Diabetics must avoid substance, say doctors
It is that time of the year when jaggery becomes integral to a traditional festive spread. But this is no sweet news for diabetics. Doctors and nutritionists say that jaggery is not a substitute for sugar, and those with no good control of diabetes should steer clear of recipes containing jaggery.
‘Sakkarai’ Pongal is synonymous with the festival of harvest. But this popular dish that contains jaggery should be kept out of bounds for diabetics. Sugarcane too should be avoided, say doctors.
Jaggery, unlike white sugar, does have a nutritive side to it. As Meenakshi Bajaj, senior nutritionist, Tamil Nadu Government Multi Super Specialty Hospital, pinpoints, it provides up to 5 mg of iron per 100 grams and is a good source of calcium and potassium. But as far as diabetics are concerned, they should stay away from jaggery and sugar as both have equally high glycemic load.
Anand Moses, former director, Institute of Diabetology, Madras Medical College, said jaggery too gets converted into sugar in the body. “The only difference is the time taken for absorption. White sugar gets absorbed quickly, while jaggery gets absorbed slowly,” he said.
He receives patients with questions on whether they can take sweets during festivals, and about jaggery too. “As far as diabetics are concerned, only those with good control of diabetes can take food prepared with jaggery, and that too, in moderation. Those with no control of diabetes should stay away from such food. Jaggery is not a substitute for sugar and raises sugar level in the blood,” he explained.
By good control, he means a fasting sugar of below 100 mg/dl, two hours after meal of below 180 mg/dl and HbA1c (average level of blood sugar for three months) of below 7%......Read more
Source web page: The Hindu