Best Non-Starchy, Diabetes-Friendly Vegetables to Add to your Diet

Published on
By : dLife Editors

It is important that people with diabetes endeavor to maintain a low blood sugar level as much as possible, therefore, including non-starchy vegetables in their meal plan is a perfect thing to consider.

Vegetables not only add flavor, texture and bright colors to your food, they also supply your body with the essential nutrients it needs to stay healthy. Vegetables are rich in minerals, vitamins, phytochemicals, dietary fiber, and antioxidants.

They also contain enough water to help you stay hydrated and boost your metabolism. They have been considered an excellent option for patients with diabetes because they are low in calories, and low in carbohydrate content.

Vegetables can be broadly grouped into two categories; the starchy and the non-starchy vegetables. While the starchy vegetable may be considered perfect for those without diabetes because of the nutrients they contain, they can be considered as a not so good option for people living with diabetes because they contain a higher amount of carbohydrates, which tend to easily raise the blood sugar levels after consumption.

Non-starchy vegetables

Like other vegetables, non-starchy veggies are rich in essential nutrients like vitamins, minerals, and some other vital nutrients like antioxidants and phytochemicals.

Consuming this group of vegetables will help you stay full and satisfied until your next meal, making them a great option for replacing simple snacks and junk foods.

Eating enough non-starchy vegetables regularly will not only help maintain diabetes but will also help reduce the risk of developing the condition as well as other chronic health conditions, including cancer and obesity.

How Much Non-Starchy Vegetable Can You Eat?

Dedicating half of your food to non-starchy vegetables is recommended for diabetes patients as well as to prevent diabetes. You should try to consume at least five portions of vegetables and fruit daily, and it is advisable to make at least three of the portions non-starchy vegetables.

The List of Best Non-Starchy Vegetables

Root vegetables:

    • Swede
    • Radishes
    • Turnip
    • Celeriac
    • Carrots
    • Leafy Vegetables
    • Kale
    • Cabbage
    • Choy
    • Watercress
    • Spinach
    • Rocket
    • Lettuce
    • Brussels Sprouts

Squashes:

    • Squash
    • Pumpkin
    • Cucumber
    • Zucchini or Courgette

Stalk Vegetables:

    • Spring onions
    • Leeks
    • Celery
    • Asparagus

Others:

    • Tomato
    • Pepper
    • Mushroom
    • Cauliflower
    • Broccoli
    • Bean Sprouts
    • Aubergine
    • Okra
    • Eggplant

Non-Starchy Vegetables and Food Hygiene

As much as vegetables are recognized as a healthy part of a diet, practicing proper food hygiene is advisable to minimize chances of food poisoning.

Wash fresh vegetables properly before preparing and eating them to remove all traces bacteria and toxins.  When possible, try to eat organic vegetables.

Non-Starchy Vegetables for people with Diabetes

Vegetables are essential for diabetes patients. Cells that are damaged in our body can result in developing complications.  Adequate amounts of vegetables are needed for the protection of the cells as well as maintaining the blood vessels.

One of the strongest defenses against complications is vegetables, and a plentiful supply of non-starchy vegetables is recommended for people living with diabetes.

An essential feature of low carbohydrate diets is non-starchy vegetables. Since less starchy foods feature low carbohydrate diets, non-starchy vegetables are good sources of fiber without the presence of high carbs which is often associated with starchy meals.

Sources

1. Cespedes, Andrea.  (July 18, 2017). Which Vegetables Boost the Metabolism? Retrieved  from https://www.livestrong.com/article/322563-what-vegetables-boost-the-metabolism/

2. American Diabetes Association. (August 24, 2017). Non-starchy vegetables. Retrieved from http://www.diabetes.org/food-and-fitness/food/what-can-i-eat/making-healthy-food-choices/non-starchy-vegetables.html

3. Neithercott, Tracey.  (August 2011). Eating Colorful Food Has Health Benefits.  Retrieved from http://www.diabetesforecast.org/2011/aug/eating-colorful-food-has-health-benefits.html

4. Axe, 2017. 20 Ultimate High-Fiber Foods. Retrieved from https://draxe.com/high-fiber-foods/