Statement of the Problem
People are increasingly dying in large numbers everyday due to chronic diseases such as diabetes, obesity, hypertension, coronary heart disease, atherosclerosis and certain cancer including colon and breast cancer (WHO, 2015).
The traditional African diets, that are locally available, accessible and affordable which was low in animal foodstuffs, fats, cholesterol, but high in carbohydrate, antioxidants and fibre was associated with low occurrence of atherosclerosis, appendicitis, obesity, hypertension, coronary heart disease, diabetes, gallstones, and certain cancers, according to Walker(2000).This scenario has changed rapidly with urbanization of African populations to a westernized diet(change of lifestyle, from traditional to modern), lack of physical activity, obesity, obstruction of beta cells function (e.g. pancreatitis), peripheral resistance to insulin, severe malnutrition in childhood which is referred to as malnutrition – induced diabetes (IDF, 2014). In addition, there is a lot of consumption of refined foods like rice, spaghetti, noodles, refined maize flour, semovita, semolina etc.
Dietary polyphenols and phytates are known to have the ability to reduce carbohydrate digestibility and thereby regulate postprandial glycaemic response
(Thompson et al.,1987). Moreover, polyphenols are known to have health benefitssuch as inhibiting glucose absorption and prevent advanced glycation end product (AGE) formation (Banerjee et al.,2012).
In spite of all its nutritional and medical importance, finger millet has not been exploited to its full potential and it is grossly neglected both scientifically and internationally. It receives less research compared to that lavished on other cereals such as wheat, rice, and maize. Globally, many countries have never heard of the crop,incuding many parts of Nigeria especially South South, South West, South East,some parts of North Central region even in the North West where it is cultivated. Untill recentlyfinger millet is an under utilized cereal and those that grow it have allowed it to waste away in the perspective of a “poor person’s crop,” a “famine food,” or, even worse, a “birdseed. (Adekule,2012). This has resulted in increased marginalization and accelerated loss of its genetic diversity. It is believed that in a few years it will be hard to find finger millet even in places where it is the predominant cereal.
The lack of modern technologies for their effective processing and utilization has made the grain entirely a subsistence crop which is used primarily for the production of traditional foods, almost none of which are commercialized. Food uses of finger millet have been confined to traditional consumers (Anderson, 2004). In Africaproduction and processing of finger millet is still limited to areas where they are cultivated thereby hampering the development of processing industries based on this grain. For instance, the utilization of sorghum a less common cereal, is being increased by using it to produce novel commercial products, the same is very limited with finger millet (Shobana and Malleshi, 2007).
The presence of antinutritional factors is another major constraint which adversely affects the utilization of plant proteins in animal and human diet. The finger millet seed coat reserves several compounds like phytates (Shobana et al.,2013), phenolics, flavonoids, condensed tannins and anthocynanins some of which are effective inhibitors of pancreatic amylase and intestinal α-glycosidase (Chethan and Malleshi, 2007).
The seeds are difficult to convert into flour because of its tiny size according to East African Standard (EAS, 2010). Its consumption and utilisation for diabetic management would have been complete if its usefulness and best processing methods are known. Improvement on the processing methods would enhance production of sufficient good-quality flour which would be available to meet the demand of food shortage in some developing countries.
The aim of this work is to determine the Determination comparative of glycemic index of locally prepared foods(akara,masa and awara),
Significance of the Study
The study will equally add to the existing body of knowledge on the subject matter. Students undergoing research work similar to the present study who may wish to use this work as a reference material or a spring board for their own work will find this work really useful.
Limitations of the Study
Financial Constraints: The researcher was with limited funds, she cannot visit all the areas to get responses from respondents but she was able to get good information concerning the research topic.
Time Constraints: The researcher was involved in other departmental activities like seminars, attendance of lectures et.c which limited her time for the research but the researcher was able to meet up with the time assigned for the completion of the research work.