Yam Nutrients: Don’t peel off yam skin before cooking, dietician advises

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Benin – A Dietician in the Department of Dietetics, University of Benin Teaching Hospital, Mr Peter Stephen, on Tuesday advised against peeling of yam before cooking it.

Stephen said in Benin that cooking yam with the skin reduced its sugar content.

He noted that yam and rice had high Glycemic Index (GI) which increased blood sugar level, and advised that yam should not be peeled before cooking to reduce the sugar content.

Yams being arranged for sale at Muda Lawal Market in Bauchi. NAN Photo

GI is a numerical scale used to indicate how fast and how high a particular food can raise blood glucose (blood sugar) level.

“The skin of yam that is normally peeled off contains proteins and vitamin B Complex.

“It also has soluble fibre that absorbs sugar inside the yam.

‘’When the yam is properly cooked, you peel off the skin before eating.

“When you cook your yam with the skin, it will not increase the blood sugar level.

“By the time you eat the yam with vegetables, it gives you a better result,” he said.

Stephen listed foods with low GI to include tomatoes, soya beans and beans.

He noted that such foods had natural substances lowered blood sugar level.

He advised people, especially diabetic patients, to mix foods with low GI with those with high GI in the ratio of 2:1 to maintain a good blood sugar level.

“Rice has high GI; so, if you want to eat it, mix it with food with low GI such as beans.

“If you take five spoons of rice, you have to take 10 spoons of beans to help to slow down the rate sugar is absorbed in the blood.

“Even if you are not diabetic, you have to control your sugar level because prevention is better than cure,” the dietician advised

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Anthony-Claret Ifeanyi Onwutalobi

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