Diabetes is a chronic metabolic disorder that affects millions of people worldwide. According to the International Diabetes Federation, diabetes currently affects over 463 million adults aged between 20-79 years, and this number is projected to increase to 700 million by 2045. Diabetes management is a lifelong process that requires a balanced diet, regular exercise, and medication.
Millets are a group of small-seeded grains that have been used for centuries as a staple food in many parts of the world. Millets are rich in nutrients, high in fiber, and have a low glycemic index, which makes them an ideal food for people with diabetes.
In this article, we will explore the benefits of millets for people with diabetes, their nutritional value, and how to incorporate them into your diet.
What are Millets?
Millets are a group of small-seeded cereal crops that are drought-resistant and grow well in harsh weather conditions. They are rich in nutrients and have been a staple food in many parts of the world, especially in Africa and Asia, for thousands of years. Some of the commonly consumed millets include pearl millet, foxtail millet, finger millet, and proso millet.
Millets are not only a nutritious food option, but they can also be enjoyed as tasty snacks. Try Keeros Super Snacks which are made from millets and offer a delicious and healthy snacking option for people with diabetes or anyone looking for a nutritious snack. By incorporating millet-based snacks like Keeros into your diet, you can benefit from the many nutritional advantages of millets, such as their low glycemic index, high fibre content, and essential vitamins and minerals.
Benefits of Millets for People with Diabetes
Lowers Blood Sugar Levels
Millets have a low glycemic index, which makes them an ideal food for people with diabetes. The glycemic index is a measure of how quickly a food raises blood sugar levels. Foods with a low glycemic index are slowly digested and absorbed, resulting in a gradual rise in blood sugar levels. This helps in preventing spikes in blood sugar levels, which is a common problem for people with diabetes.
Rich In Fiber
Millets are rich in fibre, which is beneficial for people with diabetes. Fibre slows down the digestion and absorption of carbohydrates, preventing spikes in blood sugar levels. It also helps in maintaining a healthy weight, which is important for managing diabetes. Incorporating millet based snacks like Keeros Quinoa Millets is an excellent way to add nutrition to your daily diet while enjoying tasty snacks.
Helps Manage Weight
Millets are low in calories and high in fiber, making them an excellent food choice for people with diabetes who want to manage their weight. Eating a diet high in fiber can help you feel full, reduce your appetite, and prevent overeating.
Provides Essential Nutrients
Millets are a rich source of nutrients such as vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. They are particularly rich in magnesium, which is essential for glucose metabolism and helps in regulating blood sugar levels. They also contain iron, phosphorus, and zinc, which are essential for maintaining good health.
Millets are gluten-free, making them an ideal food for people with celiac disease or gluten intolerance. Gluten is a protein found in wheat, barley, and rye that can cause digestive problems for people with celiac disease or gluten intolerance. By replacing wheat, barley, and rye with millets, people with these conditions can still enjoy a varied and nutritious diet.
Reduces The Rsk of Heart Disease
People with diabetes are at a higher risk of developing heart disease. Millets are rich in antioxidants, which can help reduce inflammation and protect against heart disease. They are also low in saturated fat and cholesterol, making them a heart-healthy food choice.
Varied Culinary Uses
Millets can be used in a variety of dishes, making them a versatile food for people with diabetes. They can be used as a substitute for rice or other grains in dishes such as porridge, pulao, and risotto. They can also be used in baked goods such as cakes, bread, crackers & snacks. One of the best snack options with millet content is Keeros Quinoa Millets which is made with a combination of quinoa and millets, offering the benefits of both ingredients.
5 Best Millets for Diabetics
Pearl Millet (Bajra): Pearl millet is a staple food in many parts of India and Africa and is known for its low glycemic index. It is high in fibre and magnesium, which helps regulate blood sugar levels.
Finger Millet (Ragi): Finger millet is another type of millet that is commonly consumed in India and Africa. It has a low glycemic index and is high in fibre, which helps slow down digestion and absorption of carbohydrates. It is also a good source of iron, phosphorus, and calcium.
Foxtail Millet (Kangni): Foxtail millet is a staple food in many parts of Asia and is known for its low glycemic index and high fibre content. It is also a good source of antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals.
Proso Millet: Proso millet is a lesser-known type of millet that is grown in many parts of the world. It has a low glycemic index and is high in fibre, protein, and antioxidants. It is also a good source of magnesium, iron, and phosphorus.
Sorghum Millet: Sorghum millet is another type of millet that is commonly consumed in Africa and India. It has a low glycemic index and is high in fibre, antioxidants, and nutrients such as magnesium and phosphorus. It is also a good source of protein and is gluten-free, making it an ideal food for people with celiac disease or gluten intolerance.
Note- It is important to note that while millets can be a beneficial food for people with diabetes, they should still be consumed as part of a balanced diet and portion size should be monitored to maintain blood sugar levels. It is recommended to consult a healthcare professional for personalised dietary advice.
How To Incorporate Millets Into Your Diet:
Millet Porridge: Millet porridge is a delicious and nutritious breakfast option for people with diabetes. Cook millet in water or milk and add your favorite fruits, nuts, and seeds for added flavor and nutrition.
Millet Khichdi: Millet Khichdi is a popular Indian dish made with millets, lentils, and vegetables. It is a low-calorie, high-fiber dish that is easy to digest and helps regulate blood sugar levels.
Millet Salad: Millet salad is a refreshing and healthy meal option for people with diabetes. Cook millet and add your favorite vegetables, herbs, and a dressing of your choice for a satisfying meal.
Millet Chapati: Millet chapati is a healthy alternative to wheat chapati. It is high in fiber, low in calories, and helps regulate blood sugar levels.
Do you want to enjoy Diabetic-Friendly & Healthy Snacks made from millets in different yummy flavours? Try a wide range of Keeros Super Snacks today:
Lightly Salted Multigrain- a delightfully healthy combination of pearl millets & 5 other super grains.
Lightly Spiced Quinoa Grain- a delightfully healthy combination of the mother of grains quinoa, millets & 3 other super grains
Tangy & Crispy Multigrain Minty Lime- a delightfully healthy combination of pearl millets & 5 other super grains.
Tangy & Crunchy Quinoa Millets- a mix of roasted quinoa puffs & pearl millets.
Slightly Sweet & Crunchy Indo Trail Mix Roasted Supersnacks- a mix of dried superfruits, pearl millets, roasted super seeds & nuts
Q. Are all types of millets suitable for people with diabetes?
A. Yes, all types of millets are suitable for people with diabetes. However, it is essential to consume millets in moderation and as part of a balanced diet.
Q. How much millets can people with diabetes eat?
A. It is recommended to consume 1-2 servings of millets per day for people with diabetes. A serving size is typically 1/2 cup cooked millet.
Q. Can millets replace rice in a diabetic diet?
A. Yes, millets can replace rice in a diabetic diet. Millets have a lower glycemic index than rice, making them a better food choice for people with diabetes.
Q. Can millets be eaten by people with gluten intolerance?
A. Yes, millets are gluten-free, making them an excellent food choice for people with gluten intolerance.
Q. How do millets compare to other grains in terms of nutrition?
A. Millets are highly nutritious and have a lower glycemic index than many other grains. They are also high in fiber, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.
Q. Are there any side effects of consuming millets?
A. Millets are generally safe for consumption and do not have any significant side effects. However, some people may experience mild digestive discomfort if they consume large amounts of millets. It is always recommended to consult a healthcare professional before making any significant changes to your diet.
In conclusion, millets are a nutritious and versatile food that can help people with diabetes manage their blood sugar levels. With their low glycemic index, high fibre content, and rich nutrient profile, they make an excellent addition to a diabetic diet. By incorporating millets into their diet, people with diabetes can enjoy a variety of delicious and nutritious dishes while keeping their blood sugar levels in check.
Author- Simran Sahni