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Introduction

Beans are an excellent choice for diabetes. It offers a wide range of nutritional, and health advantages. It is a diabetic superfood that is rich in minerals, vitamins, fiber, and antioxidants. Beans tops the list of diabetic friendly foods. It helps in the prevention of disease. Read this article to know more about the health benefits of beans, their nutritional value, and the right types of beans that you should consume.

Can A Diabetic Eat Beans

Nutritional Value of beans

A half cup serving of beans contains 15 grams of carbohydrates, 125 calories, 0 grams to 3 grams of fat, and 7 grams of protein when cooked.

Beans contain several types of essential minerals, and vitamins that includes:

  • folate
  • potassium
  • iron
  • magnesium, and
  • calcium

Varieties of beans

Beans comes in several different varieties in the market. Some of the popular ones being:

  • black beans
  • kidney beans
  • navy beans
  • white beans
  • chickpeas
  • pinto beans
  • Lima beans

Advantages of Beans

Beans are a brilliant, and affordable source of protein, fiber, and minerals. Adding beans to a meal can help people keep their blood sugar levels stable and their body healthy. The following section discusses about the benefits of beans for a diabetic.

Carbohydrates

Unlike simple carb foods that causes rush of glucose in the body, beans have complex carbs that digests slowly in the stomach and provides a steady supply of glucose to the body. Due to slow digestion, and absorption in the body, it aids in stabilizing the levels of blood sugar for a longer time.

This action gives a feeling of fullness to the person and so prevents eating of calorie dense foods that can aggravate difficult diabetic symptoms in a person. Beans are a low Glycemic Index food that makes it ideal for diabetes. Consumption of this food doesn’t lead to sudden increase in sugar levels in the blood.

Fiber

Beans are a healthy source of protein, and fiber that not just regulates blood glucose levels in the body, but also lower the impact of “high-GI” foods on it. The high amount of dietary fiber in this food slows down the speed of its digestion in the body. Furthermore, eating fiber rich foods have various other benefits on the health. It helps in lowering the chances of heart ailment, obesity, and stroke in a person and enhances blood cholesterol levels and obesity that are potential difficulties of diabetes.

Protein

Beans are loaded with plant-based protein that are broken down by the body into glucose to produce energy. High-protein foods like beans keeps your stomach fuller for a longer time, and reduces the chances of obesity, and overeating. Unlike other protein dense foods, beans are an inexpensive, low-calorie and protein rich food that makes it healthy inclusion to the diet.

Vitamins

Beans are also rich in various types of essential vitamins. They have no trans-fat, cholesterol, and salt that makes them effective at reducing possibilities of diabetes.

Side effects

Don’t over-consume beans as it can cause you gas or bloating. Baked beans are not a good option as it contains a lot of simple carbs (that digest quickly), calories and added sugar. It is not a healthy choice for people especially diabetics.

How to add beans to the diet?

Beans are a versatile food that can be added in variety of ways to enjoy it. You can add them in rice, salads, vegetable curry, burgers, veg patties, sandwiches etc. Eating them in raw form is very healthy. To avoid experiencing bloating or gas, soak them in water, and keep for overnight.

Though, you may be tempted to eat it as it is easy to prepare compared to cooking raw beans, but it contains excess amounts of sugar, and salt. This makes it hard to digest and has very less nutritional content. If you have no other option but to eat baked beans, then always check the nutrition label specifically the total sugar content, and carbohydrate of the canned / baked bean before you buy it. Go for the brands that have comparatively low sugar and fat content and high carbs, and fiber.  Always wash them thoroughly before you eat as it will remove the salt from it and make it healthier for you.

Conclusion

Beans are a versatile, and high-nutrient superfood that have plenty of nutrients to improve the health of a diabetic. It is a low fat, high protein, high fiber, and low GI food that effectively controls blood glucose levels in a diabetic person.  It is suggested to talk to your doctor, to learn the right way for inclusion of beans to the diet.

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