Diet, as we know, forms the most important part of managing diabetes apart from maintaining a healthy, balanced lifestyle and regular physical exercise. Green, leafy vegetables have long been known to carry a lot of nutrients and minerals making them a great choice for maintaining good and sound health. However, there could be a few of these vegetables that may not be as healthy and beneficial as the rest and should better be excluded from the diet, particularly if you are diabetic. In this article, we look into the 10 best and worst vegetables for diabetes.
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The Best Vegetables for Diabetes
As per the experts, the following should be the type of vegetables that you should include in your daily diet if you are a diabetes patient:
- Green, leafy vegetables, which can be eaten raw or can be included in the diet
- Vegetables that are full of all the essential minerals and nutrients
- Vegetables that have a low glycemic index or carbohydrate content
- Vegetables that are low in sodium and do not contain too much of added salt or preservatives in them.
Following is a list of the most recommended vegetables that you must include in your diet if you have diabetes:
This vegetable has a low load of glycemic index and hence is considered to be a great choice for those who suffer from diabetes. The vegetable is known to reduce the blood pressure in a diabetic patient. Besides, if you are a diabetes patient and you regularly include tomato in your daily diet, there are greater chances that the risk of various heart-related diseases is reduced. For best results, you can either eat tomatoes both in raw form as well as in the cooked form.
Another great vegetable for the people who suffer from diabetes is this green and leafy vegetable. This vegetable is not only low in its carbohydrate content but is also loaded with a lot of minerals that are good for a diabetes patient. Some of them include beta carotene and vitamin K. You can include spinach in your diet in any of the following ways:
- You can include this in the breakfast with your regular omelet
- Just add the leaves and make it a part of your salad
- You can use them in soups as well as sandwiches
- You can also roll them into chapattis and make a tasty healthy breakfast out of it.
- Avoid using too much of salt and other extra preservatives to get the best results
An excellent source of vitamin K as well as vitamin C, cucumbers are very low in the total carbohydrates intake. This makes it one of the most sought-after super foods for the diabetics. A one cup full of this vegetable containing just around 5 grams of carbohydrates or even less. You can easily include the vegetable in your diet in the form of salads, sandwiches, soups, curries, or just raw cucumber.
Not many people are aware of the various health benefits that this easily found vegetable provides. The cauliflower is a rich source of fiber, potassium, vitamin C, and folate. All these are minerals that help to reduce the complications that are known to come along with diabetes. You can include the vegetable in your diet in the form of curries, snacks, you can steam and eat cauliflower. You can also include the vegetable in different types of soups.
Just remember to not add too many preservatives as that will take away all the essential health benefits of this vegetable.
This green and leafy vegetable is not only low in carbohydrates but like the other diabetes-friendly vegetables, it is a rich source of fiber, Vitamin C, Vitamin A,Vitamin K, as well as iron. You can just boil the vegetable and add it to your salads, soups, etc. Besides, you can include this leafy vegetable in the different curries you make at home as well.
Although the above vegetables offer great health benefits, it is important to remember that you still cannot over indulge in any of these vegetables. An expert advice is recommended when you are including them in your daily diet. You also need to ensure that you are eating these nutrient rich vegetables as per the recommended quantity.
The Worst Vegetables for Diabetes
Following is a list of those vegetables that have a high content of either starch or sodium in them and as such, they should better be avoided from the daily diet of a diabetes patient:
Rich in starches, potatoes have a very high glycemic index and it is for this reason that it is best to avoid this vegetable if you are someone who is suffering from diabetes. You are at a greater risk of getting type 2 diabetes if you eat too much of potatoes as that will increase your blood sugar level. Potatoes in the mashed, baked, or boiled form, or in the form of French fries, etc. should be replaced immediately. You can have mashed cauliflower or the recommended whole grains instead of potatoes.
Another starchy vegetable that you should not eat too much when you are a diabetes patient is corn. There are several side effects that corn has. Apart from various allergic reactions, digestion problems, tooth decay, and a host of other side-effects that the vegetable can cause, corn also tends to increase the level of blood sugar in a diabetic patient’s body as it is a high source of carbohydrates.
Sauerkraut is nothing but cut cabbage on which fermentation has been done by using various types of lactic acid and bacteria. It is for this very reason as to how a sauerkraut has been made that it is not a recommended food item when it comes to those suffering from diabetes. If you suffer from the problem of high blood pressure, you should avoid this form of cabbage completely.
4. Canned Vegetables with Added Sodium
All the non starchy vegetables are a good choice for all those who suffer from diabetes. However, if these vegetables are in a canned form and have too much of added sodium, these should be completely avoided if you are someone who suffers from a condition like diabetes. Sodium increases the risk of getting high blood pressure and as such, a lot of complications which are quite likely to occur in the case of a diabetes patient such as cardiovascular disease, etc. can affect the patient more easily. Thus, these foods should better be avoided.
Another form of vegetable that should be avoided is the one in which the vegetable is in the form of pickles. The preservation of vegetables in the form of pickles is done by adding a lot of salt and sodium in the process. Hence, there are high chances that if you include pickles in your regular diet, you will get the problem of a high blood pressure. This, in turn, will lead to diabetes related complications such as the risk of cardiovascular diseases, diarrhea or constipation, and other digestion related complications.
It is important to note here that although the above five foods are best avoided, they can still be included in moderation in your daily diet if your medical expert so advises.
We hope that the above post has been helpful in educating you while being able to give you a fair idea as to what type of vegetables are best for diabetes and which are the ones that should better be avoided if you are a diabetes patient and want to manage the disease effectively. As mentioned above, you can enjoy the best foods in moderation and the worst ones can be had once in a while under expert guidance!