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The nutrionist made this known in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) recently in Lagos.
“Cassava has become not just a food security crop, it’s now becoming a nutritious security crop, because of the fact that, recently, we have the yellow cassava that contains better carotene, which is precursors for Vitamin A.
“So, just imagine what will happen if such yellow cassava is made into flour and the flour is mixed with wheat flour and you use it to produce bread, a lot of things are coming in.
“You are going to eat bread that will now contain precusor for Vitamin A and that same bread will lower the risk of diabetes, lower the risk of reaction to gluten. These are all pluses for such mixture and I want us to take advantage of that.”
The professor said the prevalence rate of diabetes in the country was at least 10 per cent, adding that though there had been an increase generally because of lifestyle modes and dietary habits, the condition had not been linked with cassava consumption.
He disclosed that the Glycemic Index (GI) found in foods should determine the types of food a diabetic should take.
‘Glycemic Index (GI) talks about the ability for a particular food to raise blood glucose immediately and within one hour of consumption.
“Cassava flour or cassava-based foods have been measured in this respect and they fall between the Glycemic Index (GI)of 46 and 60.46 is low and 60 is medium.
Onimawo said mixing cassava flour with wheat flour, which had a high GI of more than 70 per cent, was highly advantageous to a diabetic.
He said: “Let us say, assuming the cassava flour we are talking about has a GI of 46 and you mix it with that of what flour that has GI of 70, by the time we take the average, it goes down.
“It is natural, it is purely scientific. But, in this case, you are mixing a lower GI foods with a higher one, in which case you will bring down the GI which is better for a diabetic than if they take a whole wheat flour bread which is normally 70 to 72.”
Onimawo said that people with type 2 diabetes did not need insulin injections, but needed to know the amount of GI in the types of food they ate.
He said that foods with low GI would help release the glucose on a gradual level into the blood stream.
He advised diabetics to eat foods such as legumes, nuts, fruits and vegetables, which have low Glycemic Index (GI).Share