Nutrition

Is Prawns Good for People With Diabetes

Reviewed by

Shifa Fathima

Prawns are common shellfish found across the world. They survive in both fresh and saltwater and are found in cold and warm waters. They feed by filtering nutritious particles out of the water and on algae and tiny planktons. Prawns are usually categorized based on their size and habitat but are all equally nutritious. People with diabetes are sometimes apprehensive about eating prawns. So is prawn good for diabetes? The answer is yes. In fact, prawns might be a great choice for people with diabetes.

Nutrient Value of Prawns

Prawns are rich in multiple nutrients, essential minerals, and antioxidants. Antioxidants prevent oxidative stress, which induces radical cell injury resulting in multiple diseases like flu, cancer, diabetes, obesity, and much more. Consuming prawns might not only help people with diabetes but also prevent the risk of fluctuations in blood sugar levels. Here is the nutrient value of 100 grams of cooked prawns. 

• Calories- 70 kcal 

• Carbohydrates-0.2grams

• Fat- 0.9grams

• Iodine-13 mcg

• Iron-1 milligram

• Protein-15.4g 

• Salt 1-47 grams

• Selenium-30 mcg

• Zinc -1 milligram

Health Benefits of Prawns for People with Diabetes 

The various nutrients in prawns help regulate blood glucose levels. Prawns have low carbohydrates and zero sugar. Thus, consuming them does not alter your glucose levels. This makes them ideal for people with diabetes. Let us find out how? 

1. Synthesis of Insulin

Protein stimulates the synthesis of insulin. This helps regulate blood glucose levels. Moreover, it also helps control insulin levels. Additionally, prawns are high in protein which is a good energy source to prevent fatigue. 

2. Prevents the Risk of Blood Pressure  

Long-term diabetes may increase the chances of fluctuations in blood pressure. The omega 3 fatty acids in prawns can help control cholesterol and triglyceride levels, preventing fat deposits along the blood vessels from blocking blood circulation and preventing blood pressure risk. 

3. Controls Diabetic Neuropathy

Long-term diabetes may damage your nerves resulting in diabetic neuropathy. This results in loss of sensation, pain, and much more. Vitamin B and B12 in prawns help to repair the nerve cells. Moreover, it also helps delay the symptoms of neuropathy. 

4. Prevents Muscle Cramps in Diabetes Individuals 

Muscle cramps and bone pain are other possible side effects of long-term diabetes. The potassium in prawns regulates your body's electrolytes or fluids. This prevents the accumulation of fluid and prevents inflammation and pain in muscles.

5. Strengthens Your Immunity

Diabetes may affect your immune system, making you prone to diseases and infections. The zinc and selenium in prawns help boost your immunity. 

6. Prevents Diabetic Dermopathy 

Diabetic dermopathy is a collective term for skin disorders because of diabetes. It includes rashes,  wrinkling, and discoloration. Prawns have a high content of vitamin E which is an essential compound for skin health.

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What is the Glycemic Index of Prawns?

Glycemic index (GI) is a value to assess the rise in blood sugar levels after eating any food.  They are categorized as low, medium, and high foods. Prawn’s glycemic index (GI) is 0 due to zero sugar and low carbohydrates, making it extremely safe to be consumed by people with diabetes.

Other Health Benefits of Eating Prawns

1. Heart Health

Prawns have an antioxidant called astaxanthin which is found to have anti-inflammatory properties. This helps prevent heart disease. Moreover, the omega 3 fatty acids in prawns help regulate good cholesterol (HDL). It also decreases bad cholesterol or LDL.  An increase in LDL results in fat deposition along the blood vessels, interrupting blood flow. Thus, exerting pressure on blood vessels and the heart causes heart diseases. 

2. Bone Health

Prawns are high in calcium which is a vital component for bone health. Calcium also helps the proper functioning of muscles and nerves. Calcium deficiency can also make you prone to weakness and lethargy, besides making your bones fragile. 

3. Brain Development and Functions

Prawns are high in vitamin B. They also have B12 and folate, vital for the brain and nervous system.  They help synthesize DNA; nerve cells repair and growth. They also help boost memory and prevent congenital or birth deformities. Vitamin B12 deficiency can result in various disorders, including impaired cognitive functions or the ability to think. It also causes memory loss, confusion, and depression. 

4. Weight Loss

Prawns are a rich source of protein. They are also low in calories and fat and contain chitosan, a compound that helps in weight loss. They have properties that make you satiated and prevent overeating. 

Tips For Consuming Prawns

Prawns can be included in your diet in multiple ways. They can be added to soups, salads, and much more. However, it is ideal to avoid fried prawns. These tips can help you if you’ve just added prawns to your diet.

• Prawns can be eaten in various ways. They can be grilled, steamed, fried, and roasted.

• They can be cooked with and without the shell.

• It is recommended to devein the prawns before cooking. The vein may impart a gritty taste

• Prawns get cooked in a few minutes. Therefore, ensure your presence while cooking.

• Overcooking may make prawns hard.

Bottomline

Prawns are an ideal food choice for individuals diagnosed with diabetes. They are low in carbohydrates and have zero sugar content. They also have a low glycemic index, making them highly safe to be consumed by people with diabetes. They also contain antioxidants, protein, omega-3 fatty acids, zinc, selenium, and potassium. Prawns make a great food choice not only for people with diabetes but also for others.

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