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Sweet Potato For Diabetes

Sweet potatoes are found in three different varieties and are often associated with fall festivities in the United States of America. Yams are the most popular followed by sweet potatoes. Sweet potatoes in the US are a bright orange color while all over the world; yams are used interchangeably for sweet potatoes. There are even purple-fleshed and white-fleshed sweet potatoes that are available.

These sweet potatoes are complex carbohydrates rich in fiber and beta carotenes and of course, sugar. Sweet potatoes in diet have many health benefits.

They help raise levels of Vitamin A. The purple and the orange sweet potatoes are high in peonidins and cyanidins, both of which are antioxidants. These elements even give potatoes anti-inflammatory properties. These potatoes are also rich in oxalates, which can cause its own set of problems if eaten in excess. Sweet potatoes are very versatile and can be served plain, in salads, oatmeal, desserts, with meat and even in stir fries. More on calories in sweet potatoes

Though potatoes usually get excluded from low fat diets, there is a call for the inclusion of sweet potatoes. Sweet potatoes might have fat but the body needs some amount of fat in order to be able to absorb the beta carotenes from the sweet potatoes. Sweet potatoes are good for weak stomachs and ulcers in the stomach. The high fiber in sweet potatoes makes it good for hemorrhoids and digestive issues too. These tubers help control blood pressure. Due to the high vitamin A content in sweet potatoes, they are known to have cancer fighting properties, especially cancer in the glands. Despite being high in natural sugar and from the potato family, the sweet potato is categorized as a low to medium GI food. Low GI or low glycemic index means that the food is digested slowly and glucose created from that food is gradually released into the bloodstream. The aim, for diabetics, is to maintain a healthy diet with low to medium GI food. Foods like refined products, white bread, and sugar are all high GI foods that add glucose quickly into the bloodstream.

Research is being done with the extract of sweet potatoes. Subjects were tested with extract of the sweet potatoes and the reaction to the blood glucose was monitored. While not all conclusive results, it certainly did not have discouraging results. For most diabetics, vegetables are must. They contain fiber and lots of nutrients along with most vegetables boasting low to medium GI. Potatoes are usually never on the list of vegetables diabetics can eat. Sweet potato is an exception. Despite being a medium GI vegetable, it is considered a super food for diabetes. Not only does it taste great, it can be used as a substitute in many other preparations for potatoes. Instead of regular French fries and mashed potatoes, substitute with sweet potato fries and mashed potatoes made with sweet potatoes. These substitutions considerably improve the nutritional profile of the food. Sweet potatoes contain adiponectin which is protein hormone that improves our bodies’ insulin metabolism. When diabetics eat sweet potatoes, it slowly helps them improve their insulin metabolizing.

Roasting the sweet potato is known to bring out its nutrients and further decreasing its GI number. Healthy steaming also brings out its great antioxidant benefits. In case of sweet potatoes, the antioxidant benefits are not just beneath the skin, which is the case for many other vegetables that have tremendous antioxidant benefits. Sweet potatoes can also reduce the risk you face from heavy metal poisoning. Sweet potatoes also have a glycoprotein called fibrinogen. This glycoprotein acts as a coagulating factor and helps wounds heal faster.

Submitted on January 16, 2014