Diabetes affects millions of people worldwide. This condition, which can occur at any stage of one’s life, is primarily chronic.
According to the World Health Organisation, as of 2019, an estimated 463 million adults were living with diabetes, which could rise to 700 million by 2045.
Type 2 diabetes, which strongly correlates to obesity and lack of physical activity, is the most common and accounts for 90-95% of all diabetes cases.
While diabetes is a prevalent health issue worldwide, one can manage diabetes and its complications. The best strategy to do so is making dietary and lifestyle changes.
Known for its diverse and rich culinary heritage, India is home to various spices and herbs that offer unique health benefits.
One example is sattu, a traditional Indian food that is especially beneficial for people with diabetes. This flour, typically made of roasted and ground chana dal (split chickpeas) or barley, is a staple in the eastern states of India, particularly Bihar, Jharkhand, and Uttar Pradesh.
This article will explore the advantages of sattu for people with diabetes, including its nutritional value, glycemic index, and potential benefits.
It will also look at whether or not sattu is a suitable option for individuals with Type 1 diabetes and provide an overview of the various Indian methods of consuming Sattu.
Nutritional Attributes of Sattu
Sattu is a rich source of protein and fibre. Since it is made from grams, sattu contains higher protein levels than wheat flour.
That makes it an ideal choice for people with diabetes searching for high-protein, low-carb alternatives. Additionally, sattu contains various micronutrients such as iron, zinc, and magnesium.
Glycemic Index of Sattu
The glycemic index (GI) of a food is a measure of how quickly it raises blood sugar levels. Foods with a high GI are absorbed rapidly and cause a sharp rise in blood sugar, while those with a low GI are slowly absorbed and cause a gradual increase in blood sugar.
According to the Home Science Journal study, gram sattu has an especially low GI of 28. As a result, it is an excellent choice for people with diabetes.
Sattu Benefits for Diabetes
Regulates Blood Sugar Levels
As stated earlier, sattu flour is a low-GI food. It means that it causes a slower and gradual increase in blood sugar levels instead of a sudden spike. Therefore, it can be beneficial for people with diabetes, as it prevents the harmful effects of sudden changes in blood sugar levels.
Research shows that obesity is a significant risk factor for diabetes, making weight management essential for those with the condition.
Sattu is an ideal choice for people with diabetes looking to manage their weight, as it is a low-carb, high-protein food. Thus, incorporating sattu into the diet can help regulating weight, which can aid in managing diabetes.
A study has shown that iron deficiency is common among people with diabetes. It can result in anaemia, further worsening diabetes-related complications.
Hence, it is essential to maintain healthy blood sugar levels and prevent anaemia in people with diabetes. Fortunately, sattu can be beneficial as it is a good source of iron.
Reduces the Risk of Cardiovascular Issues
Experts believe that consuming Sattu flour may help reduce the risk of heart disease in people with diabetes. Since sattu flour is rich in fibre and protein, it can be beneficial in lowering the risk of heart disease.
Research shows that foods high in fibre and protein can help reduce the risk of cardiovascular issues. Therefore, those with diabetes should consider adding Sattu to their diet.
The HealthifyMe Note
Sattu benefits people with diabetes as it has a low glycemic index. Also, it is high in fibre, protein, and antioxidants. These properties help regulate blood sugar levels and improve overall blood sugar control. However, it is essential to note that one should consume sattu in moderation as part of a balanced diet.
Sattu for People with Type 1 Diabetes
People with Type 1 diabetes should consult a healthcare professional to determine their insulin dose before inclyding sattu in their diet.
That is because Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disorder in which the body’s immune system attacks and destroys the beta cells in the pancreas, which are responsible for producing insulin.
Insulin is a hormone that assists in regulating blood sugar levels, and people with Type 1 diabetes need insulin injections to manage their blood sugar levels. Therefore, one must take the carbohydrate content of sattu into account and adjust the insulin dose accordingly.
Sattu for Diabetes – The Permissible Amount
Unfortunately, it is difficult to provide a specific recommendation for how much sattu someone with diabetes should consume.
It depends on several factors, such as the individual’s blood sugar levels, overall diet, and insulin regimen. Therefore, it’s best to consult with a healthcare expert like the nutritionists of HealthifyMe. They take into account all these factors and create a personalised meal plan for you to reap the best benefits.
In general, people with diabetes should aim to consume a balanced diet that includes a variety of nutrient-dense foods low in added sugars and processed foods.
While sattu has some potential benefits if one consumes it in moderation as part of a balanced diet, please note that you cannot use it as a replacement for other essential foods.
Potential Disadvantages of Sattu
Every food has got its fair share of pros and cons. Furthermore, some foods keep you healthy while some do not. That means everyone’s body has a unique response to food. Hence, besides knowing the advantages of sattu, it is vital to know the potential disadvantages.
Sattu flour has a relatively high sodium content. Therefore, it can be harmful for people with diabetes, as a high sodium intake can lead to an increased risk of high blood pressure, which can further complicate diabetes. It is, therefore, important for people with diabetes to monitor their sodium intake and consume sattu in moderation.
Another potential disadvantage of sattu is that it is not gluten-free. Sattu flour is derived from roasted and ground chana dal (split chickpeas) or barley, which contain gluten.
As gluten is a protein found in wheat, barley, and rye, this makes Sattu an unsuitable option for people with gluten sensitivity or celiac disease. Consequently, those with such sensitivities or celiac disease should avoid Sattu.
If consumed in excess, sattu could also lead to diarrhoea, bloating and gas.
The HealthifyMe Note
Diabetes is now a chronic epidemic. There is no cure, and no one can pinpoint the exact issue that triggers this condition. Fortunately, one can keep themselves safe from diabetes and its subsequent complications through a healthy lifestyle. HealthifyMe Pro 2.0 encourages users to be smart about their food and lifestyle choices, helping them obtain a more balanced, healthy and stress free life. The app is your health guide, from counting carbs to easily checking your blood sugar levels safely from the comfort of your home.
Sattu is a traditional Indian food with numerous health benefits. It provides a good source of protein, fibre, and various micronutrients such as iron, zinc, and magnesium.
Additionally, due to its low glycemic index, sattu can help manage blood sugar levels and weight and reduce the risk of heart disease and diabetes-related complications.
Those with Type 1 diabetes can also consume sattu. However, it is essential to consider the carbohydrate content of Sattu and adjust insulin doses accordingly. Indian recipes for people with diabetes that use sattu include sattu paratha, sattu drink, and sattu laddoo.
The Research Sources
1. Saeedi P, Petersohn I, Salpea P, Malanda B, Karuranga S, Unwin N, Colagiuri S, Guariguata L, Motala AA, Ogurtsova K, Shaw JE, Bright D, Williams R; IDF Diabetes Atlas Committee. Global and regional diabetes prevalence estimates for 2019 and projections for 2030 and 2045: Results from the International Diabetes Federation Diabetes Atlas, 9th edition. Diabetes Res Clin Pract. 2019 Nov;157:107843. doi: 10.1016/j.diabres.2019.107843. Epub 2019 Sep 10. PMID: 31518657.
2. International Journal of Home Science 2017; 3(1): 272-276
3. Barnes AS. The epidemic of obesity and diabetes: trends and treatments. Tex Heart Inst J. 2011;38(2):142-4. PMID: 21494521; PMCID: PMC3066828.
4. Jéssica Barbieri, Paula Caitano Fontela, Eliane Roseli Winkelmann, Carine Eloise Prestes Zimmermann, Yana Picinin Sandri, Emanelle Kerber Viera Mallet, Matias Nunes Frizzo, “Anemia in Patients with Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus”, Anemia, vol. 2015, Article ID 354737, 7 pages, 2015. https://doi.org/10.1155/2015/354737
5. McRae MP. Dietary Fiber Is Beneficial for the Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease: An Umbrella Review of Meta-analyses. J Chiropr Med. 2017 Dec;16(4):289-299. doi: 10.1016/j.jcm.2017.05.005. Epub 2017 Oct 25. PMID: 29276461; PMCID: PMC5731843.