Medical experts have mixed opinions about jaggery for diabetes, as a healthier alternative to sugar. Weighing both opinions, let’s find out if jaggery is good for diabetes?
Diabetes is a serious health issue. It spikes the blood sugar levels in the body, particularly with the intake of sugary foods. In type-2 diabetes, insulin resistance leads to an inadequate breakdown of carbohydrates. It causes a rise in the blood sugar level.
Additionally, if type-2 diabetes isn’t managed, it can increase the risk of heart disease, kidney problems, and life-threatening health conditions.
Thus, diabetics are recommended to eat foods with a low glycemic index. They have to avoid sugars altogether and opt for healthier alternatives.
A few doctors suggest taking jaggery over refined sugar but the truth is a hard pill to swallow for diabetics.
Before we get into the details of whether jaggery for diabetes is a good option, you must know what is jaggery and why few medical specialists recommend it:
What is Jaggery?
Jaggery or Gur, a classic sweetener, is a sweet and delectable kitchen essential. It is a mix of sucrose, a few invert sugars, and residuals like proteins, bagasse fiber, and wood ash.
Prepared from sugarcane, jaggery has had its significance in Ayurveda. In recent times, palm jaggery is introduced. It is extracted from palm juice.
Jaggery is well-known for its healing properties and diabetes management ability. hence, Asian countries use jaggery as a healthy alternative to sugar in their cuisine.
Is It Safe to Eat Jaggery for Diabetes?
No, people with diabetes can only eat foods with a glycemic index (GI) up to 55. Whereas, Jaggery has a high glycemic index of 84.4. Hence, it falls under the high GI category, putting diabetics at a higher risk of insulin spikes.
Jaggery is a better option than white sugar but there is a high chance it will increase your blood sugar levels.
Yet, some health experts recommend eating organic, raw jaggery, to enjoy its essential minerals such as iron and manganese.
While other medical professionals suggest switching to unrefined honey rather than jaggery.
Why Jaggery is not the best alternative for Diabetes?
Jaggery and sugar are both extracted from sugarcane and, thus, have a very high glycemic index. As a result, it gets easily digested and absorbed by the blood.
And, due to a lack of adequate insulin production, your blood sugar levels can rise to an uncontrollable level.
Moreover, many diabetics are misled by the notion that jaggery is an organic, healthier alternative to sugar. But, it must be understood that it is a better alternative for non-diabetic individuals.
Why Jaggery for Diabetes considered a good alternative?
In Ayurveda, jaggery was used for its various health benefits. Due to its richness in iron content, it maintains blood pressure in the body.
It’s rich in antioxidants to fight oxidative stress and boost metabolism. Hence, it is advisable to take a piece of jaggery after meals in Indian households.
In spite of a high nutrient profile, jaggery for diabetes is not a good idea. It may benefit your health in certain areas, but it will do more harm than good.
Can Diabetic Eat Jaggery?-The Expert Opinion
No, jaggery has a high glycemic index. Patients suffering from type-2 diabetes should not eat jaggery.
You can eat 1-2 teaspoons of jaggery in a day while closely monitoring your blood sugar levels.
Can Pre-diabetics Eat Jaggery?
No, pre-diabetics are strictly advised to avoid high-sugar foods. Jaggery quickly raises the blood sugar level which can give you a push into becoming a diabetic for life.
Despite the mixed opinion, the popular and fact-based opinion about jaggery for diabetes is to completely avoid it. The reason being it can swiftly get absorbed and shoot up your blood sugar levels. Certainly, prevention is better than cure.