To a diabetic, the issue of managing blood sugar levels is more than just avoiding eating sweets. The truth is, there are some foods that are listed as healthy but in the real sense will cause a rapid rise in the blood sugar levels. On the list are carrots which have been considered by many nutritionists as healthy for the diabetic.
Misunderstanding of the Glycemic Index
Every diabetic person uses the glycemic index to make a meal plan and ensure that they maintain controlled blood sugar levels. Basically, the Glycemic index is a tool used to measure the extent to which consuming a certain food substance will cause a rise in the blood sugar levels compared to glucose. The scale runs from 1-100. Pure glucose is considered to have a glycemic index of 100. Foods that read high on the glycemic index imply that they will cause a sharp rise in the glycemic index. On the other hand, anything below 40 is considered low and this means that the particular food substance won’t have a spike in the blood sugar levels.
Carrots read 41 on the glycemic index. This indicates a low glycemic index but as a diabetic, you need to be particularly careful on the amount you consume since carrots are naturally sweet and the reading on the glycemic index can be deceiving.
Are carrots healthy?
Most people evaluate a certain food substance on the basis of whether they will have an effect on the blood sugar level or not. This is very wrong considering the fact that there is more to a food than how it influences your blood sugar levels. 1/2 a cup of cooked carrots will supply you with over 2 grams of dietary fiber, 9% of your body value of carbs and it has just 27 calories. Carrots are also rich in vitamin A and in ½ a cup of cooked carrots you will get 13% of your day’s vitamin K. With raw carrots you shall get 21% of your day to day vitamin K, Vitamin C, 3 grams of fiber, 50 calories and just 12 grams of total carbs.
Ideas to add carrots into your day to day meals
Typically, most specialized diets are somewhat expensive and most of the times hard to find. Carrots don’t fall under this category: they are readily available, inexpensive and available throughout the year. And, that’s not all. Carrots are versatile and can fit in almost any style of cooking. You can have carrot salad, you can incorporate them into a stir-fry, enjoy carrots as an ingredient in other stews or soaps. Mix them with traditional meals either steamed or boiled and even a chicken or turkey dessert.
Can carrots prevent type 2 diabetes?
Carrots are vegetables and belong to the Umbelliferae family which is available through the year. Typically, carrots are famously known for their benefits when it comes to vision. But, carrots just like most other vegetables are packed with vital nutrients. Being root vegetables, carrots are often orange in color though we have those that are actually white, purple and red.
As mentioned earlier carrots are rich in nutrients and vitamins. Examples of these nutrients are vitamin C,B, A & K, magnesium, potassium, phosphorous and small quantities of vitamin E. There has been a heated debate on whether carrots are good for the diabetic or not due to the fact that carrots are high in natural sugars with at times reading 97 on a glycemic index. Due to the richness in nutrients, most nutritionists actually recommend carrots but if you have to eat a small amount of it.
To prevent a sharp increase in the blood sugar levels, one should add carrots as a salad or have it as a snack. Cooking carrots will actually increase its glycemic index and it is for this reason that most nutritionist will recommend that you should either steam the carrots or eat them raw. Just like how diabetes regulates and control their intake of potatoes the same should be done to carrots. Most of us have had a glass or carrot juice before. As a diabetic, this is not a healthy option given that carrot juice just like most vegetable juice gets converted to glucose very fast and this will cause a sharp increase in the blood sugar levels. If by any chance you plan to increase your daily increase of carrots it is advisable that you should first consult with your nutritionist.
On a greater picture if there is no limit to the number of carrots you can eat in a day but as a diabetic, you should do this with moderation. When you eat a small amount, there is no major side effect to you as a diabetic; the opposite is true if you consume many carrots.