Millet in diet may reduce risk of diabetes, study finds
A healthy diet, supplemented with millets, would not only help control diabetes, but also add important nutrients to our plate.
Consuming millet lowers the risk of developing type 2 diabetes and helps manage blood sugar levels in people with diabetes, shows a new study based on research from 11 countries.
People with diabetes who consumed millets as part of their daily diet saw their blood sugar drop 12 to 15% (fasting and after meals), and blood sugar fell from diabetic to prediabetic, according to the study recently published in “Frontiers of Nutrition”.
COVID has returned the focus to good health and nutritious food. Diabetics have been shown to be more vulnerable to the coronavirus. A healthy diet, supplemented with millets, would not only help control diabetes, but also add important nutrients to our plate, according to researchers involved in the study.
The research is the first in a series of studies that have been carried out over the past four years as part of the “Smart Food Initiative”, led by the International Crops Research Institute of Semi-Tropical Areas. arid (ICRISAT).
The researchers, who were part of the project, say the results have the potential to design appropriate meals with millet for people with diabetes and prediabetics as well as for people without diabetes as a preventative approach.
The study shows that the levels of HbA1c (blood sugar linked to hemoglobin) fell on average by 17% in people with prediabetes, and the levels went from a prediabetic state to a normal state.
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“No one knew that there were so many scientific studies being done on the effect of millet on diabetes. These benefits have often been disputed, and this systematic review of studies published in scientific journals proved that millets control blood sugar, reducing the risk of diabetes, and showed just how well these smart foods do, ”said Dr. S. Anitha, senior study author and senior nutrition scientist at ICRISAT.
Dr Hemalatha, Director of the National Institute of Nutrition (NIN), said: “Diabetes contributed to a very high disease burden from 1990 to 2016 in India. Diabetes-related health spending was over $ 7 million. There are no easy fixes, and it requires a change in lifestyle, and diet is a very important part of it. This study provides part of the solution useful for individuals and governments. How we use and implement it in programs requires careful planning. “
Diversify the diet
India, China and the United States have the largest number of people with diabetes. Africa has the largest projected increase of 143% from 2019 to 2045, the Middle East and North Africa 96% and Southeast Asia 74%. Diversifying foods by including millets will help control diabetes.
Dr Ananthan Rajendran, study author and scientist at the National Institute of Nutrition, pointed out, “We now have strong evidence that diversifying our diet with millet can help prevent and manage diabetes and its complications. India urgently needs solutions to reverse the dangerous growing trend of diabetes and millet is one of the solutions we should be promoting. “
Better than rice and corn
The results claim that eating millets can lead to a better blood sugar response. Millet has a low average glycemic index (GI) of 52.7, about 30% lower than milled rice and refined wheat, and about 14 to 37 GI points lower than corn. All 11 types of millet studied had a low (
“Millet is a traditional food eaten in India. Using locally available millets as a dietary diversification coupled with good lifestyle modifications would help reduce not only type II diabetes, but gestational diabetes as well, ”said study co-author Professor Kowsalya Subramaniam, Registrar at the Avinashilingam Institute for Domestic Sciences and Higher Education for Women (reputed -be-university) in Tamil Nadu.
“The global health crisis of the coexistence of undernutrition and overnutrition is a sign that our food systems need to be fixed. Greater diversity on the farm and on the plate is the key to transforming food systems, ”said Dr Jacqueline Hughes, Executive Director of ICRISAT.
“Diversifying what we grow and eat with millets can have a significant impact as millets have a less negative impact on the environment than major crops as well as multiple health benefits,” Dr. Arvind Kumar pointed out. , Deputy Director General (Research), ICRISAT.