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I'm a diabetes specialist – little known superfood can tame unwanted blood-sugar spikes

We have it in the cupboard, and we usually stock up on this little-known superfood without a second thought. But one expert claims baked-beans are an absolute saviour for Type 2 diabetes sufferers.

Type 2 diabetes refers to a chronic condition caused by impaired insulin production. Deprived of this key mechanism, your blood glucose levels are left to their own devices, climbing to dangerous heights.

The good news is that choosing the right foods could help tame the condition. What’s more, an inexpensive British classic could come to the rescue.

Whether you need a side to your dish or just fancy something extra on your salad, beans won’t disappoint. However, baked beans aren’t the only option out there as the small foods come in all shapes and sizes.

Browse through the shelves in your local supermarket and you’ll find there are various colours and varieties available. Apart from their pleasant taste, beans also offer a favourable nutritional profile for diabetics, according to a diabetes specialist.

An endocrine specialist, known on TikTok as The Voice of Diabetes, said on the social media: “Did you know that beans are considered to be a superfood?

“They are an excellent option for diabetics. They are loaded with nutrients, minerals, vitamins. They also have very high fibre [content], which tends to make us feel more full. And also, they are very high in protein.

“They do contain a little bit of carbohydrate so you may notice a little bit of a spike in blood sugar levels, but because they have so much protein, and so much fibre, you are usually going to see your blood sugar levels plateau, and you’re not going to see such a significant rise like having bread or rice.”

Don’t just take the expert’s word for it, as charity Diabetes UK also explains that eating beans could help avoid sharp blood glucose spikes.

Diabetes UK states: “Even though pulses contain carbohydrates, they don’t give sharp rises to blood glucose levels compared to other carbohydrate-containing foods.”

The reason why beans could have beneficial effects on your blood sugar comes down to their glycaemic index (GI). GI describes the rate at which carbohydrates raise your blood glucose levels.

If you take the “make-up” of carbohydrates in pulses as well as their fibre and protein content, you get a slow breakdown of carbs. That’s why diabetics often don’t experience blood sugar spikes after eating beans.

Diabetes UK adds: “For this reason, many people with diabetes who carb count are often advised not to count the carbohydrate in pulses, unless eaten in bigger quantities or they are part of a carbohydrate-containing pre-packed food which makes it difficult to isolate the carb from pulses.

“It is important to check with your diabetes team for specific advice on how to count the carbs in pulses as there is no one-size-fits-all approach to this.”

Furthermore, this advice is also echoed by a research paper, published in the journal Human Nutrition Clinical Nutrition. The study explains that cooked dried legumes have been previously shown to “stimulate low blood glucose responses”.

With this in mind, The Voice of Diabetes shared that beans are “very good” food for diabetics.

She added: “Whether you like kidney, pinto, navy or black beans, any of those are going to be very good options for you.”


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