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Thursday, June 05, 2008 Shanthi, Community Member, asks

Q: Is millet/ragi a low glycemix food

Hi, I am 38 years old, I am an indian origin, I read somewhere that millet/ragi is a low glycemix food and it is really suitable for diabetic, but in your food glycemix directory I found that it is on the higher side, please advise.  i notice that if you mix semolina and millet/ragi together it actually make the glycemix index lower, please advise. Thanking you in advance.

 

Shanthi

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Answers (2)
cindy, Community Member
1/29/09 8:53pm

you know, really I don't think so since I read that the glycemic index is rather high and even higher than some grains like rice whcih I found surprising. Anyway - I found that on the web and can't swear 100% that everything you read on the web is correct.

 

Please read here also something else I found on the web:

 

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Every morning, hundreds of thousands of diabetics in India have a bowl of ragi porridge, made with hot milk or buttermilk, as a pre-breakfast snack.Ragi porridge has a fanatical following among Indian diabetics that insulin would envy. Indians belie ve fervently that ragi is a wholesome food for diabetics.

Many treat it on par with drugs and insulin for diabetes.

Is ragi worth all this adulation?

The truth is ragi is just another grain like rice, wheat or jowar. Like all cereals, it is rich in carbohydrate. A 100 gm of ragi contains around 370 Calorie, with nearly 88 gm of carbohydrate, 3 gm of dietary fibre, and some calcium and phosphorus. Wheat and rice have similar calorie and fibre counts.

Ragi does not have any special benefits for diabetics. Compared with wheat or rice, ragi does not score higher in any way. In fact, wheat is the better cereal by far. There is no evidence that ragi leads to better control of diabetes or lowers the requirement of insulin or oral hypoglycaemic drugs when compared with wheat or rice.

So how do we explain the ragi fan following? The likely explanation is that most diabetics live in denial: they cannot accept that, barring a minor miracle, they will be diabetics for life requiring diet control, exercise, and either insulin or oral drugs or both.

They cling to the hope that some natural painless remedy can cure diabetes, and this awakens the craze for ragi, bitter gourd, fenugreek seeds and other herbal cures for diabetes.

There is no doubt that a healthful diet is important in the management of diabetes. However, food is never a substitute for prescribed medications. The ragi diet would be a joke if it were not also harmful. Ignoring the calories delivered by ragi has negative consequences for blood glucose levels and overall control of diabetes.

Ragi is not a saint or a sinner as far as diabetes goes. If you like ragi for breakfast, treat it as plain breakfast and not as some mythical pre-breakfast medicinal godsend for diabetes control.

Just like any other food in diabetes, it requires insulin or drugs to handle the calories it contains. No food is ever a substitute for insulin, drugs, exercise or weight control.

RAJIV.M

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gopalen, Community Member
9/27/09 1:19pm

I answered this a few minutes back. I also registered just then. I do not see my post so I want to do this again.

Hello Shanthi and Rajiv,

 

Rajiv is right. Ragi is a very high GI food. Please see GI LISTS on the web. Ragi is more than 100.!

I found Foxtail millet(FW) to be very effective. I am in good control of my weight and blood sugar level after switching completely to FM and completely avoiding Rice and Wheat. I lost 12 kgs and reduced Insulin by 25%. Thirty more people who followed my advice have ALL, reduced their weight in varying proportions, as well as have better control of their sugar. 

 

The only other research I could find on the web was by Dr. Ankita Sharma. PhD. She has estimated the GI of Roti made with equal amounts of flours of FM+Bengal Gram+ Barley to be 34. FM is Thinai(tamil),Korra(Telugu), Navane (Kannada), Kangni (Hindi).

Hope you will try and benefit too.

 

 

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Yoges, Community Member
10/ 4/11 11:38am

Yes, there is high possibility that ragi is a low glycemic food. There may be 100's of thousands consuming ragi porridge but remain as diabetics. The reason is simple; ragi is not the main diet. People drink ragi porridge for other reasons too - ragi is rich in a host of other essential nutrients like calcium, iron, vitamin B, and phosphorus. Take note that you only require small quantity of ragi to make porridge so you cannot expect it to do miracles to your body. Generally, the great majority of Indians is rice eaters and consume in high quantity. You cannot expect miracles to happen by just consuming a small quantity of ragi porridge and consuming hefty meals for lunch and perhaps, for dinner too. The effect of just a bowl of ragi porridge in the morning may not be sufficient to lower the already higher level of glucose in the blood due to high quantity of rice consumption. Your pancreas is squeezed to release more and more insulin to counteract the glucose release after hefty meals. Those are the days when many people were 'fit as a fiddle' because people knew little about life style, strolling on the their feet everywhere they roamed about unlike today where physical activity like walking has being replaced with auto driven machines like motorbikes and cars; manual cultivation of land have been substituted with mechanization and diet pattern from more of vegetarian have humbly bowed down to meat and fast foods with chemical food stabilizers which are all detrimental to one's health. "People those days eat to live but now people live to eat." Other factors for prevalence of diabetes even in younger population have been equated with stress that has a major impact in our overall health. Worthy to mention is the stress that the pancreas has to go throw in helping our body to counteract the already high glucose level in our body due to our eating habit and lifestyle changes. Sooner or later, the pancreas become less effective and finally is made helpless to issue order to release the insulin. We have done total injustice to our own body!  

 

However, I subscribe to your notion that exercise is very vital and must be made part of our life daily activities.

 

Lastly, with the little knowledge I have on ragi, let me say that many research have shown some evidence that ragi is indeed a low glycemic food. In all other cereals the bran portion of the cereals are removed in milling but you cannot separate the bran in ragi millet during the milling process because of the tiny, thin and adherence property of the bran with the endosperm, thus leaving the whole grain to be milled as such. Bran is celluloid material which hinders the fast release of glucose from ragi diets.

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Asha, Community Member
2/11/11 6:36am

Dear Shanti,

This is asha from bangalore and I am diabetic since 11/2 years, 38years old. Yes Ragi glycemix value is more, my dietician has adviced me not use the ragi instead she told me have rice / wheat of oats. Just check surgar level once with wheat and ragi, ragi time the surgar will shoot up. any query u can write me.

 

regards

asha

73.asha@gmail.com

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samar, Community Member
5/ 5/11 11:56am

Hi

 

I am a 64 year old Indian Male. I recently discovered my sugar is on the high side though my weight is normal or on the low side. I have been monitoring various foods for sugar by taking my readings before and after specific foods using a One Touch Ultra 2 meter.

 

Here are some surprises:

 

1. Eating curd rice and I later discovered any form of white rice, raises my sugar considerably one hour and 2 hours after eating.

 

2. Eating 2 ragi rotis made at home today raised my blood sugar from 105 to 160 an hour and a half later.

 

3. Eating smoked salmon and half a glass of red wine can bring my sugar down from 115 to 86 two hours after eating/

 

4. Eating chicken/smoked salmon with Wasa rye biscuits brings sugar down very swiftly.

 

5. Doing moderately heavy exercise first thing in the morning without eating anything raised blood sugar from 124 to 146 immediately after exercise. Apparently the body starts supplying sugar as a result of exercise.

 

6. Muesli, milk and Isabgol (Metamucil) seem effective at gradually reducing my sugar from range of 120 - 135 down to 105 to 115 over a couple of weeks.

 

 I must put in the rider that all these measurements are taken with the meter so it would depend on the reliability of the meter reading. That is not the same thing as accuracy so I focus on the difference before and after eating something.

 

 

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Vipul, Community Member
10/23/11 4:14pm

great findings...........i totally agree , i have been doing this since 10 years and getting simillar results

 

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By Shanthi, Community Member— Last Modified: 04/24/13, First Published: 06/05/08