A study by researchers at Michigan State University brought some good news about vegetables and money to those of us managing diabetes. Those researchers found that canned vegetables are as nutritious, sometimes even more nutritious, than fresh (and more expensive) options.
Vegetables play a very important role in diabetes management. Of course, vegetables are nutritious, and your Mom was correct when she said “vegetables are good for you.” But, there’s another role that vegetables play –specifically nonstarchy vegetables- in a healthy diabetes eating plan, and that’s filling you up. (Yes, a healthy diet doesn’t have to leave you hungry)
The diabetes advantage to filling up on nonstarchy vegetables is in their low carbohydrate content. Canned vegetables like tomatoes, zucchini, peppers, green beans, asparagus, carrots, beets and many others will offer a portion size of 1 ½ cups to equal one “carb choice” (15 grams carbohydrate). Compare that to an equal amount of carbs in starchy vegetables like potatoes (3 ounces), corn ( ½ cup), beans ( ½ cup) or peas ( ½ cup). When our focus is managing blood glucose levels with nutritious food, nonstarchy vegetables fit the bill perfectly. And, they work pretty well for filling us up too.
So, where does money come into this picture? Fresh vegetables can be costly. An article at CDiabetes.com titled Eating Healthy Without Breaking the Bank by Amy Campbell, MS, RD, CDE refers to a study from Harvard University which found that “healthy” diets can cost $550.00 more per year than “unhealthy” diets. Canned vegetables can go a long way in solving this cost problem, and keeping your appetite satisfied on healthy nonstarchy vegetables instead of excess carbohydrates. Just look for vegetables without added salt or fat, and keep them handy for every meal.