Diabetic & Me

Are Beans Good for Diabetics? The Sugar Content and Benefits of Beans

Are Beans Good for Diabetics

Beans can be a beneficial food for diabetics and can be a great addition to your diet. Beans can help you feel fuller, longer and can even help with blood sugar issues. When it comes to beans, there are many different types. You need to know how much sugar they have in them and if they are rated high on the glycemic index.

In this Diabetic & Me article you will learn about:

  • Are beans safe for diabetics?
  • How much sugar do beans contain?
  • What are the benefits of beans?

Can Diabetics Eat Beans?

Yes, beans can be a beneficial food for diabetics and can be a great addition to your diabetes diet. Beans can help you feel fuller, longer and can even help with blood sugar issues. People with diabetes should include dried beans or no-sodium canned beans to at least a few dishes each week, according to the American Diabetes Association.

When it comes to beans, there are many different types. You can purchase them dried or canned and they can be a great addition to your main meal, soups, salads, and other dishes.

The sugar content in beans can vary from one type of bean to the next but you need to know how much sugar is in each kind that you eat. It's also very important for diabetics who want to go on a low-carb diet because carbs have been known as being bad for those with diabetes even though vegetables contain carbs too.

Beans can help control blood sugar levels by slowing down digestion which means your body won't release as much insulin into your system when consuming foods containing carbohydrates like bread and pasta made from refined flour products or processed sugars.

Don't forget to consult with your doctor, those that provide medical advice, your registered dietitian, or your certified diabetes educator before changing your diet.

How Much Sugar Is in 100g of Beans?

It depends on what kind of beans you are eating. Some beans have more sugar content than others.

1 cup of beans, like pinto beans, black beans, navy beans, or kidney beans, has the following nutritional content according to the USDA:

  • Calories: 256
  • Protein: 16 grams
  • Fat: 1.2 grams
  • Carbs: 47 grams
  • Fiber: 16 grams

Some beans have more sugar content than others so it depends on what kind you are eating according to 100g measurements. For example, a cup of pinto beans contains about 2,1 grams of sugar whereas black turtle beans contain 0 grams per 100g serving. Red kidney beans however will give you the highest amount at 2,5 grams of sugar for each 100g portion size eaten. Don't forget to dose your insulin according to the serving sizes you eat to prevent high blood glucose levels.

Don't forget they're nutritious because they're high in protein, fiber, and vitamins, as well as minerals, and low in fat, unlike many other protein sources.

What Are The Benefits of Eating Beans?

Beans are a great source for low glycemic index foods and contain protein, fiber, vitamins, and minerals. They tend to be higher in soluble fiber which helps control blood sugar levels by slowing down digestion so your body won't release as much insulin into your system when you eat them too.

Can Lower LDL Cholesterol

Beans can lower LDL cholesterol of people with diabetes which means heart disease risk lowers with the addition of this food group into one's diet plan regularly due to their high level of nutrients that help fight chronic diseases like cancer, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and obesity.

Help Your Digestive System

Beans are healthy for you because they contain lots of plant-based nutrients, including protein. They're also an excellent source of fiber to help your digestive system stay healthy and sensation issues. Plus, the high fiber content will keep you feeling full, which is fantastic if you're trying to limit your intake of carbs. I personally bake my beans in a frying pan with some olive oil and herbs.

Loaded With Antioxidants

Beans are loaded with antioxidants that fight free radicals in your body, improve brain function, and can lower blood sugar levels naturally by slowing down digestion which means there's less insulin released into the bloodstream.

Control Blood Sugar Levels

Beans help control blood sugar levels because they are low on the glycemic index thus having a low impact on insulin production when digested mostly whole beans such as kidney beans.

Great for Blood Health and Bones

They're also high in other nutrients like iron too which is great for blood health and blood pressure as well as magnesium to boost bones! 

Red Kidney Bean Chili Con Carne

Which Beans Are Good for Diabetics?

There are many different beans like;

  • pinto beans
  • black turtle beans
  • black beans
  • red kidney beans
  • garbanzo beans
  • white beans
  • beans in red tomato sauce

I tend to stay away from baked beans in red tomato sauce because they contain much more sugar compared to the others. They contain around 4,3 grams of sugar per 100 grams.

Beans are nutritious, contain lots of nutrients, and are low on the glycemic index which means they're great for diabetics because you can eat them without worrying about your blood glucose levels too much due to their slow-digesting properties.

Do seek professional medical advice if you are trying to change your diet.

Iberia Red Kidney Beans are perfect for healthy eaters looking to add protein, fiber, and essential vitamins & minerals to their diet. They are low-fat beans that can be effortlessly added to any meal. If you're in the mood for a home-cooked breakfast, Iberia Red Kidney Beans make sensational red kidney rancheros with scrambled eggs or no egg at all if dairy is not your thing.

For lunchtime, try them in homemade Cuban black bean soup garnished alongside croutons & greens dressed in balsamic vinaigrette, or enjoy them as a side dish next to your favorite roasted chicken.

And last but not least, feel free to use these versatile beans for dinner by pairing them with rice or bake them in a pan with delicious herbs.

Tips On How to Eat More Fruit and Vegetables If You Have Diabetes

Here are a few basic tips on how to eat more fruit and vegetables:

  • Make a juice out of a variety of fruits and vegetables. I prefer vegetables as they don't elevate my blood sugar levels.
  • Include a proportion of salads, vegetables, or fresh fruit in every meal. Try to eat at least one serving per day.
  • Add some extra fiber to your breakfast cereal by adding chopped apple. It will also make it taste very good!
  • Mix the fruits and veggies with something you enjoy like yogurt or oatmeal.
  • Eat fruit as a snack, it's much better than chips!
  • Swap fries for sweet potato fries when you eat out at fast-food restaurants.
  • Eat a variety of fruits and vegetables. The range from dark leafy greens to brightly-colored berries is very wide, so why not try something new every week!
  • Try cooking the fruit and vegetables: preparation methods such as roasting, grilling, stir-frying, and air-frying can add flavor and freshness to these healthy foods. Make sure to use healthy cooking oils.
  • Experiment with condiments: dressings, dips, or salsas can be used to transform your plate by introducing both flavor and nutrients. Experiment with different recipes for sauces such as those containing turmeric or ginger roots which have healing properties as well as many health benefits such as improved brain function.

Conclusion

Beans are a great source of low glycemic index foods that contain protein, fiber, vitamins, and minerals. Beans also have the added benefit of being high in soluble fiber which helps control blood sugar levels by slowing down digestion so your body won't release as much insulin into your system when you eat them too.

You can lower LDL cholesterol with beans due to their high level of nutrients that help fight chronic diseases like cancer, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, obesity--the list goes on!

Plus they're packed with antioxidants that will improve brain function and lower blood sugar levels naturally. These benefits make beans a healthy food choice for diabetics who want to stay away from carbs or need more options than just meat-heavy meals at dinner time. 

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About the author

Ely Fornoville

Hi, I'm Ely Fornoville and I am the founder of Diabetic & Me. Being a type 1 diabetic since 1996 I developed a passion to help people learn more about diabetes. I write about diabetes and share stories from other diabetics around the world.I am currently using a Freestyle Libre CGM and a Minimed 640G insulin pump with Humalog.

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