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Can Diabetics Eat Carrots?

Can Diabetics Eat Carrots?
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Diabetes Diet

If you have diabetes, what you eat can affect your blood sugar levels and how well your diabetes stays under control. While diabetics were once advised to completely avoid sugary or starchy foods, modern diabetic diets do not completely restrict any specific food or foods, including carrots. Diabetics can choose from a variety of food plans, including an exchange system, a diet based on the glycemic index, or a carbohydrate-counting plan that allows for a specific amount of carbohydrates per meal. Chopped carrots have just 12 grams of carbs per cup, so it takes a full cup of carrots to count as a single vegetable serving when using a diabetes carbohydrate exchange system.

Carrots and Your Genes

Carrots are high in beta-carotene, a precursor molecule that turns into vitamin A in your body. A study published in 2013 in the journal “Human Genetics” found that individuals with a specific genetic profile were more susceptible to developing Type 2 diabetes, but having higher levels of beta-carotene in their diets had a protective effect.

Preparation Methods

Carrots have the same impact on blood glucose levels whether they are cooked or raw, so the method of preparation doesn’t matter when it comes to diabetes. However, the sauces you serve with carrots or the seasonings you use to prepare them can impact your blood sugar, so you need to account for those when counting carbs or estimating the glycemic load of your meal. For example, candied carrots cooked with sugar or honey will have a stronger impact on blood glucose than carrots that have been boiled or steamed and served plain.

Effect on Your Eyes

Diabetes can lead to eye problems, such as diabetic retinopathy. Consuming foods that boost eye health, such as carrots, can help prevent damage that could lead to vision loss. The Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine recommends that diabetics eat baby carrots with hummus dip as a snack to help protect their eyes.
Weight Loss
Losing weight can help improve your blood glucose control, and it’s an important strategy for managing diabetes. Carrots can help with this because they are low in calories and high in nutrient density. A cup of carrots has just 52 calories, and it contains 3.6 grams of fiber, which helps you feel full.

Watching your diet is a big part of managing diabetes, but that doesn’t mean you have to give up healthy snacks like carrots. In fact, carrots can be beneficial to a diabetic’s health, so it’s a good idea to include them as part of your regular meal planning.

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