The creamy, buttery avocado is slowly gaining a reputation as a super food, with research vouching for avocado and diabetes benefits. Diabetics can gain benefits from eating avocados regularly, as they are among the best foods for diabetics.
Diabetes is caused when the pancreas is not able to produce enough of insulin. This makes it difficult for the body to convert sugars into energy. It is, therefore, important to control blood sugar.
Additionally, diabetics are at higher risk of other complications like cholesterol and heart diseases. New research shows the benefits of adding avocados to prevent these problems associated with diabetes.
Avocado and Diabetes: Important Things Diabetics Must Know
Avocados: Low in Sugar
Avocados offer high nutritional value, come with a good flavor and have a rich buttery texture. It is now becoming very popular among health conscious people, and especially among diabetics.
- It has only 8.5% carbs and this is mostly as fibers, combined with a high fat content of 15%.
- Avocados also have very little sugar content with half an avocado or 68 grams containing merely 0.5 grams of sugar. This sugar is present as glucose; fructose; galactose.
- The total amount of digestible carbs present in this fruit is just 1.8 grams for every 100 grams.
It is this nutritional profile that makes it have a small glycemic index. This means that it cannot raise the blood sugar level much.
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Avocado Contains Monounsaturated Fats
Avocado is a unique fruit that is high in monounsaturated fats. How to control diabetes? A diet that is rich in this fat can be beneficial for those with type 2 diabetes or for those who are trying to lose weight.
Carbs and Avocados
- A regular California avocado contains 17 grams of carbs.
- It contains 13 grams fiber.
- This ratio of carbs to fiber makes it unnecessary to take insulin when eating this fruit.
Fats in Avocados
- As for the fat content, this wonder fruit contains 30 grams of fat. But the fat is of a good type. It increases HDL cholesterol and protects you from heart problems.
- Results of a Pennsylvania University research published in the journal of the American Heart Association, showed that eating one Avocado a day could reduce LDL or bad cholesterol.
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Diabetics and Cholesterol Levels
Can diabetics eat avocados? Diabetics must also be concerned about cholesterol levels, as they are vulnerable to heart problems. Avocados can help control high cholesterol levels and are recommended for diabetics.
- People suffering from diabetes are more prone to having higher cholesterol levels, which could lead to heart disease.
- Diabetes reduces the good cholesterol or HDL levels and raises the bad cholesterol or LDL, leading to stroke and heart diseases.
- Avocados are one of the best sources of monounsaturated fat that is heart healthy and can be very easily burned to give energy. It is also low in fructose.
- Avocados help in improving lipid profiles, by decreasing bad or LDL cholesterol and increasing good or HDL cholesterol.
- For diabetes control, stick to a diet including avocados and food containing healthy fats, you can protect the health of your heart. Heart diseases are a major complication of diabetes.
Blood Sugar Levels
For a diabetic, diet plays a major role in controlling blood sugar levels. We all know that diabetics must avoid high carb foods such as sugar and sweets; starchy vegetables and fruits, as these can raise the blood sugar levels immediately.
- Carbs raise the blood sugar levels of diabetics, but it is only the starch and the sugar content of the carbs and not the fiber that does so.
- Most of the carbs in avocados is in the form of fiber.
Note: A California avocado contains 2.6 grams of carbs, whereas diabetics must limit themselves to about 50 grams of carbs in a meal. Hence, eating avocados is not a problem for diabetics.
Tip: Combine avocados with healthy carbs to get the best diet for diabetics. For instance, have it with yogurt as a smoothy or add it to your salad or a serving of chicken with guacamole.
Adding Fiber for a Diabetic Diet Plan
- The fiber in avocados is a digestive aid, so it is important to add this fruit to a diabetic diet plan.
- One of the benefits of eating avocados is that they reduce bad cholesterol.
- It helps control blood sugar level.
- For diabetics, fiber is considered as a superfood. Carbs increase the blood sugar levels but the fiber present in avocados help to moderate this rise.
- A medium avocado consists of 17 grams carbs, with 13.5 grams present in the form of fiber. This is more than half the recommended fiber intake.
- The fiber content in avocados reduces hyperinsulinemia and concentration of plasma lipid in those having type 2 diabetes.
Note: According to USDA, an adult must intake anywhere between 25 grams to 38 grams of fiber a day.
Avocados Enhance Sensitivity to Insulin
Insulin is important for us to control our blood sugar levels. Insulin sensitivity refers to the extent to which your body cells are responsive to insulin. By improving it, you can bring down the insulin resistance for better control of blood sugar levels.
- Avocados are full of healthy fat; fiber and antioxidants. This helps improve insulin sensitivity.
- The fiber in avocados also help in feeding the friendly bacteria present in the gut, which enhances insulin sensitivity.
Tip: Top your toast with avocados to lower the insulin response, slowing down digestion and reducing the rise in blood sugar levels.
Is avocado good for diabetics? Avocados contain monounsaturated fats and these are among the healthiest types of fats. According to research, it is noted that food containing such fats combined with low quality carbs could improve sensitivity to insulin.
Healthy Fats in Avocados
- Avocados contain 71% of monounsaturated fats; 13% polyunsaturated fats; and 16% saturated fats.
- The monounsaturated fats of avocados reduce cholesterol and helps in glycemic control for those with type 2 diabetes.
- When you add avocados,rich in monounsaturated fats, to your diet, it helps diabetics to process glucose better and use insulin more effectively.
Vitamins and Potassium for Diabetics
- Avocado is a good source of vitamin C, a natural antioxidant. A high level of Vitamin C in the blood reduces the chances of developing type 2 diabetes.
- Vitamin C helps in reducing sorbitol sugar levels in those suffering from diabetes. It is important for diabetics to keep sorbitol accumulation low.
- Vitamin C also reduces free radical damages that could cause heart diseases in diabetics.
- Both bananas and avocados contain high levels of potassium. But the advantage of avocados is that it is not high in carbs, which cannot be said for bananas. Potassium in avocados helps towards a healthy heart and helps in the functioning of insulin.
- Vitamin E in avocados help in protecting the nerves from getting damaged in case of type 2 diabetics.
Diabetes is a major health problem with more than 19 million Americans having this disease. Diabetes is also a leading cause for cardiac arrests and strokes. According to the American Diabetes Association, avocados contain plenty of monounsaturated fats and are a great source of oleic fatty acids.
Avocados are recommended for diabetics to reduce LDL levels and increase HDL or good cholesterol levels. Managing cholesterol levels is important as diabetics are at higher risk of heart problems. Oleic acid can also lower high triglyceride levels, which also causes heart diseases.
Admittedly, avocados are dense in calories and fat, but this does not mean that diabetics must avoid the fruit. On the other hand, it could do diabetics plenty of good!!!