Diabetes has become a very common disease that is almost faced by half of the world population.
It is important for a diabetic to regulate the diet properly. Proper knowledge of different kinds of food and the amount consumed for a diabetic is crucial as it helps one keep diabetes in check.
In this article, we will read about the effect of sugarcane and its juice on diabetes. Can a diabetic eat sugarcane? Is sugarcane juice good for diabetes?
Sugarcane and Its Juice
Sugarcane belongs to the species of long perennial grass and from the genus Saccharum.
Sugarcane belongs to the grass family and usually is native to the warm temperature regions. It is used for the production of sugar. It can also be used for biofuel production(mainly in Brazil).
Sugarcane juice is usually obtained from the pressed sugarcane. The juice can be consumed as a beverage.
Sugarcane juice is one of the healthiest drinks that one can consume. In the USA, processed sugarcane is used as a sweetener.
The sugarcane juice serves as a healthy amount of antioxidants.
Sugarcane juice is usually alkaline as it contains a high amount of calcium, magnesium, potassium, and iron that helps fight against diseases like cancer.
Being rich in potassium helps in proper digestion and can be used for constipation disorder.
Sugarcane can also help prevent heart disease as it decreases the level of bad cholesterol and triglycerides in the body.
Sugarcane for Diabetes
The saying “everything should be done in moderation, It implies right for diabetics.”
Sugarcane should be consumed in moderation too. It can be used as a source of natural sweetener in many cases.
Sugar from sugarcane is considered safe because it is processed in our livers than in the small intestine.
The glycemic index of sugarcane is low. Sugarcane has a GI of 50, which is considered low and hence can be consumed by diabetics.
Hence, people with type 2 diabetes can also consume sugarcane.
Direct sugarcane derivatives can help diabetic regulate their glycemic index level.
Sugarcane helps to boost the immunity to fight against infectious disease as it contains antioxidants.
Sugarcane is rich in antioxidants, and the presence of these antioxidants helps combat radicals that can worsen diseases like diabetes.
It is also found that the sugarcane molasses concentrate can lower glucose production and inhibit the production of insulin.
Sugarcane polyphenol extract(SPE) usually contains polyphenols that generally consist of anthocyanins, catechins, and flavins.
According to the study, these have the capability of restoring insulin production from the beta cells.
The insulin production is usually damaged in these beta cells due to the high glucose concentration present in the body. Hence it acts as a repair mechanism.
Sugarcane Juice for Diabetes
Living a life with diabetes comes with restrictions, and the main ingredient one must be avoiding is sugar.
Sugarcane juice is a sweet syrup liquid. The juice acts as an instant energy drink because of the sugar content.
The sugarcane juice consists of 13-15% sugar in the form of sucrose, 10-15% fibers, and 70-75% water.
Sugarcane juice retains its vitamins and minerals as it is not processed like the other sugary drinks are prepared.
The sugar content of the juice is 50 grams (considering 1cup of juice).
As the juice is processed in our livers, it can act as a good substitute for aerated and packaged drinks.
The aerated and packaged drinks are harmful to a diabetic as the body digests the sugar quickly, and they generally have a high glycemic index.
It should be kept in mind that although the glycemic index is low, the sugarcane juice contains a high amount of glycemic load, which can be harmful to the person suffering from diabetes as glycemic load measures the total amount of sugar content in the body.
Hence moderation is the way out always.
The sugarcane contains iron which is indeed required for a body, and hence it can be consumed as a pre-workout for non-diabetic.
Side Effects of Sugarcane For Diabetics
There might be a problem if a diabetic eats sugarcane in large amount.
Sugarcane GI is near to medium category. Foods that comes between 55-69 GI range are medium GI.
Though sugarcane juice is 50 glycemic index food but it has a near to medium GI range and the glycemic load will also be high.
Everything in excess always has a negative consequence, which is also true in the case of sugarcane and its juice. Here are some risks involved in consuming too much sugarcane :
- It contains a high amount of calories which, when consumed in excess, can lead to weight gain and hence should be consumed in a moderate amount, especially by diabetics.
- Heart disease – Due to high sugar diets, the risk of heart disease increases.
- High blood pressure – Sugarcane has refined sugar, but it may lead to high blood pressure due to its overconsumption.
- Sugarcane contains policosanol, which may lead to dizziness, stomach upset, insomnia, and headaches when consumed in large amounts.
The Bottom Line
Diabetes is a disease that occurs when blood sugar is usually high. It is becoming a common disease with the new lifestyle and food habits.
With the potential risk of this disease come restrictions to many foods, which usually one prefers to consume daily.
Sugarcane is a natural sweetener that has to be consumed in a moderate amount.
The low glycemic index and the antioxidant presence add value to the sugarcane and benefit the diabetic.
Hence to the question, “Can a diabetic eat Sugarcane?”
Yes, a person with diabetes can consume sugarcane and its juice. But one should always keep in check the amount of sugarcane consumed as too much would be a potential risk for diabetes.
She is a research enthusiast, doing her master’s degree in biotechnology. Associated with the research program and planning to opt for a doctoral program in drug delivery & designing in a reputed organization.