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Foxtail millet, often overlooked in Western diets, offers a compelling alternative for managing blood sugar levels. Despite its carbohydrate content, foxtail millet boasts a relatively low glycemic index, making it a favorable choice for individuals seeking to regulate glucose levels.¹ Rich in essential nutrients such as magnesium and fiber, this ancient grain holds promise for those with diabetes and anyone striving for balanced nutrition. Foxtail millet provides a nutrient-dense option for incorporating into a diabetic-friendly diet, offering not just sustenance but potential health benefits as well.

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Glycemic Index Table

To calculate the glycemic index (GI) and glycemic load (GL) of foxtail millet, we need to consider its carbohydrate content and how it affects blood sugar levels. According to USDA data, the carbohydrate content of foxtail millet is approximately 68g per 100g serving.²

Generally, whole grains like millet tend to have a lower GI compared to refined grains due to their higher fiber content, which slows down digestion and stabilizes blood sugar levels. Cooking methods and other factors can influence the GI of foxtail millet; for instance, boiling may result in a lower GI compared to steaming or baking. 

Using the available carbohydrate content, we can calculate the GL, which provides a more practical measure of how a food affects blood sugar levels. To calculate GL, we use the formula:

GL = (GI/100) x carbohydrate content per serving

Given the lack of specific GI values for foxtail millet, we cannot provide an exact GL. However, by referring to similar whole grains, we can estimate a moderate GL for foxtail millet, especially when consumed in reasonable portions.

In summary, while we can determine the carbohydrate content of foxtail millet, specific GI values are not readily available. 

However, understanding the general principles of GI and the factors influencing it allows us to make informed choices about including foxtail millet in a balanced diet for managing blood sugar levels.

Glycemic Index


Serving Size


Carbohydrate* per Serving (g)

68 g

GL per Serving


Nutritional Facts

Foxtail millet is a nutritional powerhouse, rich in essential nutrients that contribute to overall health. Per 100g serving, foxtail millet contains approximately 12g of protein, 3g of fiber, and significant amounts of vitamins and minerals such as iron, magnesium, and phosphorus.² Its impressive nutrient profile makes it a valuable addition to a balanced diet, offering numerous health benefits.

The nutritional information below is for 100 g of raw millet.²


118 kcal


23.6 g


3.5 g


1.3 g


0 mg


B6 (0.108 mg), Zinc (0.91 mg), Calcium (3 mg), Iron (0.63 mg), Phosphorus (100 mg), Potassium (62 mg)


168 mg

Total Fat

1 g

Is Foxtail Millet Good for Weight Loss?

Foxtail millet can be a valuable component of a weight loss diet due to its nutrient density, high fiber content, and low glycemic index. A study conducted in 2018 suggests that incorporating foxtail millet into meals can promote feelings of fullness and satiety, potentially reducing overall calorie intake.³ Additionally, the high fiber content of foxtail millet aids digestion and promotes a healthy gut microbiota, which may contribute to weight management. Including foxtail millet as part of a balanced diet, coupled with regular physical activity, can support sustainable weight loss goals. However, individual results may vary, and it's essential to consult with a healthcare professional or registered dietitian for personalized advice.

Is Foxtail Millet Good for People Living with Diabetes?

Foxtail millet can be a beneficial addition to the diet of individuals with diabetes due to its low glycemic index and high fiber content. According to a 2018 study, foxtail millet consumption has shown promising effects on glycemic control, insulin sensitivity, and lipid profiles in diabetic individuals.³ Additionally, incorporating whole grains like foxtail millet into a diabetic diet to help manage blood sugar levels effectively. However, it's essential for individuals with diabetes to monitor their carbohydrate intake and consult with a healthcare professional for personalized dietary recommendations.

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Allergies to foxtail millet are relatively rare but can occur, particularly in individuals with sensitivities to other grains such as wheat or barley. Symptoms of a foxtail millet allergy may include itching, swelling, gastrointestinal discomfort, or respiratory issues. It's essential for individuals with known grain allergies to exercise caution and consult with a healthcare professional if they suspect they may be allergic to foxtail millet. While there is limited specific research on foxtail millet allergies, understanding common grain allergies can help individuals identify potential sensitivities.

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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 Foxtail Millet Spike Insulin?

No, Foxtail Millet does not spike insulin. Foxtail Millet is a low glycemic index food, which means it is digested and absorbed slowly, resulting in a gradual rise in blood sugar levels. This slow release of glucose into the bloodstream helps to prevent sudden spikes in insulin levels. Therefore, Foxtail Millet is a suitable option for individuals who are concerned about managing their blood sugar levels.

Is Foxtail Millet Low Glycemic?

Yes, Foxtail Millet is considered to be low glycemic. The glycemic index (GI) is a measure of how quickly a food raises blood sugar levels. Foods with a low GI value (55 or less) are digested and absorbed more slowly, resulting in a slower and more gradual rise in blood sugar levels. Foxtail Millet has a low GI value, making it a suitable choice for individuals who are looking to manage their blood sugar levels or follow a low glycemic diet.

Can People Living with Diabetes Eat Foxtail Millet?

Yes, people living with diabetes can eat foxtail millet. Foxtail millet is a nutritious grain that has a low glycemic index, meaning it does not cause a rapid increase in blood sugar levels. This makes it a suitable choice for individuals with diabetes who need to manage their blood sugar levels. Additionally, foxtail millet is rich in fiber, which helps regulate blood sugar levels and promotes better digestion. However, it is important to consume foxtail millet in moderation and as part of a balanced diet, as portion control is key for managing diabetes. It is always recommended to consult with a healthcare professional or a registered dietitian for personalized dietary advice.

Topics discussed in this article:


  1. The University of Sydney. (2023, May 1). Glycemic Index – Glycemic Index Research and GI News
  2. USDA FoodData Central. (2019, April 1). Food Details - millet, raw.

Ren, X., Yin, R., Hou, D., Xue, Y., Zhang, M., Diao, X., Zhang, Y., Wu, J., Hu, J., Hu, X., & Shen, Q. (2018). The Glucose-Lowering Effect of Foxtail Millet in Subjects with Impaired Glucose Tolerance: A Self-Controlled Clinical Trial. Nutrients, 10(10), 1509.

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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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