Nutrition

Are Mushrooms Good For People With Diabetes

Reviewed by

Shifa Fathima

On a scale of 1-10, if you ask a person with diabetes how important a proper and controlled diet is in their lives, they would say “11”. Diabetes is a condition wherein blood sugar levels in the body go haywire and create havoc. These blood sugars are affected by several factors like – stress, exercise, insulin injections, and other illnesses, but most of all, they are affected by the food one eats. This is why a significant amount of time in the day goes into planning what food to make and how that food might affect the blood sugar levels

Today, there are plenty of food items available in the stores, organic markets, supermarkets, vegetable shops, etc are plenty. Canned food, packaged food, food in the form of liquid, you name it and the option is right there. Mushrooms are one such option that people are using in multiple food items these days. Kinds of pasta, noodles, salads, gravy veg, mixed veg, etc. 

However, are mushrooms good for diabetes? This would be an important question to answer as a person with diabetes needs to maintain control over their diet. 

Are Mushrooms Good for Diabetes?

Many experts do suggest that mushrooms are good for people with diabetes as they have low carbs. While there is no mushroom diabetes cure link, there is nothing to suggest that mushrooms are harmful or cause problems to the blood sugars of a person with diabetes. Not only low carbs, but mushrooms also have a high nutritional value along with high fiber content. One other major advantage to eating mushrooms is the low-calorie content it has. 

Mushrooms find use in several food recipes these days. Owing to its good taste, it is also an excellent alternative to meat and non-vegetarian food. It is known to fulfill the requirements of a person with diabetes to the T! How amazing is that! 

Another reason why mushrooms might be healthy for people with diabetes is that they enhance the prebiotics in the body. Prebiotics are essentially derived from certain foods and they enable the activity of the microorganisms in the gut. This boosts the growth of the beneficial bacteria in the lining of the stomach. 

Nutrition

To see is mushroom good for diabetes you will have to thoroughly go through the nutrition profile to see how beneficial a mushroom might be for a person with diabetes. Even though there are several promising aspects that mushrooms do provide, it is best to know the numbers in detail. This will also help you quantify the numeric value of insulin units you might have to take as a bolus. 

Mushrooms are of different types. They might have different looks and tastes, however, the overall nutritional profile remains almost similar throughout. Low sugar content and a low-fat content given among all these varieties of mushrooms.

In approximately 70 grams of mushrooms, you will get the following nutrition:

  • Calories – 15 
  • Carbs – 2 grams
  • Sugar – 1 gram
  • Protein – 2 grams
  • Fat – 0 grams
  • Vitamin B12 – 22% 
  • Vitamin B3 – 16%
  • Selenium – 12%
  • Phosphorus – 5%

The food is rich in several minerals and vitamins. Many of these are useful for the healthy functioning of the brain. Selenium, which is an antioxidant, is very important in the proper functioning of the thyroid. All of these are indicators of the fact that are mushrooms good for diabetes. 

Glycemic Index and Load

What about the food and ingredients that make the blood sugar levels fluctuate? Yes, it is the sugar and carb content in the food, however, it presents itself in the form of the glycemic index. The glycemic index is a scale that helps us understand how will the food affect your blood sugar levels in terms of raising it and how much. To check is mushroom good for diabetes, checking the GI scale on which mushrooms lie will be of utmost importance. 

To gain an insight into how the GI works, it ranges from the values between 0 and 100. The foods we eat are divided into 3 categories based on their GI

  • Low GI – 1-55
  • Medium GI – 56-69
  • High GI – 70-100

The difference between these is that foods with a low GI will raise the overall blood sugar levels at a slower pace. Contrarily, foods with a higher GI will instantly shoot up your blood sugars. Mushrooms have a supremely low glycemic index ranging from around 10-15. 1 cup or 70 grams of mushrooms will not spike your blood sugar levels making it very safe for someone with diabetes to consume even regularly. 

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Benefits

Can people with diabetes eat mushrooms, however, let us add more reasons and gain a deeper understanding of how beneficial it might be for someone to eat mushrooms? 

  • The presence of many soluble fibers in mushrooms helps to slow down the process of digestion along with lowering the post-meal blood sugars
  • The low GI in mushrooms prevents a spike in the blood sugars. This can also mean that you can check for any signs of hypoglycemia in case of extra insulin (as per regular meals)
  • The high Vitamin B present in mushrooms help prevent the onset of dementia among senior citizens who are living with diabetes
  • Additionally, the higher levels of potassium work to lower the cholesterol in the body which, in turn, helps to reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases that are complications of diabetes.
  • Another major benefit of mushrooms is that since they are rich in vitamins, they can protect against gestational diabetes. Not only is mushroom good for diabetes but also it is good to prevent certain onsets. 
  • Research in animals with T2D also shows that the polysaccharides in mushrooms might improve insulin resistance and reduce tissue damage within the pancreas. 

Uses

Understanding that can we eat mushroom in diabetes is now simple after taking a look at the nutrients and the several benefits it has to offer. With the massive and overall health benefits associated with mushrooms, it may be a good idea to include them in your diet plan. How can you do that? Looking at the variety of mushrooms now available in the market, you can find different uses for them based on their taste and look. You can grill them, roast them, saute them, blend them into a soup, chop them to be a part of a vegetable, etc. 

Mushrooms can also be eaten raw as a part of a salad. Another very clever and famous way of eating mushrooms would be by adding them to the omelet. Since we have seen mushrooms are  good for diabetes, we can also add them to pizzas, pasta, and sandwiches. Using this wide variety of ways wherein you can use mushrooms, you can now lead a healthy life accompanied by good taste!

Bottomline

The primary question that started this article was “is mushroom good for diabetes?” The answer to this question is an undoubted yes. Mushrooms are super rich in Vitamins, and potassium, and are low in calories, carbs, sugars, and fats. All the good qualities that are required for a person with diabetes can be found in mushrooms. Therefore, finding ways to incorporate mushrooms into the food plan and diet would be important. The low GI in mushrooms makes them super safe to consume.

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