A medical investigative study on the domain of the right kind of diet for diabetic patients has revealed a report published online on Oct 22, 2012, that proclaimed the benefits of incorporating beans or lentil into the diet. These beans or lentils when combined with food items with a low glycemic index can be highly beneficial for people who are suffering from diabetes. Beans are packed with a high content of protein, helps to reduce the blood sugar response and also control the problem of blood pressure.(1)
Beans are food with rich fiber content and can help people manage their diabetic conditions like never before. The American Diabetes Association has asked people with diabetes to include beans several times in their meals every week. However, if you are using canned beans, be sure to use ones that have a minimum or no sodium added to it.
Effects on Beans on Blood Sugar
Amongst the dietary items that are suitable for people with diabetes, beans are often considered to be a superfood. The American Diabetes Association has given beans the first position. There are different forms of beans that you can eat like kidney beans, black beans, white beans, navy beans, lima beans, chickpeas and also pinto beans.
Beans contain a complex form of carbohydrates, and its breaking down is a time taking process. Hence the process of introduction of glucose into the bloodstream is a slow one as compared to eating other forms of carbohydrates. This helps to check sudden sugar fluctuations. The fiber in the beans also helps to lower the effect of the food items that has a high glycemic index. Fiber slows down the digestion process and the speed of breaking down of food items. This is how with beans in your diet you get a slow and steady supply of energy and no sudden glucose spurts. Beans also contain high protein content which is quite difficult to break down. Hence, the digestion process continues for a longer time and it releases lower glucose levels into the body.(1)
Nutritional Value of Beans
The nutrition value of one bean might vary from the other. Remember if you eat about 1/3rd cup of cooked bean, it can be considered to substitute for one starch for a diabetic diet. This provides about 80 calories and also intake of 15 gm of carbohydrates. If you are having beans in exchange of animal protein, you can eat about half a cup of cooked beans. Beans are considered to be equal to meat in terms of providing carbohydrates but they are also a great source of protein and unlike meat have no saturated fat that can lead to cardiac problems. Hence, if you have diabetes include as much beans in your diet so that you can get all the protein but stay away from saturated fats which come from meat. Patients suffering from diabetes often have a tendency of developing cardiac problems that can get further enhanced by saturated fats from animal proteins.(2)
People who are suffering from diabetes and are not used to higher intake of fiber in their food must go slow with the intake of beans. Eat small quantities at a time because digesting them is not an easy thing. As an adverse effect, they might lead to indigestion, gas and bloating. However, one must make it a point to include them in their diet when suffering from diabetes in order to control and maintain the blood sugar levels and also get the complete benefit of this nutrient filled food.
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