Quinoa and Diabetes
The word superfood means that the food being dealt with is able to fight some illnesses and prevent the body from nutritional deficiencies, and since quinoa is referred to as a natural food, it is important to say that one of the different roles it can play in the human body is the fight against diabetes. Diabetics should feel safe about the idea of eating and consuming quinoa since it is able to lower their blood sugar level, but this is not the only one benefit that this plant seed is able to deliver to people. It is not only about diabetes, but there are also other health benefits of quinoa that make this seed a superfood included in different meals.
Is Quinoa Good for Diabetes?
Quinoa is good for different reasons and because it carries different nutrients. The number one important nutrient found in quinoa is the complete protein which will never be found in any other plant seed, this complete protein is given that name because it carries all the essential amino acids needed by the body. In addition to the protein, there are other minerals such as magnesium, iron, and manganese. The nutrients, minerals, and antioxidants can all be beneficial for the overall health of the human being.
This plant seed which was used to be called “the mother of all grains” by the Bolivians is always mistaken to be a grain and not a seed to the extent that it is even referred to as “wholegrain”. Quinoa is considered a good addition to the diabetic diet since it is a gluten free wholegrain with a low glycemic index to support an even blood sugar, and adding it to this diabetic diet can be done easily and through a variety of different ways.
For those who are not so familiar with quinoa, it is important to know that there are more than 120 types but the only three that are found and are considered the most famous are the white, red, and black, and they are all used in the same way and deliver the same benefits, whatever the way they are used in.
The quinoa benefits for diabetes include:
- Quinoa is Considered a Wholegrain
Being looked at and regarded as a wholegrain makes quinoa a good choice for diabetics and this is because this whole grain in addition to fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, and unsaturated fats, are all considered the foundation of a healthy diabetic diet. This goes back to the fiber that quinoa is rich with, this fiber helps in maintaining blood sugar, maintaining a healthy weight, and at the same time preventing other chronic conditions from appearing.
- Quinoa is Low on the Glycemic Index
Those people who are suffering from diabetes are always given diets to be followed that contain foods which are low or medium on the glycemic index because those which are high will eventually lead to raising the blood sugar. Diabetes is nothing more than trying to manage your diet in order to manage your blood sugar as well and quinoa is one of those superfoods that are low on the glycemic index, which means that it has the ability to lower the blood sugar and never cause any problems to those diabetics.
Diabetes and Quinoa
These are the two main reasons that should be mentioned when it comes to the benefits of quinoa for diabetes. In addition to eating quinoa, being a diabetes patient does not mean that you are banned from coming closer to some of the foods or even desserts that you prefer, but you should always have an open eye and mind in order to watch out for what you are eating. There are some important things to know about eating quinoa for beating diabetes:
- You Can Still Have Desserts
One of the misconceptions related diabetes is that the patients are not allowed to come closer to their favorite pies or even to the birthday cakes, but the truth is that they actually could and still have the chance to. When you feel that you want to eat something sweet or know that you are going to attend a celebration and will be asked to eat dessert, then you have to watch out for your carbs intake throughout the whole day.
- You Will Definitely Lose Some Weight
In order to beat diabetes, it means that you have to maintain your blood sugar and in order to maintain your blood sugar, it is important to eat fewer portions of carbs; for example, if you are used to eat 4 ounces of pasta, you will cut them down to 2. This of course will help you lose some weight, but this effect will be even doubled and will turn to be more effective when you eat quinoa, vegetables or fruits, or add wholegrains in general to your diet, because the fiber in them will make you feel fuller and will make you consume less food.
- Managing Diabetes is a Simple Thing
In order to keep yourself in the safe side and lower your blood sugar in order to deal with diabetes, you will need to depend on wholegrains, beans, lean protein, healthy fats, fruits, and vegetables, which will all manage your case in the easiest and simplest way possible. There is one method followed and suggested by Jackie Mills, an expert on diabetes and one who has made a career of demystifying the nuances of diet and diabetes, which says that it is better to fill your half plate with vegetables, a quarter with lean protein, and a quarter with starch such as brown rice.
- A Healthy Diabetic Diet Can Also Prevent Heart Disease
It turns out that those people who are suffering from type 2 diabetes might have a greater risk than the normal people in receiving a heart disease, but what is beneficial and interesting about the diabetic diet is that it can also help in preventing heart disease and stroke. If you are following such a diet in order to maintain your blood sugar and thus beat diabetes and you don’t already have a heart disease, then you are helping yourself in preventing it.
- Such Diet is Not Only for Diabetics
Although we refer to it as the diabetic diet, it is important to say that there is no such thing; it is not a diet that diabetics are the only ones allowed to follow. Your whole family can share the same food and the same meals which you are preparing in order to maintain your blood sugar, but for their case, it is considered important for them in order to prevent the appearance of diabetes in the first place.
Counting Quinoa into a Diabetes Meal
Since beating diabetes is one of the quinoa health benefits that diabetics could gain in order to maintain their blood sugar, they are supposed to know how to count quinoa into a diabetes meal. There are three different methods followed when it comes to the diabetes meal plan; the food exchange plan, the carbohydrate-counting method, and glycemic index to plan meals.
- If You Are Following the Food Exchange Plan
If you are using this method of food exchange, you have to count every one-third cup of cooked quinoa as one starch exchange. One serving of a starchy food contains about 15 grams of carbohydrate, 3 grams of protein, 1 gram of fat, and 80 calories. This exchange program which was developed by the American Diabetes Association (ADA), applied the basic nutritional categories, such as fruits, starches, milk, meat, sweets, fats, and free foods, to the foods that are allowed to be eaten.
- If You Are Following the Carbohydrate Counting Method
If you are using the second method which is all about counting the carbohydrates then you have to count the total carbohydrate provided to you through one-third cup of cooked quinoa, and then compare it to the daily allowance of carbohydrates. The carbohydrate allowance may vary from one person to another according to the guidelines established for him or her, and the ADA recommends that the daily carbohydrates allowed aim for 45 or 60 grams per meal. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, it was found that one-third cup of cooked quinoa can deliver 13 grams of the total carbohydrate allowance.
- If You Are Following the Glycemic Index
Quinoa is low on the glycemic index and it is known that such foods which are low or medium on the glycemic index can help in maintaining the blood sugar level. So if you are following this last method and you are selecting carbohydrates according to their glycemic index then you have to substitute white rice with quinoa, as well as potatoes or any other carbohydrate-containing foods that might cause an increase in your blood sugar. According to the ADA, the glycemic index is considered a good way to measure the foods which you are allowed to add to your diet.
Diabetes is just one of the several things that quinoa can help in fighting but there are also other health benefits delivered by it to the body of the human being, such as helping him/her in losing weight due to the existence of protein and fiber, as well as being an important source for different minerals such as magnesium, manganese, and iron. To sum it all up, we can say that quinoa is good for diabetes, heart health, weight loss, as well as keeping the overall health of the body at its best.
Quinoa is definitely a good source to depend on in order to fight diabetes and maintain your blood sugar, but you should understand that the diabetic diet which you are going to follow is not just good for you but also for your family members who might not be even dealing with any health problems, at least it will prevent them from diabetes.