Sweet Potatoes and Diabetes

The glycemic level in sweet potatoes is less than the glycemic level in white potatoes and this makes a better alternative for diabetic patients as the carbohydrates are digested slowly which keeps the blood sugar level low and in control for individual with diabetes. The American Journal of Nutrition has research studies that have proved that eating sweet potatoes for diabetics helps in keeping the sugar levels low and in control.

Sweet-Potatoes

pThe carbohydrate Content in Sweet Potatoes:

  • 26 g of carbohydrates
  • 3.8 g of dietary fiber

The American Diabetes Association recommendations are that a diabetic person can consume:

  • 45 g to 60 g of carbohydrates per day.

Sweet potatoes have been listed among the 9 super foods for diabetic individuals especially if an individual ahs Type 2 Diabetes. The list of the 9 super foods is:

  • All types of beans for the fiber content
  • Fish for the essential fatty acids
  • All types of nuts for healthy fats
  • All types of berries for their anti oxidant value
  • Broccoli as it is rich in vitamins
  • Sweet potatoes for the fiber content that is necessary for diabetic individuals
  • Dark green leafy vegetables that contain the essential nutrients to keep diabetes under control
  • Whole grain breads and whole grain to keep the sugar levels low

Sweet potatoes have gained prominence in the food index because of its nutritional value. The white potato is a tuber root which means it is basically a thickened stem the sweet potato is a storage root and hence all the nutrients of a sweet potato plant is stored in the sweet potato. After rice, wheat, potatoes, maize and the cassava plant it is sweet potato that is an important food crop globally. Even though the sweet potatoes originate in Latin America it is widely planted and cultivated in the Asian countries.

Boiled or mashed sweet potatoes are not recommended for diabetic individuals as the cooking style decides whether the sugar levels increase or are lowered. The reason is that in these forms the sweet potato is easily digested which increases the Glycemic Index. Studies have found that the glycemic index with the intake of sweet potatoes in diabetics was 44 while with the intake of white potatoes the glycemic index was recorded at 80. The best method of intake is to roast the sweet potatoes with olive or butter as the fat reduces the rate of digestion controlling the sugar level in the blood.

The disease in itself is not a serious issue what is a serious issue is the effect it has on other health areas where the complication arise. The management of the disease is important to avoid such complications such as

  • Loss of eye sight
  • No clotting of blood
  • Kidney dysfunction
  • Gangrene
  • Heart complications
  • Strokes

The Japanese white variety of sweet potato known as Caiapo was used in research studies for Type 2 Diabetes. The research was undertaken in 2004 by a professor affiliated to the University of Vienna. Dr. Berhhard Ludvik published hoi results in the medical journals which showed that there was a significant decrease in the fasting glucose levels in the Type 2 diabetics which clearly showed that the Caiapo (Sweet Potatoes) was good for individuals with diabetes.

In the Affordable Nutrition Index the sweet potato ranked third as a low glycemic index food and affordability. In U.K. it is 64p per kg. In U.S.A it is 25 cents per lb. $7.98 per lb. Sweet potatoes are affordable by all diabetic individuals.

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