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Myths Busted – Is Jaggery Good For Diabetes?

Updated on: Jan 30, 2024
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Are You Considering Adding Jaggery as an Alternative to Sugar?

There have been several talks about the benefits of jaggery over sugar. While traditionally we believe that jaggery is a healthy alternative to sugar it might not be true for diabetes and weight loss.

Recent studies acknowledge the presence of certain minerals and vitamins in jaggery but also remind us of its high carbohydrate content. The high sugar content in jaggery masks its goddess.

But, is jaggery good for diabetes? Let’s find out!

 

What is Jaggery or Gur?

Before we learn about the good and bad of jaggery (gur), we must know what it really is!

Jaggery is prepared from sugarcane juice, date palm sap, or coconut sap by boiling it in a pot. It is not as highly processed as sugar, so it tends to retain some essential minerals despite having the same carbohydrate content as sugar.

Types of Jaggery/Gur

The types of jaggery depend upon its source:

  • Sugarcane jaggery: Obtained from Sugarcane
  • Date palm jaggery: Obtained from Date palms
  • Palmyra jaggery: Obtained from Palmyra palm
  • Coconut jaggery: Obtained from Coconut
  • Toddy palm jaggery: Obtained from Toddy palm

Is Jaggery Good for Diabetes?

No. It is not. The high sugar content in jaggery can cause a steep increase in your blood glucose levels, making it unsuitable for people with Diabetes.

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If your purpose of adding jaggery is to bring some sweetness to the dish, dessert, or drink, then the same can be achieved by adding any non-nutritive sweetener which won’t have such a drastic impact on your blood sugar level.

What is the Nutritional Value of Jaggery?

The nutritional facts of jaggery or nutritional value of 100gms jaggery is:

Nutritional Value of Jaggery for diabetes

What is the Glycemic index of jaggery?

The glycemic index of jaggery is 84 which makes it a high-GI food. The high glycemic index of jaggery indicates that jaggery has high sugar content, and consuming it can cause a rise in blood sugar levels. 

Though the glycemic index of palm jaggery is marketed as low GI, there isn’t much evidence to prove it. Considering jaggery’s high GI, people with diabetes must avoid consuming it.

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Are there Health Benefits of Jaggery?

If you always heard of how beneficial jaggery is for health, you are not alone! Our elders have often told us how jaggery is far better than sugar.

But, you will be surprised to know the facts are far from true, particularly when managing diabetes or trying to lose weight.
Yes! You heard it right!

Jaggery is NOT a healthy alternative to sugar, especially in managing obesity and diabetes. While the nutrient content in jaggery may benefit the body, there are no other obvious reasons why you must replace sugar with jaggery.

However, instead of consuming jaggery, you can opt for healthier food options to replenish your:

  • Potassium needs: Foods like nuts, beans, oranges, and tomatoes are some of the good and carbohydrate-free sources of potassium.
  • Magnesium needs: Consider having healthy alternatives like chia seeds, pumpkin seeds, or spinach that are good sources of magnesium.

1) Calcium in Jaggery Strengthens Bone

Yes, but you can get calcium through milk and green leafy vegetables too. By getting calcium from a healthy source like these, you reduce your risk of putting on weight while managing your blood sugar levels efficiently.

So, just for the 0.04 grams of calcium that you can in a 100-gram serving of jaggery, is it a worthy choice? We say – no.

2) Potassium in Jaggery Helps to Regulate Blood Pressure

Potassium is essential in managing blood pressure. However, instead of consuming jaggery, you can opt for healthier food options to replenish your potassium needs. Foods like nuts, beans, oranges, tomatoes are some of good and carbohydrate-free sources of potassium.

3) Magnesium in Jaggery Helps to Maintain Nerve Health

Magnesium is an essential mineral for maintaining good nerve health. While jaggery has magnesium, we must also consider the carbohydrate content in it.

Instead of considering jaggery as a source of magnesium, we must consider having healthy food alternatives.  Foods like chia seeds, pumpkin seeds, or spinach are some of the good sources of magnesium. 

Apart from the above-mentioned benefits of jaggery, the ancient sweetener is also a natural liver cleanser. According to Sushruta Samhita palm jaggery is considered a natural cleanser that helps to remove toxins from the body. 

What are the Benefits of Jaggery for Diabetes?

There are no significant benefits of jaggery for diabetes. However, we must understand that jaggery is neither a healthy alternative to sugar nor has significant health benefits in the management of diabetes or controlling weight gain.

Although palm jaggery is considered healthy for children it is not healthy for adults with diabetes and obesity. The high sucrose content in jaggery can cause metabolic diseases like weight gain, or spike in blood sugar levels.

You can add the sweetness of jaggery to your life, but you must ensure to consume jaggery in small quantities. Also, on the days you consume jaggery, please ensure to cut your carbohydrate intake from other sources like roti, millet, and rice..

How Much Jaggery to Eat Every Day for Diabetes?

Jaggery is made from sugar cane juice and is often used in Indian cooking. It has a very distinct taste that many people enjoy, but not everyone. 

While jaggery in small amounts can satisfy your sugar cravings, consuming even small amounts of it can cause a spike in blood levels in people with diabetes. This increases their risk of developing high blood sugar-related complications. Jaggery also increases weight in people with and without diabetes.

What Kind of Jaggery is Good for Diabetes?

You may have encountered different types of jaggery (gur), with various claims about one being better. However, people with diabetes need to be careful when consuming jaggery, regardless of its type, as it is high in sugar and can cause a spike in blood sugar levels.

It is important to speak to your dietician before consuming jaggery, especially if you have diabetes. Consuming jaggery in moderation and monitoring blood sugar levels is essential to avoid adverse effects.

Always consult a registered dietitian or a healthcare provider before incorporating jaggery into your diabetes diet plan.

Is there a Difference between Sugar and Jaggery?

Both sugar and jaggery are obtained from sugarcane but are only processed differently. This means there is no difference in calories in jaggery vs sugar.

FitterTake

Is jaggery good for diabetes? Does jaggery increase sugar levels? A resounding Yes! 

With the number of people diagnosed with diabetes increasing each year, finding a way to manage your blood sugar levels properly is essential for living a healthy life. You must always check with your dietician and healthcare provider about consuming any foods that have a high glycemic index, including jaggery.

Need help managing your blood sugar levels? Do not worry!

Fitterfly’s trusted and scientifically proven Diabetes Care Program can help you. Our dieticians and industry experts at Fitterfly can help with a personalized diet plan. Besides, they will also guide you completely on exercises and stress management. 

If you have any more questions about the consumption of jaggery and diabetes, please feel free to contact us at 08069450746

Disclaimer

This blog provides general information for educational and informational purposes only and shouldn't be seen as professional advice.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Which jaggery is good for health?

Jaggery contains several nutrients, which makes it healthier than sugar. However, when it comes to the sugar content, both are equally high in calories and not recommended for people with prediabetes and diabetes.

Does jaggery cause diabetes?

There are many reasons why diabetes occurs- weight gain and obesity, family history, physical inactivity, bad dietary choices, etc. Jaggery has a high glycemic index and causes an increase in blood sugar levels in people with diabetes and weight gain in everybody. Since increased weight is one of the causes of diabetes, you must consume jaggery in moderation or avoid it if you have diabetes or wish to prevent it.

Is palm jaggery good for diabetes?

Though palm jaggery obtained from date palm is marketed as healthy and has a low glycemic index, there isn’t enough scientific evidence to prove so.

Is black jaggery good for diabetes?

Black jaggery, also called Karupatti in South India, is sourced from sugarcane. Though it is said to be high in nutrients and have a low glycemic index, neither of them has been proven. Jaggery obtained from sugarcane is high in sugar, calories and GI and cannot be good for diabetes.

Is jaggery powder good for diabetes?

Jaggery powder is obtained by grounding jaggery. So, it still has the same sugar content and calories as sugar.

Is jaggery tea good for diabetic patients?

Jaggery tea is high in sugar, making it unsuitable for people with diabetes.

Is jaggery good for prediabetes?

Jaggery is not good for people with obesity and metabolic disorders like prediabetes and diabetes.

Is organic jaggery good for diabetes?

No type of jaggery is good for people with diabetes.

Is date palm jaggery good for diabetes?

Date palm is often touted as good for diabetes, but it is not. No form or type of jaggery is good for diabetes.

Is jaggery good for gestational diabetes?

Jaggery increases blood sugar levels. So, it is not recommended for women with gestational diabetes.

Is jaggery better than sugar for diabetics?

Jaggery and sugar are sourced from sugarcane, making them high in sugar. For this reason, jaggery and sugar are suitable or recommended for people with diabetes.

Can jaggery be consumed in moderation by individuals with diabetes?

Jaggery is high in sugar and, therefore, not recommended for people with diabetes. If you are unsure and wish to consume jaggery, consult with your dietician before doing so.

Are there alternatives to jaggery that individuals with diabetes can consider for sweetness in their diet?

Non-caloric sweeteners are an alternative source of sweetness in the diet of people with diabetes.

Are there specific precautions individuals with diabetes should take if they choose to consume jaggery occasionally?

Precaution is to avoid it as jaggery will raise post-prandial blood sugar levels. If an individual is on insulin, they could increase their meal-time dose. But, this should be done under the guidance of a doctor or dietician. Frequent consumption of jaggery and an increase in insulin dose can lead to weight gain, which will worsen your blood sugar control long-term.

- By Fitterfly Health-Team

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