What is the glycemic index of cucumber?

If you have diabetes and have high blood sugar levels, then cucumber is the right fruit for you! It is among one of the lowest GI carb food, which a person with diabetes can consume, without any trouble or side effects.

You can even have the right quantity of this fruit, be it whenever, and it will only be beneficial to you overall.

Cucumber falls under the GI range of 0 – 55, and as we have discussed previously, the food items falling in this category are low in GI and not to hamper blood sugar levels to rise beyond concern.

The Glycemic Index of Cucumber is only 15, which is very low compared to other fruits and food items. They have very low carbohydrate content and do not affect people with diabetes.

Suppose if you use pickled cucumber or mix it with other dishes as part of a recipe, Glycemic Index, and Glycemic Load changes. In that case, let’s dive deep into these and understand all about cucumber, its nutrition, and the daily limit.

What is the Glycemic Index (GI)?

Glycemic Index is a numerical value given to each food item based on how quickly or how slowly, and to what extent the consumption of that food item can give rise to an increase or decrease of glucose into the blood sugar levels.

A high Glycemic index food releases more glucose and helps in providing more energy. In contrast, foods with a low Glycemic index lead to a lesser release of glucose, maintaining a low to normal blood sugar level.

Diabetic patients are always advised to have food with a glycemic value that contributes to their health benefits accordingly.

One such common and well-known food for diabetic patients is – the cucumber. It is said to be a great dietary addition to your diabetic routine. Let us discuss in greater detail about its Glycemic Index and other benefits.

What factors does the Glycemic Index depend on?

The glycemic index of various varieties of foods depends on a lot of factors. The amount of glucose or sugar they add to a body’s blood sugar level is defined and confirmed by such measure.

Certain factors such as the nutrient value, way of cooking, ripeness or rawness, acidity content, amount of fiber, carbohydrate, etc. play a significant role in determining the glycemic index of various food items.

The way your body’s metabolism reacts to a particular food also determines how its glycemic index can influence. Metabolism varies from person to person, and so does the GI count and its effects.

Categorizing Glycemic index of foods:

There is a 0 – 100 leveled scale that measures the GI in foods and categorizes them into low, high, or medium.

–         Food items ranging from 0 – 55 are among low GI food.

–         Food items ranging from 56 – 69 are medium GI foods.

–         Food items ranging from 70 or above are among the high GI food categories.

GI in food varies with carbohydrate content and the same help in determining its category. Like – foods with a lot of sugar and carbohydrates are among the easier ones to digest and have a high GI measure.

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Other food items, especially ones with higher fat, protein, fiber, etc. are considered to be of a lower GI.

Several foods also do not enter the GI measures. These usually include no carbs food items like – fish, meat, poultry, seeds, nuts, spices, oils, etc.

Higher GI causes a rise in blood sugar levels compared to foods that are of a lower GI. Thus, according to your blood sugar reading, you must carefully choose and incorporate these food items into your dietary habits.

What is the Glycemic Index of Cucumber in Curries and with Rice?

Food NameGlycemic IndexServe (g)Carb per Serve (g)Glycemic Load
Chicken Tandoori Deli Choice white French roll white bread (tandoori chicken, tomato, lettuce, cucumber, mint & yoghurt sauce on a roll)782705644
Chicken Tandoori Deli Choice Multigrain roll bread (tandoori chicken, tomato, lettuce, cucumber, mint & yoghurt sauce on a roll)672704832
White wheat flour bread, butter, cheese, regular milk and fresh cucumber552006837
White wheat flour bread, butter, yoghurt and pickled cucumber392002811
White rice with pickled vinegar and cucumber (pickled food eaten before rice)631504327
White rice with pickled vinegar and cucumber (pickled food eaten with rice)611504326

Benefits of Cucumber in Diabetes:

Benefits of Cucumber in Diabetes

This fruit, which is also a common salad vegetable, is among the best options for diabetic patients to consume as a dietary basic without worrying about its carbohydrate or calorie count and GI index.

The ADA – American Diabetes Association has proven cucumbers to be entirely satisfactory and healthy for diabetes people. It is non-starchy and also fulfills other diabetic food criteria to be checked off as healthy.

As per research, intake of such low-calorie veggies and fruits can help maintain the right blood sugar level and even help in reversing type 2 diabetes.

Cucumbers can also be eaten in many ways; they can be directly consumed as raw fruits, used as sliced salad vegetables, or even be pickled and processed.

A small serving of half a cup of sliced cucumbers is low in calorie content and richly nutritious. It has:

–         Calories: 8

–         Sugars: 0.87g

–         Carbohydrates: 1.89g

–         Protein: 0.34g

–         Dietary fiber: 0.3g

–         Fat: 0.06g

The cucumber belongs to the botanical family of Melons, Squashes, etc. and also has high water content, which adds to its list of benefits. It has the following nutrient goodness:

–         Vitamin B, C, and K

–         Potassium

–         Biotin

–         Magnesium

–         Phosphorus

–         Phytonutrients like – flavonoids, triterpenes, lignans, etc.

Cucumbers also have antioxidants and qualities of being anti-inflammatory. Many doctors consider this as a great and safe candidate that helps in decreasing oxidative stress, as well as Carbonyl stress. These types of stressors are common in people with diabetes.

Cucumbers have high water content, and they can help in cooling the body and maintain hydration in the body during warm climates.

The cucumbers’ dark green colored peel is said to contain many of the mentioned nutrients, and thus it can be kept to consume with the cucumber instead of peeling it away.  Be sure to wash and cleanse the skin to remove any dirt, impurities, etc.

With all these numerous good characteristics of the cucumber, it becomes one of the most recommended foods by doctors for many diet plans, as well for diabetic patients. It helps in reducing complications caused due to diabetes.

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The goodness of Cucumbers in lowering blood sugar levels for Diabetic Patients:

The goodness of Cucumbers in lowering blood sugar levels for Diabetic Patients

Cucumbers are great for any consumer and especially for people with type 2 diabetes. Many studies and researches have proven cucumbers to be assisting in lower the levels of sugar in diabetic patients.

This quality in any food item is ideal for consumption, and it also has numerous benefits with no side-effects at all.

Even as diabetic patients, you can have any amount of cucumbers you want without worrying about your blood sugar levels rising or dropping.

The high fiber content in any food results in reducing levels of sugar in the blood flow. Cucumbers are also high-fiber content foods. It assists in slowing the pace of carbohydrate and sugar digestion, which in turn lowers sugar levels.

The goodness of cucumbers in lowering blood sugar measures in type 2 diabetes patients have also been published in the Journal of Plant Foods for Human Nutrition.

The effects of a cucumber-induced diet with pulp and seeds have been tested on diabetic rats to prove cucumber’s reactions in helping blood sugar level reduction.

The 2014 research conducted was published with a successful report in the Journal of Medicinal Plant Research, proving the effectiveness of cucumbers in lowering blood sugar levels in diabetic rats.

With a variety of ways to incorporate this cooling, low-calorie, and high-fiber choice of food, cucumbers are among the easiest and most hassle-free consumptions for diabetes.

Different ways to incorporate cucumbers in your diet:

Different ways to incorporate cucumbers in your diet

–         The cold and crispy cucumber can be added to any salad, chunks, slices, etc. to suit your preferences and be a healthy breakfast, snack, or lunch option. You can even add in peanuts to make a tasty combination in the salad.

–         Slices of cucumbers can be added to sandwiches as well. The cucumber adds moisture, crunch, and a subtle taste to your sandwich, making it healthier.

–         A soup recipe with chilled yogurt and cucumbers is a great option for diabetic patients. It is healthy, has a more significant cooling effect when added with added, and never fails to maintain the blood sugar level.

–         Thin, tiny cucumbers can be added to yogurt and had as a side dish or dip. This fresh flavor is enriched with all the great values of cucumber.

–         You can even eat raw cut and sliced cucumbers with your everyday lunch as a starter veggie.

–         Cucumbers are also popular as fermented pickles. You can make pickles out of sliced cucumbers at home, or even get packed cucumber pickles and cans of fermented cucumbers. They are a great tasty addition to the meal and have a slightly tangy flavor.

Canned or packed foods are usually processed during manufacturing before the sale, and this factor can affect the GI of foods. Processing influences foods and usually heightens the Glycemic index of raw forms of foods.

Other benefits from eating Cucumbers:

Other benefits from eating Cucumbers

Along with reducing blood sugar levels, cucumbers are versatile and have a wide range of other advantages. Let us have a look at some more of such great benefits that cucumbers provide us with.

–         Cucumbers are generally around 96% of all water. It provides us with enough hydration, moisture, and maintains cold body temperature. This is even more effective in the summertime, and also serves as a refreshing fruit snack.

–         The dark green peel of cucumbers consists of most of all the nutritional benefits found in cucumber. It is best to eat cucumber with its peel to retain the fibrous and mineral goodness of it.

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–         Cucumbers are high in antioxidants and protect against free radicals in the body, which are harmful.

–         Protecting the body from free radicals leads to protection against chronic illnesses such as – cancer, heart and lung diseases, autoimmune ailments, etc.

–         Its very low-calorie content is helpful in several ways. This fruit can be consumed in plenty amount without any fear of piling up on fat or calories. This is instead a great food item to promote weight loss.

–         Cucumber is also used as a healthy alternative ingredient in sandwiches, salads, and other side dishes due to its less calorie feature.

–         The hydration element in cucumbers also helps in keeping the digestive systems healthily functioning. It prevents dehydration and promotes regular bowel movements. The fiber content also encourages regular bowel movements, preventing the risk of constipation.

–         Cucumber can be consumed and added to a variety of other foods. E.g., As a salad veggie, as a pickled delicacy, as an infused water preparation, as baked chips, etc.

–         It is also easy to digest and promotes better digestion.

–         The Calcium and Vitamin K found in cucumbers induce strength in bones, and vitamin K is well-known for reducing the bone fracture and other bone-related risks.

–         Along with blood sugar levels, it also promotes the reduction of bad cholesterol from the body.

–         It contains numerous nutrients that contribute to the body’s overall goodness and health, thus leading to a better immune system. An excellent immune system also plays a crucial role in improving nail, hair, and skin health.

–         Cucumbers slices are also used as hacks to get rid of mouth odor.

–         Vitamin B1, B7, and B5 are remarkable in controlling and reduce stress and anxiety.

–         The cooling nature of cucumbers, along with its vitamins, also assists in keeping skin nourished, glowing, and soft.


With all the above mentioned good qualities and benefits of this fruit/vegetable, it is an easy and harmless addition to your diabetic diet plan. It maintains a low blood sugar level with the help of its low Glycemic Index and must be incorporated by all as a healthy food option with endless benefits.


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Dr Sharon Baisil MD

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