Diabetics are often constrained to limit the intake of starchy food such rice, yam potatoes and others. This is because, when those starchy foods are overeaten, it makes your blood sugar levels go haywire—especially for those who suffer from type-2 diabetes. However we often hear people ask: “can I eat sweet potatoes if I have diabetes”? The answer is “yes”, diabetics can eat sweet potatoes.
Sweet potatoes has been termed a ‘superfood’ for Diabetes. They are perfect for any plate but especially for people with diabetes. Compared to white potatoes, sweet potatoes are lower on the glycemic index and deliver chart topping vitamin A for eye health. The fibre helps with blood glucose control and weight management and the potassium helps control blood pressure.
Nutritional profile of sweet potatoes
The nutrition facts for 100 grams of raw sweet potatoes are:
- Calories: 86
- Water: 77%
- Protein: 1.6 g
- Carbs: 20.1 g
- Sugar: 4.2 g
- Fibre: 3 g
- Fat: 0.1 g
Why are sweet potatoes safe for diabetics?
- Sweet potatoes contain a carotenoid called beta-carotene, which is a rich source of vitamin A.
- Sweet potatoes are also rich in iron, and that helps red blood cells produce oxygen and transport nutrients throughout the body.
- Sweet potatoes work well for diabetics is because of its low glycemic index (GI) rating.
- Sweet potatoes are a rich source of fibre which helps your digestive system and also helps reduce cholesterol level.
- They contain high quantities of vitamins A and C that help to fight inflammation.
- Sweet potatoes are loaded with antioxidants such as vitamin C says Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. The Mayo Clinic notes indicate that this nutrient is important for the formation and repair of blood vessels, muscle, and collagen in the body.
How much sweet potato can someone with diabetes consume?
Sweet potatoes are a good choice for diabetics however it’s important to remember that they still contain carbs so therefore it is necessary to exercise portion control. According to Dr Lovneet, it’s recommendable for people with diabetes to consume half a cup of sweet potatoes, since it is the equivalent of 15 grams of carbohydrates.
What’s the best way to consume sweet potatoes?
The way you eat sweet potato is beneficial to people of diabetes. As per a study published in the Journal of Nutrition and Metabolism in October 2011, certain cooking methods like baking and roasting can kill the nutritional benefits of this wonder vegetable, while increasing its GI. Therefore the best way to consume sweet potatoes (with skin) is to boil them instead of roasting, baking, or frying.
In conclusion, diabetics can eat sweet potatoes. Sweet potatoes contain carbohydrates which can raise blood sugar levels. However if you eat the right serving size of a sweet potato you can control the amount of sugar you take in.
Also what you put on the potato is important.
Avoid added sugars or sweeteners.