What Vegetables can a Diabetic Eat? 

There are hundreds of vegetables around the world. Not all of them are good for a diabetic person. You should be very careful when adding vegetables to your grocery cart if you have diabetes. 

Starchy vegetables such as potatoes, corn, and peas have a very high glycemic index and are no less than poison if taken in bulk. 

On the other hand, nonstarchy vegetables are the best kind of diet a person with diabetes can have. They contain antioxidants that kill free radicals inside the body and thus reduce inflammation.

If you have diabetes and are looking for suitable vegetables, this article will provide helpful knowledge. It tells you about certain nutrients in veggies that help you lower your blood glucose levels and what amount of these vegetables you need daily or weekly.

Non-starchy vegetables

Non-starchy vegetables have a low glycemic index and do not contain complex carbohydrates.

A diabetic person needs to monitor glucose levels to keep them within the normal range. 

Nonstarchy vegetables do not spike their sugar levels quickly and thus are good options. Some of these nonstarchy vegetables are:

  1. Zucchini

Zucchini is low-fat, low-sodium, low-calorie vegetable commonly found in Asia, Europe, and some American states. 

It contains a meager amount of cholesterol and is rich in fiber. A diabetic person needs fiber-rich foods to maintain their metabolism. 

Furthermore, since they are at high risk of cardiovascular diseases, they must check their cholesterol intake. 

Zucchini is a good option for such persons as it contains 0.4 fat,1.2 gram of fiber, and 3.8gram carbs per serving.

  1. Radish

Radish is considered a superfood. It is commonly consumed in the form of salad or roasted with garlic. 

It contains potassium and calcium and is rich in antioxidants. Radishes also contain nitrates. These minerals help regulate blood flow and reduce the risk of Coronary Heart Disease (CHDs) in diabetic and nondiabetic persons. 

Consumption of radishes by people with diabetes helps them regulate their blood glucose and triglyceride levels and reduces the chances of inflammation.

  1. Onions

Raw onions are a rich source of flavonoids. Flavonoids are antioxidants that protect our cells from oxidative damage by acting as free radical scavengers. 

Onions also contain quercetin which reduces inflammation inside the body. Both red and green onions are good for human health. 

Many studies have proven that regular consumption of onions reduces the risk of cancer, diabetes, and cardiovascular diseases. Its regular intake also lowers blood glucose levels. 

Onions are equally beneficial for both diabetic and pre-diabetic persons. Raw onions can be added to vegetable salads, sandwiches, and other foods. 

When cooked, onions lose much of their beneficial nutrients, and thus they should be eaten in raw form.

  1. Spinach

Spinach is a green leafy vegetable rich in minerals and vitamins. It contains iron, calcium, zinc, and numerous other vitamins, which help improve bone health and increase blood cell production. 

It lowers blood glucose levels and thus is helpful for people with diabetes. Furthermore, it contains nitrates and steroids that help increase blood flow to muscles and improve muscle strength. 

A diabetic person must eat spinach at least once a week, but it can be consumed more than once, depending on the person’s choice.

  1. Lemon

Lemon is one of the most commonly available citrus fruit around the world. According to American Dietary Association (ADA), lemon is also a superfood for people with diabetes as it contains various vitamins, antioxidants, and minerals. 

Lemon improves digestive health and keeps the GI tract clean and healthy. They have a low glycemic index, and their intake reduces the absorption of glucose from food, thus lowering blood sugar levels. Lemons and oranges have the same amount of carbohydrates, but lemons have relatively less glucose. They are considered an excellent addition to a diabetic person’s diet. 

According to ADA, having 2 squeezed lemons per day significantly reduces your risk of developing prediabetes and diabetes, as well as other cardiovascular diseases.

  1. Beetroot

Beetroot is rich in fiber, manganese, iron, vitamin c, potassium, calcium, and several other minerals. The high fiber content helps boost our digestion. 

Phytochemicals present in beetroot enhance its antioxidant properties several folds. A diabetic person should consume beetroot once a week to get the benefits of normalizing blood glucose levels. 

Overeating beetroot is not advisable as it decreases blood pressure and is unsuitable for people already suffering from low blood pressure.

  1. Green beans

Green beans are a rich source of calcium and vitamin K. It makes your bones stronger and healthier. Green beans are suitable for diabetic and pre-diabetic persons. 

They are also rich in fibers which improve gut health. They have a glycemic index of 32 which means it does not increase blood glucose concentration drastically. 

According to ADA, half a cup of green beans provides protein equal to one ounce of meat. A diabetic person has increased protein demand, and thus beans are a good option for them to add to their meals.

What vegetables can a pre-diabetic person eat?

A pre-diabetic person needs to be careful as a diabetic person. They should avoid starchy vegetables and switch to non-starchy ones. Eating too many starchy vegetables can lead to diabetes and CHDs in pre-diabetics. According to MyPlate’s recommendation, you should eat 3-4 servings of vegetables per day. The best vegetables for people with diabetes include celery, broccoli, lemon, radish, carrot, kale, spinach, etc.


Can people with diabetes eat carrots?

Yes. A diabetic person can eat carrots in moderate amounts as they fall into non-starchy vegetables.

What vegetables will not raise blood sugar?

Vegetables with a low glycemic index (GI) do not raise blood glucose levels, including green leafy vegetables, onions, radishes, etc.

Are cucumbers ok for people with diabetes?

A diabetic person can eat cucumber as its glycemic index is 15. Foods having a glycemic index lower than 55 are considered low-GI foods

Is potato good for diabetes?

Potato is a starchy vegetable. It can spike up your blood glucose level if you have diabetes and may cause harm. You can eat sweet potato instead of white potato as it has a relatively lower glycemic index.

Are tomatoes good for people with diabetes?

Tomatoes are also low GI foods, meaning they do not spike up your sugar level even if eaten in large amounts.

Final words

In short, if you are suffering from type I or Type II diabetes, Vegetables that fall under the category of non-starchy veggies are best for you. You should replace junk food, sweets, and processed and canned food in your menus with non-starchy vegetable recipes such as salads, lettuce wraps, and veg curries.

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