Diabetes is a complicated disease to handle, you always need to be careful of what you are eating and in how much quantity. As such, there are a lot of questions as to whether including a particular vegetable in the daily diet of a diabetic is safe or not. In this article, we shall explore more about the relationship between sweet potatoes and diabetes.
Let us analyze and see whether including the sweet potatoes in the daily diet of a diabetic patient is healthy or not.
Table of Contents
Carbohydrates and Sweet Potatoes
Let us first understand how carbohydrates are related to sweet potatoes or how much carbohydrate does this humble vegetable contain.
- It is known that a medium sized sweet potato contains somewhere around 25 to 26 grams of carbohydrates. Included in this is around 3.8 to 4 grams of fiber.
- If you take a cup and mash the sweet potatoes in the same, you will get around 58 grams of carbohydrates and around 8 grams of fiber.
Read Also: Best Low Carb Snacks for Diabetics
What makes the sweet potatoes healthy for a diabetes patient is the amount of dietary fiber found within the carbohydrate. This helps in stabilizing and maintaining a healthy level of blood glucose or blood sugar in a diabetic patient.
Reasons Why Sweet Potatoes are Good for Diabetes Patients
Following are a few reasons why sweet potato is a good vegetable option for all the diabetes patients:
- The natural sugar present in sweet potatoes is considered healthy as it helps in controlling the blood sugar levels in the patient’s body. This also enables the vegetable in increasing the body’s sensitivity towards the hormone insulin.
- Besides, sweet potatoes contain a good amount of potassium which helps the body to maintain a stable level of blood pressure. As a result, the heart- related conditions which are so common in diabetes patients are kept at bay.
- The several vitamins and minerals found in sweet potatoes have long been known to improve the immune system of the body.
- These potatoes are a rich source of several antioxidants which make them a healthy choice when it comes to managing
- Weight management is another reason why sweet potatoes should be included in the diet of a diabetic patient.
- Being a rich source of fiber, the sweet potatoes are known to decrease the rate in which the starch of the body is digested. Hence, the blood sugar levels are kept in check. Also, the sweet potatoes are low in glycemic index which is considered ideal for a diabetes patient.
- The vegetable is very high in minerals such as calcium, iron, and manganese which are highly recommended for diabetes patients.
- By helping in the production of red and white blood cells, the sweet potatoes are also known to improve the flow of blood into the body.
- Stress management forms an important part of managing diabetes effectively. By enhancing the flow of oxygen in different body parts, sweet potatoes help in ensuring that the body is de-stressed. This, in turn, helps in managing diabetes in a much better way.
- Finally, sweet potato is used in the treatment of type 2 diabetes to a great extent. For this purpose, Caiapo, which is an extract of one of the sweet potato variants is considered healthy. This is predominantly used in Japan for the treatment of type 2 diabetes patients.The extract is known to stabilize the blood glucose levels.
Hence, you should include sweet potato in your regular diet if you are trying to manage diabetes and want to lead a life as normal as possible. However, you should not forget that too much of everything is bad. The vegetable, like all the other fruits and vegetables in diabetes, must be had in proper moderation.
The following paragraph will explain the preferable and recommended serving size for sweet potatoes if you are someone who is suffering from diabetes.
Recommended Serving Size of Sweet Potatoes for Diabetes Patients
According to the American Diabetes Association, in one meal a patient who suffers from diabetes can have around 45 to 60 grams of carbohydrates. Hence, as seen above, the carbohydrate content of sweet potatoes is quite low when compared to this recommendation. As such, it is safe to include sweet potatoes in your regular diet. However, you need to be careful about the other type of food that you are including in your diet. You can eat sweet potato with yogurt and berries so that you do not surpass the per meal carbohydrate intake limit as recommended by experts.
How Can You Include Sweet Potato in Your Diet?
There are various ways in which this vegetable can be included in the regular diet of a person who suffers from diabetes. A few recommended ways are:
- You can bake the sweet potatoes in an oven in order to make them a little soft. You can have it with either yogurt or sour cream that will not increase your total carbohydrate intake beyond a certain limit.
- You can mix mashed sweet potatoes with mashed cauliflower in order to reduce the total intake of carbohydrates.
- Besides, you can cut the sweet potatoes and sprinkle some olive oil on it. That will make it a little soft and you can eat it with a little bit of salt to add to your taste. You should not peel the skin of the vegetable while doing the same.
We hope that we have been able to answer the question “Can a diabetic eat sweet potatoes?” with the help of the above post. The answer to the above question is yes, it is good and can be included in the daily diet of a diabetic. Having said that, you need to be careful of the total amount of the vegetable you are eating as that can affect your carbohydrate levels to a great extent. Also, an expert advice is always recommended to ensure that the vegetable will not harm you!