Carrots: How It Helps People With Diabetes

Carrots are best known for their orange colors, but they also come in other hues, including red, white, purple, and yellow.  A non-starchy vegetable, they are an important part of a healthy diet in people with diabetes. Carrots are great sources of important vitamins and minerals including vitamin A, vitamin B-6, vitamin C, vitamin K, potassium, fiber, calcium, and iron. Moreover, they also have a wealth of antioxidants.

What’s more? Carrot is a low-calorie, high-fiber food that is relatively low in sugar. It scores low on the glycemic index (GI). This index can help us understand which foods are likely to raise our blood sugar levels particularly if we are diabetic. Boiled carrots have a GI score of around 39, making it unlikely to trigger a blood sugar spike, and are safe for people with diabetes to eat (1).

Consumption of carrots can help regulate blood sugar levels, thereby lowering one’s risk of diabetes. There were studies proving that eating carrots regularly can help in maintaining blood sugar levels and this helps reduce our chances of having type-2 diabetes in the future (2).

Carrots and Blood Sugar

In a study, researchers found that individuals with diabetes have low levels of vitamin A.  There is an increased need for this vitamin to control the excessive oxidative stress produced by abnormalities in glucose metabolism (3). Carrots offer the vitamins in abundance.

They are also a good source of several B vitamins which play an important role in many different areas of metabolism. One study found that a deficiency in vitamins B-1 and B-6 was common in people with type 2 diabetes. Furthermore, the initial development of diabetic nephropathy was more common if vitamin B-6 levels were low. This research suggests that low vitamin B-6 levels may negatively affect diabetes outcomes (4).

Moreover, carrots are also high in fiber. Soluble fibers can lower blood sugar levels by slowing down our digestion of sugar and starch. Pectin is the main form of soluble fiber in carrots (5).

Studies show that increased fiber intake can improve glucose metabolism in individuals with diabetes (6).

In a review in 2018, experts concluded that having a high-fiber diet may help prevent the development of type 2 diabetes. High-fiber foods may also help people with type 2 diabetes manage their blood sugar levels (7).

Carrot Preparation

Wash them thoroughly in water and scrub off any dirt. Peel them with a vegetable peeler or knife if you’d like. Slice them into sticks and eat them with hummus or a yogurt-based dip. They work well in dishes like beef stew, chicken pot pie, or stir-fry. We can also simply steam, boil, or roast them and serve them as a side dish.