Treatment and maintenance of a normal lifestyle in diabetes can often be very challenging as a diabetes patient suffers from a lot of related complications such as that of the heart, kidney, eye, muscles, and various other parts of the body. Hence, a patient who suffers from diabetes has to take extreme care as even a slight negligence on his part can cause serious adverse health repercussions.
A well maintained and regulated lifestyle, coupled with a healthy diet and physical exercise have always been recommended by the doctors. One such regulation is with regards to the consumption of coconut water. Coconut water which is extremely rich in vitamins, potassium and several other nutrients is normally considered extremely natural and healthy. However, the high content of sugar, glucose, sodium, and potassium often gives rise the question as to whether coconut water should be consumed by those who suffer from diabetes?
In this article, we try to find out the answer to the above question. We shall delve deep and analyse whether it is safe to consume coconut water for a diabetes patient. We will also find out more about the precautions which need to be observed by a diabetic when he or she consumes coconut water. Join in for the article ‘Diabetes and Coconut Water: Is Drinking Coconut Water Safe for Diabetes?’
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Some Facts Related to Coconut Water
In order to understand the question whether coconut water is beneficial for a person suffering from diabetes or not, we first need to deep dive and understand some of the properties and characteristics of coconut water.
Following are a few facts related to coconut water:
- Coconut water is naturally full of a lot of nutrients and does not have any kind of artificial preservatives.
- The water does not contain any kind of artificial sweeteners as well. This makes coconut water one of the healthiest drinks around.
- The versatility and the freshness of coconut water have always attracted experts and doctors who highly recommend the use and consumption of coconut water for various kinds of treatments.
- The natural sugar content of the water is said to be on the higher side: the drink contains about 15% of fructose, around 50% glucose, and 35% of sucrose.
- The water has a high content of potassium and sodium, which are very much necessary for our body.
- Besides, coconut water is a rich source of vitamins and minerals like calcium, zinc, iron, copper, and even manganese.
- Some very important amino acids are present naturally in this health drink.
- There are two parts present in a coconut: the water and the white milky part. If you are a patient of diabetes, you should avoid the white part and drinking coconut water shall be safe to some extent.
As seen above, the coconut water has a high content of vitamins and nutrients and is overall good for your health. After taking into consideration a few other factors, coconut water will be safe to consume even for a person suffering from diabetes.
In the following paragraphs, we determine and analyses more carefully the relation between coconut water and diabetes and the precautions which need to be observed if a diabetic is willing to consume coconut water.
What is the Effect of Coconut Water on Blood Glucose?
Let us now analyze the effect of coconut water on the level of glucose and sugar present in the blood. The following are a few points which will help to explain the effect of coconut water on the blood glucose:
- It is known that coconut water has a low level of the glycemic This keeps the blood sugar and glucose levels under check.
- The essential amino acids that are present in the drink coupled with the very essential omega-3 fatty acid further helps to keep the blood glucose levels under control.
- The coconut water is also a rich source of fiber which also helps in controlling the level of glucose found in the blood.
Although it is known that drinking coconut water can give rise to the level of sugar as it is naturally sweet and does contain 50% glucose, if the consumption of the drink is kept within the prescribed amount, the level of sugar and glucose can be kept under control due to the above- mentioned factors.
The Connection Between Coconut Water and Diabetes
Most of the times, we are faced with the question: Is drinking coconut water good or bad for a person suffering from diabetes? Well, more often than not, the reason for the above question arises due to the fact that the drink naturally contains a high percentage of sugar and glucose. Although this is true, the other health benefits of coconut water cannot be ignored completely.
Hence, it will be safe to state that although too much of the drink should not be consumed, drinking a limited quantity of coconut water is definitely safe for diabetes and can actually help reduce the complications associated with the disease.
Benefits of Coconut Water for Diabetes?
As seen above, a prescribed amount of coconut water should be had by a patient who suffers from diabetes. The following points bring out the benefits of coconut water for a diabetes patient:
- As noted above, the coconut water has a high content of essential nutrients, vitamins, and several minerals like sodium and potassium. It is also a rich source of amino acids, vitamin c, riboflavin, sodium, manganese, magnesium, and other minerals. These highly valued nutrients often go a long way in helping to keep the fluctuations of the blood circulation under control.
- We all know that most of the problems in the human body arise due to poor metabolism and inefficient breakdown of the carbohydrates. The minerals and nutrients present in the drink help to improve the level of metabolism, which, in turn, helps the better breakdown of sugar and glucose, thereby helping to control diabetes and its related complications.
- One of the major complications associated with diabetes is the tendency of the patient to put on excessive weight. When you consume the prescribed amount of this drink, you tend to feel full for a longer period. This helps to reduce the hunger cravings and you naturally shed all the extra unwanted calories. This, in turn, helps to avoid all the other complications associated with weight gain and obesity.
- The level of magnesium present in the body helps to improve the sensitivity of the hormone, insulin which is mainly responsible for diabetes and other related complications.
- The low glycemic index of the coconut water keeps the blood sugar and glucose levels under check.This is extremely important for all the diabetes patient as high blood glucose level is considered to be the main reason which brings a host of other complications in a diabetic such as cardiovascular and kidney-related diseases.
- The omega-3 fatty acid and the antioxidants that are present in coconut water go a long way in keeping both the blood sugar level and weight gain under check.
- Coconut water is not only an excellent source of various nutrients and vitamins, but it hardly contains any cholesterol. This further helps in the treatment of diabetes to a great extent.
- As coconut water helps the body by improving the structure of the blood vessels, the blood circulation of the body is improved to a considerable extent. This helps in improving several disorders that are the effects of diabetes such as diabetic eye, atherosclerosis, kidney failure, heart diseases, diabetic foot, amongst others.
- Finally, the high fiber content of the drink goes a long way in keeping both the blood sugar levels and weight gain under check.
Hence, now that we know that coconut water contains so many nutrients and is a rich source of several vitamins, we need not stay completely away from the drink. A prescribed and a moderate amount of coconut water will not harm a diabetic patient.
We shall see the prescribed amount of coconut water which is safe for a diabetic to drink in the following paragraph.
What is the Prescribed Quantity of Coconut Water That is Considered Safe for a Diabetic?
As seen above, coconut water has a lot of benefits for the diabetes patients. However, too much of this can give serious adverse results to a diabetic. Hence, although it is not necessary to completely avoid drinking coconut water, experts have prescribed a certain quantity which is safe.
Experts suggest that not more than 250 milliliters of coconut water twice a day should be had by someone who is already suffering from diabetes. If the prescribed amount is not adhered to, there are several adverse effects that the otherwise beneficial drink can pose.
What are the Risks Associated with Drinking Coconut Water if you Have Diabetes?
Although consumption of coconut water can be beneficial as already seen above, there are, however, a few risks and difficulties which are associated with the drink, particularly if you are someone who suffers from diabetes. In the following points, we look into the adverse effects on a diabetes patient which comes with the consumption of excessive coconut water:
- Coconut water has a high content of potassium.As such, drinking too much of water can increase the level of potassium in the blood, which, in turn, can cause problems related to the heart and different other muscles of the body.
- Ventricular fibrillation, which is an aberration from the normal heart beat is a life-threatening condition which can lead to even death and is caused due to the excess levels of potassium in the blood.
- Excess of coconut water can also lead to a number of kidney-related diseases, Addison’s disease, the breakdown of the red blood cells, and also the breakdown of different muscle tissues in the body.
- If you are someone who suffers from a kidney condition already, the drink should be completely avoided.
What is in Store for People with Diabetes Who Want to Drink Coconut Water?
Well, coconut water, rich in nutrients and vitamins has a host of advantages which makes it one of the most recommended drinks for a healthy body. Having said that, if you are someone who is prone to diabetes or already suffers from the disease, it is imperative that you regulate your consumption of the drink. By doing so, you can continue to enjoy the drink without posing any danger to your health and body.
What are the Precautions That You Should Take While you are Consuming Coconut Water if You are a Diabetic Patient?
Consuming coconut water when you are someone who suffers from diabetes can be really tricky. However, if you follow a healthy lifestyle, you can still continue to drink the flavorful coconut water. The only thing you need is to keep a few things in mind when you are consuming coconut water as part of your diet.
Following are a few precautions that you should take if you are a patient of diabetes and are looking forward to consuming coconut water without having to bear any kind of adverse health effects:
- As already noted in the above paragraphs, drinking too much of coconut water is really harmful to your health. Excess of potassium in the drink can lead to serious complications and as such, go for only the prescribed quantity of the drink and derive the maximum benefits out of it.
- Whenever you think of consuming coconut water, make it a point to drink it in its all natural form. Adding external ingredients and preservatives to the drink may spoil the natural nutrients present herein and the otherwise healthy drink will no longer carry its health benefits.
- Some experts also recommend that coconut water should not be had every day by a patient suffering from diabetes and should be a part of the just occasional drink.
- Remember to not confuse coconut water with coconut milk or the white pulpy part of the coconut fruit. While coconut water is healthy, coconut milk can lead to serious health conditions.
- If you are a diabetic and are suffering from serious kidney problems, it is better for you to avoid drinking coconut water to the maximum possible extent.
Keep the above tips in mind and do observe the above precautions to take the maximum health benefits that come with the drinking of coconut water.
We hope that the post has been helpful in removing some of the doubts you had with regards to the relation between diabetes and the associated consumption of coconut water. The article must have further helped you in observing some of the important precautions you need while including this otherwise healthy drink in your daily diet.
The wide variety of nutrients, essential vitamins, useful minerals, lack of artificial sweeteners has made coconut water one of the healthiest drinks found in nature. However, when you are someone who suffers from diabetes, it is always recommended that you observe a certain degree of precaution as dealing with diabetes is an extremely difficult task. The high sodium and potassium content of the natural coconut water does pose some threats to all the patients suffering from diabetes and its related complications. But as can be proved from the above article, you need not cut this drink completely from your diet. A few healthy precautions will go a long way which will help you to enjoy the drink once a while.
Having said that, do remember to consult your medical doctor before consuming coconut water, particularly if you are under certain kind of medications.The high nutrient content of the water does tend to interfere with a few drugs and as such, an expert advice is always recommended. This is also important in order to determine what is the standard prescribed quantity of water that you can drink as the standard may vary from one person to another basis a number of factors such as lifestyle, the extent of physical exercise, and the complications suffered owing to diabetes.