Is Jaggery A Safe Sugar Substitute For Diabetics? TheHealthOrange Answers
Table sugar is probably the super villain in the food industry today, but there are plenty of alternatives to sugar, with both natural and artificial sweeteners. Jaggerry is often considered to be a healthy substitute for sugar because of its known health benefits and because it’s a part of Indian tradition, even recommended in Ayurveda.
For diabetics, who cannot consume sugar rich foods because of insulin resistance or a lack of insulin, jaggerry may seem like a blessing. But, is jaggery really a safe alternative to sugar for diabetes patients?
The Jaggery Vs Sugar Debate: Is Jaggery Really Safe For Diabetes?
“While sugar contains no nutrients, jaggery still retains valuable essential minerals, making it a healthier choice than sugar for most people”
Although jaggery and table sugar are created from similar sources like sugarcane, the process by which they are created is different, resulting in different nutritional values. While sugar undergoes a chemical crystallization process that results in a complete loss of all nutrients, jaggery still retains valuable essential minerals like calcium, magnesium, potassium, and phosphorus, among others. This high nutritional value is responsible for the health benefits of jaggery, making it a better choice than sugar.
“Jaggery is a definite no no if you suffer from diabetes because, like sugar, it has a high glycemic load, which can cause a dangerous spike in blood sugar levels”
Our Take: Should Diabetics Have Jaggery Instead Of Sugar?
While jaggery is certainly a healthy sugar substitute for most people, offering bone, heart, and lung health benefits, it is a definite no no if you suffer from diabetes. This is because jaggery and sugar, both share a common feature, having a high glycemic load. When it comes to diabetes diets, you need to make food choices based on glycemic index rather than on sweetness. Foods with a high glycemic load like jaggery may not be unhealthy in themselves, but they have an adverse impact as they cause a dangerous spike in blood sugar levels. Jaggery is not as dangerous as sugar, but it can still cause blood sugar levels to rise.
So, the next time you need to find a sugar substitute or any alternative sweetener, make sure to check the glycemic load first.