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Power of Millets: How a Mother Fought Diabetes with Healthier Food Choices

Let’s hear the special story of Lata Ramaswamy, a 68-year-old teacher who battled diabetes with millets.

Shreetu Singh
Power of Millets: How a Mother Fought Diabetes with Healthier Food Choices, Image Source: Canva
Power of Millets: How a Mother Fought Diabetes with Healthier Food Choices, Image Source: Canva

Diabetes has increasingly become common due to unmonitored diets. In India, around 77 million adults have Type-2 diabetes, with 25 million at risk of developing it. Over half are unaware of their condition, leading to potential complications like heart attacks, strokes, neuropathy, blindness, and kidney failure.

These statistics are truly appalling! In light of this, Lata Ramaswamy, a 68-year-old teacher and resident of Gurugram, defied the odds by managing her borderline diabetes through lifestyle modifications.

In the conversation with Krishi Jagran, Lata Ramaswamy revealed, “I was struggling to control my sugar levels but despite all the treatments, there was no improvement. One day, the levels shot up starkly and I realized that I was experiencing difficulty in my vision. Then, I was diagnosed with diabetic retinopathy which restricted me from seeing from the right side. As a mother, this made me think about my children's and grandchildren's health. What if any of them get diagnosed with such a disease in the future? This became the turning point in my life. Soon enough, I resolved not just to control my diabetes but to eliminate it from my family”.

To address the retinal issue, she underwent surgery. While recovering from it, she discovered the importance of fiber-rich foods. In addition to this, she learned about Khadar Valli, the "Millets Man of India," who encouraged farmers to cultivate millets. This is how millets became central to Ramaswamy's life.

She found millet to be a treasure of nutrition; one that can help her defeat diabetes. So, she incorporated it into her and her children's diet plan. She says, “There are many misconceptions about millet such as it causes heaviness or digestion issues. Proper knowledge about consuming millet is crucial, including portion sizes and preparation methods to get the entire benefit. My family regularly enjoys millet-based dishes without any digestive problems and the grain has a profound amount of nutritional benefits and an ease of digestion”.

As she switched to millet, in about 15 days, her diabetes came under control. Today, she is completely healthy. After adopting a millet diet, she has not visited the doctor in the past five years.

Ramaswamy further explained that she consumes 5 positive millets including kutki, kodo, kangni, sanwa, and green kangni. “Careful attention is needed for those with diabetes. By incorporating millets, individuals can not only control but also eliminate diabetes”. 

She further added that there is a misconception among the people that millets are heat-producing and that they can’t be consumed in the summer. But the reality is different. “It neither produces heat nor cold. It can be eaten from breakfast to dinner. One can make all the dishes with it,” she explains.  

Currently, Ramaswamy also conducts training sessions to provide complete information about millet consumption and its incorporation. Her message to all mothers is to change their lifestyle and pay special attention to what their kids eat. 

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