Nutrition

Diabetic Biscuits

Reviewed by

Shifa Fathima

Biscuits can be declared as a national snacks They are easy to store, economical, and kind to our taste buds. Can you think of a better companion for evening tea? Be it adults or kids, everyone enjoys biscuits. These crunchy munchies are a good companion anytime your mouth feels lonely.

Diabetes is a condition where the glucose level in the body becomes higher than normal. In diabetes, since insulin is produced in a lesser amount than required, the level of glucose in the blood rises further, causing damages to the arteries supplying blood to important organs. It raises the risk of heart disease, stroke, kidney disease, vision issues, and nerve disorders. So how do biscuits fit into this condition where one is often advised a routine that includes selective food choices? Let's find out.

Are Biscuits good for Diabetes?

Before we decide if biscuits are good or bad, let’s try to understand the composition and nutritional values of the biscuits in question. The key ingredient of biscuit is refined flour and sugar. These ingredients have a high glycaemic index, which means they spike blood sugar levels.

Any food with a high glycaemic index is recommended unsafe. If we consider salty biscuits, they have a low glycaemic index but contain high sodium content which can cause blood pressure to shoot up. Hence even though Diabetic Biscuits are advertised as 'Sugar-Free', their existing composition of flour and sugar itself is considered an unhealthy food choices for people who have diabetes. Even those brands claiming of using only raw ingredients, their manufacturing processes vary widely making it harder to ascertain how raw or refined it may be.

Although, both Plain and Digestive biscuits claim to be healthy, their If list of ingredients says otherwise. One Biscuit of 15 g approx. contains 71 Calories and 0.5 g of Fibre. No matter how healthy a biscuit claims to be, refined flours like Maida are often combined with whole grain flour inevitably adding fat and carbohydrate content to the biscuit.

The most common ingredients found in many of these biscuits are-

  • Whole Wheat Flour
  • Ammonium Bicarbonate
  • Sodium Bicarbonate
  • Tartaric Acid
  • Vegetable Oil
  • Powdered/Skim Milk
  • Baking Soda
  • Sugar
  • Preservatives

Can I Eat Biscuits for Breakfast?

Breakfast is the first food you have after an overnight fast, and is considered the most important meal of the day. Along with replenishing our glucose supply and energizing the whole body, it also supplies other vital nutrients required by the body to get through the day.

Biscuits can be consumed only If being eaten in smaller portions and accompanied by other wholesome food like Milk or Fruits. But substituting an entire breakfast with just biscuits is highly undesirable for several reasons including-

  • An ideal Breakfast must provide essential nutrients including fibres. Consuming only biscuits will deprive the body of essential nutrients and fibres, leading to digestive issues.
  • Biscuits contains a very unhealthy amount of sugar and sodium, that can cause increased sugar level and blood pressure.

Bottomline

Almost every biscuit is made from refined flour, sugar, fat, preservatives, and sodium. Many ‘healthy’ biscuits have refined flour like Maida as their primary ingredient, with a small percentage of whole-grain flour. Such biscuits are not recommended if you consume biscuits as the first food item in your day. Fortunately, some diabetes-friendly biscuits are available in the market. They are made from whole wheat and jaggery, with no added preservatives. They are healthier alternatives to regular biscuits. People with diabetes can have 2 to 3 biscuits twice a week.

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