In today's world where Fast food culture is prevalent, Life style diseases are on a rise. Heavy dependence on unhealthy foods filled with refined flour and fattening oils are the main reason for life style diseases like Diabetes and high blood pressure.
It is a known fact that our country has the highest number of Diabetics in the world and the shocking part is that this number is slowly increasing. Also on rise is the number of deaths due to diabetes.
Diabetes is a disease which is cause by unhealthy lifestyle. Our body secretes a hormone called insulin which converts the sugar in our food to glucose.
When our body stops secreting insulin or becomes insulin insensitive, the sugar in the food is not converted into glucose. Excess sugar in our body causes a lot of harm.
It works by slowing damaging our internal organs, blocks the arteries, damages the delicate tissues of the heart and also increase blood pressure. If not managed, diabetes can lead to death.
People who are diagnosed with diabetes have to constantly monitor their blood sugar. They are also advised to stay away from sweets as they make the blood sugar shoot up to dangerous levels.
But what about the fact that everything we eat contains sugar in some form?
The idea should be to consume foods which have low glycemic index. This means that certain food when consumed do not immediately get digested and release sugar in the blood.
Foods with low glycemic index are slowly digested and do not cause a steep rise in blood sugar. Therefore anything with a low glycemic index is safe for diabetics.
With a rise in diabetic cases in our country, there is a huge market for artificial sweeteners, which are marketed to be diabetic friendly.
It is also said that other substitutes of sugar such as Jaggery or honey are safe for diabetics. But are they really?
Is jaggery safe for diabetics?
Jaggery is a residue left boiling sugar cane juice. Both sugar and jiggery are from the same source, but sugar is just more refined.
Jaggery is unprocessed and contains all the essential nutrients like potassium, calcium and iron. Although it is definitely healthier, it has the same affect on our body just like sugar.
Therefore, jaggery too is not advisable for diabetics. Jaggery is used as an ayurvedic medicine for many other aliments because of its nutritional value, but it is a definite no-no for diabetics.
In short, there are no short cuts when it comes to diabetes. It is only best to avoid sugar and all its substitutes as well.
The nutritional content of jaggery is slightly different from sugar. The total calories present in 10 grams of Jaggery is 38.3, 97% of which is sugar.
Because of the lack of awareness, a lot of diabetics consume jaggery when they have sugar cravings.
Jaggery can be consumed in a very small portion, that too if it is followed by brisk walking for 15 minutes to help the body utilize the excess sugar. Just because it is healthier than refined sugar, you are still not advised to binge on it.
Meanwhile, know about a few other health benefits of Jaggery.
1) It helps relieve constipation. It activates certain digestive enzymes in the body, which helps indigestion.
2) It is good for anemics as it is rich in iron.
3) It cleanses and detoxifies the liver and helps flush out the toxins.
4) It is beneficial in increasing immunity of the body and also fights against free radical damage.
5) It is excellent to treat cough and cold.
Jaggery can be consumed in its raw form. A small piece of jiggery can be eaten after meals but diabetics need to ensure that they follow it up with exercise.
After all making the right choices is very important when it comes to managing diabetes effectively.