Food Sequencing : Ragi v/s Salad?
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Food Sequence Experiment

Components

1. Carbohydrates : Ragi

2. Fibre : Salad

Experiment Question

When should Carbs be consumed? Before OR After Fibre?

Experiment Answer

Carbs after Fibre  - Have some Salad before eating Ragi Roti or Ragi Malt

Ragi has a high Glycemic Index. Glycemic index is a value between 0-100 assigned to specific foods on how quickly and how high they can increase the blood sugar levels. Ragi or finger millet can cause sugar levels to spike but it also helps in improving insulin sensitivity and reduces inflammation. Therefore, pairing it up with a salad will provide fibre content and in turn, reduce sugar spikes and stabilize blood glucose levels.

Scientific Rationale - Ragi

Ragi is anti-microbial and has the ability to reduce bad cholesterol, induce weight loss, prevent the risk of cardiovascular diseases and diabetes. So let’s get right to it and take a look at this amazing ‘wonder grain’ with the potential to manage diabetes, cancer, osteoporosis and so much more.

What's Ragi called in your Local Language?

Nutrition Profile

Nutrition Profile of Ragi

Effect on  Blood Glucose

  • Ragi has a lower glycemic response than other grains which means its ability to increase blood sugar is very low.
  • Compared to other grains, the high fibre content in Ragi prevents it from having major effects on blood sugar levels thus helping the blood sugar levels.
  • Ragi contains micronutrients with high antioxidant levels called Polyphenols which helps to keep blood sugars in control.
  • Ragi contains large amounts of magnesium which helps in increasing the efficacy of insulin.
  • Magnesium also makes your body’s glucose receptors more effective.

Benefits of Ragi

The biggest benefit of consuming Ragi is that its a Superfood !

The Table below showcases why Ragi is considered nutritionally superior to other Grains.

Nutrient Content in Ragi v/s Other Grains

Some of the other Benefits of including Ragi into your diet are -

  • Incorporating ragi into your daily diet can help control blood sugar levels.
  • Being a rich source of iron, it helps in boosting haemoglobin, hence helpful for anaemia
  • The antioxidant properties of ragi helps in reducing the primary signs of ageing like wrinkles.
  • Being gluten-free, Ragi helps in losing weight and is suitable for individuals with lactose and gluten intolerance.
  • Prevents cardiovascular risks and improves heart health since it has zero cholesterol.
  • High Calcium content helps prevent osteoporosis
  • The best source of Proteins for individuals who are Vegetarians

Substitutes

  • Oats and Jowar Grains can be consumed as good substitutes for Ragi.
  • Unprocessed or Steel-cut Oats are a good substitute since they have a low glycemic index (53)
  • Both Oats and Jowar contain 10% fibre which makes you feel fuller and for a longer period.
  • Both Oats and Jowar are complex carbohydrates and get digested and absorbed slowly, hence not causing a rapid spike in blood sugar.

Five Minute Expert Recipe

Ragi Malt

Step-1 : Take a pan, put it on medium flame, add one cup of water and three tablespoons of ragi powder. Keep on stirring the mix to avoid any lumps.

Step-2 : Stir the mix until the mixture turns into a thick paste.

Step-3 : Add rock salt (as per taste) or jaggery (as per taste) to your liking.

Step-4 : Next, add some dried fruits of your choice and serve in a bowl and enjoy your bowlful of nutrition.

Scientific Rationale - Fiber Rich Foods   

Fiber is a word a person with diabetes will hear a lot about throughout their management of diet and nutrition. The reason is that fibers are known to bring about several benefits and advantages to overall health. In today’s times of fast food and soft drinks, and the ease of access to these, it is not easy to follow a healthy diet plan. It gets tough to be able to maintain it as most often than not, we get swayed by the sight of a burger or a tempting cheese-loaded pizza or the look of a Starbucks coffee. However, having fiber rich food for diabetes is super important for long-term benefits. Not only will this help to avoid setting the pattern of unhealthy eating, but it will also be beneficial to prevent any complications that a poor diet could lead to. 

What is Fiber?

For a layperson to be able to identify fibrous foods, it would first be important to know what fiber is. It is a type of carbohydrate that is often prevalent in plant-based foods such as certain fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. The basic nature of any carbohydrate is to break down into sugar molecules after consumption. Fiber, however, is not digested by the body. Instead, it remains and passes through the body undigested thereby regulating the blood sugar levels. This is one of the primary reasons why fiber foods for people with diabetes are highly recommended. 

Fibers are also of two different types:

  1. Soluble fiber – This fiber, as the name suggests, dissolves in water. It works well to reduce blood sugars and cholesterol. Examples – nuts, apples, lentils, oatmeal, etc
  2. Insoluble fiber – This fiber doesn’t dissolve in water but it helps move the food through the digestive system. They assist in helping your body stay regular and prevent constipation. Examples – Brown rice, tomatoes, legumes, cucumbers, whole wheat bread, etc. 

The several benefits that fibrous foods provide to people, overall, make us understand that is fiber good for diabetes. 

Benefits of Fiber

We have often heard of the benefits of high fiber foods from experts like doctors and dieticians. But what exactly are the advantages? How does high-fiber food provide healthy and required nutrition? Tailored targets are set based on a person’s age, body weight, and sex. 

  • Several studies have shown how a high-fiber diet might prove to be good for a person with diabetes. It was directly linked to lower glucose levels in the blood. 
  • Additionally, even the overall HbA1c levels were lower if fibrous foods were consumed daily and were incorporated well into the diet plan. 
  • Studies in the UK also proved the consumption of fiber to be linked with reduced risk of cardio-metabolic diseases and cardiovascular diseases. 
  • Other diabetes-related issues like insulin resistance, obesity, and even colorectal cancer are something that fiber rich food for diabetes can get under control.
  • Overall, fiber reduces blood cholesterol levels and blood pressure. 
  • Having a healthy diet plan that includes fibrous foods also helps manage the weight better. For anyone with diabetes, this would be an important aspect as increased weight leads to more insulin resistance. 
  • Since these foods are also low in fat and calories, one can easily consume them without worrying much about the insulin intake and bolus injections. 
  • Lastly, fibrous foods also take time to chew. This means that it gives our bodies time to understand that we are full, this prevents overeating. Not only this, but these foods remain in the stomach for a longer period of time preventing hunger pangs from getting us to eat every once in a while.

Best Fiber Rich Foods

Now that we have understood the importance of fiber rich foods, it is also important to have a list of what kinds of foods come under this category. There are different types of foods that contain varying amounts of fiber in them. Based on the amount of fiber, one can decide how they want to incorporate this particular food group into their meals. 

  • Whole grains like – oats, quinoa, brown rice, etc
  • Fruits 
  • Seeds
  • Nuts
  • Vegetables 

To understand what foods are high in fiber for people with diabetes, one can look at the following categories:

Snacks – Some snacks might help the person amp up their fiber levels:

  • Almonds- These dry fruits have good quantities of unsaturated fats and proteins. 4 gms of fiber can be obtained from 1 ounce of serving. Raw almonds, not salted, caramelized, or sugary ones should be opted for.
  • Air-popped popcorn - Plain kernels that can be popped in a cooker or a vessel are high in fiber. Do not choose the ones with unhealthy toppings like butter, salt, sugar, etc
  • Chia seeds – Put chia seeds in water, yogurt, milk, baked goods, etc and they will provide you 5 gms of fibers in every tablespoon
  • Hummus – Made with chickpeas, hummus will give you about 13 gms of fiber per cup. 
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