Can people with type 2 diabetes eat carrots?
Carrots are actually a great food choice for someone with type 2 diabetes. They fall into the non-starchy vegetable group, so they are lower in carbohydrates than most foods. That means your boyfriend can have a larger portion of carrots for less carbohydrates compared other carbohydrate foods like grains, beans, or starchy vegetables. These are all denser in carbohydrates than non-starchy vegetables so it is important to watch portion size when including them in your meals.
The Plate Method is a simple meal planning method that people with diabetes can use to control their portion sizes and choose healthy options. According to this method, half of your plate should be filled with non-starchy vegetables.
If your boyfriend uses carbohydrate counting to plan meals, he should know that 1 cup of raw carrots has about 5 grams of carbohydrate. If he prefers cooked carrots, ½ cup has about 5 grams of carbohydrate. Also, 5 baby carrots are considered a “free food” according to the Exchange Lists for Diabetes. This means that your boyfriend could have 5 baby carrots for a snack and would not need to count it in his meal plan.
Carrots are very versatile and tasty whether they are raw or cooked. They are a good source of vitamin A, vitamin C, and are low in calories. Here are just a few ways you can eat them:
- Add them to a pot roast, and let them cook all day with other vegetables in a slow cooker
- Cut them into chunks and roast them with other veggies in the oven - their naturally sweet flavor really comes out when you do this
- Shred them and toss them in a salad or add them to a wrap
- Have fresh baby carrots with hummus or low-fat ranch dressing for a snack
- Cook them with other non-starchy vegetables like summer squash, onions, and broccoli and toss with pasta to make pasta primavera
- Finely chop them and add them to soup or chili
- Slice them into a round coin shape and steam them, then drizzle with olive oil and season with a pinch of salt and freshly ground pepper for a delicious side dish
You and your boyfriend may want to check out the What Can I Eat? section on diabetes.org. There you’ll find more information about the best food choices from each food group and how they fit into a diabetes meal plan.
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