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Vegetables For Diabetes Patient

Vegetables are an important component of a healthy balanced diet. For diabetic patients, vegetables are even more important. Vegetables provide plant-based protein, which is a healthier form of protein along with plenty of fiber, minerals and vitamins.
Vegetables come in such a large variety and can be prepared in so many different ways that, unlike other healthy food, you will not tire of it quickly. Vegetables offer a number of benefits.
You can divide vegetables into green leafy vegetables, starches or complex carbohydrates, cruciferous vegetables, gourds and of course, legumes. These are some of the basic types, but there will be some vegetables that are not classified under these. However, there are certain kinds of vegetables that diabetic people cannot consume, for instance sweet potatoes. At the same time, green leafy vegetables are considered a must in the diet for diabetes.

Importance Of Vegetables For A Diabetic

A diabetic patient has to mainly control his sugar consumption. This is especially true for people who suffer from type 2 diabetes. Diabetic patients need to restrict consumption of high fat and refined foods. Instead they must consume foods that have a low glycemic index and those that have a good amount of fiber. Foods like white bread, pasta, rice and baked goods have a high glycemic index, which is bad for diabetics. A food categorized as a high glycemic index food gets digested quickly and is released as glucose into the blood stream. This is not desirable for diabetics because the body reacts quite sharply to quick dips and rises in sugar. A low glycemic index food is digested slowly and therefore released gradually as glucose. These foods help keep the sugar or glucose levels in the body on a normal level.

Vegetables are not just good for diabetics. The fiber in them improves the digestive system. Regular ingestion of vegetables increases your intake of vitamins, mineral and other important phytonutrients. Vegetables can keep at bay most lifestyle related diseases like cholesterol, hypertension and also help improve cardiovascular health, better fitness levels and lower stress levels. Bitter gourd or bitter melon, for instance, is a great vegetable for keeping your sugar levels in check. Regular ingestion of peanuts can make a big difference to a diabetic. Similarly green leafy vegetables are an excellent source of fiber and vitamins, without the starch. Some of the many beneficial greens are fenugreek leaves, spinach, lettuce, kale, chard, and collard greens.

Ideally everyone, not just diabetics, should have about five servings of fresh fruits and vegetables as part of their daily diet. You can space it out over the meal and have the fruits as snacks. For diabetics in particular, there should be a conscious effort to include fewer starchy vegetables. It is a misguided notion that diabetics cannot eat potatoes or peas at all. However, they cannot afford to eat it every single day. Make healthy choices; pick a baked or roasted potato over French fries.

Vegetables like carrots and beetroot are also high in natural sugar, but these are also packed with other nutrients. So occasionally you can add some carrots to your salad or broccoli or chop some beet along with some cheese for a variety in flavors. Along with increasing your vegetable intake, as a diabetic, you should also switch to whole grains. Grains like oats, quinoa and buckwheat pack in a lot of fiber and nutrition, making it a great food for your body.

Submitted on January 16, 2014