Green Vegetables are generally considered beneficial for health but if you are diabetic, you need to be careful with your diet.
A healthy diet must include green vegetables. However, people with diabetes must be aware that certain vegetables might trigger their blood sugar levels.
According to the United States Department of Agriculture, on average a female must consume 2 to 3 cups of vegetables per day while a male must consume 3 to 4 cups of vegetables per day.
Today, around one in ten Americans is estimated to have diabetes. As a diabetic person, eating plenty of fiber-rich and nutritional-rich vegetables can help with blood sugar control as well as long-term management. Furthermore, an individual with diabetes needs to get proper medical attention and treatment to manage the level of blood sugar.
Diabetes can be managed by following a balanced diet that is rich in fruits and vegetables while reducing the consumption of simple carbs.
However, not all fruits and vegetables are suitable for a diabetic person. It is crucial to learn which ones should be included in your meals and which should be avoided.
1. Managing Diabetes and Why You Need the Right Green Veggies
For a normal person without diabetes, the body converts the carbohydrates into glucose(blood sugar) and circulates in the entire body through the bloodstream. Our body operates on this glucose.
When the glucose level rises, the body signals the pancreas to release insulin. Insulin helps in removing the glucose from the bloodstream and transferring it to the cells for energy.
In individuals with diabetes, either their body doesn’t produce enough insulin or their body has become resistant to it.
As a result, glucose remains in the bloodstream, resulting in a high blood sugar level. Increased blood sugar can result in various health issues like cardiac and kidney disease, vision loss, and an increased risk of infection.
Various treatment options are available for effectively managing diabetes. Regular physical exercise can help in reducing calories and further results in the natural reduction of blood sugar levels. Other treatment options for managing the blood sugar level is directly injecting insulin or taking pills.
Changing your diet can have a significant effect on blood sugar levels. A low-carb diet that limits the consumption of carbohydrates found in table sugar, baked products, and beverages with sugar can stabilize your blood sugar level.
Fiber is important in diabetes management because it slows digestion and keeps the stomach full for longer.
This enables individuals with diabetes to make better and healthier food choices for themselves. Additionally, the presence of antioxidants removes the free radicals that contribute to the development of diabetes.
2. What Green Vegetable Is Bad for Diabetes?
A balanced and healthy lifestyle not only includes doing physical exercises but also following a healthy diet that can help to manage your diabetes.
For our overall health, green and fresh veggies are very important, however, some veggies may not be beneficial or nutritious for people with diabetes.
To control diabetes effectively, proper exercise combined with a healthy nutritious meal plan is recommended. It is important to include low-carb and low-sugar vegetables that are high in fiber and complex carbohydrates in their meal as they help to stabilize the blood sugar level.
It might become difficult for a diabetic to select the best and healthiest vegetables for them. Also, it is necessary to learn which vegetables should be consumed or avoided as a diabetic.
Here are some examples of vegetables you should avoid as a diabetic:
Corn may be one of the most popular and delicious side dishes but it is one of the worst vegetables to eat if you’re diabetic.
A diabetic individual should avoid corn in any form whether it is canned or fresh. One cup of corn has approximately 24 to 29 grams of carbohydrates and very little fiber.
It is high in starchy carbohydrates. You can eat chia seeds in substitution of corn.
2.2 Green Peas
People with diabetes should avoid several vegetable and green pea is one of them. Green peas are considered one of the harmful starchy vegetables for individuals with diabetes because it is rich in carbohydrate.
One cup of green peas contains about 20 grams of carbohydrates. Furthermore, the presence of anti-nutrients causes stomach problems.
Lentils and chickpeas can be used as alternatives to green peas.
We all love potatoes, whether they are served as mashed potatoes, small roasted potatoes, or in any other form. However, if you have diabetic, you should avoid potatoes because they have a high glycemic index.
According to research, any fried potato dishes such as French fries increase the carbohydrate level even further.
One small potato has approx. 30 grams of carbohydrates. In substitution to potatoes, you can add carrots to your meal.
Leeks contain roughly 14 grams of carbohydrates per 100 grams of leeks and only 1.8 grams of fiber.
Leeks contain fructans that can cause gas and bloating. People with diabetes should avoid leeks because of their high carb content which can lead to a spike in blood glucose levels.
You can substitute leeks with onions and shallots.
2.5 Sweet potatoes
While selecting vegetables for individuals with diabetes, it is very important to consider certain factors like the amount of carbohydrates and their impact on blood sugar levels.
Sweet potatoes can cause spikes in blood sugar levels as it is rich in carbs. Avocado is a good alternative as they have a lower glycemic load and index.
Yam is another starchy vegetable which rich in carbohydrates and a diabetic individual can consume it in moderate amounts. The 3/4th cup of yam has a glycemic index of 9.3.
Simple carbs can reach the bloodstream quickly and create blood sugar fluctuations. You can eat gooseberries instead of yam which can help to maintain your blood sugar level.
2.7 Butternut Squash
Squash is one of the worst vegetables to eat if you have diabetes. While squash may have fewer carbohydrates than potatoes, it can still be extremely harmful to diabetics.
They are higher in sweetness and per cubes of squash contain about 16 grams of carbohydrates.
People with diabetes should avoid eating squash since it can raise the sugar level in the blood. So, instead of butternut squash, you can add ladyfinger to your meal.
Parsnip provides certain nutrition however it is not a good vegetable to eat as a diabetic patient. Per small cup, it has roughly 24 grams of carbohydrates and 6 grams of sugar.
Consumption of parsnip can result in increasing your blood sugar levels. So, in replace of parsnip, you can have vegetables like spinach which can offer more nutritional benefits without increasing your blood sugar level.
2.9 Broad Beans
Broad beans, also known as fava beans are high in calories and carbs.
The majority of the carbohydrates are made up of sugar. And, broad bean vegetables contain a significant amount of sugar.
Broad beans may not be suitable for diabetes as excessive intake can lead to complications. A cup of broad bean contains about 12 grams of sugar and also it is rich in calories as one cup of broad bean contains 111 calories.
2.10 Vegetable Juice
The use of vegetable juice for body cleaning is gaining a lot of popularity recently. It is impartially true that certain people think it is an effective way to get all the nutrients at once.
When its come to diabetes management through food, fiber is quite important. Vegetable juice may not be the best option for managing diabetes as it lacks fiber.
It is recommended that the vegetables to be consumed whole to get the adequate amount of fiber required for the proper management of blood sugar levels.
Making wise choices when selecting vegetables to make juice can still result in health benefits.
In conclusion, individuals with diabetes must pay attention to the carbs containing all food including vegetables.
3. What Green Vegetables Are Good For Diabetes?
Now you might be thinking about which green veggies are suitable for people with diabetes. Green veggies that are low in carbohydrates and high in fiber are generally ideal choices. Following is a small list of some diabetics-friendly vegetables:
Kale is one of the best diabetic-friendly green vegetables that you can add to your meal plan. A cup of kale contains only one gram of carbohydrates.
You can enjoy kale in roasted or crispy chips forms or add to soups and stews. It is rich in antioxidant that helps to combat harmful free radicals.
If you don’t like kale, then replace it with Swiss chard or collard greens.
A cup of spinach contains only about one gram of carbohydrates. Spinach is a versatile vegetable as it can be put into a wide range of dishes such as soups, salads, pasta, and more.
It provides a great source of protein as well as makes you feel fuller for longer periods which results in reducing the temptation to eat snacks in between meals.
In alternative to spinach, you can add endive and arugula to your meals.
A cup of chopped cabbage contains about 4 grams of carbohydrates. Several different types of cabbages are there to choose from including bok choy, red cabbage, Chinese cabbage, and so on.
Cabbage is rich in calcium and vitamin C, offering various nutritional benefits.
Whether you eat cabbage raw or in boiled form with some spices and flavors, you will still get its nutritional benefits.
One cup of carrots contains about 4 grams of fiber. It is a non-starchy vegetable that includes fiber that helps in feeling full for longer periods.
Carrot is not that delicious but it is rich in fiber. Additionally, it is also rich in Vitamin A which supports the immune system and improves eye health.
Carrots can be enjoyed in raw form or cooked with species as well as added to various dishes.
Broccoli is another excellent choice for those with diabetes. It is high in fiber which helps to feel full for longer periods.
Moreover, broccoli boasts exceptional nutritional value. It goes well with soups and salads and can we eaten steamed.
3.6 Green Bean
Green bean is just a perfect veggie to add to your smooth and warm soups. It is rich in vitamins A and C. It is also rich in fiber and adding it in chopped form to your meal can result in a vegetable boost.
If you prefer canned beans then it is recommended to get a low-sodium one for healthier alternatives.
Zucchini is another great vegetable that is rich in fiber and contains low-calorie. Its beautiful vibrant color adds visual appeal and is very healthy for health.
Adding diabetic-friendly vegetables to your diet is going to help you to manage your blood sugar level. Cucumber, lettuce, and mushrooms are some more excellent options that are low in calories and carbs while being rich in fiber.
Fiber rich and low-carbs vegetables not only lower your blood sugar level but also help to lower insulin levels. Following a plant-based diet might make it easier to manage diabetes effectively.
The Bottom Lines
Diabetes is a very serious chronic health condition that can lead to various other serious health issues.
If you are experiencing symptoms like frequent urination, excessive weight loss, or increased thirst could be an indication of diabetes. In such cases, it is vital to make an appointment with your doctor for a thorough examination.
Doing physical exercise, and getting proper medications can effectively help to manage the condition.
Above all of these, diet plays a significant role in controlling diabetes.
Remember that not all green vegetables are beneficial for people with diabetes. It’s important to include leafy green veggies that are low in carbohydrates and high in fiber should to included in your meals.
Kale, spinach, and cabbage are some excellent choices that fit these criteria.