Diabetes Management: Starchy vs. Non-Starchy Vegetables

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Diabetes Management: Starchy vs. Non-Starchy Vegetables



You’re probably aware that vegetables are a healthy food that everyone should eat more of. However, you may not know that for older adults with diabetes certain vegetables are better than others. That’s because some kinds of vegetables can increase blood glucose levels. So, which ones are good for your aging relative with diabetes and which ones should be limited? The key has to do with starch.

How Starch Affects Blood Glucose

Starch is a complex carbohydrate, which means it contains long chains of sugar particles. Starchy foods aren’t considered unhealthy. In fact, they contain fiber, vitamins, and minerals. Because of their nutrient value, they can be an important part of any senior’s healthy diet. However, diabetics should eat them in moderation.

Starchy vegetables tend to be higher on the GI scale. GI stands for glycemic index. It is a measure of how quickly foods containing carbohydrates cause blood sugar levels to rise. Foods that have a GI of 70 or higher are considered to have a high glycemic impact. Foods that have a high GI don’t have to be eliminated from your aging relative’s diet, but when they do eat them, they should be combined with foods that are lower on the GI scale to help balance its effect on blood sugar.

Making Vegetable Choices

Non-starchy vegetables are those that are low in carbohydrates. They are one food that the American Diabetes Association says diabetics can eat their fill of. Not only do they contain important nutrients, but they are also low in calories. Because of their low-calorie count, vegetables can help seniors to maintain a healthy weight.

Everyone should try to eat between 3 and 5 servings of vegetables each day. A serving is one cup of raw vegetables or a half cup of cooked. Non-starchy vegetables include:

  • Carrots.
  • Green beans.
  • Cucumbers.
  • Cabbage.
  • Eggplant.
  • Greens.
  • Broccoli.
  • Tomatoes.
  • Turnips.

Again, diabetics don’t need to completely avoid starchy vegetables. They just need to take their extra carbohydrates into consideration when planning meals for the rest of the day. Some starchy vegetables are:

  • Potatoes.
  • Parsnips.
  • Green Peas.
  • Corn.
  • Acorn squash.
  • Butternut squash.

If you or an aging loved one is considering elderly care in Tempe, AZ, please contact the caring staff at SYNERGY HomeCare today: 480-377-6770.

Mike Endredy, Owner
Mike has been involved with home care for the last 11 years as the owner of SYNERGY HomeCare of the East Valley (Phoenix AZ). 
Mike was brought to the home care industry like many folks through a need to care for my father near the end of his life. 
"Although my mother was the primary caregiver there was not a service to use that can offer relief for my mother and from 2,000 miles away I was not able to provide the care personally he needed.  It was however, a few years after my father's passing that I personally decided to change careers, leaving a career in engineering.  I have never looked back.  Making a difference in people's lives changes you more profoundly than anything and I love that experience.  In the eleven years of making a difference my exceptional team of caregivers and staff have made a difference through providing over 2 million hours worth of care.  This journey is just beginning.  Making a difference in somebody's life or a family members life is why I do what I do.  The hurdles, the heartbreak and the pain that comes makes me stronger and more determined to help another. " - Mike Endredy

 

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