is sweet potato good for diabetes
Nutrition

Is Sweet Potato Good for Diabetes?

Sweet potato is considered one of the most nutritious vegetables you can get out there. If eaten in moderation, sweet potato can be highly beneficial for you. It could help you manage diabetes and control glucose levels because of its high fibre content. Can diabetics eat sweet potatoes? You can eat sweet potatoes daily even if you have diabetes. Sweet potato is also good to taste. This vegetable is filled not only with nutrients but also medicinal benefits.

Nutritional Value

Sweet potato is  high in fibre and rich in antioxidants (beta carotene) and helps in increasing Vitamin A levels.

100 grams of Sweet Potato contains-

  • Water: 77%
  • Fat: 0.1grams
  • Fibre: 3 grams
  • Sugar: 4.2 grams
  • Carbs: 20.1 grams
  • Proteins: 1.6 grams 
  • Calories: 86

Sweet potato also contains

  • Vitamin C
  • Potassium
  • Manganese
  • Vitamin B6
  • Vitamin B5
  • Vitamin E
  • Chlorogenic Acid
  • Anthocyanins

With carbohydrates comprising 37 grams per 100 grams of this vegetable, it is the most significant nutrient with 5 grams of natural sugar and 4 grams fibre. A big baked sweet potato will provide you with around 3.6 grams of protein. So, can diabetics eat sweet potatoes? Going by these nutritional facts, the answer would be yes.

Different Varieties of Sweet Potato

The several varieties of sweet potatoes include:

  • Beauregard: This is the most common type of sweet potato that you might get in the market.
  • Jewel: The colour of this sweet potato is copper skin and has light-coloured orange flesh.
  • Red garnet: This sweet potato has reddish-orange skin and a more savoury taste, but the sweetness is the least in this variety.
  • Covington: This variety has orange skin with dark brown spots and malty sweetness.
  • Centennial: This variety of sweet potatoes has a copper-orange skin.
  • Hernandez: This variety has moist orange flesh and is sweeter than Beauregards.
  • O’Henry: This sweet potato is tan skin-coloured and has a sweet taste. It has a firm, dense, and creamy texture.
  • Jersey: This sweet potato is tan skin-coloured, has white flesh, and is moderately sweet. It has a dry texture and can maintain its shape while getting fried.
  • Japanese white: This sweet potato has dark purple skin and creamy yellow flesh; the colour of this variety tends to get deeper when cooked. They are starchy, moist, dense, and sweet. 
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How do Sweet Potatoes affect Blood Sugar?

Eating in moderation is the key when you have diabetes. This vegetable is high in fibre, antioxidants and minerals. Because sweet potatoes have high carbohydrates, they have the potential to spike your sugar levels to new heights. The fibre of this vegetable helps in slowing down this process. A high GI containing sweet potato, like Orange sweet potato, should be avoided or eaten in minimum quantities because these can boost your sugar levels compared to any other variety. So, is sweet potato good for diabetes? Yes, it is, provided that you plan a proper diet.

Benefits to eating Sweet Potatoes with Diabetes

Sweet potatoes are considered one of the most nutritious foods in tropical and subtropical areas. Due to the high content of fibre and magnesium in sweet potatoes, it is exceptionally beneficial for people with type 2 diabetes; these two nutrients help stabilise blood sugar and help lower insulin resistance. Some varieties of sweet potatoes are beneficial for people who want their obesity and blood sugar control. This vegetable is a good source of protein that makes you complete for a long time. It also has a good amount of iron which helps make oxygen and transport nutrients.

Risks to eating Sweet Potatoes with Diabetes

Is sweet potato good for diabetic patients? For people with diabetes, the variety of sweet potato makes little difference in how safe it is to consume. People with diabetes should limit this vegetable. Sweet potatoes should always be eaten in moderation; otherwise, they may harm your health. Sweet potatoes have many carbohydrates in them, which increases blood sugar levels and may harm your health.

Bottomline

Can diabetic patients eat sweet potatoes? Starchy food items like potatoes are usually not recommended for people who have diabetes. But sweet potatoes are often used to treat heart diseases by lowering blood cholesterol levels. Sweet potato is filled with vitamins, antioxidants, and minerals and is considered a healthy diet for people with diabetes. They also help lower blood sugar levels because of the slow-release fibre and carbohydrates. Despite these advantages, having this "superfood" in moderation is recommended. 

FAQs

Sweet potato benefits for diabetes

Sweet potatoes are one of the most nutritious vegetables grown in different regions of the world. However, whether they would be suitable for people with illnesses and conditions like diabetes would be a question. The sweet potato diabetes relation would have to be explored at the individual level before beginning the consumption of this vegetable. There are several benefits associated with the consumption of sweet potatoes:

  • It is nutritious in Vitamin A, Vitamin B6, Vitamin C, Potassium, Fiber, Zinc, Magnesium, etc
  • While they are high in carbs, they have a low glycemic index. 
  • For a person with type 2 diabetes, sweet potatoes can be beneficial as they can help with insulin resistance and can also stabilize blood sugar levels.

Can diabetics eat sweet potato

How a particular food is consumed would be an important factor to consider for a person with diabetes. At times the carbs and overall glycemic index of food might change depending on how it is being eaten. Not enough studies have been conducted to check how the consumption of sweet potatoes might play a role in the overall blood sugar spike. However, the limited information available does suggest that sweet potatoes can be healthy when consumed in moderation. This vegetable is high in antioxidants and many vitamins. The sweet potato benefits for diabetes might help.

Are sweet potatoes good for diabetics type 2?

The higher levels of magnesium and fiber in sweet potatoes can make them a good addition to the diet chart of a person with type 2 diabetes. Owing to the high levels of magnesium and fiber in this vegetable, there is lesser insulin resistance, and higher stability regarding blood sugar levels is observed. These potatoes have a lower glycemic index and also contain more fiber than regular white potatoes.

Can sweet potato increase blood sugar?

Yes, sweet potatoes are known to increase blood sugars in the body. Therefore, to check “Is sweet potato good for diabetes?” you may have to look at it individually by checking your sugar levels before and after the consumption of this vegetable. The spike in the blood sugars often happens due to the high levels of carbs. However, this does not mean that you will have to completely restrict the consumption of this vegetable. You can choose to have it in moderate amounts limiting the frequency thus not witnessing a huge rise in the sugar levels. Boiling this vegetable would lower its glycemic index even more.

What's the Glycemic Index of sweet potato?

The sweet potato glycemic index is 54 – this falls in the medium range. What is even better is that the glycemic load of this vegetable is 11.3. The values are for ½ cup of sweet potatoes. Boiling these vegetables would help lower the GI even more. The more you boil it, the lower the GI falls. Therefore, try to consume sweet potatoes after spending a significant amount of time boiling them. Avoid having them in the fried form.

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