Your search for a healthy and nutritious diet for diabetes may end with millets. Ignored for the longest time, the ancient superfoods of India are now getting their due as the year 2023 has been declared as International Year of Millets by United Nations on the behest of Indian government. High on fibre and comparatively lower on the glycaemic index compared to other grains, they help control blood sugar spikes in people with diabetes apart from easing digestion, improving satiety and promoting insulin sensitivity. However, it’s important to consume millets in moderation and prepare them in a healthy way avoiding deep-frying methods. (Also read: International Burger Day 2023: 4 delicious millet burger recipes to enjoy during weekend)
“India is celebrating 2023 as the ‘Year of the Millets’, giving these yet high nutritional grains their due. Currently, India is also the second-highest country in the world affected by diabetes. Since a better way to manage diabetes is to adopt a balanced eating plan, millets play a huge role in controlling blood sugar levels and maintaining a healthy weight. Millet is a diabetes-friendly grain because it is rich in protein and promotes insulin sensitivity. It is an excellent source of fibre and helps slow the absorption of sugar into the bloodstream. Occasional consumption of millet does not have much effect, but regular inclusion of millet helps in long-term success in managing diabetes. However, millet can cause varying effects on blood sugar levels in different people. It is highly recommended to consult a nutritionist to determine the millet that suits individuals the best,” says Dr Siddhant Bhargava, Fitness and Nutritional Scientist, Co-Founder- Food Darzee.
Here are some of the best millets to manage diabetes suggest by Dr Siddhant:
1. Foxtail Millet (Kangani/Kakum)
A regular diet consisting of foxtail millet leads to reduced blood sugar levels, cholesterol, and triglycerides in type 2 diabetes. Studies have shown that when Foxtail millet is eaten instead of rice and wheat, it decreases blood sugar levels.
2. Sorghum Millet (Jowar)
It raises your blood sugar gradually rather than sudden spikes. High-fibre, low-glycaemic index foods keep blood sugar steady, lower cholesterol, and help in weight loss.
3. Barnyard Millet (Sanva)
This millet has a low carbohydrate content and is slow to digest, making it a low glycaemic index food. The carbohydrates in millet facilitate the formation of higher amounts of resistant starch. It is highly recommended for patients with cardiovascular disease and diabetes.
4. Finger Millet (Ragi/Nachni)
Finger millet is nutrient-dense and versatile grain. It has more calcium and potassium than other millets, grains, and cereals. Research indicates that finger millet is higher in fibre, minerals, and amino acids, improving blood sugar and cholesterol levels.
5. Pearl Millet (Bajra)
Pearl millet is known to increase insulin sensitivity and lower the level of triglycerides. It is also very effective in preventing diabetes as it is rich in dietary fibre. It is digested more slowly than other foods, releasing glucose into the blood slower. This effectively contributes to keeping blood sugar levels constant over a long period of time in diabetics.
Courtesy – www.hindustantimes.com