Chana Daal

This food—chana dal—is practically unknown in the West, but is becoming available here too. Chana dal is a bean that comes from India, where they appreciate it very much. The glycemic index is about foods high in carbohydrates. Foods high in fat or protein don't cause your blood sugar level to rise much. But the problem, many experts believe, is that people with diabetes should limit how much fat and protein they eat.

A lot of people still think that it is plain table sugar that people with diabetes need to avoid. The experts used to say that, but the glycemic index shows that even complex carbohydrates, like baked potatoes, can be even worse. Gathering studies for my glycemic index page, a couple of years ago I stumbled on references in the professional literature to something called "Bengal gram dal." I included it, although I didn't know what it was.

Chana dal has now become a regular staple of my household. I have diabetes and prize chana dal's very low glycemic index. And I prize the wonderful taste just as much. I love chana dal prepared in several different ways, just like any other sort of bean.

Chana dal may not be the end of my quest for tasty food that is good for me. Maybe scientists will invent the perfect food sometime in the 22nd century. Meanwhile, I keep on eating my chana dal and encourage you to try it too, whether or not you have diabetes.


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