Best Millet For Diabetes That Lowers Blood Sugar

What Are Millets?

Millets are a group of small-seeded grasses that have been cultivated for centuries. These grains are packed with essential nutrients such as fiber, protein, vitamins, and minerals.

What makes millets for diabetes a good choice is their low glycemic index, which means they cause gradual rises in blood sugar levels.

Read More: Is Bitter Gourd Good for Diabetes Patients?

The Nutritional Power of Millets

Fiber is a superhero when it comes to diabetes. It helps slow down the absorption of glucose, preventing sudden spikes in blood sugar levels.

Millets are rich in both soluble and insoluble fiber, which makes millets for diabetes a fantastic addition to your diet.

Additionally, the protein content in millets contributes to satiety and helps stabilize blood sugar levels. Micronutrients like magnesium and zinc found in millets support overall health and play a role in insulin regulation.

Read More: Is Bottle Gourd Good For Diabetes?

Types of Millets

There’s an array of millets to choose from, each with its unique flavor and nutritional profile. Some popular types of millets are as follows:

  • Foxtail millet
  • Pearl millet (bajra)
  • Finger millet (ragi)
  • Sorghum (jowar)
  • Proso millet
  • Little millet
  • Barnyard millet
  • Kodo millet

Including a variety of millets for diabetes in your diet can ensure a diverse range of nutrients.

Read More: 16 Best Fruits Juice For Diabetes.

Benefits of Millets for Diabetes

Benefits of Millets

A 2018 study uncovered that foxtail millet could aid blood glucose management. During a 12-week study, 64 participants consumed 50g of foxtail millet-infused bread daily alongside their regular meals.

Within 6 weeks, fasting blood glucose dropped by 5.7%, with a 9.9% reduction in 2-hour glucose levels post-meals. These benefits persisted throughout the study.

Researchers attribute foxtail millet’s glucose-regulating prowess to its rich protein and fiber content.

Furthermore, it could boost the satiety hormone leptin, lower insulin resistance, and ease inflammation.

So, are grains like foxtail millet good for diabetes? According to this study, definitely yes! The research suggests that foxtail millet might enhance glucose control for individuals with type 2 diabetes, potentially extending to other whole grains.

In summary, there are some of the best millet for diabetes because of the following properties:

  • Improves glycemic control
  • Excellent source of protein
  • Are gluten-free
  • Maintains healthy cholesterol levels
  • Improves triglyceride levels
  • Regulates fasting blood glucose levels
  • Improves insulin response

Some millets help in aiding digestion, while some might help in weight management. More or less, the benefits of all millets are similar and ultimately help in regulating blood sugar levels.

Read More: Can Diabetes Patients Eat Oranges?

Glycemic Index of Millets

Glycemic index is a major factor in deciding which is the best millet for diabetes. The glycemic index (GI) of millets is a measure that indicates how quickly consuming a specific millet can raise blood sugar levels.

A lower GI indicates a slower and steadier increase, making millets with low glycemic indexes favorable for individuals with diabetes as they help avoid sudden spikes in blood sugar levels.

Millets Glycemic Index (GI)
Pearl millet (Bajra) 55
Finger millet (Ragi) 70
Kodo millet (Varagu) 50
Foxtail millet (Thinai) 50
Little millet (Samai) 50
Barnyard millet (Kuthiraivali) 45
Proso millet (Paniravagu) 55
Sorghum millet (Jowar) 62
Brown top millet (Korle) 50
Italian millet (Sama) 45

Read More: What are the Glycemic Index and ways to calculate the Gi Value of Food Items?

Which Millet Is Good For Diabetes?

Millet

When it comes to managing diabetes, choosing which millet is good for diabetes makes a significant difference in your blood sugar control. Millets are not only packed with nutrients but also have a low glycemic index, which means they don’t cause rapid spikes in blood sugar levels. Here’s an overview that’ll help you decide which millet is good for diabetes.

Finger Millet (Ragi):

Ragi, with its nutty taste, is a fiber-rich grain aiding weight management and improving insulin sensitivity.

Finger millet for diabetes is not only a treat for your taste buds but also a boon for managing your weight effectively and enhancing your body’s insulin sensitivity.

Its impressive fiber content not only aids digestion but also promotes a feeling of fullness, making it one of the best millet for diabetes to shed those extra pounds.

Nutritional Value: Protein – 7.3g, Fiber – 11.8g, Carbohydrates – 72g.

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Pearl Millet (Bajra):

Bajra, a versatile grain with a mild flavor, supports heart health and better insulin response and is also considered one of the best millet for diabetes. It comes with its own distinct mild flavor, making it a versatile grain that can be incorporated into various culinary creations.

Beyond its pleasant taste, pearl millet for diabetes has a lot to offer in terms of health benefits. This grain has been associated with supporting heart health and even contributing to a better insulin response in the body.

Nutritional Value: Protein – 10.6g, Fiber – 1.3g, Carbohydrates – 67g.

Foxtail Millet:

Which millet is good for diabetes depends upon its ability to support one’s overall health. Foxtail millet is a good option for diabetes as it has a delicate texture, aids digestion and helps maintain stable blood sugar.

This millet variety is particularly renowned for its digestive benefits, promoting smoother digestion and aiding in maintaining stable blood sugar levels. You can find a range of foxtail millet recipes for diabetics that suit your preference.

Nutritional Value: Protein – 12.3g, Fiber – 8g, Carbohydrates – 60g.

Read More: Are Sugar-Free Biscuits Safe for Diabetics?

Sorghum (Jowar):

Jowar, commonly known as sorghum, stands out as a versatile grain that can be incorporated into a wide range of dishes. However, its value extends far beyond its culinary versatility.

Moreover, Jowar’s contributions to heart health and weight management further solidify its position as a valuable addition to a balanced diet.

Nutritional Value: Protein – 10.4g, Fiber – 6.7g, Carbohydrates – 72g.

Little Millet:

Embracing the culinary world with its delightful nutty essence, little millet has earned its place as a versatile and health-enhancing grain.

Which millet is best for diabetics is often defined by its protein and fiber content, and little millet has an ideal combination of both.

Beyond its flavor, this millet variety offers a low-calorie alternative that aligns perfectly with those seeking to maintain their weight. However, its benefits are not confined solely to weight management.

Little millet extends its support to cardiovascular health, making it a valuable addition to heart-friendly diets.

Nutritional Value: Protein – 7.7g, Fiber – 8.6g, Carbohydrates – 65g.

Read More: Is Apricot Good for Diabetics?

Barnyard Millet:

Barnyard millet, with its mild flavor, emerges as a versatile grain with multiple health benefits. Barnyard is one of the highly beneficial millets for diabetic patients. This nutrient-packed millet is known to support weight management and digestive health.

Its gentle taste makes it an adaptable addition to various dishes, catering to different palates.

Barnyard millet’s high fiber content aids digestion and provides a lasting feeling of fullness, which can assist in weight control.

Nutritional Value: 7.7g protein, 10.1g dietary fiber, 65g of carbohydrates.

Proso Millet:

‘Is proso millet good for diabetes?’ The straight answer is yes.

Proso millet, offering a neutral flavor, stands as a grain that brings both taste and health to your plate.

Its benefits extend to heart health and weight management, making it a valuable inclusion in balanced diets.

Proso millet’s mild taste makes it a versatile ingredient, allowing it to be used in a variety of recipes. The high fiber content in proso millet supports digestion and imparts a sense of fullness, aiding in weight management.

Nutritional Value: 6.2g protein, 2.2g of fiber, 71g of carbohydrates.

Read More: Is Coconut Milk Good for Diabetics?

Kodo Millet:

Kodo millet for diabetes, with its unique nutty flavor, comes with a host of health benefits. This grain is renowned for its support in weight management and digestion.

Kodo millet’s distinct taste adds a pleasant twist to your meals while contributing to your overall well-being.

Its notable fiber content promotes efficient digestion and helps control weight by inducing satiety.

Nutritional Value: 8.3g of protein, 9.8g of dietary fiber, 62g of carbohydrates.

How To Incorporate Millets In Your Diet?

As the awareness of millets’ numerous health benefits continues to grow, more people are looking for ways to incorporate these nutrient-rich grains into their daily diets. Millets are not only packed with essential nutrients but also versatile, making them suitable for a wide range of culinary creations. Here’s a guide on how to seamlessly introduce millet recipes for diabetic patients into your meals.

Millet Breakfast Bowls:

Start your day with a nutritious and hearty millet breakfast bowl. Cook your choice of millet, whether it’s pearl millet (bajra), finger millet (ragi), or any other variety, and top it with a variety of ingredients.

Add fresh fruits like berries, sliced bananas, or diced apples for a burst of flavor and vitamins.

You can also mix in some nuts, seeds, and a dollop of Greek yoghurt for added protein and texture. Drizzle with honey or maple syrup for natural sweetness.

Read More: Is Butter Milk Good for Diabetes?

Millet Salads:

Incorporate millets into your salads for a delightful crunch and enhanced nutritional value. Cook the millet of your choice and let it cool.

Toss it with a mix of colorful vegetables like bell peppers, cucumbers, and tomatoes.

Add in some chopped fresh herbs like cilantro or parsley for added freshness.

Create a simple vinaigrette using olive oil, lemon juice, and your favorite spices. Mix everything together for a wholesome and satisfying salad.

For better understanding, let’s take help from the cooking instructions of these specific recipes:

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Bajra Roti (Pearl Millet Flatbread):

Bajra roti is a traditional Indian flatbread made from pearl millet. It’s a nutritious alternative to regular wheat rotis. Here’s how to make it:

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup bajra (pearl millet) flour
  • Water for kneading
  • A pinch of salt (optional)

Instructions:

  • In a mixing bowl, combine the bajra flour and salt.
  • Gradually add water and knead to form a soft dough. The texture will be slightly coarse due to bajra flour.
  • Divide the dough into small portions and shape them into balls.
  • Flatten each ball into a round disc using your hands or a rolling pin. Aim for a slightly thicker roti than wheat rotis.
  • Heat a tawa (flat skillet) over medium heat.
  • Place the flattened bajra roti on the tawa and cook until bubbles appear on the surface.
  • Flip the roti and cook the other side until golden brown spots form.
  • Remove from the tawa and serve hot with your favorite curries, vegetables, or chutneys.

Read More: Top 6 Dry Fruits For Diabetics.

Ragi Porridge:

A comforting and nutritious option, ragi porridge is perfect for breakfast or a light meal. Here’s a simple recipe:

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup ragi (finger millet) flour
  • 2 cups water or milk
  • A pinch of salt (optional)
  • Honey or fruits for sweetness (optional)

Instructions:

  • In a bowl, mix the ragi flour with a small amount of water to form a smooth paste, ensuring no lumps.
  • Boil the remaining water or milk in a saucepan.
  • Slowly add the ragi paste to the boiling liquid while stirring continuously to prevent lumps.
  • Cook on medium heat until the mixture thickens to a porridge-like consistency.
  • Add a pinch of salt for taste.
  • If desired, sweeten with honey or add chopped fruits like bananas or berries.
  • Serve the ragi porridge warm for a nutritious and satisfying meal.

Incorporating millets into your diet can be both delicious and rewarding. With their versatility and health benefits, millets offer a variety of options to enhance your meals and support your overall well-being. Whether you choose to enjoy them in breakfast bowls, salads, traditional flatbreads, or comforting porridges, millets can be your nutritious partner on your culinary journey

Read More: Is Fish Good for Diabetes?

Precautions To Take While Consuming Millets

Precautions of millets

While there are numerous health benefits of millets for diabetes, there are some precautions to consider when consuming them:

Allergies:

Individuals with grain allergies should be cautious when introducing millets into their diet, as cross-reactivity can occur.

Portion Control:

Despite their nutritional value, excessive consumption of millets can lead to excessive carbohydrate intake. It’s important to practice portion control, especially for those managing diabetes or weight.

Read More: How Intermittent Fasting Helps in Diabetes?

Phytates and Anti-Nutrients:

Millets contain phytates and anti-nutrients that can hinder mineral absorption. Soaking, fermenting, or cooking millets can help reduce these compounds.

Thyroid Function:

People with thyroid issues should be mindful, as millets contain goitrogens that can potentially interfere with thyroid function. Cooking and proper preparation methods can minimize this concern.

Balanced Diet:

Millets should be part of a balanced diet. Relying solely on millets may lead to nutritional deficiencies, as they don’t provide all essential nutrients.

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Variety:

Consume a variety of millets to maximize nutritional benefits and avoid overexposure to any specific anti-nutrients.

Consult a Professional:

If you have existing health conditions or dietary restrictions, it’s recommended to consult a healthcare professional or registered dietitian before incorporating millets into your diet to ensure they align with your individual needs.

Read More: What Is Type 2 Diabetes Management?

Conclusion

Incorporating millets into your diet can be a transformative step towards managing diabetes.

Their low glycemic index, fiber-rich nature, and nutrient content make them valuable allies in your journey toward better health. As research on millets and diabetes continues, the future holds even more promising developments in this field.

By embracing the goodness of millets and combining it with a well-rounded diabetes management plan, you’re taking significant strides towards living a healthier, more vibrant life.

Remember, small changes can lead to substantial results, and millets are here to guide you on that path.

Read More: How to Stop Sugar Craving Naturally?

FAQs:

Which Millet is Most Digestible?

Finger millet (ragi) is often considered one of the most digestible millets due to its high fiber content and relatively low levels of antinutrients. It’s a good source of calcium and other nutrients, making it suitable for various diets, including those for infants and elderly individuals.

Which is Better, Millets or Oats?

Both millets and oats have their own nutritional benefits. Millets offer diverse nutrients, are gluten-free, and have a low glycemic index. Oats are rich in soluble fiber and known to help with heart health. The choice depends on your dietary goals and preferences.

What are Negative Millet Examples?

Negative examples of millets typically refer to the less desirable aspects of consuming millets. These might include the presence of antinutrients like phytates and tannins, which can hinder nutrient absorption. However, proper processing techniques such as soaking, fermenting, or cooking can mitigate these effects.

 

How Many Hours Should Millets Be Soaked?

Soaking millets for 2-4 hours can help improve their digestibility and reduce cooking time. Some varieties like foxtail millet require shorter soaking, while larger grains like pearl millet might benefit from a longer soak. Adjust soaking time based on the millet type and your recipe’s requirements.

Can We Eat Millets Instead of Rice?

Yes, millets can be a nutritious rice alternative. They offer more dietary fiber, vitamins, and minerals compared to refined white rice. Millets have a lower glycemic index, making them suitable for managing blood sugar levels. Transitioning from rice to millets can enhance your overall diet.

 

How Much Millets Can I Eat Per Day?

The recommended daily intake of millets varies based on individual dietary needs. Generally, incorporating 1-2 servings (about 1/2 to 1 cup cooked) into your meals is a good starting point. However, listen to your body’s response and consult a dietitian for personalized guidance.

 

Who Should Avoid Eating Millets?

Millets are generally safe and nutritious, but caution is needed for those with grain allergies. Individuals with thyroid issues should moderate intake due to goitrogens. High oxalate content in millets might affect those prone to kidney stones

 

What are the Side Effects of Millets?

Millets are generally safe but can cause bloating or discomfort if not prepared properly. Some may have allergies. Excessive consumption may affect thyroid function due to goitrogens. Moderation is key.

 

What Happens If We Eat Millets Daily?

Consuming millets regularly can improve digestion, manage weight, regulate blood sugar, and provide essential nutrients. However, balance with a varied diet and consult a nutritionist if making significant dietary changes.

 

Which Millet is Best for Diabetics in Tamil?

Little millet TBS medicine is specially available. It is high in glycemic index and helps in digestion.

 

What are the Top 5 Positive Millets?

The top five nutritious millets are ragi, foxtail millet, pearl millet, sorghum (jowar), and little millet. They offer diverse health benefits, including high fiber, essential nutrients, and diabetes management support.

 

Is Ragi Good for Diabetes?

Yes, ragi (finger millet) is suitable for diabetes. With a low glycemic index and rich fiber content, it helps regulate blood sugar and enhances insulin sensitivity. Consult a doctor for specific dietary recommendations.

 

Which Millet has the Lowest Glycemic Index?

Pearl millet for diabetes typically has a lower glycemic index compared to other millets. Its slower digestion helps maintain stable blood sugar levels.

 

Is Bajra Millet Good for Diabetes?

Bajra millet is beneficial for diabetes due to its low glycemic index and high fiber content. It aids in blood sugar management and offers sustained energy release. Consult a healthcare professional for personalized advice.

 

Which Millet is Good for Diabetics?

Finger millet (ragi) is often considered the best millet for diabetes. It has a low glycemic index, aiding in blood sugar control. Rich in fiber, vitamins, and minerals, it helps regulate glucose levels and enhances insulin sensitivity. However, consult a healthcare professional for personalized dietary advice.

 

Last Updated on by Dr. Damanjit Duggal 

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