Diet plays an important role in managing diabetes. In fact, your diet and lifestyle are important aspects of diabetes management and treatment.
Food that you eat on a day to day basis has a direct impact on your blood sugar levels. High carb foods raise your blood sugar levels. The digestive system breaks down the digestible ones into sugar, which enters the blood. But, not all carbohydrates are bad. Complex carbohydrates like whole grains take longer to digest while simple carbs like white flour and refined sugar may cause sudden spikes in your blood sugar levels. Diabetics tend to have high blood sugar levels due to the inefficiency of insulin, a hormone secreted by the pancreas, to control them. (Also read –> Is Lemon Water Good For Diabetes?)
Therefore, it is important to eat a healthy diet, need to do proper exercise daily and lead a fit lifestyle. Diabetics are required to include more fibre and proteins into their diet and need to reduce the consumption of carbohydrates, need to cut out processed foods and sugar to manage blood sugar levels. (Also read –> Fenugreek Seeds For Diabetes)
It is also necessary to change the way we eat our daily foods like muffins, cookies, chapattis, pancakes or bread or rotis. We generally eat this, made with wheat flour. However, there are more fibre-rich and healthier alternatives to wheat flour that could help manage diabetes well. (Also read –> Bitter Melon For Diabetes)
Amaranth, buckwheat, barley, chickpea and ragi/Finger Millet are the best flours that may be great for diabetics and their overall health.
1. Ragi or Finger Millet flour
Diabetics are often advised to consume ragi as a good substitute for white rice and wheat as it helps in maintaining blood sugar and cholesterol levels. The presence of dietary fibre in ragi keeps the cravings at bay, helps in keeping you fuller for longer, thereby, preventing overeating. As a result, it keeps your weight in check, which plays a crucial role in controlling diabetes. Additionally, fibre takes a lot of time to digest; keeping blood sugar in control.
(Also read –> Health Benefits Of Finger Millet/ Ragi and Easy Ragi Recipes)
2. Amaranth flour
These flours are not only nutritious, but can be especially good in regulating blood sugar levels by ensuring slow release of sugar into the blood stream and preventing weight gain. The anti-diabetic and anti-oxidative effect of amaranth grain is known to keep your blood sugar levels in check.
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3. Barley Flour or Jau Ka Atta
Barley can rapidly improve people’s health by reducing blood sugar levels and the risk for diabetes, a recent study shows. Dietary fibers found in barley, can also help to reduce people’s appetite and risk for cardiovascular disease and further reduce chronic low-grade inflammation, keeping your body healthy.
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4. Chickpea flour
Chickpea flour not only reduces blood cholesterol levels but also aids in the slow absorption of sugar into the bloodstream, keeping your blood sugar levels in check.
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5. Buckwheat Flour
Buckwheat is a good source of fiber, low in calories and has a low to medium Glycemic Index (GI). D-chiro-inositol is a compound that is deficient in type II diabetic patients. This compound is required for proper conduction of insulin for controlling and treating type II diabetes. Buckwheat also contains D-chiro-inositol, which can help to improve their blood sugar level. These properties make buckwheat a healthy choice for people with type II diabetes. (Also read –> Is Buckwheat Healthy? – Everything You Need To Know)