Living with diabetes is a challenge but also a good chance that brings several benefits to your health. Altering food habits, food items, and portions can have significant advantages on health.
At times, you might be left wondering about what are the right choices to make? Beans are a common item in many places, cuisines, and meals. You can have them in a variety of ways and also benefit from their nutrients. But are they good for diabetic patients?
Fortunately, many beans are good for diabetic patients, such as – kidney beans, green beans, black beans, lima beans, chickpeas, etc. They are healthy and important sources of protein and fiber as well as provide several other benefits.
Are beans good for diabetes?
Beans and legumes are among the mightiest super-foods for diabetic patients. They are a powerhouse of nutrients and are great to keep the body healthy and out of blood sugar risks.
Beans are a kitchen must-have if you are suffering from diabetes. They are found easily in a variety of different types that can increase not only the nutritional value of your dishes but also add a distinctive flavor.
Beans are known to be best for people with diabetes as they have carbohydrates but are significantly low on the glycemic index scales. This means that the sugar derived from beans can help the body to produce energy but, at also keep blood sugar levels low as well.
Beans are said to be very sufficing food items as they are also high in proteins and fiber. These two are among the crucial micronutrients that our bodies need daily.
Beans are a good source of plant-based protein for health. Unlike animal protein, beans are lower in fats and thus do not have other adverse effects on the body. The absence of saturated fats in beans makes it a healthier option than lean meat choices for gaining protein.
Beans are non-starchy and have higher nourishing potential than starchy vegetables. The amount of fiber found in beans can also be very helpful to the body.
The fiber in food plays a necessary role in balancing digestion and slowing down the absorption of nutrients in the body. This makes sure that the carbohydrates are broken down efficiently and does not lead to excess levels of sugars in the blood flow.
Such improvements in metabolism are also accompanied by better functioning of the overall gut health. These benefits also assist in reducing the resistance of insulin in the body that further aids the control of blood sugar levels.
Do beans raise blood sugar?
We already discussed that beans are great for diabetic health and are low on the glycemic index. Thus, it is clear that beans do not hamper blood sugar levels or cause any spikes.
Beans do not spike up your blood sugar levels as they are a type of complex carbohydrate food. Complex carbohydrates are comparatively more difficult to break down and take more time for so. This ensures that the sugar levels are not heightened suddenly and stay stable.
Thus, your diabetic health would not be negatively affected by the consumption of beans. On the other hand, they are nutritionally loaded and have plenty of minerals as well.
Diabetic patients are more vulnerable to developing severe diseases and may experience grave symptoms. The many minerals and proteins in the body assist in improving the body’s overall strength. This, in turn, also protects the body from other health risks.
Half a cup serving of beans is a good amount for any diabetic person to consume per meal. This is a safe limit with low levels of carbs (15 g) and sufficient calories (125) that fulfills the appetite.
The fiber in beans also helps to reduce the overall carbohydrate effect of other items in a meal. Thus, beans make a good low-sugar meal.
In addition to this, different beans have varying nutrient content that you can benefit from with each choice.
However, it is important to cook your beans well to remain low in terms of carbohydrates. It is best to avoid canned beans as they are higher in sodium and have more carbohydrates than regular beans.
Having beans enriches you with protein and fiber, which are both responsible for keeping you full for longer and satisfying the nourishment that your body requires.
They can also be put into salads, made into side dishes, crushed and used as dips, roasted and spiced, and so on.
Which legumes are good for diabetes?
So until now, we proved that beans are great additions to your diabetic meal plans. They make a satiating dish and also add necessary nourishment to the health.
There are several types of beans and legumes that you can choose from. This gives you a variety of meal ideas, dishes, tastes, as well as nutrients. Therefore, they are healthy and do not compromise when it comes to taste either.
Let us have a look at the below list with the best type of legumes for diabetic patients.
1. Black beans
Also commonly called as turtle beans, black beans are among the healthiest choices for a diabetic patient. They are loaded with numerous good nutrients like fiber, folate, potassium, and lots of protein.
A 1/3rd cup serving of these beans consists of around 75 calories and is a good amount to include in your diet. They are also good for managing cholesterol levels as they help to lower bad cholesterol in the body.
2. Kidney beans
Kidney beans are some of the most popularly used beans. They are packed with minerals that are good for the body and help with improving health.
Kidney beans can supply you with a lot of fiber, iron, and protein. On top of that, kidney beans also have good amounts of antioxidants that boost the body’s immune system.
Kidney beans are loved for their blood-sugar-lowering effects. Moreover, they are also good healers and can have many more significant health benefits.
3. Green gram (green moong)
This is yet another famous lentil that is an excellent healthy choice among lentils. Green gram is good for diabetics and also safe as they have a glycemic level of 38 only.
The richness of antioxidants makes it a must-have for diabetic patients. Green gram is a good source of plant-based protein and also delivers many minerals to the body.
4. Lima beans
These beans are also called butter beans. The amount of protein and fiber attained from lima beans makes it a wonder food for diabetic patients.
A cup of lima beans can fulfill almost half of one’s daily iron intake recommendations. It uplifts health in various ways and is good for keeping the blood sugar levels low as well.
5. Chickpeas or Bengal gram
Chickpeas make an incomparably healthy food item that helps keep blood sugar levels steady and control diabetes. Chickpeas are very low in glycemic index and are great snacking options.
Roasted or boiled chickpeas are a healthy and tasty option that gives a lot of fiber as well.
Chickpea flour is also used as a substitute for other flour types because of its many health benefits. In addition to this, chickpeas are also good for weight loss.
Some other healthy means that you can try:
- Pinto beans
- Black-eyed peas
- Split Bengal gram
- Navy beans
10 benefits of eating beans
Until now, we have appreciated beans for their many health benefits, but what are these advantages that beans can have on the body?
Let us find out in this list:
- Beans are a low-fat source of food. They do not disturb the body weight and are rather helpful in managing weight. The preparation of beans must be done to maintain this quality.
- They keep your heart healthy. Beans have cholesterol-lowering properties that keep away the occurrence of cardiovascular risks. The presence of soluble fiber helps in keeping the heart better.
- Beans give you more plant-based protein, which is healthier. It helps to maintain the body and its functioning. It is also a healthy source of energy.
- Beans have a lot of fiber that balances their carbohydrate levels. It is good for the body’s metabolism and also diabetic blood sugar levels.
- The fiber in these beans helps prevent gut or stomach-related disorders such as constipation, bloating, cramps, indigestion, etc. However, to gain these benefits, you must not overdo the consumption.
- Beans have a richness of antioxidants that help to reduce the risks of internal and chronic diseases such as cancer.
- Beans are healthy and fulfill your appetite. Having beans can satisfy your cravings and prevent excessive consumption of unhealthy foods. The fiber in beans makes you feel satisfied without raising calories.
- They are also rich in many nourishing minerals such as iron, potassium, calcium, and so on. Beans also have plenty of vitamin K and A. These combined assist in improving the immunity of the body and help fight diseases.
- Beans have a good amount of folate that helps to regulate good RBC production and functioning in the body. It is also necessary during pregnancy.
- Having more plant-based protein can also help prevent fatty liver and high blood pressure that can lead to health issues.