Diabetes is a chronic disorder that affects millions of individuals globally. It happens when the body is unable to adequately use or create insulin, a hormone that regulates blood sugar levels. Maintaining a healthy diet is vital for treating diabetes, and one of the most important components of a balanced diet is choosing the appropriate type of carbohydrates. Wheat chapati is a common staple meal in many areas worldwide, notably in India and other South Asian nations. But is wheat chapati or roti good for diabetes? In this article, we will explore this subject in detail.
What Is Wheat Chapati/Roti?
Whole wheat chapati is a flatbread prepared from whole wheat flour. It is a staple food in many regions of India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, and other South Asian nations. Chapatis are normally made by mixing whole wheat flour, water, and salt to make a dough, which is then shaped into thin circles and baked on a griddle or tawa. Chapatis are a popular side dish to curries and other cuisines, and they are frequently consumed for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
Nutritional Value of Wheat Chapati
Wheat chapati is a rich source of complex carbohydrates, fiber, protein, vitamins, and minerals. One standard-sized wheat chapati (6 inches in diameter) contains approximately:
- 70-100 calories
- 3-4 grams of protein
- 2-3 grams of fiber
- 15-20 grams of carbohydrates
- 1-2 grams of fat
- Small amounts of vitamins and minerals, including calcium, iron, and B vitamins.
Glycemic Index and Glycemic load of wheat chapati
The glycemic index (GI) and glycemic load (GL) are two measures for determining how carbohydrates affect blood sugar levels. The GI scale, which ranges from 0 to 100, classifies meals according to how rapidly they raise blood sugar levels. Those with a high GI (70 or higher) digest quickly and produce a sharp rise in blood sugar levels, whereas foods with a low GI (55 or below) digest slowly and cause a gradual rise in blood sugar levels.
The GL considers the GI as well as the number of carbs in a portion of food. It is computed by multiplying a food’s GI by the number of carbs in a serving and dividing by 100. A GL of 10 or less is regarded as low, while a GL of 20 or more is considered as high.
Wheat chapati’s GI and GL might differ based on the recipe and cooking method employed, as well as the individual’s digestive reaction. Wheat chapati, on the other hand, has a low to moderate GI and GL, making it a healthy choice for diabetics.
According to one research published in the Journal of Nutrition and Metabolism, wheat chapati has a GI of 52 and a GL of 14. These are considered modest to moderate values, indicating that wheat chapati is unlikely to induce a sudden surge in blood sugar levels. To maintain stable blood sugar levels, it is vital to keep portion amounts in mind and to balance wheat chapati with other healthful meals.
Is Wheat Chapati Good for Diabetes?
The answer depends on a number of factors, including the amount ingested, the individual’s blood sugar levels, and their total nutritional consumption. However, when compared to other carbohydrate-rich diets, wheat chapati might be an excellent choice for persons with diabetes.
Low glycemic index: Wheat chapati has a low glycemic index, which means it is slowly absorbed by the body and does not cause a rapid spike in blood sugar levels. This makes it an excellent solution for diabetics who must carefully monitor their blood sugar levels.
High fiber content: Wheat chapati contains dietary fibre, which can aid decrease glucose absorption in the circulation and reduce blood sugar surges. Fiber also helps you feel fuller for longer, which can assist with weight management and blood sugar control.
Rich in complex carbohydrates: Wheat chapati is a good source of complex carbohydrates, which are broken down slowly by the body and provide a steady source of energy. This can help prevent blood sugar spikes and crashes.
Nutrient-dense: Wheat chapati is rich in vitamins and minerals, which are essential for overall health and well-being. It is a good source of B vitamins, iron, and calcium, all of which are important for people with diabetes.
Tips for Incorporating Wheat Chapati Into a Diabetes-Friendly Diet
While wheat chapati can be a wise decision for diabetics, it is vital to remember portion quantities and balance it with other nutritious meals. Here are some suggestions for including wheat roti in a diabetes-friendly diet:
- Stick to one or two chapatis per meal, depending on your individual needs and blood sugar levels.
- Pair wheat chapati with protein-rich foods, such as lentils, beans, chicken, or fish, to slow down the absorption of glucose and help you feel full for longer.
- Include plenty of non-starchy vegetables, such as spinach, broccoli, and peppers, to add fiber, vitamins, and minerals to your meal.
- Limit high-fat and high-sugar foods, such as fried foods, sweets, and sugary.
Serving Quantity of Wheat Chapati to a Diabetic Person
A diabetic’s portion size of wheat chapati will be determined by a number of factors, including the individual’s blood sugar levels, overall nutritional consumption, physical activity levels, and any other health concerns they may have. The American Diabetes Association advises that patients with diabetes consume 45-60 g of carbs every meal, which equates to 3-4 servings of carbohydrates.
One standard-sized wheat chapati (6 inches in diameter) provides about 15-20 g of carbs, hence one serving of wheat chapati is roughly one chapati. However, take into consideration that portion sizes might vary based on the dish and cooking method utilized, as well as the individual’s appetite and energy requirements.
If you have diabetes, it is suggested that you engage with a registered dietitian or certified diabetes educator to prepare a tailored meal plan that takes your specific requirements and preferences into consideration. They may advise you on the appropriate serving amount of wheat chapati and other carbs based on your blood sugar levels, degree of physical activity, and other considerations. It is also critical to periodically evaluate your blood sugar levels and alter your food and medication as necessary to maintain stable blood sugar levels.
- Definition of glycemic index and glycemic load: American Diabetes Association. (2021). Carbohydrate counting. Retrieved from https://www.diabetes.org/nutrition/understanding-carbs/carbohydrate-counting
- Glycemic index and glycemic load of wheat chapati: Kalpana, P., & Ganesan, K. (2016). Evaluation of glycemic response of wheat chapati varying in ingredients and method of preparation. Journal of Nutrition and Metabolism, 2016, 1984827. doi: 10.1155/2016/1984827
- Serving size of wheat chapati for people with diabetes: American Diabetes Association. (2021). Create your plate. Retrieved from https://www.diabetes.org/nutrition/healthy-food-choices-made-easy/create-your-plate
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