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17 Aug 2019, Edition - 1495, Saturday

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Health Matters

Diabetes Management: Why Should You Eat More Sweet Potatoes To Manage Blood Sugar

ndtv.com

Are you a diabetic? If yes, then you may have heard many people advise you to stay away from potatoes, and they have their reasons too. Potatoes have a high glycaemic index. High glycaemic foods get metabolised quickly and spike your blood sugar levels. But, this does not mean that you need to eliminate all tubers from your diet. Sweet potatoes, or shakarkandi, for that instance may actually help regulate your blood sugar levels. The American Diabetes Association has actually dubbed the nutritional tuber as a superfood for diabetics and vouched for benefits of sweet potato. Here’s what makes it an ideal bet to be included in your diabetes diet plan.

Sweet Potatoes For Diabetes: How Does The Tuber Help Regulate Blood Sugar Levels

Diabetes refers to the group of metabolic diseases that result in too much sugar in the blood (high blood glucose). Diabetes can be managed to a large extent by proper diet, physical activity and oral medications. Diabetics are often recommended to eat foods that are high in fibre, and sweet potatoes are loaded with it.

According to the book, ‘Healing Foods’ by DK Publishing, sweet potatoes are very effective in ensuring that your blood sugar levels do not fluctuate. “Sweet potatoes are a traditional treatment for diabetes. They contain slow-release carbohydrate and the hormone adiponectin, a combination that helps keep blood sugar levels steady,” the book notes.

Consultant Nutritionist, Dr. Rupali Datta, tells us that it is a myth that starchy foods should be ruled out from the diets of diabetics completely. If you maintain portion control, they can be added to your diet too. She reveals that sweet potato has a decent amount of fibre and its starchy carbs propel delayed sugar release. Since it is a nutrient-rich food, you are not getting just empty calories out of this wonder tuber. At 109 Kcal/100 grams and 24 grams of carbs, it makes for a decent snack choice or a dessert option. Sweet potato has a GI of low to medium, depending on the cooking method, according to the Open Nutrition Journal, 2012, Volume 6, which was a detailed study on the effect of various cooking methods on the GI of sweet potato.

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