Best vegetables for type 2 diabetes
People with type 2 diabetes often feel left out at big family meals and at restaurants, but it should not mean having to avoid delicious food.
In fact, no food item is strictly forbidden for people with type 2 diabetes. Healthy eating for people with diabetes is all about moderation and balance.
The best vegetables for type 2 diabetes are low on the glycemic index (GI) scale, rich in fiber, or high in blood pressure-lowering nitrates.
Why choose vegetables?
When considering foods to avoid, many people with diabetes might think about sugary or high-carbohydrate foods, such as cinnamon rolls or bread. Certain vegetables, though, can also cause blood glucose problems.
The GI refers to how quickly foods cause blood sugar levels to rise. Foods high on the GI, such as most potatoes, rapidly release glucose, potentially triggering blood glucose spikes. They can also cause weight gain when eaten in excess.
Low to moderate GI vegetables, such as carrots, offer better blood glucose control, and a lower risk of weight gain.
Nitrates are chemicals that naturally occur in some vegetables. They are also used as preservatives in some foods.
Eating nitrate-rich foods, not foods processed with added nitrates, can lower blood pressure, and improve overall circulatory health.
This means that nitrate-rich foods, such as beets, are among the best vegetables for people with type 2 diabetes who have a higher risk of cardiovascular disease. This is still true despite their high level of carbohydrates.
The key to good food management, in this instance, is to reduce carbohydrate consumption elsewher