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I am diabetic; can I take jaggery?

Wednesday, 14 April 2004
Answered by: Dr. Ambrish Mithal
Senior Consultant Endocrinologist & Diabetologist,
Indraprastha Apollo Hospitals,
New Delhi
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Q. I am a 29 years old male suffering from diabetes. I want to know, how much energy do I require every day? Can I take sugar as I am taking tablet (1/4 glynase) like in coffee? Can I eat sweets? When is the energy absorbed by the body? Is it when food is converted in glucose and enters our blood and then insulin is produced and takes energy from blood? Is it okay to take jaggery everyday, as it fulfills calorie requirements? Is insulin produced throughout the day? Will taking sugar harm me if I exercise or take no tablet and keep my blood sugar normal considering I take sufficient food everyday?

A.  After reading your questions, I feel that you need to understand a lot about your disease. I would recommend you to look at sites like www.diabetes.org for a clearer answer to some of your questions, or else pick up a good book for public awareness- e.g. ABC of diabetes. 1. You should avoid all sweets as far as possible, including sugar in tea. Jaggery is NOT OK. 2. Exercise, is very helpful, not only for controlling diabetes, but also for general fitness. 3. Insulin is produced throughout the day, regardless of when we eat. This is the basal component of insulin secretion. Whenever we eat, there is a spurt of insulin secretion (more in the case of simple sugars) to enable the cells to utilise energy from the calories ingested. This rise in insulin level is the first to get affected in diabetes.

A.  After reading your questions, I feel that you need to understand a lot about your disease. I would recommend you to look at sites like www.diabetes.org for a clearer answer to some of your questions, or else pick up a good book for public awareness- e.g. ABC of diabetes. 1. You should avoid all sweets as far as possible, including sugar in tea. Jaggery is NOT OK. 2. Exercise, is very helpful, not only for controlling diabetes, but also for general fitness. 3. Insulin is produced throughout the day, regardless of when we eat. This is the basal component of insulin secretion. Whenever we eat, there is a spurt of insulin secretion (more in the case of simple sugars) to enable the cells to utilise energy from the calories ingested. This rise in insulin level is the first to get affected in diabetes.

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