People with diabetes have to be very specific about their food choices. The wrong type of food might cause an increased level of blood sugar. For diabetics, it becomes essential that their blood sugar levels are maintained. Severe cases of diabetes can result in some serious health issues like vision impairment and heart problems. One way how Diabetics can control their blood sugar levels is by monitoring their diet. Monitored diets can prevent unwanted increments in sugar levels in the bloodstream. In this blog, we will review the food choice of pumpkin for diabetics.
If we talk about pumpkin, we can’t miss what being delicious means. The perfect savor of pumpkin disappoints no one. It can be consumed as a fruit, pie, vegetable, or puree. Even pumpkin seeds are highly nutritious and delicious. The health benefits offered by pumpkins are countless. It is loaded with essential nutrients like vitamins and micronutrients.
Pumpkin: Nutritional Profile
One cup of pumpkin (boiled, crushed, or frained), with any flavors added, contains the following nutrients. One cup of pumpkin (which is equal to 235 grams) contains 1.76 grams of protein, 12 grams of carbohydrates, 2.7 grams of fiber, and 0.17 grams of fats. The calories offered by the same amount of pumpkin are 49 calories. One cup of pumpkin contains zero grams of cholesterol. Pumpkin is a great food when it comes to its richness of vitamins. Pumpkin is rich in vitamin A, vitamin B6, vitamin C, and vitamin E. It also provides iron, copper, potassium, iron, phosphorus, magnesium, and thiamine.
Pumpkin for diabetics
The rating system of the glycemic index is crucial when choosing the right kind of foods in your diet, especially if you are diabetic. Increased levels of sugar in the bloodstream can cause a lot of medical complications. If the sugar levels are not monitored in diabetics, the patients might face medical conditions like vision impairment, nerve damage, and heart disease.
The glycemic index relates to how the consumed foods affect the blood sugar levels in your system. Glycemic index values tell us if a particular good can be consumed without resulting in adverse effects. Low GI value means they are slowly digested, and they fail to cause a sudden rise in blood sugar levels. On the contrary, high GI value corresponds to foods that are digested rapidly in the system. Because of their quick digestion, they tend to cause a sudden rise in blood sugar levels in the system. Let us discover if pumpkin for diabetics is a good choice or not.
Another parameter essential for determining food choices for diabetics is Glycemic load. The glycemic load determines a broader picture of sugar levels impacted by our chives of foods. Glycemic Load takes into account the increase in total sugar levels caused by a particular food choice and how quickly the rise is caused by the food choice. We should note here that Glycemic Index and Glycemic load do not determine if the food choices are healthy or not.
Pumpkin: Glycemic Index
Pumpkin has a Glycemic Index value of 75. Foods with a GI value of 70 and higher are considered to be high GI values and are not optimal for diabetics. This concludes pumpkin for diabetics is not a good option. Here comes the Glycemic load into consideration. Glycemic load values that fall below 10, cause minimal effects on blood sugar levels. When we compare both the parameters, Glycemic inde, and Glycemic Load, we can say Glycemic load is the better way to assess the impact of foods on blood sugar levels. This is because GI doesn’t consider the carb content of the foods. The Glycemic Load value of pumpkin is 3, which is low and safe for diabetics, Hence, we can say that pumpkin for diabetics can be considered. But it is essential that you limit the portions of pumpkin if you are adding pumpkin to your plate. So to enjoy the savors of pumpkin for diabetics, all you have to do is control the portion sizes and you are good to go.
Pumpkin for diabetics: How to add it to your diabetic diet?
The health benefits of pumpkin are numerous but how you are adding pumpkin to your diet can also affect the effects of pumpkin for diabetics. Canned pumpkins are filled with flavors and additives that make them a bad choice for diabetics. They even contain simplified carbs, which are generally avoided in medical conditions like diabetes. Pumpkin lattes and flavored food items too should not be consumed if you are diabetic. The reason is that they are less nutritious than raw pumpkins. Canned purees, too are not an option for people with diabetes. Canning makes a difference in nutritional content, calories, and carbs when compared with fresh ones.
The best way to add pumpkin to your diet is by consuming it by doing minimal alterations. Homemade purees can be one healthy way to consume pumpkins. Pumpkin smoothie, pumpkin soup, and pumpkin puree with the least addition of flavors are the best ways to include pumpkin in your diet. Pumpkin puree can also be added to curry, oatmeal, pudding, or yogurt, which makes it a healthier food option. Pumpkin seeds too can be consumed after roasting them. The pumpkin seeds, after roasting, can be consumed directly or can be added to soups, cereal, and pudding. Fresh pumpkins make the best choice over the other available options.
Benefits of pumpkin for diabetics
If we ignore the GI and GL values of pumpkin and focus on other potential benefits pumpkin adds to diabetic patients, it has shown promising results concerning diabetes. Pumpkins increased the production of insulin, resulting in lowered requirements of insulin needs in an animal study on mice. One study claims that compounds present in pumpkin (trigonelline and nicotinic acid) potentially have effects of lowering blood sugar and preventing diabetes.
Other Health Benefits of Pumpkin
We have discussed how pumpkin is highly beneficial for diabetes. But it is wrong to think pumpkin is only beneficial for the medical condition of diabetes. Let us discover some of the other health benefits of pumpkin in the upcoming part.
1. Antioxidants in pumpkin
Pumpkin is rich in different antioxidants that prove to be extremely beneficial for the body. Antioxidants that are found in pumpkins are alpha-carotene, beta-carotene, and beta-cryptoxanthin. Antioxidants are effective in eliminating oxidative stress in the body. Oxidative stress is caused by the presence of oxidants in the body in abundance. Free radicals are extremely harmful to the body.
2. Immunity enhancement
Pumpkin is loaded with vitamins and its enrichment of vitamins can enhance the immunity of our system. Pumpkin is a good source of vitamin A, whose deficiency is proven to cause a decline in immunity. Vitamin A helps the body to fight against infections. Another vitamin linked with immunity enhancement is Vitamin C. Pumpkin also is rich in Vitamin C helps with the efficiency of white blood cells and supports the healing of wounds. Iron, folate, and Vitamin E are some other nutrients found in pumpkins that support the immune system of the body.
3. Pumpkin for Weight Loss
Pumpkins for diabetics have been discussed here thoroughly; one of the very interesting health benefits of pumpkins is weight loss. The fewer calories and richness in nutrients make it one of the good choices for weight loss. The fiber content of pumpkin makes you feel full for longer, which suppresses hunger. Pumpkins contain almost no cholesterol and fats which makes them a good choice for weight loss.
4. Heart health benefits of Pumpkin
The nutritional richness of pumpkin is directly linked with heart benefits. Its richness of potassium, vitamin C, and fiber has been associated with improving heart health. For example, diets with high potassium content result in lowered blood pressure, and the risks of strokes are reduced. Antioxidants in pumpkins also help in controlling the oxidation of bad cholesterol. Bad cholesterol (LDL cholesterol) after oxidation, increases the chances of medical complications linked to the heart.
Wrapping It Up
Pumpkins can be added as a nutritive food choice to the diet plan. The delicious taste of pumpkin can be consumed in different ways. Along with good taste, pumpkin is equally nutritious. The health benefits, as discussed in the blog, make it one of the best food choices. Diabetics often have to limit their diet for sugar level management.
Regarding diabetics pumpkin can be consumed by diabetics but in a controlled manner. The portions of pumpkin in your diet should be limited. Larger portions of pumpkin for diabetics can result in spikes in blood sugar levels. In conclusion, pumpkin can be consumed with no doubt (with essential monitoring) if you are diabetic. We hope you are no longer in doubt if pumpkin for diabetics is a good option.