Potato is a starchy vegetable. They are a beneficial source of minerals, fiber, and vitamins. Potato is also noted for its high carb content that can increase the sugar levels in the blood. So, being a diabetic, it is safe to eat potatoes? Yes. It is safe to eat potatoes when you include this humble vegetable in your diet it in a healthy way. In this article, we will look at the ways to enjoy potatoes without causing an imbalance in the blood sugar.
Potatoes are a Super Food
Potatoes not just tastes good; they are also a powerhouse of nutrition. It is a versatile food, that can be eaten in a variety of forms. The GI score of potatoes is high, that makes it not a recommended choice for diabetes. But when you incorporate salads, and fiber rich green veggies, then its impact on blood sugar reduces. In this way, it can become a healthy food option for a diabetes. The nutrition content of potatoes makes it an enriching food packed with wholesome goodness.
It has good amounts of vitamin B6, potassium, vitamin C, copper, phosphorus, manganese, dietary fiber, pantothenic acid, and niacin. They are also a rich source of phytonutrients that provides beneficial antioxidants to the body. Diabetes, being an inflammatory disease, is greatly benefited by the anti-inflammatory action of antioxidants in potatoes.
Tips to make Potato Healthy for Diabetics
- Consuming “non-starchy” foods with moderate portions of potatoes will balance out the GI. Combination of potatoes with low-GI foods that provides lean protein, healthful fats, and fiber that aids in balancing the nutritional advantages of a meal. Also, it increases fullness so that you can less of potatoes and regulate blood sugar levels.
- Eating boiled or steamed potatoes with no added salt, sugar, and fat, makes it a healthy addition in diabetes.
- Broiled, a little sautéed, and grilled form of potatoes are also healthy for a diabetic.
- Don’t eat them in a fully mashed, and deep-fried form of potatoes. Eat them whole, as whole potatoes have got low GI than diced, or mashed potatoes.
- Eat potatoes in controlled quantities. Small sized, whole potatoes aids in controlling their portions. By eating them as a whole prevents you from overeating them.
- To enhance the healthy qualities of potatoes, you can add cook them with natural herbs, and spices. Some of the best ones being coriander, cumin, paprika, oregano, thyme, sage, basil, rosemary, and sea salt.
- Avoid shallow fried or deep-fried potatoes as it can cause increase in trans-fat, and saturated content in the body. This can even put a diabetic at a risk of heart disease.
- Another good way to eat them so that it doesn’t cause spike in blood sugar levels, is by cooking whole form of potatoes with fiber-dense vegetables in a little oil. Choose healthy variety of oils for the cooking purpose such as corn oil, olive oil etc.
- Don’t peel the skin of potatoes as it is this part that is loaded with disease-fighting nutrients. The skin of potato has ample amounts of beneficial B vitamins, iron, vitamin C, potassium, calcium, and a few more nutrients. It is rich in fiber that helps in managing cholesterol levels in the body. A medium-sized potato provides four grams of fiber, 926 grams of potassium, and two milligrams of iron.
- When choosing a potato, look for small red potatoes as they are more nutritious than the normal ones. The skin of such potatoes makes it an excellent option for diabetics. It not just provides fiber, but also reduces the rate of its digestion, and absorption in the body.
What should be the ideal portion size for a diabetic?
Starchy foods like potatoes are healthy for diabetic as starch takes more time to breakdown into sugar and thus keep blood sugar levels balanced. Consider the carb content when including potatoes in the diet. According to doctors, the total starch content in your plate should not be more than 1/4th of it. In other words, your meal should contain only 25% of potatoes and rest 75 % of the meal should incorporate fiber, lean protein, and healthy proteins.
Potato is a starchy food that makes it healthy inclusion in diabetes. A diabetic can enjoy these benefits when he incorporates this vegetable in a healthful way. The above-mentioned eating tips, right variety of potato, and healthy cooking way, will make it good for you. Along with this information, it is also advised to consult your nutritionist before you include it in your diabetes diet.