List of Best Vegetables for Diabetes Patients With Low Glycemic Index

Health is Wealth. For healthy body metabolism, we must consume a healthy and balanced diet. Moreover, numerous researches have displayed the importance of healthy diet management in type 2 diabetes controls and reversal. Vegetables are the central part of a healthy and balanced diet. Read this blog to know about the best vegetable for diabetes.

Vegetables for diabetics with low carb content, high fibre content, good amounts of proteins and minerals are best for diabetes control. This article gives information on the best vegetables for diabetic patients so that they do not compromise taste and simultaneously consume a healthy diet.

list of best vegetables for diabetes

What is a Diabetic Management Diet? 

Diabetes is a disease that results due to insulin deficiency in our body or due to insulin resistance by our body cells. As a result of insulin deficiency or resistance, the blood glucose levels go abnormally high. Thus, high blood sugar levels for a long time are an indication of diabetes.

For diabetes control a patient diet should contain the following types of foods:

  1. Foods that don’t raise blood sugar levels immediately are low glycemic index foods. Low glycemic index foods are made of complex sugar molecules. Due to which these foods take time in digestion and thus the sugar is released slowly into the blood.  Such slow release of blood sugar levels helps in diabetes control.
  2. High fiber content foods. High fibrous foods help in water retention, digestion and reduce bad cholesterol levels. Type 2 diabetes’ common cause is obesity and improper lifestyle. Thus, high fiber food in such diabetic patients helps in water management, digestion, cholesterol control, and weight management thereby reducing risks of type 2 diabetes.
  3. Rich protein diet. Diabetes’ common symptom is to feel hungry frequently. This leads to frequent eating and overweight. Proteins make you feel full stomach for a long time. Thus, proteins help diabetic patients in reducing the urge of eating frequently.
  4. High-nitrate content food. A nitrate-rich food helps in reducing blood pressure. They also help in improving blood circulation. These foods thus reduce the risks associated with diabetes like heart disease, nerve pains, and other cardiovascular diseases.
  5. Vitamins and Minerals rich foods. Due to diabetes, the immunity of the body becomes weak. Therefore diabetic patients require rich diet of essential vitamins and minerals to boost the body’s immunity response.

Summary

A diabetic patient’s diet should prefer eating low-carb food with high fiber content and supporting amounts of proteins and minerals.

Why Vegetables for Diabetes Management?

Vegetables are the best gift of nature that contains fiber, proteins, minerals, and the perfect amount of carbs. Thus, Vegetables are the perfect choice in diabetes management as they are a great source of balanced nutrients.

Vegetables have natural ingredients that help in blood sugar control. Eating vegetables is highly beneficial in diabetes management due to the following reasons:

  • Generally, eating vegetable help in managing the obesity which is a common cause of type-2 diabetes.
  • Low glycemic index vegetables help in controlling high sugar levels spikes thereby are good for diabetic management.
  • Vegetables have a proper amount of fiber and proteins. Thus, it is a perfect choice for weight management in type- 2 diabetic patients.
  • Vegetables contain vitamins, calcium, phosphorous, magnesium, iron, and other minerals, that help in boosting immunity. These minerals regulate body metabolism and improve health.
  • Some low glycaemic index Vegetables are the perfect choice for low-carb foods and help in controlling blood sugar levels.
  • Nitrate-rich vegetables are the best food choice for enhancing blood circulation and avoiding heart-related issues in diabetic patients.
  • Rich fiber vegetables improve digestion. It also helps in water retention and thus avoids dehydration complaints in type 2 diabetic patients.
  • Eating vegetables can help in avoiding other complications of diabetes like heart disease and cholesterol issues.

Summary

Vegetables help in weight management, reducing bad cholesterol and blood pressure, boost immunity, improves body metabolism all essential for diabetic control.

Vegetable to Eat While Diabetic

Vegetables good for diabetic patients should be of the following type:

  1. With low to medium glycemic index score
  2. With high fiber content
  3. Have good amounts of protein
  4. Should have essential vitamin and minerals
  5. Must have high nitrate content.

Example: Green leafy vegetables, Ladyfinger, Carrot, Tinda, Cauliflower are the best vegetables for diabetics.

Vegetables to Avoid While Diabetic

While diabetic you should avoid or limit the following vegetables.

  1. High glycemic index vegetables
  2. High carb content vegetables
  3. Simple carbohydrate vegetables
  4. Avoid using Canned vegetables as they have high sodium content. It can cause blood pressure issues.
  5. Vegetables cooked with high content of butter or cheese or sauce should be avoided.

Example: A diabetic patient should avoid Sweet potato, Colocasia, Yam, processed and canned vegetables.

List of Best Vegetables for Diabetes Management

Vegetables help in both blood sugar management and in long-term diabetes management. Thus, if you are diabetic increase your vegetable portion of the diet and reduce carbs consumption elsewhere. But what vegetables are good for diabetics? Here is the list of Vegetables good for diabetes control and management.

  1. Carrots: These are the best delight and can be consumed raw and cooked. Despite being in sweet flavor Carrots are best for diabetic patients due to low glycaemic index value of 16. A medium-sized carrot contains 4 grams of carbs. Thus, it does not hikes blood sugar levels immediately.  Carrots contain beta-carotene and are a rich source of vitamin A [9]. It is rich in fiber. Thus, Carrots help in boosting immunity and act as powerful antioxidants, and reduces risks of type 2 diabetes.  The fibre in carrots helps to reduce the risk of gaining weight and manages hunger desire [9].carrot is the best vegetable for diabetics
  2. Cruciferous Vegetables: These are a group of vegetables that are rich in vitamin K and folate. These are among the best vegetables for diabetics. Some examples are broccoli, cabbage, Kale, Cauliflower, sprouts of Brussels, etc.
    • These groups of vegetables are non-starchy and thus are low sources of carbs making them the best vegetable for diabetic people. A cup of broccoli or Cabbage gives just 5 grams of carbs. Thus, they are good for weight management and diabetic management [8].
    • Sulforaphane present in broccoli helps in the reduction of blood sugar levels.
    • Apart from low carbs, these vegetables are a rich source of vitamin C, 6.6 % of it contains fiber and has 2.9 % of Iron, thereby making it a perfect choice for diabetic people. It is good when it comes to controlling hunger desire and control blood sugar spikes [8].
    • Cauliflower is high in vitamins, minerals, and fiber, sulfur, and nitrogen. They help to reduce the inflammation in the body. Cauliflower also prevents the growth of cancer cells in the body.  It is best to the source of antioxidants and thus helps to decrease the risk of heart disease [8].
    • Kale comprises of flavonoid which is an antioxidant. It regulates your blood sugar level and blood pressure. Due to its rich antioxidant content Kale thus reduces the risks of cancer and heart diseases [8].

    Thus, Cruciferous vegetables are good vegetables for sugar patient that help to reduce the risks of type 2 diabetes [8].

    green leafy vegetable is good for diabetes

  3. Ladyfinger: Popularly known as Bhindi, these are great sources of fiber, vitamins, and minerals. Ladyfingers are a low-calorie diet and thus do not result in blood sugar hikes. These also contain Myricetin which is found to increase glucose absorption by cells [7]. Thus, these are the favorite choice of vegetables that brings sugar level down. ladyfinger helps to control diabetes
  4. Cucumber: Cucumber is the best vegetable for a diabetic patient. Cucumber is low in carbohydrates and has a high content of fiber. Regular eating of Cucumber can reduce the blood sugar levels in type-2 patients. It also helps in regulating blood pressure and is a good diet to reduce the risk of hypoglycemia. Cucumber keeps you full and thus helps in controlling hunger issues thereby helping in weight management. cucumber is best green vegetables to control diabetes c
  5. Lettuce: the diabetic patient should eat plenty of lettuce. These have a low glycemic index and thus helps to lower your blood sugar level.  Ac up of lettuce gives 5 to 10 calories of energy. Lettuce is also rich in vitamins especially vitamin A, K, and other minerals. Lettuces are known to show an increased glucose tolerance [1]. These are also useful in hypoglycemic regulations of blood sugar. Thus, lettuce is the best vegetable for diabetic and hypoglycemic control. Chose dark coloured lettuce over light coloured lettuce. Dark coloured are rich in essential micronutrients [1]. the diabetic patient should eat plenty of lettuce. These have a low glycemic index and thus helps to lower your blood sugar level
  6. Spinach: spinach is rich in calcium, iron, protein, vitamin A, C, and folic acid. It is low on the GI scale. It is good for diabetic patients. Spinach is a rich source of antioxidants due to the presence of alpha-lipoic acid. It increases insulin sensitivity. Spinach also contains fiber that is an extremely good source of reducing blood sugar levels [1]. spinach is rich in calcium, iron, protein, vitamin A, C, and folic acid. It is low on the GI scale. It is good for diabetic patients.
  7. Beans: kidney beans, black beans, and green beans are low glycemic index food. Thus, these don’t raise blood sugar levels immediately after being consumed. These beans also contain high vitamins A, C, K, iron, chlorophyll, fiber, and folic acid. All these are nutrients are essential for our body and helps in regulating blood sugar levels [6]. kidney beans, black beans, and green beans are low glycemic index food.
  8. Asparagus: Asparagus is low calorie and high-protein vegetable. Its consumption leads to the passing of high urine and salt excretion. This in turn helps in regulating high blood sugar levels. Researches have proven that consuming Asparagus regularly can help in reducing the risks of type 2 diabetes [5].
  9. Bittergourd: Popularly known as Karela, it is known to have numerous health benefits. These are known to contain special compounds like Polypeptide-p or p-insulin that act like insulin in the body. The substances in the bitter gourd inhibit PTP 1B in the body. The inhibition of PTP 1B results in insulin sensitivity [2]. Due to increased insulin sensitivity, the glucose absorption by cells increase, and the blood sugar levels are controlled. Thereby making it an anti-diabetic vegetable. It is among the best vegetable to reduce the risks of type 2 diabetes [2]. bitter gourd natural way to lower down blood sugar levels
  10.  Tomatoes: tomatoes are starch-free vegetables and thus are among the superfoods for diabetic patients. It has a low glycemic index value and thus it does not cause blood sugar spikes. Tomatoes contain vitamin C, Lycopene, β-carotene, potassium, flavonoids, folate, and vitamin E. All these are particularly good for maintaining your blood glucose level and for blood pressure [3]. Thus, tomatoes protect against the development of type 2 diabetes [3]. Tomato sauce or juice can slightly increase your blood sugar level. Avoid taking tomato juice. Green tomatoes are found to induce Hypoglycemia [4].

Apart from the above list some other popular sugar control vegetables that lowers the blood sugar levels are Artichoke, Mushrooms, Celery, Eggplant (Baigan/Brinjal), Onion, and Snow peas.

Eggplants are rich in fiber or polyphenols and are a low-carb diet that helps to control your blood sugar level. While Artichoke and Snowpeas are rich in fiber that helps in regulating blood sugar and blood pressure. Mushrooms help in cholesterol control. Onions help in reducing fasting blood sugar levels within four hours of its consumption.

Bottom line

Numerous vegetables are good for a diabetic patient. The only key for effective diabetic control and reducing the complications of diabetes is to have a balanced diet and proper lifestyle. Therefore a diabetic patient should prefer eating three to five servings of non-starchy vegetables every day. Vegetables provide fiber, minerals, and essential nutrients that regulate blood sugar levels and blood pressure. Remember healthy food choices can help you to move closer to diabetes reversal if you are type 2 diabetic.

FAQs:

Can I consume vegetable pickles while diabetic?

Sweet Pickles should be avoided due to their high sugar content. If you have no issues with sodium level control or blood pressure issues then you can eat pickles.

Can I consume Vegetable Juice while diabetic?

If you are having poor diabetes management then avoid taking vegetable Juice as it may cause blood sugar spikes. Otherwise ½ cup of vegetable juice can be taken in 1 serving.

What is the quantity of vegetables one should eat while diabetic?

At the minimum 3 to 5 serving of non-starchy vegetables per day is healthy. 1 serving of vegetables is ½ cup of cooked vegetables and 1 cup of raw vegetables.

References:

  1. Kailash S Chadchan, Jameel G Jargar, Swastika N Das (2016). Anti-diabetic effects of aqueous prickly lettuce (Lactuca scariola Linn.) leaves extract in alloxan-induced male diabetic rats treated with nickel (II). https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/26352090/
  2. Sandra D Klomann 1, Andreas S Mueller, Josef Pallauf, Michael B Krawinkel (2010). Antidiabetic effects of bitter gourd extracts in insulin-resistant db/db mice. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/20615270/
  3. Farzad Shidfar 1, Neda Froghifar, Mohammadreza Vafa, Asadolah Rajab, Sharieh Hosseini, Shahrzad Shidfar, Mahmoodreza Gohari (2010). The effects of tomato consumption on serum glucose, apolipoprotein B, apolipoprotein A-I, homocysteine, and blood pressure in type 2 diabetic patients. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/21138408/
  4. https://medicaldialogues.in/diabetes-endocrinology/news/green-tomatoes-may-lower-blood-sugar-and-oxidative-stress-in-diabetes-patients-study-74968
  5. https://food.ndtv.com/health/asparagus-can-keep-diabetes-away-692769
  6. https://defeatdiabetes.org/resources/healthful-eating/vegetables/green-beans/
  7. https://www.webmd.com/diabetes/okra-diabetes-benefits-risks-uses
  8. Chen, G. C., Koh, W. P., Yuan, J. M., Qin, L. Q., & van Dam, R. M. (2018). Green leafy and cruciferous vegetable consumption and risk of type 2 diabetes: results from the Singapore Chinese Health Study and meta-analysis. British Journal of Nutrition119(9), 1057-1067.
  9. Sluijs, I., Cadier, E., Beulens, J. W. J., Spijkerman, A. M. W., & Van der Schouw, Y. T. (2015). Dietary intake of carotenoids and risk of type 2 diabetes. Nutrition, Metabolism and Cardiovascular Diseases, 25(4), 376-381. https://www.nmcd-journal.com/article/S0939-4753(14)00373-1/fulltext

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