What is Sagodana? Sagodana is also known as Sabudana or Tapioca pearls, it is starch which is extracted from the roots of the tapioca plant. Sabudana is native to countries like Asia, South America, and Africa. This is because tapioca roots can grow easily in these regions. It is produced by first extracting the starch from the tapioca plant, it is then shaped into small pearl-like spheres; hence the name Tapioca pearls. As it is something we consume, the natural question is what does it taste like? Is it sweet, salty, bitter, sour? Sagodana has a neutral flavor, so people may use it to add texture to breads or cakes, or can be added to drinks, soups, and sauces as a thickener. As an ingredient, it can be roasted, boiled, or fermented.
Now that we know what it is and how it tastes, let us know how it works. The body breaks down most carbs from food into sugar, or glucose, and insulin helps the cells in our body absorb this sugar. If someone has diabetes, their body doesn’t produce enough insulin or respond to insulin properly. In which case, eating high carb foods can cause an accumulation of glucose in the bloodstream. Even though Sagodana is a good carbohydrate, someone with diabetes needs to understand how much of it they can consume. While a person who is not diabetic might eat it without thinking of the outcome it has on our blood glucose levels, someone with diabetes has to be a bit more cautious when eating it. As a high carbohydrate food, sabudana can pose a risk if you have diabetes. The starch rapidly converts to sugar, thus triggering a blood sugar spike. A rapid spike in blood glucose levels does not mean that it is absolutely off limits.
Although some people with diabetes might stick with a low carb diet, they can also enjoy Sabu dana from time to time. The key is moderation. Eating Sabu dana on a daily basis can lead to frequent high blood sugar levels. When eaten in moderation, it only causes a moderate increase in blood sugar levels. As mentioned earlier, the key is moderation. Hence, we need to eat Sabu dana along with fiber-rich and low-calorie vegetables, this will increase the overall fiber intake for that meal and keeps the blood sugar stable, as fiber slows the absorption of glucose, it prevents frequent blood sugar fluctuations.
Sabudana also has other benefits apart from the above mentioned advantages. Sabudana is one option if you’re looking for a gluten-free food. If you have a gluten intolerance or Celiac disease, gluten can cause constipation, diarrhea, bloating, and fatigue. Sabudana is also useful when you need a quick energy boost. Some people living with diabetes experience frequent tiredness, fatigue, or constipation. Sabudana might relieve some of these issues.
Sabudana, as mentioned earlier is not something à diabetic patient can consume on a daily basis. It can potentially be dangerous for a diabetic. How can it be dangerous? Let us find out. Sabudana has a high Glycemi Index (GI). The glycemic index ranks the carbohydrates in foods based on how slow or how fast they raise blood sugar levels. The scale ranges from 0 to 100, with foods higher on the scale increasing blood sugar at a faster rate.The glycemic index breaks foods into categories based on the grams of carbs:
- Low: 55 or less
- Medium: 56 to 69
- High: 70 or more
Sabudana has a glycemic index of 67. Although it doesn’t have a high ranking, it isn’t exactly low, either. So it can have a moderate impact on blood sugar if you consume too much. If you do want to indulge in sabudana every once in a while,it is highly recommended that you first consult your nutritionist or dietitian and get the levels of glycated haemoglobin or HbA1c levels checked. On the basis of these levels, you can advise on the amount of sabudana that you can include in your diet.
Now that we know what Sagodana is, it’s GI etc, let us know what it contains. Sabudana is pure starch, so it contains more carbohydrates than any other nutrient. It’s also a source of:
According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, 1 cup of tapioca pearl contains:
- Calories: 544
- Protein: 0.29 grams (g)
- Fat: 0.03 g
- Carbohydrates: 135 g
- Fiber: 1.37 g
- Calcium: 30.4 mg
- Iron: 2.4 mg
- Magnesium: 1.52 mg
- Potassium: 16.7 mg
As per the USDA, 100g of dry tapioca contains the following values:
- Energy: 358 Kcal
- Carbohydrates : 88.7 g
- Water : 11 g
- Fat : 0.02 g
- Protiens : 0.19 g
- Iron : 1.58 g
- Calcium : 20 g
- Potassium : 11 g
- Phosphorus : 7 g
- Sodium : 1 g
Sabudana is a healthy carbohydrate that’s gluten-friendly and provides a much needed energy boost. But if you’re living with diabetes, too much of it can be harmful to your health. So while sabudana is okay to eat if you have diabetes, moderation is key. Make sure you pair it with fiber-rich vegetables to avoid blood sugar spikes. Stay safe and keep spreading awareness everyone!
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