Potatoes have grown even more popular today. A lot of people have been recognizing it as one of the most diverse food items for happy consumption. Fried, crisscrossed, hashed, or mashed, this vegetable is also great for your health compared to ice cream or soda.
Potatoes are loaded with B vitamins and fiber. But the thing about potatoes are that they are carbs, and you need to limit your intake of them.
If you're diabetic and you want your blood sugar level to be in check, it's best to avoid overconsumption of potatoes.
This article will give you more details on potatoes and diabetes.
Potatoes and Blood Sugar
Potatoes are carbs and they increase blood-sugar levels. Your body breaks these down into simpler sugars that will run through your bloodstream. This causes spikes in your blood-sugar levels.
Insulin is released in your blood to transport sugar into cells so they become energy.
This mechanism is derailed in people with diabetes. The sugar that is normally supposed to be in your cells will remain in circulation and keep your blood sugar levels high.
Eating high-carb food can be harmful for people with diabetes.
When you don't manage your blood-sugar level, you could be looking at stroke, heart disease, kidney disease, nerve damage, and if you don't take your excruciating pain to the hospital soon enough, you could be looking at amputation and loss of vision.
The ideal carb intake for people who are nearing diabetes is around 20 to 50 grams a day.
Carbs in Potatoes
Potatoes are high carb. But carb content will vary based on how you cook it.
When boiled, the carb content is 15.7 grams, baked, 13.1 grams, microwaved, 18.2 grams, and deep-fried at 36.5 grams.
The average potato has about 30 grams of carbs, and a large potato has 65 grams. You could be eating double the number of carbs in just one serving if you decide to go for deep frying them.
White bread has about 14 grams of carbs, an apple has 20.6 grams, and a cup of rice has 28 grams. One soda has 38.5 grams of carbs.
Potatoes in the Glycemic Index
Choose foods that are low on the glycemic index for optimum blood sugar management. They don't raise your blood sugar as much.
Foods with a GI of more than 70 are considered more likely to raise your blood sugar faster.
Potatoes are on the medium to high portion of the GI.
But the GI doesn't consider portion size and cooking method.
A cup of potatoes can vary on where they are on the GI based on its variety.
Mashed potatoes and French Fries are high on the GI. Boiled and instant mashed potato are on the medium part. And potato varieties called Carisma and Nicola are on the low part of the GL.
Lowering the GI of Potatoes
The way you cook a potato changes its starch structure and how they're absorbed in the blood.
The longer the potato is cooked, in oil for example, the higher it will be on the GI.
They say that cooling the potatoes after cooking is better for your body. This means dishes like potato salads are better than French Fries or Oven Baked Potatoes.
When you do decide to leave the skin on the potatoes, make sure you sanitize properly as many cases of people cooking potatoes at home with the skin report loose bowels.
If you've been eating to many potatoes lately, you can go for alternatives like carrots, cauliflower, pumpkin, squash, taro, sweet potato, legumes, and lentils.
With the advent of air fryers, it's easy to enjoy these in chip form without dipping them in oil.
It's not going to take you straight to the hospital if you eat a potato dish. Just be careful not to eat for example, 10 large McDonald's fries in one sitting.
When it comes to preparation, boiled, baked, and steamed potatoes are healthier than fried potatoes.
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