Vegetables are a crucial part of anyone’s diet, being rich in nutrients, vitamins, and minerals. They are especially important for people with type 2 diabetes, as long as they are low in carbs. That’s because consuming high-carb vegetables can raise your blood glucose, unlike low-carb vegetables.
Besides being diabetes-friendly, low-carb vegetables are also low in calories but high in fiber, vitamins, and minerals.
So, they make you feel full for longer without spiking your blood sugar and filling out your waistline.
Here are some of the best low-carb veggies you can add to your diet.
Spinach is high in beta-carotene, folate, vitamin K, and iron, but low in carbs (0.83 gr per cup). Also, it’s low in calories with one cup containing only 7 calories. You can use fresh, frozen, or canned spinach with no salt. Studies show that it can help reduce the risk of age-related macular degeneration.
However, don’t prepare it in butter or other sauces high in fat to keep its levels of cholesterol and total fat low.
This vegetable is a great source of vitamin C, A, and potassium. Also, they are low in calories and carbs. Tomatoes contain the powerful antioxidant lycopene which can help protect against heart disease and prostate cancer.
So, feel free to add it to your meals and salads, or use it as a tomato sauce for toppings.
Broccoli is one of the best food choices for people with diabetes. It’s rich in vitamin A, K, and C, iron, and fiber, while being low in carbs. In fact, studies show that it can help reduce insulin resistance and protect against some types of cancer.
When buying this vegetable, make sure you choose dark green broccoli with florets packed tightly together. You can also use the frozen version without added sauce or salt.
Did you know that one cup serving of cucumber contains only 5 grams of carbs? This low-carb content makes cucumbers a great choice for those with diabetes. What’s more, they will make you feel full without spiking your blood sugar.
Cucumbers are rich in vitamin C, K, and potassium, which is another reason to include them in your diet. Besides using them for salads, you can also add thin cucumber slices to your sandwich.
Cabbage is a great source of vitamin K, C, B6, antioxidants, fiber, and manganese. On the other hand, it’s extremely low in carbs and calories. One cup of chopped cabbage has only five grams of carbohydrates, 3 of which are fiber.
When buying, choose a firm cabbage with shiny leaves. Keep it in the fridge, and once you cut it, cover it with plastic wrap to slow down the loss of vitamins.
6. Brussels Sprouts
These mini cabbages are low in carbohydrates, but extremely high in fiber, folate, vitamin C, and vitamin A. So, they are definitely worth to include it in your diabetes-friendly diet.
You can sprinkle them with some salt, olive oil, fresh lemon juice, and pepper before roasting at 450 F for 20 minutes. Cooking them in this way will keep their texture firm and bring out their tangy mustard flavor.
Cauliflower is bursting with vitamin C with a cup of florets containing more than half the daily requirement. What’s more, it’s high in folate, potassium, and fiber, and low in carbs. You can prepare it in many ways like steamed, roasted, raw, or blend it in soups.
One cup of asparagus contains only 5 grams of carbs and 27 calories. While being low in carbs and calories, it is high in vitamin A and K. So, always choose firm stalks with bright green color and compact heads. You can sauté, steam, or roast it, and combine it with eggs for breakfast.
This veggie is low in digestible carbs but extremely high in vitamin K. For example, one cup of chopped celery has three grams of carbohydrates, two of which are fiber. Also, the same amount will provide you with 37 percent of the recommended dietary intake of vitamin K.
Moreover, celery contains the antioxidant luteolin which can help prevent and treat cancer.
Kale contains high amounts of kaempferol, quercetin, and other antioxidants which can help reduce blood pressure levels and protect against type 2 diabetes and heart disease. It’s also high in vitamin C and A, and low in carbs.
11. Bell Peppers
Capsicums, sweet peppers, or bell peppers are loaded with carotenoids which can lower inflammation, and protect fats and cholesterol from oxidative damage. What’s more, these antioxidants can even help reduce the risk of cancer.
This extremely nutritious veggie is high in vitamin C and A, but low in carbs. A cup of bell pepper chunks contains only 9 grams of carbs, 3 of which are fiber. Red bell peppers are considered to be more nutritious than the green and orange varieties.
There are many ways you can add these vegetables to your meals and salads. Besides adding a great flavor to your meal, they will also keep you full for longer without increasing your blood sugar and weight.