How Millets Can Be Helpful for Diabetic Patients?

Doctor checking patient
Uncovering the Power of Millet for Diabetes Management and Overall Health

The Nutritional Powerhouse: How Millet Can Help Control Blood Sugar Levels in Individuals with Diabetes

You can maintain a healthy blood sugar level and stay on track with your weight by eating a balanced diet and adhering to a healthy meal plan. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle is crucial in today's hectic world. The blood sugar levels of people with diabetes should always be normal, which is crucial.

Let's look at the many other benefits you get from different types of millet.

What Health Benefits Do Millets Provide for People with Diabetes?

When consumed regularly, millets provide several health advantages. You may incorporate it into your diabetic diet as well. The symptoms of diabetes can also be avoided by regularly consuming millet.

Let us go over the benefits of millet for those with diabetes and how to incorporate it into your diet. Millets are safe for diabetics to eat since they are a good source of protein and have smooth insulin sensitivity. The hormone insulin is used by the body to turn carbohydrates into energy.

Regular millet consumption is necessary if you want to achieve greater results; occasional consumption won't have a significant influence. 

So what makes millets so great, and why is a disease like diabetes affected by eating millets? Let's see! 

Here are a few factors that make millet one of the ultimate go-to foods for people with diabetes.

  • There are studies supporting the claim that consuming millet has a great effect on people with diabetes. One such study, which was conducted on people suffering from type 2 diabetes, stated that upon testing the effect of foxtail millet on diabetes, it was found that switching from rice to millet can actually help lower the blood sugar level after meals, which increases after eating rice.
  • Since millets are rich in antioxidants and fiber, insulin spikes are less frequent, and the digestion process is sped up. Millets also consist of a significant quantity of carbs, which aid in weight loss aside from reducing blood sugar rises.
  • Not only that but millets are thought to be beneficial to both diabetic patients and healthy people just the same, lowering their normal and post-meal blood sugar levels. Since millets have a low glycemic index, it takes the body longer to digest and break them down. It requires less insulin since the bloodstream absorbs it much slower.

What Is Glycemic Index (GI)?

In simple words, the glycemic index (GI) is a system for classifying meals according to how quickly they digest and how they affect blood sugar levels. It measures how quickly a food's carbohydrates are broken down into glucose and how much it raises blood sugar levels.

Carbohydrates in various foods have varying effects on blood sugar. This will be determined by the type of carbohydrates taken. The glycemic index of a food regulates its nutritional composition to help keep blood sugar levels in check.

As previously mentioned, consuming foods with a high GI might cause your blood sugar to spike immediately.

Nevertheless, low-GI foods like millet digest food slowly and release glucose consistently. Low-GI meals prevent sharp blood sugar spikes as a result.

Kudo and barnyard millets have a GI level that is less than 55. Foxtail, little, finger, pearl, and jowar have GI levels between 55 and 70.

How is GI related to Diabetes?

The GI of millet is, therefore, low to moderate. Consuming millet may help control and prevent type 2 diabetes, as well as alleviate its symptoms. 

What diabetics need to take into account is how to incorporate low- to medium-glycemic-index foods into their diet. 

Blood sugar levels must be maintained consistently. Substitute high-carb dairy foods for low- or moderate-GI alternatives. Consider foods with a low GI and figure out how to incorporate them into your daily diet.

There are several ways to incorporate millet into your daily diet. 

  • Breakfast options include ragi dosa with chutney.
  • Foxtail millet goes well with sambar and vegetables. 
Follow a dietician's advice and incorporate low-GI foods into your diet.

Millet recipes
Top healthy and tasty millet recipe.

How to Include Millets in Your Diet on a Daily Basis?

To receive tremendous health benefits, incorporate millet into your regular diet

You might include the simple ways listed below in your meals.

  • You may have it for breakfast in the form of porridge.
  • Substitute the rava, wheat, and rice in the meal with millet.
  • You may eat it with grilled veggies made from millet or with a fresh salad to make it more nutrient- and health-rich.
  • You can make millet dosas and idlis with various chutneys.

How Much Millet Should You Eat Exactly?

Millets are an excellent source of insoluble fiber, which is good for the digestion process. 

The consumption of millet is influenced by several variables, such as: 

  • calorie needs, 
  • digestive health, 
  • and personal sugar levels. 

You can consult a dietician to create a personalized nutrition plan most appropriate for your needs.

What are the Healthiest Cereals for Diabetes?

The following millets can assist with diabetes. Millets with low GI levels are ideal for diabetes.

Using foxtail millets in the diet can help lower blood sugar levels, cholesterol, and triglycerides, according to research on persons with type 2 diabetes. Consuming millet lowers blood sugar levels more than rice does afterward.

How to Cook Foxtail Millet?

Compared to rice, foxtail millet is more fibrous and contains more minerals. It could be more difficult to develop a taste for as well. 

To make this healthy grain seed appetizing:

  • Add salt as the millet boils.
  • Stir-fry with vegetables and season it.
  • Millets are more filling than rice, so watch how much you eat of them. Little is often enough.

Wash the millet

This should be done at least an hour before you intend to cook. In a pan, place a cup of foxtail millet. Add three to four cups of water to the pan. Toss the millet beads around with your fingers in the water. The water will inevitably get muddy.

Using a sieve with fine mesh, drain this water. The millet seeds should be returned to the pan after falling into the sieve.

Refill the water in the pan. Till the water runs clean, repeat the wash-rinse-drain procedure several times. Rice is easier to wash than millet. To make the water clean, it will take 5–6 rounds.

Water the millet.

Foxtail millet should be soaked for at least an hour in 3 cups of water. Make use of a fine mesh strainer to slowly pour the soaking water.

Cook the millet.

Place the rinsed and soaked millet with 2.5 cups of water and 1/4 teaspoon salt to taste in a heavy-bottomed pan with a lid.

Let the water boil on a high flame. Simmer on a low heat setting.

For the first 5–6 minutes of low-heat simmering, alternate between leaving the pan covered and uncovered. Keep the lid on until the boiling millet water bubbles up and appears ready to spill out of the pan.

When that occurs, remove the lid and wait until the water stops bubbling.

Pour some ghee into the millet while it cooks, and gently stir the pan. When all the water has drained, and the millet is cooked, simmer it over low heat with the lid on. It takes 15 minutes to complete the cooking.

When the seeds of your millet soften and expand, it has finished cooking. 

One cup of dry foxtail millet will yield more than three cups of cooked foxtail millet, and when the pan is covered, you can hear soft rustling and crackling sounds, which means the water has dried up.

Let it Rest

With the pan lid on, allow the boiled millet to cool for 7-8 minutes.

Remove the lid, then fluff the millet with a fork. Give it a gentle touch when doing this since we want the millet beads to maintain their form.

Cover the pan and let it sit for another five minutes.

It's time to serve the foxtail millet. If you'd like, add a little extra ghee to the cooked millet.

Serve it with dal, curry, and chutney or pickle.

Author: Radhika Soni works as a Sr. Digital Manager at BeMillety. She loves to write about health-related topics. Apart from this, she has good experience handling marketing campaigns and improving brand awareness.

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