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Is it a good idea to have chia seeds for diabetes? Here’s an expert opinion

Consuming chia seeds for diabetes is a good idea as they are low in glycemic index and don't spike blood sugar.
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There are many ways to reap the benefits of chia seeds! Image courtesy: Shutterstock
Arushi Bidhuri Updated: 15 Jul 2024, 01:02 pm IST
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Tiny as they may be, chia seeds are superfoods that come packed with a host of health benefits, with regulation of blood sugar being one of the most integral. Using chia seeds for diabetes is beneficial as they have  been advocated as a good source of fibre. This helps to reduce insulin resistance and improve blood sugar levels. It also reduces the risk of type 2 diabetes. Besides, using chia seeds for diabetes, there are other uses of chia seeds as well such as promoting heart health, helping with hypertension and building stronger bones. These seeds can be eaten as they are. However, they are generally soaked in water or milk over night, and are ready to be used the next day.

chia seeds for diabetes
Are chia seeds good for diabetes? Image Courtesy: Shutterstock

Are chia seeds a good addition to a diabetes diet?

Diabetics have to look out for the foods they consume. Things can go haywire for diabetics if they don’t keep a track of what they eat. The key is to eat a diabetes diet, foods that can help manage your blood sugar levels and keep your weight in check. Endocrinologist, Dr Ritesh Gupta, says that chia seeds are a great source of omega-3 fatty acids, fibre, and magnesium. All these nutrients can help mitigate the risk of complications of type 2 diabetes. “Regular intake of chia seeds along with a balanced diet can help in weight loss as well and we all know, losing weight can significantly contribute to managing diabetes. Moreover, Chia seeds are anti-inflammatory in nature, so it helps to control your excess amount of glucose level in the blood,” added the expert.

Also Read: Diabetes diet: 5 foods you must avoid to manage high blood sugar levels naturally

Nutritional benefits of chia seeds

Chis seeds are a powerhouse of nutrients, and are a cure to many ailments in the body. They are packed with essential nutrients and contain antioxidants that prevents chronic diseases. They also promote heart health and bone health. Read more about the benefits of chia seeds here.

Chia seed dosage for diabetes management

The US Food and Drug Administration states that One ounce of chia seeds contains 9.75 grams of fibre. An adult can consume between 22.4 and 33.6 grams of fibre each day, depending on their age and sex. “Two tablespoons or 20gm of Chia seeds a day is recommended if someone is diabetic,” says Dr Gupta.

How to eat chia seeds for healthy diabetes management?

Chia seeds can be added to drinks, puddings or even smoothies in order to make them nutrient-rich. To use chia seeds for diabetes management, put a tablespoon of seeds in a bottle of water. Adding thinly sliced pieces of lemon to it. Consume it after an hour of making the drink.

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Another way to add chia seeds to your diabetes diet is salads. “While adding fresh fruits, vegetables and nuts are advisable, sprinkling seeds such as chia and flax will make the salad fibre-rich, and also help keep your blood sugar levels stable.”

chia seeds for diabetes
Is chia seeds good for diabetes? Image Courtesy: Shutterstock

Side effects of chia seeds

While chia seeds offer multiple benefits for people suffering from diabetes, over-consumption can lead to problems. Some of the common side effects of chia seeds may affect people including diabetes, high blood pressure, allergies, or digestive issues.

Precautions while consuming chia seeds

Eating more than recommended quantities of chia seeds for diabetes management may result in side effects such as lowering blood glucose levels to the extent that the person may require an insulin dosage adjustment,” elucidates the endocrinologist. Chia seeds also contain alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) and this can lead to prostrate cancer. Also, there isn’t much research on whether chia seeds can be eaten during pregnancy and breastfeeding. Besides this, large doses of chia seeds can lead to gastric issues as well.

 

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About the Author

Arushi Bidhuri is a journalist with 7 years of experience in writing, editing, and conceptualizing story ideas across different genres, including health and wellness, lifestyle, politics, beauty, fashion, and more. Arushi has a strong connection in the industry that helps her write concise and original stories as she believes in working towards writing pieces that can enlighten people. ...Read More

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