Ragi is the hindi word for finger millet and one of the easily consumed cereals among Indian population. Therefore, the concerns about ragi and diabetes persist among the members of this population. This article will analyse the nutrients contained in ragi and their role in diet of a diabetic individual.
Glycemic index and Glycemic Load
The glycemic index of ragi is beyond or equivalent to the reference glucose itself. That means the rise in blood glucose levels after consuming ragi will be as rapid as it will be after consuming same amount of raw glucose. This single fact alone is a fire alarm to stop consuming ragi as soon as possible.
Just imagine a diabetic consuming raw glucose in triple digit quantities. A diabetic eating ragi can also be included in such disastrous imagination due to its almost same or even more glycemic index value. People affected with type 2 diabetes mellitus are asked to keep away from white bread due to its high glycemic index (near 75). So should be advised those diabetics who eat ragi.
There is no question of calculating the glycemic load when we already have such a high glycemic index. But to make our case stronger let’s try doing that too…
Glycemic load = 24*104/100 = 25
As you know the glycemic load of 10 or below is recommended for diabetics. Whereas the glycemic load of 11 to 20 is still considered acceptable. But in this case it has reached up to 25 which is beyond acceptable range. With this fact in mind, it is better suggested to avoid ragi and not have it even on cheat days.
Are you a newly diagnosed diabetic? Read this…
Proteins and Fats
The 100g of ragi flour provides with 4g of protein which has NPU score of 35. NPU score tells us how much of dietary amino acids convert into the proteins within the body tissues. Therefore, with a score of 35, only 35% of the amino acids eaten via ragi are converted into tissue protein.
The saturated fat content in ragi is nil.
Iron – 3% of RDA | Iron has a pathogenic role to play in the development of diabetes mellitus and its complications mainly retinopathy (eye complication) and nephropathy (kidney complication).
Conclusion (Ragi and Diabetes)
The macronutrients and the micronutrients contained in ragi flour both indicate that ragi is not a food for diabetics. There have been better alternates such as bajra in case. Thus, ragi and diabetes cannot go hand in hand.