What is Diabetes?
Diabetes is a chronic health condition affecting the bodily function of converting food into energy. Whenever the sugar level in the blood goes beyond a certain point, the pancreas releases insulin. Insulin secretion is the main component that transforms sugar into energy. Under the diabetic condition, the body cannot generate sufficient insulin or is unable to utilise insulin fully. As a result, sugar content in the blood goes up.
Diabetes in India is a widespread occurrence. As per the statistics, 77 million people in the country have diabetes. Diabetes in India has reached a proportion of concern, and it ranks 2nd after China in terms of the number of diabetes-affected population.
For a person having diabetes, diet is a point of concern. Whether it is fruits, beverages, or vegetables for diabetics, choosing a balanced diet plan is the key to mitigating the risk.
It is almost a global phenomenon that most people with diabetes are overweight. Therefore, it is a matter of primary concern to have food that is high in fibre and helps reduce fat. In addition, some of the vegetables have nutrients that are good for a person with diabetes.
The importance of a balanced diet was felt even more during the recent global pandemic. One of the significant co-morbidities of Covid 19 came out to be diabetes. Diet followed by people goes a long way in mitigating the risk of diabetes and complications arising out of Covid 19.
While choosing vegetables for diabetics, the following components in the vegetables should be of prime concern:
1. Fibre content:
Vegetables with high fibre content are recommended for people having diabetes. The fibre content reduces the speed of metabolism and keeps the blood sugar content under control. The experts feel that at least 25 grams of fibre for women and 38 grams for men should be consumed daily.
2. Protein rich:
A vegetable-rich protein fills your stomach for a more extended period. That reduces the chance of frequent snacking, which is not advisable for a person with diabetes.
3. Rich in nitrate content:
Vegetables with high nitrate content are advisable for people with diabetes as they help keep the blood pressure under check. Also, the high nutrient content in a vegetable benefits the overall health.
4. Vegetables with low glycemic index:
Vegetables with a low glycemic index are preferable for people with diabetes. This is because a low glycemic index ensures spikes of sugar level in the blood do not occur.
If you happen to be a person having diabetes, your Diabetes diet list must feature the following vegetables:
Spinach is one of the ideal food for a person having diabetes. This is because spinach contains only 1 gram of carbohydrate. At the same time, spinach has a very high quantity of the beneficial antioxidant Vitamin A.
Tomatoes contain very low carbohydrates, as low as 5 grams. Also, tomatoes are loaded with Vitamin C; one tomato has 16.9 mg of Vitamin C.
Broccoli, in its sauteed form, is a perfect diet option for a person having diabetes. It contains significantly fewer carbohydrates. Broccoli has a very high level of Vitamin C and iron and is a high-fibre vegetable.
Carrots are a high fibre vegetable option for a person having diabetes which also contains Vitamin A.
Very often, a person having diabetes suffers from Vitamin B deficiency. Mushrooms are loaded with Vitamin B and are considered a good option for diabetics.
Cabbages, with their high content of Vitamin C and fibre, are a perfect option for a person having diabetes.
The advantage of cucumber for a diabetic is its high content of Vitamin C. Cucumbers also contain water, which helps in hydration of the body.
Cauliflowers are loaded with Vitamin C and folate. They are also very low on carbohydrates and are thus ideal for a person having diabetes.
As a parting thought, one may safely state a person may consume any non-starchy vegetable as most of them have a lower glycemic index and are high on fibre, keeping the sugar levels in the bloodstream under control.
A person with diabetes needs to have a balanced diet and consume all fruits and vegetables in moderation. Over consumption can lead to complications and do far-reaching damage.