Can Diabetics Eat Pani Puri

Can Diabetics Eat Pani Puri? Try this Healthy Low-Carb version

Pani puri – the street food that rules the heart of every Indian. But can people with diabetes eat pani-puri? We will discuss this today.

As always, being a diabetic means concerning every food you put your finger on to. Now, Pani puri is not a preferred food item for people with diabetes. Doctors don’t recommend eating it.

This sounds bitter to pani-puri lovers who are having diabetes. But don’t be disheartened, we have a surprise you! Wait for it.

What goes inside a Pani Puri?

semolina

On an honest note, there is a conflict of opinions regarding whether diabetics should eat pani-puri or not. Many people say pani-puri can be eaten during diabetes, provided there is no sugar content in it.

In contrast, others form the opinion that pani-puri can be eaten in moderate amounts when diagnosed with diabetes.

A single pani-puri has nearly 36 calories, along with 2 grams of fat and 4 grams of carbohydrates. Besides, fibers, proteins, iron, vitamins are absent.

These puris are either made with semolina (sooji) or white flour (maida). The former is good for health, while the latter is extremely harmful, especially in diabetes.

Pani-puri is prepared using these major ingredients:

  1. Semolina and all-purpose flour for puris
  2. Mint, coriander, and tamarind for chutney/pani
  3. Potatoes, onion, and chickpeas for stuffing

Is Semolina Good for Diabetes?

Is Semolina Good for Diabetes

Semolina or sooji has a glycemic index of 66 – which is moderate. Subsequently, it should be eaten only in moderate amounts to prevent spikes in blood sugar levels.

It is made from durum wheat, a type of wheat that is hard with an earthy aroma.

Semolina can adversely affect your blood glucose status if you are not watchful towards your portion size.

In general, every 100 grams of semolina is likely to contain 300 calories, 70 grams carbohydrates, 14 grams proteins, and 14% fibers. The iron and magnesium content corresponds to 20% and 15%, respectively.

At first go, semolina is a healthy food that has high fiber and iron content; thus, it is favorable for people with diabetes. But as it’s said, “all that glitters is not gold.” There’s a twist!

Sadly, the form of semolina you get through eating puris is fried one, which can prove to be harmful. Moreover, pani puri, on the whole, may contain many other ingredients that are unsuited for diabetes.

Let us explore both upsides and downsides of semolina.

Upsides of Eating Semolina

  • It is rich in fibers, therefore assist in weight loss.
  • The presence of folates and magnesium is a boon for better heart health. Further, fibers also aid in good cardiovascular health.
  • It can stabilize blood sugar levels due to magnesium and fibers.
  • Iron-deficiency in diet can be eliminated by eating semolina.
  • Dietary fibers optimize the activity of gut bacteria leading to improved digestion.

Now, its time for the downsides.

Downsides of Eating Semolina

  • Being high in gluten, it is not suitable for people with gluten sensitivity or those having celiac disease.
  • It may also cause inconvenience to people who are allergic to durum wheat.

Is Maida Good for Diabetes?

white flour (maida)

During diabetes, the next thing to avoid after sugar is all-purpose flour or maida. In one of our previous articles, we addressed maida as white poison.

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This is indeed very true.

The glycemic index of all-purpose flour is very high, that is, 71. You are smart enough to acknowledge the extent of harm maida can impose on you.

Foods with a high glycemic index are the biggest enemies of diabetics. You need to stay away from them.

Furthermore, maida is responsible for several discomforts and diseases.

  • Maida raises the levels of bad cholesterol
  • Maida leads to obesity
  • Eating maida is also associated with clogging of arteries
  • Maida is terrible for blood pressure
  • And, maida worsens blood sugar levels

Ingredients of Pani-Puri Chutney

The chutney is a relatively healthier component of pani-puri as it is prepared with mint, coriander, and tamarind, which positively affects the human body.

Coriander and mint ate good body cleansers as well as lower the chances of inflammation. Tamarind is also considered good for diabetes only if consumed in moderate amounts.

Ingredients of Stuffing

Here is again, a conflict. Chickpeas are excellent for diabetes, but potatoes are equally devastating.

Some people might use only potatoes mixed with spices for filling, which is a bad thing. When you are eating it outdoors on the streets, there is so much uncertainty about what elements your stuffing contains. It is better to prepare panipuri at home and go with chickpeas for stuffing.

There are no issues with onions. You can safely incorporate them into any dish during diabetes.

Do fried foods raise blood sugar?

Whether made from maida or sooji or combination of both, pani-puris pass through a stage of deep frying in either of the cases. The deep-fried foods worsen diabetes.

You have to choose health over taste. Otherwise, the situation can be catastrophic.

Foods like panipuri and others that involve frying can heighten blood sugar levels, increase the risk of cardiovascular disease, trigger unhealthy weight gain, and invite many other undesired consequences.

Unlike carbohydrates that cause an instant rise in blood sugar levels, fats elevate the levels after some time, usually after 8 hours as they are digested slowly.

Next, eating trans fats loaded fried foods can cause a rise in your wrong cholesterol level and open the doors for certain heart-related disorders. Weight gain is another problem that is to be encountered under such a condition.

An increase in insulin resistance is also a primary concern linked to the consumption of fried foods.

What’s the conclusion?

Though some of the ingredients constituting the famous street food are healthy, but panipuri, on the whole, are not nutritious enough to be included in the diabetes lifestyle. They will harm you in the long run when eaten in more significant quantities.

Despite the claims that pani-puri does not harm blood sugar levels when eaten in moderate amounts, we strictly advise you to ignore this street food completely. Instead, try healthier counterparts of chaats, snacks, and fast foods.

Healthy Low-Carb Pani-Puri Recipe for Diabetes – The Bonus

This is the surprise we were talking about in the beginning.

We understand how difficult it is to suppress your cravings every time. Living in a country where street foods are an integral part of people’s lifestyle and not being able to dip your fingers in some lip-smacking delicacies is such a disheartening thought.

That’s a reason why we came up with this diabetes-friendly Pani puri recipe. You can eat chaat guilt-free as its only nutrients that are going to enter your body and not harmful fats or carbohydrates.

The main ingredient here is cucumber. A vegetable loaded with a lot of nutritious perks.

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Let us get started with the preparation of puris and stuffing. For this we require;

  • Cucumbers
  • 1 cup Chickpeas (chhole)
  • 1 Onion
  • Grated carrot
  • One tomato
  • One teaspoon chaat masala
  • ½ teaspoon cumin powder (roasted)
  • One tablespoon sev
  • ½ tablespoon savory boondi

Moving on to pani, we need;

  • One-fourth cup cucumber pulp
  • 1 cup washed cilantro
  • Half cup mint
  • Little bit peeled ginger
  • Some green chilies (as you prefer)
  • One tablespoon chaat masala
  • One teaspoon black salt
  • Lemon juice
  • One glass water

Getting started with the cucumber-made puris-

  1. Wash and peel the cucumbers.
  2. Cut them into 1-inch disks depending upon the size.
  3. Remove the seeds from the center by cutting through the spoon or knife. The base of the cucumber discs should not be solid to hold the pani.

Making the stuffing-

  1. Boil the chickpeas and mash them well. Keep some separately to use as a topping later on.
  2. Blend chickpeas with onions, carrots, tomatoes, chilies, and spices.

Spices to be used are – chaat masala, roasted cumin powder, sev, black salt, and boondi.

Heading on with the pani-

  1. Take all the items listed above. Make a smooth paste out of them in an electric blender.
  2. Adjust the consistency by adding water.
  3. Add some boondis and sprinkle some salt according to your preference.

That’s it! Your healthy pani-puri with a low-carb profile is ready.

What’s next? Gear up to relish them. Take a spoon full of stuffing and place it inside your puri. Dip it in pani and put it inside your mouth.

Other Healthy Snacks for Diabetics

There are plenty of snack recipes on the internet, but choosing the right options is challenging when it comes to diabetes-friendly snacks.

Here is a list of wholesome snacks that satiate your cravings for taste while maintaining a good hold over blood sugar levels. Enjoy!

1. Yogurt with Berries

Yogurt with Berries

A bowl of yogurt with berries makes an excellent snack for diabetics.

While the antioxidants reside in berries heels the pancreatic cells, probiotics inside yogurt assist in digestion and keep the check on uncontrolled blood sugar levels.

Additionally, yogurt supplies the body with proteins and lowers sugars in the blood. Also, berries are rich in fibers, something much needed by people with diabetes as a part of the daily diet.

Yogurt and berries together will help you to manage diabetes better. Experts on the diabetic list menu include both of them.

You can mix them in the same way you mix pulse with rice. This combination tastes great!

2. Apples with Peanut Butter

Apples with Peanut Butter

This is going to be a super-healthy as well as a delicious snack.

Apples are a storehouse of various nutrients, including potassium, magnesium, and manganese. All these nutrients are known to be beneficial during diabetes.

The vitamins present in apples are vitamin C, B, and E that help you to manage blood sugar smoothly.

Both apples and peanut butter are loaded with fibers, and due to this reason, they make excellent diabetic snacks.

3. Roasted chickpeas

Roasted chickpeas

Chickpeas, chhole in Hindi, are commendably good for diabetes. Just like other legumes, they too are jam-packed with tonnes of advantages.

Both proteins and fibers are present in ample amounts in chickpeas. All you need to do is roast them, preferably with olive oil, and enjoy yummy snack time.

Research has proved that consuming chickpeas at regular intervals can lower the risk of hyperglycemia. It works towards boosting insulin levels of the body.

By roasting, these legumes become crispy and more delicious. Moreover, olive oil enhances the taste even more.

4. Cottage Cheese

Cottage Cheese

Cottage cheese is another healthy snack option in a row.

About half-cup of cottage cheese nourishes your body with numerous vitamins and minerals. Not only this, eating cottage cheese enable you to gain better control over your blood glucose range.

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Fibers present in it balance the carbs and normalize the sugars.

Though cottage cheese tastes good even when eaten plain but you can also add fruits with low glycemic index to make a tempting snack.

Remember not to add sugar or any other sweetener.

5. Popcorn

Popcorn

Popcorn has been a favorite snack of all time. Be it watching a movie or a gathering with friends, and it forms the best companion.

Easy to make and great with the taste, who wants more?

Fortunately, you can eat popcorn without bothering about your blood sugar levels. Popcorn has low calories and doesn’t influence diabetes.

It is the goodness of fibers that makes popcorn favorable for diabetes. You can sprinkle a little salt while eating to add to the taste.

Rather than relying on packaged popcorn, it will be safer if you make one at home with all the cautions.

6. Egg Muffins

Egg Muffins

This sounds interesting! Well, the taste is as much appealing as the name.

Egg muffins are a mix-up of eggs and vegetables which are baked in a muffin tin. They are incredibly healthy to eat.

The delighting thing is that you get benefits of both eggs and vegetables.

Eggs are a supreme source of proteins. They help to lower down fasting blood sugar levels.

When eggs are incorporated with veggies like onions, bell peppers, spinach, taste, and nutrition, they get level up.

Concluding words

Pani-puri is indeed a tempting street food. It becomes irresistible for many of us to control cravings every time.

The best way is to self-cook similar healthier alternatives that don’t put your health on stake. Finding taste in healthy foods is a bit difficult task. It’s not impossible, though.

You can try out the recipes listed in this article and let us know your views.

Some other healthy chaat picks can be chana chaat, spinach chaat, moong dal chaat, fruit chaat, and sweet potato chaat. These remain healthy as long as you prepare them in a secure environment without tossing in any unfavorable substances that threaten your health.

Enjoy your new series of home-made healthy chaats until we are back with another informative article on diabetes.

References-

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/25092385/

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/8921620/

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/3304910/

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/28359773/

https://academic.oup.com/ajcn/article-abstract/100/2/667/4576562

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/24910231/

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/28924296/

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/25185980/

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/28422123/

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/31561693/

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/25533007/

 

Dr Sharon Baisil MD

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