If you’re looking to reduce your risk of diabetes or manage existing diabetes, a healthy diet is essential. Now, experts are highlighting one food in particular that they believe could lower your blood sugar and help prevent type 2 diabetes. This simple staple can be prepared in a variety of ways, but experts say eating it daily as part of your breakfast can help ensure maximum benefits. Read on to find out which type of grain can help lower your risk of diabetes and how to incorporate it into a larger diabetes-fighting diet.
If you have been diagnosed with diabetes or prediabetes, managing the disease through a healthy diet is essential. “A diabetic diet simply means eating the healthiest foods in moderate amounts and sticking to regular meal times,” explains the Mayo Clinic.
This healthy diet should be “naturally high in nutrients and low in fat and calories,” says the health body. “The key elements are fruits, vegetables and whole grains. In fact, a diabetic diet is the best diet for most people,” they add.
Foods with a low glycemic index — a measure of how quickly the body converts food into sugar — are especially beneficial for people with diabetes or pre-diabetes.
According to a 2021 study published in the journal Nutrition Frontiers, eating grains made from millet, a group of grains that includes sorghum and other sown grasses, may help lower your risk of type 2 diabetes. In fact, the study found that the glycemic index of grains millet was 36% lower than other grains such as milled rice and refined wheat. Minimally processed millets are most effective at lowering the glycemic index, the researchers wrote.
Millets also have a range of other nutritional benefits: experts say they are high in protein, fiber and micronutrients such as zinc, iron and calcium. However, sustained consumption seems to be the key to lasting benefits. “Millets should be part of our staple food. The results won’t last if people go back to junk food and refined foods.” Anitha SeethaPhD, study author and nutrition scientist, told the journal The Hindu.
In addition to significantly reducing the risk of diabetes in healthy people, millets can also help people with known cases of diabetes manage their condition. The researchers behind the study – a team of agricultural experts from the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Aric Tropics (ICRISAT) – found that over the three-year study period months, these cereals have helped people with diabetes lower their A1C, or average blood level. sugar levels.
In fact, study subjects with diabetes who ate millet regularly saw their blood sugar levels drop 12-15% (fasting and after meals). This suggests that regular consumption of millet may be a healthy addition to the daily diet of people with diabetes and prediabetes.
Scientists say there are also environmental benefits to eating millet, which is considered a more sustainable crop than other comparable grains. For example, ICRISAT points out that a single rice plant requires about two and a half times as much water as a single millet plant to grow.
Millets may also be more adaptable to the effects of climate change, given that they can withstand higher temperatures. “Crops like rice and wheat cannot tolerate temperatures above 38 degrees Celsius (100.4 Fahrenheit), while millets can tolerate temperatures above 46 degrees C (115 F),” SK GuptaPhD, the lead scientist of the pearl millet breeding program at ICRISAT, said NPR. This may mean you will see more millet in the future as climatic factors force farmers to adapt.
Talk to your doctor or nutritionist about incorporating millet into your diet, especially if you have diabetes or prediabetes.