Meeting Carbohydrates – Nonstarchy Vegetables

To be honest, the carbohydrate content of nonstarchy vegetables is so low that nonstarchy vegetables are technically not considered carbohydrate foods in spite of my title above. But, of all the different groups of foods, nonstarchy vegetables are right at the top of the importance scale in my book. Why? Because they are packed with nutrients and antioxidants, and because we can essentially eat all we want with only minimal effect on blood glucose levels. Nonstarchy vegetables include all of the leafy greens, summer squashes like zucchini, carrots, broccoli and cauliflower, turnips and rutabaga, green beans, eggplant, asparagus, leeks and onions, cucumber, cabbage, beets, tomatoes, peapods, peppers, Brussels sprouts, and more.

This group of foods does have carbohydrate, but the 1 carb “choice” portion – 15 grams-of-carbohydrate – is extremely generous. For instance, a portion of sliced cucumber containing 15 grams of carbohydrate would be 4 full cups. Compare that to ½ cup of corn and you can see what a difference “nonstarchy” verses “starchy” makes. And, by the way, 4 cups of sliced cucumber would be in the neighborhood of 60 calories – about the same calories as ½ tablespoon of olive oil.

I’m not suggesting that you survive on cucumber. But, if you’re serious about type 2 diabetes then managing carbohydrates and managing calories is part of your mission. Nonstarchy vegetables are low calorie, low carbohydrate, healthy foods that can also satisfy your appetite. Take some time to find great recipes, and start enjoying the undisputed benefits that nonstarchy vegetables can offer to your health.

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