is cucumber good for diabetes
Nutrition
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Is Cucumber Good for Diabetes?

Cucumbers are non-starchy. This means that they work well in satisfying the appetite of an individual without causing unnecessary spikes in the blood sugars. In 2011, a study was conducted at Newcastle University that claimed that cucumbers qualify as a low-calorie diet and therefore, answered the question is cucumber good for diabetes to a large extent. The study also helped to conclude that cucumbers might also prove to be effective in the reversal of Type 2 Diabetes. While conclusive evidence may not directly link the consumption of cucumbers to the reversal of diabetes, there certainly was a correlation.

Cucumber and Diabetes

One of the best and most refreshing foods to eat in the hot summer months is a cucumber. A major myth surrounding cucumbers is that people believe that they fall under the category of vegetables. That is not true – cucumbers are actually fruits. The categorization does not really matter much, what matters is how healthy and beneficial they are for different people. While this fruit has several advantages, the question regarding whether cucumbers are good for diabetes is still one of the most prevalent ones. Read more to know about diet for diabetes.

Diabetes is one such condition wherein people have to constantly watch what they eat. Any unhealthy food consumption, even a few grams of sugars or carbs can cause spikes in the sugar levels in the bloodstream. Therefore, before eating any food, it is best to know how it is going to affect the overall blood sugar levels. After an endocrinologist, visiting a dietician becomes the second-most important thing to do for a person with diabetes. Also know about diabetologist.

Not only is it important to understand the kind of healthy foods, but also it would be necessary to understand the phenomenon of 

  • Carb counting
  • Breaks between meals
  • Categories of healthy snacks
  • Salads, etc. 

Cucumbers can be eaten in several different ways so let us try to understand if can people with diabetes eat cucumber.

Nutritional Profile

By now, a person with diabetes is probably habituated to looking for the contents and nutrients in the food that they consume. The reason why this aspect is particularly important is that one of the first things they are taught is to count the carbs. What this means is that, when an external insulin shot needs to be taken, via the insulin pump or with the help of an injection, the units of insulin that go into the body are decided according to the food that is being consumed. The nutritionists help everyone with diabetes to determine their carbs insulin ratio. This ratio is used every time a meal is consumed. 

To determine if we can eat cucumber in diabetes, this carb counting again becomes necessary to understand the units of insulin, if any, that need to be administered.

In an unpeeled cucumber (100gms), the nutrients are:

Total fat     0.1 grams (of which saturated fat – 0gms, trans fats – 0gms, polyunsaturated fats – 0gms, monounsaturated fats – 0gms)
Cholesterol   0 mg                                                                                                                  
Sodium         2mg                                                                                                                    
Potassium     147 mg                                                                                                                
Total carbs   3.6 grams                                                                                                              
Dietary Fiber 0.5 grams                                                                                                              
Sugars         1.7 grams                                                                                                              
Protein       0.7 grams                                                                                                              
Vitamin A     2.1%                                                                                                                  
Vitamin C     4.7%                                                                                                                  
Calcium       1.2%                                                                                                                  
Iron           1.6%                                                                                                                  
Calories       8                                                                                                                      

Additionally, is cucumber good for diabetes can also be seen as they are good sources of chemicals obtained from plants that provide protection against disease and have preventive properties, or, phytonutrients like – flavonoids, lignans, and triterpenes.

 Glycemic index of cucumber

If you are looking at the benefits of cucumber for diabetes, one of the best ways to measure the same would be with the help of its glycemic index. The glycemic index of food would provide a measure of how the food item would affect your blood sugar levels. Foods with a higher glycemic index would lead to more rapid and erratic rises in the overall blood glucose in the body. The glycemic index of a cucumber is 15. Any food with a GI less than 55 is considered healthy for a person with diabetes. Therefore, cucumbers can be very helpful vegetables that can be added to the diet plan of a person with diabetes with ease and without worrying about spikes. To further lower the glycemic load and not need to bolus after you consume a cucumber, you can also pair it with other high-fiber foods like chana, tofu, tomatoes, etc in a salad. Also know about how to reduce sugar.

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Advantages of Cucumber for Diabetes

Cucumber for diabetes is highly advantageous. With the low glycemic index, even people with type 1 diabetes will not have to take additional insulin to a great extent if they are having cucumbers. Studies have shown multiple benefits for people with diabetes when they consume a cucumber.

1. High in antioxidants

This vegetable is rich in Vitamin C, Vitamin E, and flavonoids. These make an antioxidant that helps to prevent any oxidative reaction in the body. The process of oxidation entails a release of large amounts of electrons during the reaction. These antioxidants present in Vitamin C can help reduce the complications of diabetes and the Vitamin E can improve overall glycemic control

2. Hydration

Cucumbers are made up of 95% water. This makes them extremely hydrating. Water is also responsible for the elimination of harmful waste materials, transport of nutrients, and thermal regulation in the body. Therefore, consuming cucumbers in the diet can also help you meet the body’s fluid requirements. Dehydration in people with diabetes can also cause other complications.

3. Regulation of bowel movements

Studies have shown that people with diabetes deal with more complications related to constipation. Nerve damage in the intestines is common that leads to issues regarding the movement of food in the stomach. The dietary fibers in cucumbers help cure chronic constipation. The antioxidant properties also helps with detoxifying the body. Fiber can help clean and regulate the bowel movements to prevent constipation.

4. High in fiber

Fiber is one of the best nutrients for people with diabetes. It helps regulate the blood sugar levels and can help maintain good health. The minimal calories and high fiber can help the person feel full for longer and can ensure that blood sugar spikes are not happening often

5. Other miscellaneous benefits

Triterpenes are substances found in cucumbers that help restore imbalances in glucose metabolism. They can also stop the formation of enzymes that develop insulin resistance in the body. This substance also helps in curing diabetes-related complications like neuropathy, retinopathy, nephropathy, etc. The low glycemic index can provide the required nutrition without the addition of too many calories. 

Ways to consume Cucumber for Diabetes

There are several different ways that this fruit can be consumed and the discussion on whether cucumber is good for diabetes can be put to rest.

Salad – Finely chop the cucumbers and add them to other vegetables like different capsicums, tomatoes, sprouts, etc and mix them into a salad

Raita – Chopped or grated cucumbers can be used to make raita with curd

Drink – Blend the chopped pieces of cucumber and add water, salt, jeera, and stevia, according to your taste. Cucumber water and diabetes have a positive relation owing to the several benefits of cucumber.

Pickles – One of the good ways to use cucumbers would be in the form of pickles with oil, salt, and preservatives.

Best Time to Consume Cucumber for Diabetes

Does cucumber cure diabetes? The exact and accurate answer is not found yet, however, it surely helps in the reduction of blood sugar levels if consumed 15-20 minutes before lunch. Cucumbers during the day would be advised because they have a high water content which makes it easier for absorption during the day. At night, the water may disturb the digestion process.

Risk of Over Consuming Cucumber for Diabetes

As with any food, over-consumption of any food leads to risks. Keeping in mind the risk factors and how cucumbers in large quantities might affect the body will help exercise caution. 

  • Disturbances in the digestion process 
  • Higher levels of Vitamin K in cucumbers might cause blood clots
  • Allergies and flaring up of the sinus

Other Health Benefits of Cucumber for Diabetes

If consumed in moderation, can diabetic patients eat cucumber? Yes, of course. These fruits have several health benefits not only regarding blood sugar levels but also otherwise. These benefits prompt people to buy and consume cucumbers in moderation.

Primarily, the rich antioxidants in cucumbers allow the body to effectively fight against several infections and diseases. Secondly, the water content in cucumbers is high, and therefore, they help in keeping the body hydrated. Thirdly, if you are looking for additional dietary help in the reduction of weight, cucumbers are great allies in the process of weight loss. Fourthly, they support the regularity of bowel movements. Lastly, cucumbers work to remove all the toxins from the blood. Also know more about diabetes diet chart.

Bottomline

Cucumbers are known to have low carbohydrates and, therefore, can be greatly helpful in lowering blood sugar levels and increasing insulin sensitivity. Hence we can say that cucumber may be a helpful addition to the diet of people with diabetes. Other health benefits that cucumbers provide make them a good option to include it in your meal.

FAQs

Is Cucumber Good for Diabetes?

Cucumber is one of the most effective fruit for people with diabetes. Owing a low glycemic index helps in reducing blood sugar levels and reducing the risk of hypoglycemia. They also work to detoxify the blood, which is essential in the case of ketones.

Can a Diabetic Eat Cucumbers?

Yes, an individual living with diabetes can freely eat cucumbers. They have 70% water and are low in calories and carbs making them suitable for consumption.

What Vegetables Can Diabetics Eat?

Any vegetables that are low in GI like leafy greens – spinach, methi. Broccoli and cucumbers are good options. Cabbage can also be consumed since they are low in starch

What Vegetables Should Diabetics Avoid?

High-starch vegetables like potatoes, peas, corn, etc should be avoided as they spike blood sugar levels.

Are pickles good for diabetics?

Yes, pickles are considered to be healthy and helpful for a person with diabetes. With type 1 or type 2 diabetes, pickles can be added to the diet chart. However, it would be vital to eat them in moderation so that they do not lead to any spikes in sugar levels. They are great options for people with diabetes as they contain less than 2 grams of carbs in a 100-gram serving. The lower the carbs, the better the food is for a person living with diabetes.

Does cucumber lower blood pressure?

Yes, cucumbers are known to have a positive and healthy effect on blood pressure levels. Since they are high in potassium, cucumbers and cucumber water can enrich the body by providing them with more potassium, thus effectively lowering blood pressure levels. 100-200ml of cucumber juice is also known to have great effects on BP levels.

What happens to your body when you eat cucumbers?

Cucumbers are very low in calories and are high in vitamins and minerals. Additionally, cucumbers are also high in water content making them great to consume during summer months. Eating cucumbers can have many health benefits. It can help with weight loss, hydration of the body, better digestive process, and also lower blood sugar levels with better management of diabetes-related symptoms.

Does cucumber have sugar?

No, the amount of sugar present in cucumber is negligible. In approximately 100 grams of cucumber (almost 1 cucumber), only 1.7 grams of sugar is present. This would mean that eating this vegetable will lead to no spikes in the blood glucose reading. It has approximately 4-5 grams of carbs and has a very low glycemic index making it diabetic-friendly.

Does cucumber lower blood sugar?

Yes, cucumber is known to be one of the most effective plants that can help reduce sugar levels in the body. Additionally, the consumption of cucumber is also associated with a lowered risk of hypoglycemia during a low-sugar episode. This means that the regular consumption of cucumbers can help moderate blood sugar levels within the body more effectively

References

  • https://www.webmd.com/diet/health-benefits-cucumber#1

Disclaimer

This website's content is provided only for educational reasons and is not meant to be a replacement for professional medical advice. Due to individual differences, the reader should contact their physician to decide whether the material is applicable to their case.