Diabetic diet: The many health benefits and uses of chickpea in keeping blood sugar levels under control


New Delhi: Long before the COVID-19 pandemic affected and turned the world upside down, diabetes was one of the most common conditions that affected people all around the world, and continues to do so. Even with the novel coronavirus infection, diabetics have been added to the high-risk category for contraction and complications due to the virus.

Anyone who suffers from diabetes, or knows someone who does, would be aware that diet management is key to diabetes control. High or extremely low blood sugar levels can be very dangerous, and the food you eat has a direct impact on your blood sugar levels.

Chickpeas for Diabetics – Are they safe for blood sugar levels?

Chickpeas are a part of the lentils and legumes family. Though there is a misconception that lentils and legumes do not contain carbs, even when they do, they are not a bad choice for diabetics.

According to a study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine, people suffering from type 2 diabetes consumed one cup of legumes daily as part of their carbohydrate intake for three months. When compared with other study participants, the daily legume eaters showed greater decreases in haemoglobin A1c values and decreases in blood pressure.

According to the Defeat Diabetes Foundation, chickpeas also have a very low glycemic index. For the uninitiated, glycemic index, abbreviated as GI, is a relative unit that measures the level of carbs in a food item, and how it is likely to affect blood sugar levels. People with diabetes are recommended to include foods with a lower GI in their diet.

Health Benefits of Chickpeas

  • Chickpeas are rich in vitamin C, E and beta-carotene, among other nutrients.
  • They are good for the digestive system due to high amounts of fibre present in them and can reduce indigestion, irritable bowel syndrome, etc.
  • Chickpeas can help reduce LDL cholesterol, promoting heart health.

Ways diabetics can add chickpeas to their diet

Photo Credits: Istock

Hummus – Hummus is a dip that originated in the Middle-Eastern countries and has become popular all around the world for its taste and texture. It can be used as a side for raw veggies to enhance the flavour and nutrient content of the meal. Hummus is a ground mix of chickpeas, and a few other ingredients.

Chickpea curry – Famous in India, chickpea curry is consumed as a common food all around the country. It can be eaten with bread, or even consumed on its own. Make sure you keep the oil and spice content low, to increase the health value of it.

Chickpea chat – Chickpea chat can be prepared using raw veggies such as cucumbers, onions, tomatoes, boiled potatoes, etc, along with some boiled chickpeas. This is a great and healthy snack option to add to your diet.

Chickpea saag – If you want to add more texture and nutrition to your diet, you can include chickpeas in your diet in this way. Kabuli chana in some spinach gravy is not just tasty, but extremely healthy and nutritious for your body, and to keep your blood sugar levels in check.

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