Diabetes management is undoubtedly a complicated matter and one of the best ways in which a diabetes patient can manage the condition is by following a particular meal plan. Diabetes patients have to be always aware of the food they eat and in this article, we shall analyze the relationship between tomatoes and diabetes. We shall also deep dive and try to find the answer to the question “Can Diabetics Eat tomatoes? Is It Good or Bad?” So, come and join us for this article as we explore the answers related to the relationship between diabetes and tomatoes.
Table of Contents
Facts About Tomatoes
To begin with, the following are some of the facts related to tomatoes:
- The vegetable is a good source of various vitamins such as vitamin K, vitamin B1, B2, and B6, amongst others
- Also, it is a rich source of various elements like iron, copper, manganese, and phosphorous
- The proteins present in the fruit helps to build muscle health in the individuals
- The presence of molybdenum ensures that the tomatoes are able to produce enzymes which are good for the individual health
- The lycopene present in the vegetable is known to have several health benefits for the body
- They are low in total carbohydrate content
- A medium-sized tomato contains around 22 units of calories, just 5 grams of carbohydrates, and 1 gram of protein. It does not contain fat.
Advantages of Tomatoes for Diabetes Patients
Moving on, let us now see what are some of the most important benefits that including tomatoes in the regular diet of diabetes patients have in their body:
- Tomatoes are low in the total carbohydrate content. This goes a long way in helping them to control the levels of blood glucose in the body.
- Since they are also low in the total calorie count, tomatoes can go a long way in helping the diabetes patients to lose weight. This forms one of the most effective parts of diabetes management.
- Further, some of the research findings also go on to suggest that including tomatoes in the diet can lead to the reduction of bad cholesterol, the levels of triglycerides, etc.
- The antioxidants present in tomatoes also help in dealing with some of the major diabetes-related complications, particularly the complications related to those of the kidneys
- Also, the blood flow becomes smooth which again goes a long way in treating diabetes
- Antioxidants such as beta-carotene help to improve the enzyme function of the body, thereby helping in efficient diabetes management
- Rich in several nutrients and vitamins, the vegetable helps in regulating the fat accumulation in the body. This again goes a long way in avoiding heart-related complications that is so common amongst all the diabetes patients. The heart is also supported due to the presence of the carotenoid lycopene.
- The body, due to diabetes can experience a phenomenon popularly known as the “Lipid Peroxidation.” By virtue of this process, fats present in the different membranes and parts of the body tend to get damaged to a great extent. This also leads to the destruction of the immune system of the body leading to complications. Lycopene present in the tomatoes helps to fight this damaging process.
- When a person suffers from diabetes, the blood platelets that help in the process of blood clotting can become stickier and the patients tend to suffer from the problem of increased blood clotting. The phytonutrients present in the vegetable also helps in reducing the problem.
- Finally, stabilizing the level of blood pressure is also an important way in which tomatoes helps the diabetes patients.
Thus, considering the above advantages, eating tomatoes is safe for diabetic patients. However, you should be careful about some of the risks that might be involved when you eat too many of them. The following paragraph lists out some of the risk factors.
Risks and Precautions of Including Tomatoes in the Diet of a Diabetes Patient
Having seen the benefits, you simply cannot ignore some of the risks that including tomatoes in your regular diet can lead to, particularly if you are someone who suffers from diabetes. The following points also include the precautions that you should take when you want to include tomatoes in your regular diet:
- Tomatoes are known to be high in the level of potassium. If you are someone who is also taking beta-blockers as part of your medication, you should reduce your total intake of tomatoes as this might lead to the levels of potassium to be too high in the blood. This might ultimately cause adverse effect on your kidneys
- Since tomatoes are acidic in nature, if you are someone who suffers from gastroesophageal reflux, you might not want to include too much of tomatoes as the same might cause heartburn apart from other problems
- Also, when we talk about tomatoes, we are just referring to the vegetable itself. The tomato leaf is not a safe option for diabetes patients. Tomato leaves have serious adverse effects on the health.
- If you are a woman who is pregnant or is breastfeeding, avoid intaking too much of tomatoes in the form of medicinal drugs as the same might cause serious health adversities.
- Remember to always wash the vegetable before you eat the same
Recommended Dose of Tomatoes
In the light of several benefits that the vegetable offer to the diabetes patients, it is imperative to not go overboard and be mindful of the recommended quantity of the vegetable that one should have as eating too much could lead to some adverse health effects. Following is what is suggested by the experts:
The recommended quantity of the vegetable to be used is dependent on factors such as the age of the patient, the type of diabetes the patient is suffering from, the extent of the disease, amongst others. Dosage plays a very important role in determining whether the food consumed is healthy or not and as such, you should include this otherwise healthy vegetable in your diet only under the supervision of your medical expert.
The Inclusion of Tomatoes in the Diabetes Diet
The following are some of the easy in which tomatoes can be included in the diet of a diabetes patient:
- You can eat the vegetable raw in the form of a salad
- If you are using cherry tomatoes, you can dip the same in hummus or even yogurt and eat the same as a snack
- Many types of curries around the world feature tomatoes as part of their preparation
- You can also use tomatoes for making soups
- Bruschetta can also be made by using fresh tomatoes
- Freshly cut tomatoes can also be used to make fried rice and other dishes
- Finally, you could also use tomatoes along with other vegetables such as onions, coriander leaves, etc. to make your own salsa.
The above are just a few of the many ways in which you can incorporate this extremely healthy vegetable in your daily diet. You can definitely experiment and come out with your own interesting recipes.
We hope that the above article has been helpful in educating you more about the relationship between tomatoes and diabetes and that now you are in a better position to judge whether or not this vegetable is safe enough for the patients who suffer from the chronic illness. As seen above, the benefits which tomatoes offer far more outweigh than some of the risks that might be involved when you include the vegetable in the regular diet of diabetes patients. Having said that, it is imperative that you consult a medical doctor before including tomatoes in your regular diet!!