Nutrition

Is Jaggery Good For Diabetes?

Reviewed by

Shifa Fathima

Jaggery is one of the oldest sweeteners recorded in history. This unprocessed cane sugar still retains some nutrients, unlike refined sugar. Diabetics can use jaggery without worrying about adverse health effects on their condition. However, as a general rule, they must reduce their overall intake of sugar to give their body time to adjust and balance insulin production naturally.

Is jaggery good for diabetic patients?

Some diabetics are concerned about whether or not they are allowed to consume jaggery because their diets can be free of sweets completely. Is jaggery good for diabetes? Jaggery has more nutrients than refined sugar and contains less of the processed product that is commonly found in many households today. Jaggery is made from either sugarcane or date palm. During the manufacturing process - stems, stalks, and leaves are removed from raw cane and poured into cylindrical-shaped boiling pots. These pots are extremely shallow - they are wide at the bottom and tapered to end abruptly. This shape allows for more space within the container as the sap boils. The by-product of creating jaggery is much less refined than crystallised sugar. This means that it has more nutrients such as minerals and vitamins that lower blood glucose levels.

Is it safe for diabetics to have jaggery?

Many people are turning towards healthier alternatives in terms of sugar. Natural sweeteners are more popular than artificial ones as time goes on. People suffering from diabetes can now find natural sweeteners such as honey, jaggery, with fewer calories and less sugar. When it comes down to whether or not jaggery (sugar cane extract) is healthy for diabetic patients, there are varying views on the matter. Some people believe that jaggery causes diabetes while others claim that jaggery can help those with diabetes. With sugar constantly under the microscope, it's no surprise that people would seek out better ways to get their sweet fix. Whether you have diabetes or not,  jaggery is a natural sweetener that has garnered popularity due to its  perceived health benefits, yet retained all of its original sweetness. If we compare this option to processed sugars commonly used in foods and drinks today such as white and brown sugar, one can see there are general health benefits associated with this healthy alternative. Jaggery Is Good For Diabetes because they don't have additives; therefore it won't stimulate insulin production.

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Can we eat jaggery in diabetes?

People with diabetes are encouraged to avoid consuming most (if not all) forms of sweet as a way of monitoring and maintaining their levels of blood sugar. This is because actual desserts such as cakes or pies tend to contain sugars and carbs that remain stable long enough for diabetics to return to normal after raising exponentially post-meal. Sweetening food naturally is healthier than replacing sugar with artificial sweeteners. Although natural jaggery is considered to be a healthier option over-processed cane sugar, it must be noted that both are equally unsafe or unhealthy for people with diabetes. Diabetics should as such take care not to consume jaggery in large quantities, which is likely to lead to an increase in the blood sugar levels in the body. However, if jaggery needs to be consumed by diabetics then it must be ensured that the consumption is only done in moderation and that other precautions such as limiting the consumption of foods rich in carbohydrates are also taken into consideration.

Benefits of jaggery

Jaggery has many benefits, including iron and the ability to regulate blood pressure. It also helps in reducing oxidative stress and aids in digestion. This is why your Indian grandmother gives you a piece of jaggery after each meal! Although the high glycemic index in jaggery may not be suitable for diabetics, it can act as a prebiotic that helps with digestion post- meals. Diabetics should follow a low glycemic diet when deciding what foods to eat throughout their day. Learning about the glycemic index of foods is essential for diabetics and those who live with an insulin deficiency. Both sugar and jaggery cause a spike in the levels of insulin to reduce blood glucose levels, which can be very dangerous for diabetics on a regular basis. Jaggery has also been found to contain more nutrients than does refined sugar and is considered a better option. However, if you are a diabetic, it is never recommended to consume jaggery due to its high glycemic index score of 84.1.

Bottomline

Make the shift from artificial sweeteners to natural alternatives, not just for your health's sake, but for everyone else who suffers from artificial sweeteners. Yes, it is healthy to cut back on added sugars, but don't forget about your total calorie intake as well. Added sugars are sneakily consumed in many households. Remember that if you are consuming too many calories per day, cutting down entirely on sugars may be a good idea, and start with a step-by-step reworking of your diet instead of going straight to zero sugar diets.

A popular belief surrounding jaggery is that it contributes to many health benefits including antioxidant activity, positive effects on cardiovascular function, improved immune health, and even aid in the treatment of certain gastrointestinal disorders. Jaggery should always be used in moderation regardless of your health status as with any other food item. It may not benefit you too much if you're eating jaggery for each meal especially if you are diabetic due to its high glucose levels which can spike within minutes after ingestion. Also read about does sugar cause diabetes.

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