Are you considering adding jaggery as an alternative to sugar, either for yourself or for someone you know?
For people with diabetes, the craving for sweets can often be a challenging temptation to resist. Today, many dieticians and nutritionists recommend jaggery over regular sugar due to its numerous health benefits.
So, how does jaggery stack up as a potential alternative? Is it truly beneficial for diabetic patients, or are there potential drawbacks?
If you are wondering the same, you've come to the right place.
In this blog, we will explore the answer to the question, 'Is Jaggery Good for Diabetic Patients?’
Before we get to the bottom of this question, let's first familiarise ourselves with what jaggery really is and its properties. So, let's dive in!
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Jaggery: An Introduction
Jaggery is not your typical refined sugar; it's actually an unrefined sugar product derived from different plant sources like sugarcane or date palm. And you know what? It's often hailed as a healthier alternative to regular sugar.
It is widely consumed and goes by several names like Gur, Panela, Gomuti, Kokuto in countries like Japan, India, Colombia, and Brazil. In India itself, it is widely popular in the East and South.
The interesting part of jaggery is that it comes in different types depending on the plant source. So, let's check out the various varieties of jaggery you can find on the market.
Types of Jaggery You Need to Know
It is made by cooking and stirring date palm sap. It is abundant in various minerals, including potassium, phosphorous, magnesium, and iron.
Read all about 10 Amazing Date Palm Jaggery Benefits - Guide 2023 here.
Sugarcane jaggery is made by crushing sugarcane to extract the juice and then filtering and boiling the concentrated juice.Read All About Sugarcane Jaggery Powder - Benefits, Uses, and More here.
This kind of jaggery is made from unfermented coconut sap, which is then drained, heated, crystallised, and put into different moulds.
The Idukki district of Kerala's Marayoor town is well-known for its sugarcane farming. This kind of gardening yields the famous Marayoor's Jaggery. The farmers of the Muthuva tribe produce ‘Marayoor.’
This jaggery is made from palm sap, also known as ‘neera.’ Neera is a sap that is taken out of the inflorescence of the ‘Palmyrah tree.’
Toddy Palm Jaggery is made after boiling the sap of the toddy palm.
Is Jaggery Safer than Sugar for Diabetic Patients?
Now, let's dig into the numbers and see how jaggery stacks up against sugar in terms of calories and glycemic index (GI) for a 100-gram serving.
Glycemic Index (GI)
From this simple comparison, we can see that jaggery has fewer calories even if the glycemic index of jaggery is high compared to sugar. What makes it a better alternative despite a high GI is that the sugar present in date palm jaggery takes time to be broken down and does not trigger sudden spikes in glucose levels. Therefore it's a safer bet for diabetic patients.
Is Jaggery Good for Diabetic Patients?
To answer this question, we have covered the nutritional aspects of jaggery so that you can understand and decide wisely.
The nutritional value of jaggery must be considered to determine if it is safe to take while diabetic or not.
In per 100 gm
As jaggery has very little fat, you can include it in your diet without worrying.
But hold on a second. While jaggery may seem like a healthier alternative to refined sugar, it still has a sugar content similar to white sugar. That means, for all our diabetic friends out there, it's crucial not to go overboard with jaggery consumption.
While it is well-recognized that refined sugar should be avoided at all costs, doctors advise that moderate amounts of palm jaggery should be fine for you.
Jaggery, unlike sugar, does not trigger a sudden increase in sugar levels and is also loaded with iron, magnesium, and potassium.
Note: Always consult your dietician/ physician before making any changes to your diet.
Therefore, even though substituting refined sugar with jaggery provides more vitamins and minerals, it is not advisable to consume a lot of jaggery. Remember, balance is the key.
What Are the Health Benefits of Jaggery?
We consider jaggery a healthy replacement for sugar as it provides the following benefits:
Gur is a special component that can overcome all seasonal challenges, whether they arise in the winter or the summer.
In warm weather, it works wonders as a natural coolant, and in cold, it helps treat a variety of respiratory conditions.
If you want to lose weight, jaggery should be on your list for your dietary plan. Jaggery stimulates the metabolism and helps burn belly fat.
Jaggery of good quality eliminates toxins, supports healthy digestive flora, and helps in greater nutritional absorption in the small intestine.
A tiny piece of jaggery can solve all of your acid-related problems. Magnesium in sufficient proportions aids in smoother digestion and prevents acidity.
Hormonal imbalance causes weight gain, hormonal changes, and even a slow metabolism.
Make it a routine to consume jaggery every day in small amounts to balance hormones and regulate menstruation.
Low haemoglobin levels can result in various issues, such as extreme exhaustion.
Jaggery naturally raises haemoglobin levels and is a great source of plant-based iron.
PCOS can have several side effects, including severe mood disorders, increased testosterone levels, irregular periods, and, in some circumstances, infertility.
Jaggery's mineral composition helps with weight loss and period regulation, both of which help treat PCOS.
FAQs: Is Jaggery Good for Diabetic Patients?
Is jaggery better than sugar?
While jaggery is made up of mineral salts, sucrose, and fibre that support digestive health and functions, sugar is the more processed form that is quickly absorbed and is instantly energising. Thus jaggery is better than sugar.
How much jaggery to eat every day?
You can consume approximately 10 grams, or 2 tablespoons, of jaggery each day to improve general health and lessen PMS symptoms. Jaggery is well known for enhancing gut health and function since it stimulates the body's digestive enzymes.
What happens if I have jaggery daily?
Jaggery has laxative properties; it helps prevent constipation. It also activates digestive enzymes, which are present in jaggery.
Consumption of jaggery will also help you with weight loss. Jaggery contains potassium, which helps keep your body hydrated.
Does jaggery produce insulin?
The answer is simply ‘no.’ It doesn’t produce insulin but helps decrease rapid sugar spikes.
So try to consume a minimum amount. Do not consume excessively.
Is jaggery high in sugar?
A lot of sugar, yes. Although jaggery is a sweetener that is high in nutrients, it also contains 65 to 85% sugar.
What are some Marayoor Jaggery Benefits?
Marayoor jaggery, known for its unique taste and quality, is believed to offer similar benefits to other types of jaggery, such as being a natural sweetener with potential health advantages.
Does jaggery contain glucose?
Jaggery contains glucose, which is part of the sucrose it consists of. The main component of jaggery is sucrose, which is a blend of glucose and fructose. Jaggery typically doesn't contain isolated glucose.
Regular consumption of jaggery strengthens the immune system and raises haemoglobin levels. Due to its incredible qualities, jaggery is also one of the key ingredients in Ayurvedic tonics and lehyams.
Additionally, jaggery can help diabetics satisfy their sweet tooth, although moderation is advised because too much can cause blood sugar levels to soar.
You need to keep in mind that any item you consume should be in moderate amounts, whether you are diabetic or not. Anything in excessive amounts can lead to health problems.
Try to consume a small portion, and please take suggestions from a doctor before starting any routine.
We hope that we answered your question, "Is Jaggery Good For Diabetic Patients?"
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