Its rich history, culinary versatility, and robust nutritional profile make it a compelling option for health-conscious individuals. 

One aspect that warrants further exploration is bulgur’s glycemic index (GI) rating, a key metric in understanding how bulgur consumption can impact blood sugar levels. It is particularly relevant for those with diabetes or anyone looking to maintain stable glucose levels.

This article will provide a comprehensive understanding of bulgur's GI and its health implications, shedding light on the glycemic impact and broader benefits of incorporating bulgur into one's dietary choices that competitors may not have covered extensively.

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Glycemic Index Table

The glycemic index measures how quickly a carbohydrate-containing food raises blood sugar levels. Bulgur is generally considered to have a low to medium GI with a glycemic index of 47 if boiled.¹ 

Note: Cooking can affect the GI of foods. Overcooking Bulgur might raise its GI slightly, but it should remain in the low to medium range.

Glycemic Index

47

Serving Size

100g

Carbohydrate* per Serving (g)

18.58 g

GL per Serving

8.00

Nutritional Facts

Bulgur is a highly nutritious whole grain that offers numerous health benefits. In a 100g serving of cooked bulgur, you can typically expect to find approximately 18.58 grams of carbohydrates, 3.1 grams of fiber, and 3.08 grams of protein, making it a good energy source and a substantial dietary fiber provider. Additionally, bulgur is low in fat and rich in essential minerals such as manganese, magnesium, and iron, making it a well-rounded choice for those seeking a nutritious and wholesome addition to their meals.

The nutritional information below is for 100 g of bulgur.²

Calories

83 kcal

Carbs

18.6 g

Protein

3.08 g

Fiber

4.5 g

Cholesterol

0 mg

Vitamins

B6 (0.08 mg).

Sodium

5 mg

Total Fat

0.24 g

Is Bulgur Good for Weight Loss?

Bulgur can be a valuable addition to a weight loss plan due to its numerous benefits for promoting satiety and supporting healthy eating habits. It contains a substantial amount of dietary fiber, approximately 3.1 grams per 100g serving.² This high fiber content can help individuals feel fuller for longer periods, reducing the likelihood of overeating and aiding in portion control, an aspect not extensively covered in competitor articles.

Moreover, bulgur is relatively low in calories, making it a nutritious yet calorie-friendly choice for those aiming to shed pounds. It provides essential nutrients and can serve as a satisfying base for various meals, including salads, stews, and pilafs. The versatility of bulgur allows for creative and flavorful dishes that can be a part of a sustainable and balanced weight loss strategy.

To maximize the weight loss benefits of bulgur, it's essential to incorporate it into a well-rounded diet that includes a variety of nutrient-dense foods and to maintain a calorie deficit through a combination of diet and physical activity. Consulting with a registered dietitian or healthcare professional for personalized guidance is advisable when developing a weight loss plan that includes bulgur or other dietary changes.

Is Bulgur Safe for People Living with Diabetes?

Bulgur can be a safe and nutritious option for individuals with diabetes when consumed in moderation and as part of a balanced diet. It offers several advantages for managing blood sugar levels due to its relatively low glycemic index (GI) and high fiber content, which can help stabilize glucose levels and improve insulin sensitivity. 

Furthermore, bulgur is a good source of complex carbohydrates, which are digested more slowly than simple sugars, leading to a gradual release of glucose into the bloodstream. This sustained energy release can aid in managing blood sugar levels throughout the day. However, individuals with diabetes must monitor their portion sizes and carbohydrate intake while incorporating bulgur into their diet, as excessive consumption can still lead to elevated blood sugar levels. 

Consulting with a healthcare professional or registered dietitian is recommended to tailor bulgur consumption to individual dietary needs and blood sugar management goals.

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Allergies

Allergies to bulgur, though relatively uncommon, can occur in some individuals. These allergies are typically associated with wheat allergies, as bulgur is a wheat product. Symptoms of a bulgur allergy may include hives, digestive distress, or respiratory issues. Individuals with wheat allergies or sensitivities need to exercise caution and seek guidance from allergists or medical professionals to ensure safe dietary choices.

Additionally, it's worth noting that cross-contamination with other wheat-based products is a potential concern, so individuals with wheat allergies should also be vigilant about reading food labels and considering the source of their bulgur to avoid unintended exposure to wheat allergens.

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FAQs

What is Glycemic Index?

The glycemic index (GI) is a measure of how quickly a carbohydrate-containing food raises blood sugar levels compared to a reference food, usually glucose. It ranks foods on a scale from 0 to 100, with higher values indicating a faster rise in blood sugar. The glycemic index (GI) scale is typically categorized as follows: Low GI [55 or less], Medium GI [56-69], High GI [70 or higher]. Foods with a high glycemic index digest rapidly and can cause dramatic fluctuations in blood glucose or glucose spikes.

What is Glycemic Load?

Glycemic load (GL) takes into account both the quality (glycemic index) and quantity (carbohydrate content) of carbohydrates in a specific serving of food. It is a measure of how much a particular food will raise blood sugar levels. GL is calculated by multiplying the glycemic index of a food by its carbohydrate content and dividing it by 100. It provides a more accurate representation of the overall impact of a food on blood sugar compared to the glycemic index alone.

Does Bulgur Spike Insulin?

Bulgur is a whole grain that is low on the glycemic index, which means it does not cause a rapid spike in blood sugar levels. Therefore, it is unlikely to cause a significant spike in insulin levels. However, individual responses to foods can vary, and it is always best to consult with a healthcare professional for personalized dietary advice.

Is Bulgur Low Glycemic?

Yes, Bulgur is considered a low glycemic index food.

Can People Living with Diabetes Eat Bulgur?

Yes, people living with diabetes can eat bulgur as it is a low glycemic index food that can help regulate blood sugar levels. However, portion control is important as bulgur is still a carbohydrate-rich food. It is recommended to consult a registered dietitian for personalized dietary advice.

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References

  1. The University of Sydney. (2023, May 1). Glycemic Index – Glycemic Index Research and GI Newshttps://glycemicindex.com/
  2. USDA FoodData Central. (2019, April 1). Food Details - Bulgur, cooked. Retrieved from https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/170287/nutrients

About the author

It is a long established fact that a reader will be distracted by the readable content of a page when looking at its layout.

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About the author

Brittany Barry is a national board-certified health coach and NASM-certified personal trainer based in South Carolina.

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Please note: The Signos team is committed to sharing insightful and actionable health articles that are backed by scientific research, supported by expert reviews, and vetted by experienced health editors. The Signos blog is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. If you have or suspect you have a medical problem, promptly contact your professional healthcare provider. Read more about our editorial process and content philosophy here.

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