is sugarcane juice for diabetes
Nutrition

Is Sugarcane Juice Good for Diabetes

Living with diabetes is not easy as you have to follow several food restrictions. You have to sacrifice your favourite foods if they spike your sugar levels. Saying NO to sugar can be very difficult if you have a sweet tongue. You should avoid every food with a high glycemic index and glycemic load. Sodas and sugary drinks are strictly banned. Is sugarcane juice one of the sugary drinks to be avoided? Is sugarcane juice good for diabetes? This is one of the most frequently asked questions. Read more to find the answer to this question. 

Nutritional Profile of Sugarcane

Sugarcane juice is rich in numerous nutrients, including calcium, potassium, magnesium, iron, zinc, thiamine, and riboflavin. It also has abundant amino acids and antioxidants like flavonoids. 

Nutrition value of a cup of sugarcane juice (250 ml)

  • Calories - 190 
  • Sugar - 50 g
  • Protein - 0 g
  • Fat - 0 g
  • Fiber - 10 g
  • Potassium - 150 mg
  • Sodium - 1.16 mg
  • Magnesium - 13.03 mg
  • Phosphorus - 22.08 mg
  • Iron - 1.12 mg
  • Calcium - 18 mg
  • Thiamine - 0.03 mg
  • Riboflavin - 0.04 mg

Sugarcane juice is rich in many nutrients. Hence, it is good for health. On the other hand, it also has high sugar content. So, is sugarcane juice good for diabetes? Let’s dig in.

Can diabetics drink sugarcane juice?

One of the most refreshing and delicious drinks during hot summers, Sugarcane juice is a very healthy drink. However, can a person with diabetes drink sugarcane juice? Some medical experts warn that sugarcane juice can raise sugar levels and so it should be avoided. Some experts say it is very nutritious and should be included in the diet of a person with diabetes. What is the truth? 

The reasons why people with diabetes can drink sugarcane juice

  • Sugarcane is an immunity booster, improves skin health, and helps in decreasing inflammation as it is rich in antioxidants 
  • Glycemic index of sugarcane juice is 43. So it is not classified under high glycemic foods
  • Moreover, sugar from sugarcane juice is not processed in the small intestine
  • Instead, it is processed in the liver. So, it acts as a good alternative to gaseous drinks
  • It improves gut health as it is a natural laxative
  • It is also good for kidney health. 

Sugarcane juice has analgesic, anti-inflammatory, antihyperglycemic, and diuretic effects. So, it is good for the overall health of all people, including those with diabetes. Nevertheless, persons with high sugar levels should know how to drink sugarcane juice and how much to drink.

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How to drink sugarcane juice?

Raw sugarcane juice is the best. You can add a dash of lemon juice and a piece of ginger to make it tastier, flavoursome, and healthier. Packaged sugarcane juices contain preservatives, artificial flavours, and artificial sweeteners. Moreover, when sugarcane juice is processed in factories, the nutrients in the juice are lost. So, packaged sugarcane juices and sugarcane sodas should be avoided. People with diabetes can drink raw sugarcane juice. Moreover, it is advised that chewing a few pieces of sugarcane is better because sugarcane has more fibre content. 

Sugarcane juice and diabetes - How much to drink?

Although sugarcane juice is rich in several nutrients, it has high sucrose content. Sucrose is natural sugar, and it will increase sugar levels. People with diabetes can have sugarcane juice in moderation. This is applicable only if your diabetes is manageable and sugar levels are under control. People with severe diabetes and high sugar levels should strictly refrain from sugarcane juice.

Sugarcane and diabetes - Can persons with diabetes drink sugarcane juice? The answer is yes. You can consume it in moderation to satisfy your craving for sugar’. However, it is a big NO for those with high sugar levels.

Can Sugarcane raise Blood Sugar?

As the name suggests, cane sugar is sugar explicitly made from sugarcane. Sucrose and glucose increase sugar levels. Cane sugar contains sucrose. So it does enhance blood sugar. Moreover, its glycemic index is low, but its high glycemic load. This is also another reason why it increases blood sugar. 

Can Sugarcane Juice be consumed daily?

Too much of anything is not good for your health. Drinking a cup of sugarcane juice daily will keep you energetic, boost your immunity, strengthen your bones, and improve digestion. However, as it has a high sugar level, it is not advised for persons with diabetes to drink sugarcane juice daily. They can consume sugarcane juice moderately but not excessively. Experts recommend half a cup of cane juice if your blood sugar is moderately high. 

Moreover, if you are on a weight loss journey, you can drink it daily but should not go overboard. It has a high-calorie content. Hence, you should not drink more than a cup of sugarcane juice. Drinking sugarcane daily is good if you do not drink more than a cup or 200 ml. Enjoy the benefits of sugarcane juice by having it in moderation. 

What are the Disadvantages of Sugarcane Juice?

Sugarcane juice has multiple benefits, but it has a few disadvantages too. 

  • It contains policosanol which can cause dizziness, insomnia, and headaches. 
  • Policosanol also has blood-thinning effects. Overconsumption may prevent your blood from clotting. So it must not be consumed if you are taking any blood-thinning medications. 
  • Moreover, it can affect cholesterol levels. 
  • Sugarcane juice is sold by street vendors in Asian countries like India. If it is not extracted hygienically, it may increase the risk of bacterial infection. 

Here is a list of health drinks for people with diabetes

Bottomline

Is sugarcane good for diabetes? Can people with diabetes have sugarcane juice? These doubts are raised by many people. It spikes up your blood sugar because of its high sucrose content and high glycemic load. However, cane sugar is a better alternative to refined sugar because cane sugar boosts your energy instantly. It improves your mood and sleep because it stimulates the production of serotonin. Moreover, it helps in storing the energy as healthy fats. So, you can drink sugarcane juice in moderation if your blood sugar level is not very high. You can enjoy its health benefits, provided you don’t go overboard. 

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