Diabetes is a condition marked by elevated blood sugar (glucose levels). It occurs when your body is not able to produce enough insulin, or is not able to respond properly to the insulin produced. It is currently one of the most prevalent metabolic disorders, afflicting millions across the world. According to a recent study, about 98 million Indians are expected to be diagnosed as diabetics by the year 2030. A diabetic is often asked to be extra careful of what they include in their diet. Extra sugary foods, or food made with refined flour of grains are best to avoid as they tend to spike blood sugar levels. Diabetics can look for natural sugar substitutes and if consumed in moderation, these substitutes may not be so harmful after all. But you have to be careful of the kind you pick too. Maple syrup is often dubbed as one of the safest sugar substitutes for diabetics.
Maple syrup is golden brown liquid extracted from the xylem sap of red maple or black maple trees. According to many nutritionists, it is not a wise idea to 'load up' on the luscious liquid as it may prove detrimental to your blood sugar levels. It is sweet and if your diet is already heavy in simple carbs, you need to be extra careful with the syrup. If you wish to replace it with your jar of refined sugar, you may consult it with your doctor once. Maple syrup is said to be endowed with many minerals, and if you are having maple syrup you need to ensure that your meal is very well supplemented with fibre and protein so that it does not get digested too quickly.
Maple syrup is rich in zinc that can do wonders for your artery walls and men's fertility. Maple syrup is also a good source of manganese that helps boost energy. It is less in sodium, making it ideal for those suffering from hypertension. Maple syrup is decently rich in calcium too that is known to boost bone health.
According to the book, 'Healing Foods', maple syrup's "antioxidant polyphenols, combined with its plant hormone, abscisic acid, have been shown to improve the body's sensitivity to the blood-sugar-regulating hormone insulin."
The glycaemic index of maple syrup is around 54. Foods with glycaemic index lower than 55 get digested slowly, enabling slow release of sugar in the blood stream, prevented chances of abnormal blood sugar spikes.
(Also Read: 5 Vegetables You Must Include In Your Diabetes Diet)
Make sure you opt for 100 percent organic maple syrup. You can use it as a topping for your oatmeal. You can also make yourself some high energy granola bars and use maple syrup as sweetener. This summer, you can also use maple syrup in your glass of nimbu paani and coconut water; it may help replenish your body with revitalising nutrients and minerals and keep you hydrated. These drinks are a better alternative to aerated sodas and cola beverages too.
(This content including advice provides generic information only. It is in no way a substitute for qualified medical opinion. Always consult a specialist or your own doctor for more information. NDTV does not claim responsibility for this information.)