Millets For Diabetes: Glycemic Index, Benefits, Risks

Dr. Pakhi Sharma, MBBSGeneral Physician, 6+ Years
Published On : 30-Dec-2021Read Time : 3 minutes
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Millets reduce risks of cardiovascular diseases, boost immunity, aid in good digestion, prevent risks of asthma and aids in weight loss. But can diabetics have millets? Do millets control diabetes? Let’s find out more about millets and its uses in preventing blood sugar spikes. 

  • Millet: Nutritional Value
  • Advantages of Millets For Diabetes
  • Ways To Consume Millet For Diabetes
  • Best Time To Consume Millet For Diabetes
  • Risks of Over Consuming Millet For Diabetes
  • Other Health Benefits of Millet For Diabetes
  • Don’t Have Time To Read?
  • FAQs

Millet: Nutritional Value

Millets are a class of gluten-free coarse grains with great nutritional value. Their glycemic index (GI) depends on the type. The GI of pearl, foxtail, finger, and little millets range from 54 to 68. Jowar has a higher GI of 70.

100 grams of millets contain the following nutrition:

Calories: 119

Carbohydrates: 23.7 g

Protein: 3.51 g

Fibre: 1.3 g

Phosphorus: 100 mg

Potassium: 62 mg

Magnesium: 44 mg

Millets also contain minerals like calcium, iron, manganese, selenium, zinc, copper, and vitamins like niacin, riboflavin, folate, thiamine, and pantothenic acid. 

Advantages of Millets For Diabetes

  • The high fibre content and low glycemic index of millets make it a healthy option for diabetics.
  • Millets can control blood glucose levels and prevent spikes due to their slow absorption and low GI.
  • As they also reduce cholesterol, they maintain better HbA1c levels and overall glycemic control.
  • A study has shown that diabetics who consumed foxtail millets for three months had reduced triglyceride, cholesterol, and blood sugar levels and lower risk of cardiovascular complications.
  • They aid weight loss and reduce insulin resistance. These abilities make millets good for diabetes management. 

Ways To Consume Millets For Diabetes

Millets must be cooked before consumption. Use millet flour in rotis, bread, cakes, or biscuits as an alternative to wheat flour. Here’s what you need to know:

  • Preparing millet porridge for breakfast
  • Stuffing vegetables or chicken breasts with millet
  • Replacing rice or quinoa with millet in various recipes like khichdi

Best Time To Consume Millets For Diabetes

Substitute your regular grains such as wheat, rice, or quinoa with millets. The best time to consume millet is for breakfast. This will promote good digestion and maintain healthy weight. Diabetics can eat millets daily but in moderation. 

Risks of Over Consuming Millets For Diabetes

  • Bajra (pearl millet) has high fibre content. It can slow down digestion and adversely affect people with intestinal disorders.
  • Overconsumption is associated with impaired thyroid gland function.
  • Millets are rich in amino acids. Overconsumption can lead to excess amino acids, possibly impairing kidney function.

Other Health Benefits of Millet For Diabetes

  • Millets reduce the risk of colon cancer due to their insoluble fibre.
  • Has cardioprotective properties; reduces bad cholesterol and triglycerides
  • Niacin helps maintain healthy skin.
  • Antioxidants fight free radicals and boost immunity.

Don’t Have Time To Read?

  • Millets are food grains with a low to moderate GI, depending on the type, with high nutritional value.
  • Millets are a healthy high-fibre option for diabetics. They help manage blood sugar levels, cholesterol, insulin resistance, and risk of cardiac diseases.
  • Millets can substitute regular food grains in recipes like stuffing, khichdi, porridge, etc.
  • Consume millets in moderation in the morning for better digestion.
  • Overconsumption can cause impaired thyroid function, intestinal disorders, renal disorders, etc.
  • Millets also have anti-cancer, antioxidant, and cardioprotective properties.
  • Use Phable Care App to consult India's leading diabetologists, order medicines, book lab tests, integrate Accu-Chek instant and other devices to get real-time remote care from the comfort of your home. Let's treat diabetes together.

Frequently Asked Questions

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