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  • Harvesting Goodness Since 1995
  • FREE shipping on orders above ₹ 799/- Pan India
  • Harvesting Goodness Since 1995
  • FREE shipping on orders above ₹ 799/- Pan India
  • Harvesting Goodness Since 1995
  • FREE shipping on orders above ₹ 799/- Pan India

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Best Millets for Diabetes and Your Fight Against Sugar Spikes

best millets for diabetes

Millets and diabetes go hand in hand, as these ancient superfoods are known to help lower high blood sugar levels. If you are looking for ways to manage diabetes, then including millets in your daily diet can be beneficial. There are other foods and drinks that can also help control high blood sugar levels and manage diabetes. Diabetes is when the sugar in your blood gets too high, which can hurt your eyes, kidneys, nerves, and heart. Eating well and living healthy can lower your chances of getting diabetes. When it comes to food, millet is really good for you to include in a diabetic diet and can lower high blood sugar levels. Read the entire blog to find the best millets for diabetes in India. Does millet really reduce the blood sugar spikes, and are millet good for diabetes? Or which millet is good for diabetes? Let’s find out.

Table of Contents

Why Millets Are Good For Diabetes?

Everyone wants answers to whether millet is good for diabetes. But before answering the question, let’s understand what millet is. Millet refers to a group of small-seeded grains that have been part of human diets for thousands of years. They are considered a staple food in many regions across the globe, particularly in Asia and Africa. These millets good for diabetes, have gained popularity due to their exceptional nutritional profile, making them highly valued in various cuisines worldwide.  

Millets are a fantastic choice for people managing diabetes for several reasons. Let’s explore the benefits of millet for diabetes:

Low Glycemic Index:

One of the key advantages of millets for diabetes is their low glycemic index (GI). The GI measures how quickly carbohydrates in food raise blood sugar levels. Foods with a low GI release glucose slowly into the bloodstream, helping to prevent spikes in blood sugar levels. Millets, such as pearl millet, foxtail millet, and finger millet, have low to moderate GI scores, making them suitable choices for diabetes management and avoiding any diabetic complications, making it a suitable choice for diabetic patients.

High Fiber Content:

Millets are rich in dietary fiber, which is beneficial for diabetes management. Fiber slows down the absorption of sugar and carbohydrates in the body, preventing rapid spikes in blood glucose levels after meals. Additionally, fiber promotes satiety, helping individuals feel full for longer periods, which can aid in weight management—an important aspect of diabetes control. It is also good for prediabetes and people with diabetes to lead a healthy life. 

Nutrient Density:

Despite being low in calories, millets are packed with essential nutrients, including vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. These nutrients play various roles in maintaining overall health and may contribute to better blood sugar control. For example, magnesium, found abundantly in millets, has been linked to improved insulin sensitivity and glucose regulation.

Gluten-Free Option:

Many millets are naturally gluten-free, making them suitable for individuals with celiac disease or gluten sensitivity. Gluten-free diets are often recommended for people with diabetes, as they may help improve glycemic control and reduce inflammation in the body.

Versatility in Cooking:

Millets can be incorporated into a wide range of dishes, from breakfast porridges and salads to main courses and baked goods. This versatility allows individuals with diabetes to enjoy a varied and flavorful diet while still maintaining blood sugar control. Whether used as a whole grain, flour, or flakes, millets offer endless possibilities for delicious and nutritious meals.

Heart Health Benefits:

Diabetes increases the risk of cardiovascular diseases, such as heart attacks and strokes. Consuming millets as part of a balanced diet may help lower the risk factors associated with heart disease. Their high fiber and nutrient content, combined with their ability to regulate blood sugar levels, contribute to overall heart health.

Glycemic Index Of Millets In India

Millets have emerged as a popular choice for individuals managing diabetes due to their favourable glycemic index (GI) values. The GI, also known as the glycemic index of Indian millets, indicates how quickly consuming a specific food can raise blood sugar levels. For people with diabetes, opting for low glycemic index millets is crucial to avoid sudden spikes in blood sugar levels. Incorporating low glycemic millets into your diet can help manage blood sugar levels effectively and prevent complications associated with diabetes. Additionally, consuming millets with a low GI index can promote better glycemic control and overall health for individuals with diabetes.

 

Here’s a breakdown of the glycemic index millets in India values commonly consumed in India:

Millets

Pearl millet (Bajra)

Finger millet (Ragi)

Kodo millet (Varagu)

Foxtail millet (Thinai)

Little millet (Samai)

Barnyard millet (Kuthiraivali)

Proso millet (Paniravagu)

Sorghum millet (Jowar)

Brown top millet (Korle)

Italian millet (Sama)

Glycemic Index (GI)

55

70

50

50

50

45

55

62

50

45

As observed, millets like barnyard millet (Kuthiraivali) and Italian millet (Sama) have notably lower glycemic index values, making them preferable choices for individuals with diabetes. On the other hand, finger millet (Ragi) has a higher GI, but it still offers various nutritional benefits that can be incorporated into a balanced diet.

Best Type Of Millets For Diabetes In India

which millet is good for diabetes

Millets are gaining popularity as a healthy alternative to refined grains, especially for individuals managing diabetes in India. Apart from their nutritional value and glycemic index, millets are incredibly versatile in the kitchen and can be used to prepare a wide range of delicious dishes, providing both flavour and health benefits. Incorporating the best millets for diabetes in India into meals can help stabilize blood sugar levels and promote overall well-being. There are a lot of millets varieties in India to try. Let’s explore some of the best types of millets known for their effectiveness in diabetes management:

Barnyard Millet:

Barnyard millet, also known as Kuthiraivali, is one of the best millets for diabetic patients. It is a gluten-free grain that offers numerous health benefits for individuals with diabetes. Apart from its low glycemic index, barnyard millet is incredibly versatile in the kitchen. You can use it to make fluffy rice-like dishes, savoury porridge, or even bake it into bread or cookies. This millet’s nutty flavour adds a delightful touch to various recipes, making it a favourite among health-conscious individuals.

Kodo Millet:

Kodo millet, or Kodra, is another nutritious low glycemic index millets variety that can aid in diabetes management. This millet cooks quickly and has a slightly chewy texture, making it perfect for pilafs, salads, or even as a substitute for rice in dishes like biryani. An interesting fact about kodo millet is that it’s drought-resistant and requires minimal water to grow, making it an environmentally friendly crop choice.

Foxtail Millet:

Foxtail millet, also known as Thinai, is also one of the best millets for diabetic patients. It is a staple grain in many parts of India and is highly recommended for diabetes management because of its low glycemic index millets. This millet can be cooked similarly to rice or used to make porridge, upma, or even idlis and dosas. Foxtail millet flour is also commonly used in gluten-free baking. An interesting fact about foxtail millet is that it’s one of the oldest cultivated grains in the world, dating back thousands of years.

Finger Millet (Ragi):

Finger millet, commonly known as Ragi, is renowned for its exceptional nutritional profile and health benefits, particularly for individuals with diabetes. Apart from its low glycemic index millets, ragi is a powerhouse of calcium and iron, making it an excellent addition to the diet. You can use ragi flour to make rotis, dosas, or even pancakes. An interesting fact about finger millet is that it’s traditionally used to make a fermented drink called “ragi malt,” which is believed to have cooling properties and is consumed during hot summers.

Barnyard Millet:

Barnyard millet, also known as Kuthiraivali, is one of the best millets for diabetic patients. It is a gluten-free grain that offers numerous health benefits for individuals with diabetes. Apart from its low glycemic index, barnyard millet is incredibly versatile in the kitchen. You can use it to make fluffy rice-like dishes, savoury porridge, or even bake it into bread or cookies. This millet’s nutty flavour adds a delightful touch to various recipes, making it a favourite among health-conscious individuals.

Jowar Millet:

Jowar, also known as Sorghum, is one of the best millet for diabetes in India. It is a gluten-free grain widely cultivated in India and is considered one of the best millets for diabetes management. Jowar flour is commonly used to make rotis, bhakris, or even pancakes. An interesting fact about jowar is that it’s a staple crop in many parts of Africa and is used to make traditional beverages like “kunu” or “sorghum beer.”

Pearl Millet:

Pearl millet, commonly known as Bajra, is one of the best millet for diabetes in India known for its nutritional benefits and versatility in culinary applications. Apart from its moderate glycemic index, pearl millet is used to make traditional Indian bread called “bhakri,” which is popular in regions like Maharashtra and Rajasthan. An interesting fact about pearl millet is that it’s a hardy crop that can withstand dry and arid conditions, making it an important food source in semi-arid regions.

Best Millet Recipe For Diabetes

Managing diabetes doesn’t mean sacrificing flavour or crunch. Incorporating millets for diabetes patients is very easy. These crispy and tasty millet recipes can add variety to your meals while helping to maintain stable blood sugar levels. Here are three crispy millet recipes perfect for individuals with diabetes:

1. Millet Cutlets:

Ingredients:

  1. 1 cup cooked millet (any variety)
  2. 1 medium potato, boiled and mashed
  3. 1/2 cup mixed vegetables (carrots, peas, beans), finely chopped
  4. 2 tablespoons besan (gram flour)
  5. 1 teaspoon ginger-garlic paste
  6. 1 green chilli, finely chopped (optional)
  7. 1/2 teaspoon garam masala
  8. Salt to taste
  9. Bread crumbs for coating
  10. Oil for shallow frying

Instructions:

  1. In a mixing bowl, combine cooked low glycemic millets, mashed potato, mixed vegetables, besan, ginger-garlic paste, green chilli (if using), garam masala, and salt.
  2. Mix well until all ingredients are evenly combined.
  3. Divide the mixture into equal-sized portions and shape them into cutlets.
  4. Coat each cutlet with bread crumbs, ensuring they are evenly coated.
  5. Heat oil in a pan over medium heat. Once hot, place the cutlets in the pan and shallow fry until golden brown and crispy on both sides.
  6. Remove the cutlets from the pan and place them on a paper towel to absorb excess oil.
  7. Serve hot with chutney or sauce of your choice.

2. Millet Chakli (Murukku):

Ingredients:

  1. 1 cup millet flour (any variety)
  2. 1/4 cup rice flour
  3. 2 tablespoons besan (gram flour)
  4. 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  5. 1/2 teaspoon ajwain (carom seeds)
  6. 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
  7. Salt to taste
  8. Water as needed
  9. Oil for deep frying

Instructions:

  1. In a mixing bowl, combine millet flour, rice flour, besan, cumin seeds, ajwain, turmeric powder, and salt.
  2. Gradually add water and knead into a smooth dough.
  3. Fill a chakli maker (murukku press) with the dough and press out spiral-shaped chaklis onto a greased plate or parchment paper.
  4. Heat oil in a deep pan for frying.
  5. Carefully transfer the shaped chaklis into the hot oil and fry until golden brown and crispy.
  6. Remove the fried chaklis from the oil using a slotted spoon and drain excess oil on paper towels.
  7. Once cooled, store in an airtight container for later consumption.

3. Millet Bhel

Ingredients:

  1. 2 cups puffed millet (any variety)
  2. 1/2 cup finely chopped onions
  3. 1/2 cup finely chopped tomatoes
  4. 1/4 cup finely chopped cucumber
  5. 1/4 cup boiled and cubed potatoes
  6. 2 tablespoons finely chopped coriander leaves
  7. 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  8. 1 teaspoon chaat masala
  9. Salt to taste
  10. Sev (fried gram flour vermicelli) for garnish
  11. Tamarind chutney and green chutney for serving

Instructions:

  1. In a large mixing bowl, combine puffed millet, onions, tomatoes, cucumber, boiled potatoes, and coriander leaves.
  2. Add lemon juice, chaat masala, and salt to the mixture. Mix well to combine all the ingredients.
  3. Garnish with sev and serve immediately with tamarind chutney and green chutney.

4. Millet Upma:

Ingredients:

  1. Foxtail millet – 1 cup
  2. Moong dal split – half cup
  3. Green chillies – 2 no.
  4. Pepper and cumin seeds (crushed) – 2 tsp
  5. Curry leaves – few
  6. Oil – 1 tsp
  7. Salt to taste
  8. Serves: 2 persons

 

Instructions:

  1. Measure 1 cup of millet and 1/2 cup of split yellow moong dal.
  2. Soak the millet and dal in water for 10 minutes. Add four cups of water to the mixture.
  3. Cook in a pressure cooker for 5 whistles (13-15 minutes on medium flame).
  4. Now, temper the cooked millet in tsp of oil with green chillies, curry leaves, crushed pepper and cumin seeds. Add salt accordingly.
  5. Mix well the mixture to blend with tempering.

 

These crispy millet recipes offer a delightful twist to traditional snacks and can be enjoyed guilt-free by individuals managing diabetes in India. Including millets for diabetes patients is now easy and delicious. With their crunchy texture and flavorful ingredients, these recipes are sure to satisfy your cravings while keeping your blood sugar levels in check.

Conclusion

Including low glycemic millets in your diet can help you control diabetes more effectively. They’re not just good for diabetics; they’re also beneficial for everyone’s health. Millets provide essential nutrients that can lower the chances of various health problems like obesity and heart disease. Because of their excellent nutrition, millets are no longer seen as just a basic grain but are now recognized as a highly nutritious option.

FAQs

1. Which millet is best for diabetes?

Different millets offer various health benefits, but some commonly recommended ones for diabetes management include foxtail millet, barnyard millet, and pearl millet. These are the best millets for diabetes because they have lower glycemic indexes, making them suitable choices for individuals with diabetes.

2. How should I include millets in my diet if I have diabetes?

You can include millets in your diet in various ways. Substitute rice or wheat with millets in your meals, such as replacing rice with foxtail millet or pearl millet. You can also use millet flour to make rotis, dosas, or pancakes.

3. Can I consume millet-based snacks if I have diabetes?

Yes, you can enjoy millet-based snacks if you have diabetes, but be mindful of portion sizes and preparation methods. Opt for snacks made with whole millets or millet flour, and avoid deep-fried or heavily sweetened options.

4. Are millets high in carbohydrates?

While millets do contain carbohydrates, they typically have a lower carbohydrate content compared to refined grains like white rice or wheat. Plus, the carbohydrates in millets are complex carbs, which are digested slowly and have a lesser impact on blood sugar levels.

5. Will consuming millets help me lose weight if I have diabetes?

Including millets in your diet can help you manage weight. They are rich in fiber and nutrients, which help you feel fuller for longer. However, weight loss also depends on overall calorie intake and physical activity levels.

About the Author

Picture of Yogita Rajawat

Yogita Rajawat

Meet Yogita Rajawat, the literary face behind AsmitA Organic Farms' blog. With almost half a decade of experience, she is a seasoned wordsmith who crafts blogs that will both inform and tug at your heartstrings. As an expert in all things organic and its health benefits, Yogita brings a wealth of knowledge to her research. In addition, her deep understanding of the natural world allows her to create posts that are both educational and engaging.

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