Food selection is critical when it comes to managing blood glucose in diabetes. Some diabetics suspects whether they can include tomatoes to their diet. In this post, we will address this concern, and tell you how safe it is to add tomatoes to your healthy diabetes meal.
Nutritional Composition Of Tomatoes
Let us check the nutrition content in one, medium sized whole tomato that weighs around 100 grams.
- Calories: 16
- Sodium: 4miligrams
- Fat: 0.2grams
- Fiber: 1.1grams
- Carbohydrates: 3.5grams
- Sugars: 2.4grams, and
- Protein: 0.8grams
Tomatoes Are Low Calorie, And Carb Food
What makes tomatoes a healthy inclusion in a diabetes meal is its low amounts of calories, and carbohydrates. Let us see the carb, and calorie content in different forms of tomatoes.
A single cherry tomato provides around three calories and 0.5 grams carbs
1 plum tomato has only 2.4 grams carbs, and 11 calories
A single thick tomato slice has 1 gram of carb, and 5 calories and, and
1 cup of chopped tomatoes has 7 grams carb, and 32 calories.
So, you can see tomato is overall a low calorie and low carb food only when it is consumed in a whole form. When you consume it in the form of pieces, then its GI load increases and it makes it unsafe for your diabetes.
Fats in Tomatoes
After carbs, and calories, let us now talk about another important nutrient that is critical for a diabetic. This nutrient is “Fat”. Tomatoes has got very low amounts of fat in it. It is below 1 gram per serving. It has most of the portion filled with water that hydrates the body and aids in digestion.
Protein in Tomatoes
A small tomato just has 1-gram protein, that makes it a low protein vegetable.
Micronutrients in Tomatoes
Now this is the place, where tomatoes excel all other vegetables. It has got plenty of minerals, and vitamins that includes vitamin C, vitamin K, folate, potassium, and vitamin A in it. Tomatoes are ideal for diabetes management as they are loaded with potassium, antioxidants, and lycopene.
It is a low GI food with plenty of essential nutrients and antioxidants like lycopene. Study shows that eating tomato help in the reduction in the risk of getting specific ailments that includes cancer, heart ailments, macular degeneration etc.
Tomatoes and GI Index
Foods that have GI score of 50 or less are considered to be low GI foods. The carbohydrates in these foods when digested by the body, does not abruptly increase the blood glucose levels in the body. Tomato is a low GI food with a glycemic index of 30. This makes it an excellent addition in a diabetes meal.
Benefits of consuming Tomatoes in Diabetes
Lycopene is a pigment that provides red color to tomatoes. It prevents macular degeneration, and reduces the chances of getting heart disease.
Weight management is important for a diabetic as it cause a rise in blood sugar level. Tomatoes, is a low-calorie food. Eating it does not provide excess calories to the body, and so doesn’t lead to weight gain.
Vitamin C, and minerals
The high content of vitamin C in tomatoes helps in wound healing, stronger teeth, and bones, good immunity levels and better iron absorption.
Lycopene helps in the prevention of prostate cancer. It has the ability to increase High Density or healthy cholesterol and lower Low density or bad cholesterol in the body. Lycopene also reduces the levels of oxidized LDL in the body, that can lead to deposition of plaque on the interior walls of the arteries.
Tomatoes are abundant in vitamin A that improves the vision and immunity in a diabetic. Good amounts of vitamin K in this food helps in blood clotting. Presence of potassium aids in reduction of blood pressure in a diabetic.
What is the right way to add Tomatoes In the Diabetes Diet?
Though tomatoes can be eaten in raw, and cooked form, but for a diabetic, it is advised to eat it in raw whole form. This is the healthier way for a diabetic to consume this holy vegetable. Eating it in cooked form or in pieces increases its GI level, and calorie content, that makes it unhealthy inclusion in a diabetes meal.
Tomato is considered to be a healthful addition to the diabetes diet. It provides the much-needed minerals, and vitamins without causing any spike in blood glucose levels. Add this tangy delight to your balanced diet regularly to make it more nutritious, and healthy.