Millet-Based Diet Can Help Manage Type 2 Diabetes: Study

Yellow cooked millet, served in black bowlAccording to a new study, a millet-based diet can reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes and help manage blood glucose levels in people with diabetes. This study helps to outline the potential to design appropriate meals with millets for diabetic people as a preventative approach.

The study published in Frontiers In Nutrition shows that diabetic people who consume millet as part of their daily diet can benefit from a blood glucose level drop of 12 to 15%. Blood glucose levels can also go from diabetic to prediabetic levels.


For the study, the authors reviewed 80 published studies involving about 1,000 people, making this analysis the largest systemic review on the topic. With so much research previously undertaken on millets, the effects of diabetes and those benefits were often contested. This new systemic review of the studies has helped to prove that millets can keep blood glucose levels in check and reduce the risk of diabetes.

In many parts of the world, millet-based diets are consumed as staple cereals. However, with new investments in crops such as rice, maize, and wheat, nutritious and climate-smart crops like millets have been forced out of popularity.

Cooking Methods

The study helped to show that millets have a low average glycemic index of approximately 36% lower than milled rice, maize, and refined wheat. All eleven types of millet studied could be defined as either low or medium on the glycemic index. The review concluded that even after baking, boiling, and steaming, millets still had a lower glycemic index than wheat, rice, and maze.

This study was also able to identify information gaps and suggested a need for collaborations to have one major diabetes study which covers all types of millets and all major ways of processing. Structured and consistent testing to gain information will be highly valuable globally for the prevention and treatment of diabetes.

Dr. S. Anitha, the study’s lead author said, “Awareness of this ancient grain is just starting to spread globally, and our review shows millets having a promising role in managing and preventing type 2 diabetes. In the largest review and analysis of research into different types of millet compared to other grains such as refined rice, maize and wheat we found that millets outperform their comparison crops with lower GI and lower blood glucose levels in participants.”

Author Bio

Sarah began her interest in nutritional healing at an early age. After going through health problems and becoming frustrated with the conventional ways doctors wanted to treat her illness (which were not working), she took it upon herself to find alternative treatments. This led her to revolutionize her own diet to help her get healthier and tackle her health problems. She began treating her illness by living a more balanced lifestyle through healthy food choices, exercise and other alternative medicine such as meditation. This total positive lifestyle change led her to earn a diploma in Nutritional Therapy from Health Sciences Academy in London, England. Today, Sarah enjoys helping others by teaching healthy lifestyle changes through her personal consultations and with her regular contributions to the Doctors Health Press. Also, passionate about following her dreams in life, Sarah moved to France and lived in Paris for over 5 years where she earned a certification in beadwork and embroidery from Lesage (an atelier owned by Chanel). She then went on to be a familiar face sitting front row and reporting from Paris Fashion Week. Sarah continues to practice some of the cultural ways of life she learned while in Europe. They enjoy their food, and take the time to relax and enjoy many of life’s little moments. These are life lessons she is glad to have brought back home with her.


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