Is Pumpkin Good For Diabetes
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Is Pumpkin Good For  Diabetics?

While hollowed out Jack-o'-lanterns on Halloween have given pumpkins a recall value that transcends age, race and culture, pumpkins are known to pack in some amazing health benefits. Pumpkin is one of the finest sources of vitamin A and boasts powerful antioxidants that help in building immunity.

Widely regarded as a vegetable, pumpkin is a variety of winter squash. From the botanical point of view, pumpkin, however, is a fruit. In India, pumpkin is popularly known as Kaddu or Kashifal. The Indian pumpkin has found its way into the recipe of several ayurvedic medicines. It has been accorded the status of national vegetable. Pumpkin is not just about making the best pies and latte. In Indian households, pumpkin is cooked in oil and consumed boiled as well. Pumpkin also serves as an accompaniment in traditional sweets and is used exclusively to make popular variants of Petha.

is pumpkin good for diabetics
pumpkin for diabetics

Nutrition Profile

From a nutritional point of view, pumpkins cover a range of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and fiber. Data provided by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) suggests a cup of cooked pumpkin (around 250 grams) provides about 50 calories of energy. Pumpkins are extremely low in fat and have more than 90 percent of their weight in water. The best part is that there is no trace of cholesterol in a pumpkin. That is good news for people with diabetes who are exposed to the risk of cardiovascular diseases.

100 grams of a serving of pumpkin will have the following nutrition profile:

Carbohydrates   6.5 grams        
Sugars           1.36 grams      
Dietary fiber   0.5 grams        
Fat             0.1 grams        
Saturated       0.005 grams      
Monounsaturated 0.01 grams      
Protein         1.0 grams        
Vitamin A       369 micrograms  
Vitamin B1       0.05 milligrams  
Vitamin B2       0.110 milligrams
Vitamin B3       0.6 milligrams  
Vitamin B5       0.298 milligrams
Vitamin B6       0.061 milligrams
Vitamin C       9 milligrams    
Vitamin E       0.6 milligrams  
Calcium         21 milligrams    
Iron             0.8 milligrams  
Magnesium       12 milligrams    
Phosphorous     44 milligrams    
Potassium       340 milligrams  
Sodium           1 milligram      
Zinc             0.32 milligrams  

Glycemic Index of Pumpkin

Pumpkin has a high GI (75) but a low GL (only 3). (7). This means that as long as you limit yourself to a single serving of pumpkin, it should have little effect on your blood sugar levels.

Benefits of Pumpkin

Several studies have proven the effectiveness of pumpkins for people with diabetes. They can be highly resourceful in managing blood sugars and can prevent further complications of the condition.

Positive effects on blood sugar

This fruit is a rich source of vitamins and minerals. But, it is also high in its carb count. Generally, foods with a higher carb content can lead to a higher glycemic index. Pumpkin, however, has the unique quality of being high in dietary fiber. Approximately 100 grams of pumpkin will consist of 10% dietary fiber. This, along with the presence of magnesium can help counter the effects of the high glycemic index eventually leading to better management of blood sugar levels

Treatment of type 2 diabetes

It has been shown that pumpkins can help reduce blood sugar levels due to the components and nutrients in them.

Pumpkin seeds

If not the whole fruit, pumpkin seeds can also be consumed and are helpful in the management of diabetes. Pumpkin seeds are high in magnesium and are known to be useful in reduce sugar levels.

Heart health

The intake of pumpkins is also associated with positive and good heart health. This is due to the generous dose of magnesium. Mg can also lower the levels of triglycerides in the body.

Low calorie

Deemed to be ‘low-calorie superheroes’ as they are devoid of any cholesterol.

Regulation of bowel movement

Besides helping regulate bowel movement, pumpkin fiber is known to slow down the rate at which sugar is absorbed into the bloodstream. Cooked pumpkin is known to soothe the digestive tract. Good digestion is the key to keeping fit with diabetes.

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Benefits of Pumpkin for Diabetes

So, is pumpkin good for diabetes? If you are faced with this question, remember that pumpkins are great at not just regulating blood sugar levels but also come with remarkable nutritional benefits that double up as wholesome food habits. 

  • Research has shown pumpkins help lower high blood pressure. Bear this in mind if you are wondering, ‘can a diabetics eat pumpkin?’
  • Dietary intake of pumpkins has revealed it to be gentle on the heart. This is linked to the generous dose of magnesium found in pumpkins. Magnesium also aids in lowering triglycerides, which are known to impact the heart badly. 
  • Pumpkins are devoid of any cholesterol and have been labelled as “low-calorie superheroes”.
  • An average adult requires a daily dose of 25 grams to 38 grams of fibre. With one cup of pumpkin, you get 3 grams of dietary fibre. 
  • Besides helping regulate bowel movement, pumpkin fibre is known to slow down the rate at which sugar is absorbed in the bloodstream. 
  • Cooked pumpkin is known to soothe the digestive tract. A good digestion is the key to keeping fit in diabetes. 
  • Studies have shown pumpkins to work on the insulin producing capacity of the body, aiding in regulating blood sugar. 
  • Antioxidants in its seeds are a great immunity booster and are an integral part of pumpkin diabetes treatment

Pumpkin for Diabetics

It is often asked, are pumpkin seeds good for diabetes? Tests conducted on mice fed on pumpkin revealed reduced dependence on insulin administration. This was linked to their ability to start producing more of natural insulin. Since then, studies have proven pumpkin to improve glucose tolerance. 

Pumpkin is beneficial in maintaining desired glucose levels, as indicated by Glycemic Load (GL) and Glycemic Index (GI). Pumpkin ranks high at 75 on the GI scale but registers a substantially low GL at just 3. This essentially means, pumpkin, when taken in moderation, actually assists in regulating blood sugar levels. The dietary fibre in every serving of pumpkin enhances digestive health, which in turn is helpful in diabetes. Also know about Indian diabetes diet.

Which brings us to the question: Can diabetics eat pumpkin? Yes ,pumpkin is good for diabetes .Pumpkin seeds are a potent source of magnesium and Omega-3 fatty acids. But do not overdose on its seeds. Also read about sugar free fruits.

Pumpkin Recipes for Diabetics

Most parts of a pumpkin are edible. Even the flowers and the leaves are used in several cuisines in South America, Africa and Asia as ingredients or for garnishing. There are many ways to consume pumpkin. 

  • As an edible item, pumpkin can be easily consumed after being cooked in oil. You can cook pumpkin in gravy or have a dry sautéed version.
  • The ideal way to have pumpkin is by boiling it and straining it. You can sprinkle it with salt and pepper for a tastier meal.
  • Pumpkin can be used in sambar, a variety of lentils, and cooked with an assortment of vegetables. It can also be used to prepare tasty soups.
  • While pumpkins retain most of their nutritional benefits in canning, canned pumpkin has more fibre than home-cooked or boiled pumpkin.
  • Sweets such as halwa and petha and desserts such as pies are a great way to enjoy your pumpkin, but they are less healthy.


Pumpkin is good for regulating blood sugar levels and also offers many nutritional benefits. It is a good source of vitamin A and contains powerful antioxidants that help in building immunity. It is low in calories, has negligible fat, and more than 90% of its weight is water. There is no cholesterol in a pumpkin, making it even more suitable for people with diabetes. Also know about prediabetes diet.


Is pumpkin good for diabetes?

Yes, pumpkin is good for diabetes even though the pumpkin glycemic index is 75, the overall glycemic load is 3. This means that sticking to a single portion or a slice of pumpkin will not significantly raise blood sugar levels. It may also

Is pumpkin seeds good for diabetes?

A person with diabetes has to limit their intake of food and has to be careful about the kind of diet plan that they would be following. Due to a lot of food options being restricted, trying to add newer and tastier food items to the diet chart would then become important. The relationship between pumpkin for diabetes has been explored by several experts. Pumpkin seeds, too, have certain benefits that can be explored. The high magnesium content in pumpkin seeds can make them a good choice for daily consumption and can have a positive effect on diabetes. 

These seeds are equipped with essential vitamins and many nutrients that can improve blood sugar levels. Additionally, they also work well to improve the health of the heart, bones, immune system, etc. They also provide antioxidants, magnesium, fiber, healthy fats, and zinc. The consumption of pumpkin seeds would also result in a lowered risk for complications associated with diabetes such as heart conditions.

What's the Glycemic Index of pumpkin?

The glycemic index of a pumpkin is 75. However, the glycemic load of a pumpkin is 3. This means that a pumpkin can only be problematic for a person with diabetes if it is consumed excessively. A single portion of the pumpkin would not raise the blood sugar levels in the body. So, to answer the question - is pumpkin good for diabetics? – one would have to maintain strict control over the portion and amount of pumpkin they are consuming.

Is pumpkin good for diabetes type 2?

Certain studies have proven that a pumpkin contains certain compounds that could benefit a person with type 2 diabetes. This fruit can be consumed in different forms – one can make a vegetable out of it, pie, puree, and can also consume pumpkin seeds. It is enriched with multiple micronutrients and can lower the complications associated with diabetes. People with T2D can have smaller portions of a pumpkin and can reap the benefits as it will not end up raising their blood sugar levels by a lot. The presence of polysaccharides and puerarin in pumpkins can help to lower blood sugar levels and can also help to prevent the onset of diabetes

 Does pumpkin increase blood sugar?

A single portion of a pumpkin would not end up raising the blood sugar level to a great extent. Since the glycemic index pumpkin is 75 but it has a low glycemic load, it will not end up raising the levels of blood sugar as high.




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.