Diabetes is a huge problem for Americans. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, as many as 30 million Americans are dealing with the condition.
Many more are unknowingly close due to preventable lifestyle habits. Even worse, an estimated 25% don’t know they currently have diabetes.
Experts agree that both diabetics and those at risk do benefit greatly from a healthy diet. In fact, one preliminary study suggests that cucumbers could have an appealing effect on blood sugar (1).
The study focused on lowering blood sugar in diabetic mice by feeding them the peels of either pumpkin, cucumber or a vegetable called a tinda.
They found that all 3 peels significantly lowered the mice’s blood sugar, although pumpkin peel worked the best.
However, this study suggests that eating more cucumbers could be an easy addition to a diabetic’s diet.
According to Live Science, cucumber makes an excellent alternative to sugary foods because of its low-carb makeup. It also contains vitamins C and K as well as some potassium.
Aside from being low-carb, cucumbers can benefit diabetics with their fiber, which slows the rate of glucose being released in the blood. Not to mention its various antioxidants, this food is simply one that diabetics should add to their diets on a regular basis.
The Best Diet for Diabetics
The American Diabetes Association recommends a diet low in starches and sugary foods for diabetics. Diabetics can choose from healthy eating styles like the Mediterranean diet or a low-carb diet.
However, the main point is to infuse each meal with many non-starchy vegetables, balancing it out with protein, dairy, and a small amount of fruit or starchy foods.
Here’s a good rule of thumb: imagine a line that cuts your plate in half, then another line that cuts one side into another half, says the ADA.
Diabetics should fill the larger side of the plate with non-starchy vegetables, then add a starchy food and some protein to the smaller sections. Top the meal off with a serving of fruit and possibly dairy for a nice, well-rounded meal.
People who have diabetes may have to watch what they’re eating. But they can make that process easier with tasty foods like cucumbers. In general, low-carb vegetables are a great alternative to starchy foods for anyone.
- Dixit Y. and Kar A., “Protective role of three vegetable peels in alloxan induced diabetes mellitus in male mice,” Plant Foods for Human Nutrition 65 (Sept. 2010): 284-289.