A metabolic disorder that causes erratic blood sugar fluctuations in the body, diabetes mellitus currently affects over 425 million people worldwide, with more than 72.9 million cases of diabetes in India in 2017.
In absence of proper care and attention, diabetes may also lead to obesity, kidney failure and heart complications. Diabetics are often asked to maintain a strict diet that is high on fibre-rich foods.
Onions may prove to be an ideal bet for a healthy diabetes diet? Studies have shown that there are multiple flavonoids (a class of antioxidants) present in onion that help keep the blood glucose in control and also promote good health and immunity.
The book ‘Healing Spices’ by Bharat B. Aggarwal, PhD, mentions a study where one team of scientists in Korea conducted a meta-analysis of all studies on onions lowering blood sugar in animals with type-2 diabetes.
The results from all the studies were combined. It was found that onions may have compounds that regulate blood sugar spike. The findings were published in the journal of Medicinal Food.
Why Are Onion Good For Diabetes Management?
1. High on fibre: Onions, especially red onions, are rich in fibre content. Spring onions have the lowest fibre content in the family. Fibre takes time to break down and digest, which ensures slow release of sugars in bloodstream. Fibre also adds bulk to your stool, which may help ease constipation, which is a common problem among diabetics.
2. Low on carbs: Onions are very low on carbohydrates. A 100 gram serving of red onions contains about 8 grams of carbohydrates. Carbohydrates metabolise soon, which results in fast release of sugar in the blood stream. Diabetics are often advised to include more low-carb foods to their diet. Additionally, onions are also low on calories, and can safely be considered for a healthy weight loss plan.
3. Low on Glycaemic Index: The Glycaemic index is a value assigned to foods (carbohydrate), based on how slowly or quickly they affect blood glucose levels. The glycaemic index of raw onion is 10, which makes it an ideal low GI food to be added to your diabetes diet.
How to Include Onions In a Healthy Diabetes Diet
A study published, revealed that consumption of fresh onions reduced blood glucose levels among type-1 and type-2 diabetics. You can add onions to soups, stews, salads and sandwiches.
Make sure you maintain moderation; excess of anything is never a sustainable strategy to manage a health condition of any degree.