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Low-Sugar Vegetables To Control Blood Glucose Levels

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Low-Sugar Vegetables

If you are a diabetic or at risk of getting diabetes, then you must be careful with the food you eat. Vegetables have sugar content, too; some may have more sugar than the others. Low glycemic index vegetables should be consumed to avoid rapid blood glucose fluctuations. These include cruciferous and leafy vegetables like cauliflower, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, and non-starchy vegetables like cucumbers, celery, and others.

Vegetables and fruits are inevitable sources of nutrition that we include in our diet. They are packed with essential vitamins, minerals, fiber, and good sugars. If you include vegetables and fruits in your diet, then you are likely to have a reduced risk of some chronic diseases.

Vegetables are excellent sources of healthy food and they do contain some amount of sugar. Some vegetables have more sugar content than the others. If you are diabetic or you are at a risk of diabetes, you must choose your vegetables carefully.

Vegetables with high sugar content or a high glycemic index can cause rapid fluctuations in the blood glucose levels. If you wish to keep your blood glucose levels in check, it is important to eat low-sugar vegetables or vegetables with a low glycemic index.

What Is Glycemic Index Or GI?

Glycemic Index (GI) is the scientific ranking of how the foods we eat affect our blood glucose levels in two or three hours after eating. The GI has three ranges: low GI, medium GI, and high GI.

  • Low GI means that the carbohydrates break down slowly, release blood sugar gradually into the bloodstream, and keep the sugar levels steady. A low GI range is between 0 and 55.
  • Medium GI means that the carbohydrates break down moderately and release blood sugar the same way. A medium GI range is between 56 and 69.
  • High GI means that the carbohydrates are broken down quickly releasing blood sugar rapidly into the bloodstream causing rapid fluctuations in the sugar levels. A high GI range is between 70 and 100.

It is also important to know that the glycemic index of a vegetable depends on the way it is cooked. For instance, raw carrots do not have a high glycemic index. However, if they are cooked or mashed, their GI tends to increase.

So, choosing a high GI vegetables will increase your blood glucose significantly more than low GI vegetables. Therefore, By choosing low GI vegetables you can reduce drastic increases in your blood sugar. Here are a few low-GI vegetables that will help reduce rapid fluctuations in sugar levels.

Vegetables With Low Sugar Content

1. Cruciferous And Green Leafy Vegetables

Cruciferous And Green Leafy Vegetables Have Low Sugar

Cruciferous vegetables belong to the Brassicaceae (also called Cruciferae) family. These include cauliflower, cabbage, garden cress, bok choy, broccoli, brussels sprouts, and similar green leaf vegetables. These vegetables are nutritious while having low sugar content. These belong to the low GI category. There is a study that shows how green leafy vegetables can help reduce the risk of diabetes in women.1

Here is a list of a few cruciferous and green leafy vegetables and their sugar content per 100 grams of weight.

Vegetables Sugar Content Per 100 grams (g)
Cauliflower 1.9
Cabbage 3.2
Garden Cress 4.4
Bok Choy 1.18
Broccoli 1.7
Brussels Sprouts 2.2
Arugula 2.05
Kale 2.26
Romaine Lettuce 1.19
Iceberg Lettuce 1.97
Spinach 0.42
Watercress 0.2

2. Non-Starchy Vegetables

Non-starchy Vegetables Have Low Sugar

Non-starchy vegetables have very low calories and generally contain 5 grams of carbohydrates or less per 100 grams of weight. They are a good source of dietary fiber and play an important role in lowering the cholesterol levels. These vegetables are recommended for diabetics.

Here is a list of a few non-starchy vegetables and their sugar content per 100 grams of weight.

Vegetables Sugar Content Per 100 grams (g)
Mushrooms 1.98
Peppers (green) 2.4
Asparagus 1.88
Celery 1.34
Cucumber (with peel, raw) 1.67
Spring Onions 2.3

Now that you know about glycemic index, it is important to avoid high GI vegetables if you are diabetic or wish to keep blood glucose under control.

Some of the high glycemic index vegetables are as follows:

  • Mashed and boiled potatoes
  • Parsnips
  • Pumpkins
  • Beetroot
  • Rutabaga

Though the vegetables mentioned in the article have low glycemic index, don’t overdo it. Always eat the right amount and at regular intervals.

References   [ + ]

1. Bazzano, Lydia A., Tricia Y. Li, Kamudi J. Joshipura, and Frank B. Hu. “Intake of fruit, vegetables, and fruit juices and risk of diabetes in women.” Diabetes care 31, no. 7 (2008): 1311-1317.