Avocados and Diabetes
Are avocados good for diabetics? Avocados are very low (15) on the glycemic index level making them very healthy and beneficial if you have type 2 diabetes. They are low in sugar and should be in your diet for sure. Even without diabetes they are extremely healthy for you.
What is avocado and where does it come from? It is a tree that originates in Mexico and Central America and derives from the flowering pant family known as Lauracea. The avocado fruit is the fatty fruit of the tree. It is rich in monosaturated fats and higher in fats than most other fruits compared.
Avocados are also plentiful in vitamins C and E, antioxidants, and vitamin B with niacin and riboflavin. An avocado of medium size has about 16-18 grams of carbs. This is excellent because diabetics can only have their blood glucose raised by carbohydrates but only from the sugar and starch in the total amount of carbohydrates, not the fiber.
Nutritional Facts of Avocados
- Avocados consist of 8% carbs (which is mostly fiber),2% protein, 15% fat, and 72% water. One half of this very beneficial fruit is 86 grams, containing approximately 109 calories.
- Fat- Most fruits do not contain an abundant amount of monounsaturated fatty acids but avocados do. What makes avocados unique is that they do contain fatty acid known as oleic acid. The reason for oleic acid being unique is that it is linked to having positive effects on cancer and decreasing inflammation.
- Carbohydrates- Again, half an avocado is 68 grams and only contains .5 grams of sugar in the forms of glucose, fructose, and galactose. Because of this low sugar content, they have a very low glycemic index number relating to the fact that they should not increase your blood glucose levels much at all.
Minerals and Vitamins in Avocados
- Carotenoids- These carotenoids (plant pigments responsible for color) are lutein and zeaxanthin which help to benefit the health of your eyes. They can decrease your risk of diseases of the eyes due to old age.
- D-Mannoheptulose is a specific sugar contained in avocados that helps in controlling your blood sugar. This can be very beneficial in the war against diabetes.
- Vitamin K- Vitamin K has positive effects on the health of your bones and plays an important role in blood clotting. All vitamins are important, but it’s also good to know which vitamins have which particular benefits.
- Potassium- This mineral is crucial to helping control your blood pressure.
- Vitamin B6- Converting food into energy is so vital to your health and these group of vitamins do just that.
- Copper- Copper is essential to your good health and a deficiency in copper may have negative effects on your heart.
- Folate- Avocados are rich in folate and this is good for tissue growth and the normal functioning of your cells.
- Vitamin C- Vitamin C is just so important as this antioxidant aids in the health of your skin and boosting your immune system as well.
Benefits of Avocado for Diabetics
* Fiber- We all need fiber and the amount depends on your age. From 21 to 38 grams of fiber or an average of about 30 grams of fiber is required daily. A small avocado has approximately 5 grams of fiber. High fiber can reduce your blood sugar and A1C levels if you have type 2 diabetes. Avocados are a great source in lowering these levels for you.
You want to have as much fiber as possible each day as this will help to control your diabetes. Most folks don’t get enough fiber and it’s important not only for diabetes control but for your overall health as well. Try leafy green vegetables such as broccoli, romaine lettuce, spinach, nuts such as walnuts, all berries (including blueberries), and other fruits and vegetables.
The fiber in avocados aids in a smooth and easier digestion of food into your body. This allows fiber to help in reducing your A1C levels in your body. Improving the good cholesterol and reducing the bad cholesterol should be your goal. Avocados help you to feel full for a longer period of time and this helps in losing weight and getting rid of the excess fat.
* Blood sugar spikes- Avocados have little effect on spiking your blood sugar levels due to being low in carbohydrates. There are other foods that are high in fiber and may raise your glucose levels but they can also have more carbs than avocados do. You want this superfood in your diet because of the high fiber and low carbohydrate content.
* Healthy fats- Your body needs healthy fats not unhealthy fats. Too much saturated or trans fats is not good and raises your LDL bad cholesterol. What we want here is the polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats which increase your HDL good cholesterol levels. This is the cholesterol that keeps your blood clean and clears out the bad cholesterol to reduce your risk of stroke and heart attack.
* Blood pressure- Avocados help to support a healthier blood pressure. It contains more potassium than a banana at approximately 14% and this is connected to not only lowering your blood pressure, but also your risk of kidney disease as well. You should monitor your blood pressure regularly at home. Avocados can help to improve your numbers.
Other Health Benefits of Avocados
* Arthritis- Arthritis is widespread today. It is diagnosed as your joint cartilage deteriorating. It can be treated progressive with soybean oil of 66% and avocado oil 33% supplements. These two supplement oils of soybean oil and avocado oil can treat folks suffering from arthritis pain. You are one happy camper when you’re experiencing relief from arthritis pain anywhere in your body.
* Triglycerides- It is a well known fact that heart disease is the number one reason for death in this world today. There are a number of factors that play a role in an increased risk for heart disease including blood pressure, inflammatory incidents, cholesterol levels and high triglycerides.
Avocados have been tested and shown that they have properties in fighting each of these detrimental health conditions that can lead to heart disease. It’s important to have your triglyceride levels checked and your numbers to be low for optimal health for your heart.
* Your vision- There are antioxidants in avocados known as Zeaxanthin and Lutein that are exceptionally healthy for your eyes and your eyesight. Research has linked these antioxidants to a lower risk of conditions of macular degeneration and cataracts of your eyes. So it would be wise to have avocados regularly to protect your vision.
* Your liver- Avocados have organic compounds that will increase your overall health to your liver. Most liver damage derives from Hepatitis C. This superfood is recognized as a powerhouse in protecting your liver from a variety of conditions.
People who are suffering from liver damage are routinely low in glutathione which protects your liver cells from damage and is an antioxidant that is responsible for filtering out any substances that may harm your liver. Add this to the vitamins C, E, and K that avocados contain and you’re protecting your liver cells by neutralizing these free radicals that can do harm. Your liver is a crucial organ to your survival. Take care of it now!
* Longevity- Another very positive thing about avocados that it has over other fruits is that it is linked to you having a longer and healthier life because your body can be regenerated by the compounds that are potent within. One of these very powerful antioxidants is xanthophyll which shows signs of slowing down the aging process on certain parts of your body. Who doesn’t want to slow down the aging process, right?
* Your mood- How’s your mood? Are you depressed? Well I hope not and that you’re happy at least most of the time! You have chemicals in your body that regulate your mood and help you sleep at night. Too much of a substance called homocysteine forming in your body can block the chemical productions needed for you to be in a good mood.
The folate in avocados helps to prevent this excess production of homocysteine so that your body can effectively produce the chemicals known as dopamine and serotonin. This way you’ll experience better moods and restful sleeps.
* Your skin- Your skin tone and your appearance can benefit big time from the monounsaturated fats in avocados. They help to maintain good levels of moisture required to make your skin feel and look healthy and soft too. Avocados protect your skin from aging wrinkles and sun exposure.
Getting enough monounsaturated fats can help to control outbreaks of blackheads, oily skin, and acne. You can reduce the irritation and redness of your skin and help to repair damage to the skin cells with the omega-9 fats it provides. Avocados can make a tremendous difference in your skin!
* Constipation- The fiber in avocados helps to improve digestion and prevent constipation. Avocados can definitely help you to encourage regular bowel movements. They act like a mild laxative.
* Prevention of cancer- The antioxidants in avocados help to protect your cells against cancer due to free radical damage. These include lutein, beta-carotene, zeaxanthin, and alpha-carotene. Alpha-carotene seems to be the biggest influence on cancer prevention here.
Side Effects and Allergies of Avocados
- Hypersensitivity- Anyone suffering from hypersensitivity should not eat avocados! It can cause vomiting or skin reaction.
- Latex- If you have a sensitivity to latex, you should avoid avocados altogether because it cause an allergic reaction.
- Medications- I cannot stress this enough and I always mention it. You should discuss anything that you do that is different with your doctor first. Consuming large amounts of avocados can decrease the effect of anti-inflammatory medication if you’re taking any. This can result in the thinning of your blood.
- Cholesterol- Avocado does reduce your cholesterol level and that’s good news, but avocados in excess can absorb and take away the good cholesterol that you need so eat in moderation please.
- Allergy to the mouth- Moderate consumption of avocados is beneficial for your health. Excess amounts may cause an allergy in your mouth such as a swelling tongue and an itching sensation in your mouth.
- Your liver- A serious side effect can be to your liver, but this can occur from specific types of avocado oils. Just avoid Mexican avocados that contain elements that can cause damage to your liver.
- Dieting- You want to be careful if you’re dieting because avocados are high in calories. You don’t want to be having them everyday to avoid gaining weight.
- Are you breast feeding or pregnant?- If you are, you want to avoid avocados too. The reason being that they can cause damage to the mammary gland and also reduce milk production.
- Unfavorable effects of avocados- The following are possible side effects some have experienced when having avocados: vomiting, fever, migraine headache, nausea, and drowsiness. This is certainly not in the majority of folks eating avocados.
So are avocados good for diabetics? Avocados are very healthy for you and you should always have them in moderation. While they don’t spike your sugar levels, they can help to control them but sometimes not as well as other foods or products can.
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