According to the World Health Organization, diabetes — a chronic, metabolic disease — “is a growing challenge in India with an estimated 8.7 per cent diabetic population in the age group of 20 and 70 years.”
The condition leads to elevated blood sugar levels which, if left untreated, can affect the eyes, heart, kidney, and many other body parts.
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As such, those diagnosed with diabetes, or even pre-diabetes, are often advised to avoid or restrict the consumption of certain food items, especially those with a high glycemic index, and maintain their weight. To help you make the right choices, we are here to with one such diabetes-friendly food that you can enjoy — jackfruit.
Jackfruit is packed with vitamins A and C, riboflavin, magnesium, potassium, copper, manganese, and antioxidants. It has a medium glycemic index (GI) of about 50–60 on a scale of 100, said Dr Jinal Patel, dietitian, Apollo Spectra Hospital, Mumbai. “But, diabetics should ideally have raw jackfruit that has a low glycemic load and can help them to balance their blood sugar levels. Besides, it’s low in calories as well,” she told indianexpress.com.
However, the expert cautioned against eating it in large quantities. “Diabetic people should even eat raw jackfruit in moderation. Half a cup, around 75 grams, of jackfruit has a fair amount of fiber which will help you meet the body’s daily recommendation — making it the ideal quantity for diabetics,” she suggested, adding that raw jackfruit is a better option for diabetics “as compared to the cooked variety as it has low sugar content and is low in calories. But, one needs to keep an eye on the sugar levels after having it,” she explained.
Chef Sanjeev Kapoor, who regularly shares healthy food recipes, also shared a post listing the many health benefits of jackfruit that he aptly captioned: ‘Why didn’t anyone tell us about the amazing health benefits of this fruit?’.
Who should not consume jackfruit?
Jackfruit can trigger inflammatory reactions and discomforts in some people, especially those who are allergic to birch pollen. “In case, you have any allergies then you must avoid jackfruit,” Dr Jinal advised. Moreover, people who have blood coagulation issues should also avoid jackfruit as it can lead to increased risk of coagulation in the blood.
Additionally, one should also not consume jackfruit before and after any surgeries, Dr Jinal stressed. “Also, it should be avoided if you have kidney issues, such as chronic kidney disease or acute kidney failure, since the potassium in jackfruit causes the buildup of potassium in the blood, leading to a condition called hyperkalemia,” she added.
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