Whether used as main ingredient or as garnishing, onions can definitely add flavor to a wide variety of dishes. Onions are used for its fragrance, sharpness and sweetness. This brings a question mark to whether the sweetness in onions is a concern for people with diabetes.
Low Carbohydrates And Calories
Medical experts recommend diabetic patients to eat at least 3 to 5 servings of veggies daily. Hence, adding onion to your salad, sandwiches, stews and soups can help to boost your daily vegetable intake without having to add a huge amount of carbohydrates and calories into your diet. Every 100g (around a medium sized onion) of common onion like red, yellow and white onions, contains around 40 calories and 9 grams of carbohydrates in which 4.2 grams are sugar.
Sweet onions, or the mild onion varieties, are a seasonal favorite. Unlike common onion like red, yellow and white varieties, sweet onions often have higher percentage of water as well as a lower concentration of chemicals that contain sulfur. The sugar concentration on sweet onions however is not significantly higher if compared to the normal onions. In fact the overall carbohydrates content is slightly lower than common onions. Every 100g of sweet onion contains 8 grams of carbohydrates in which 5 grams are sugar. People with diabetes can definitely add sweet onions to your diet.
Just like with all vegetables, onions is a source of fiber. Dietary fiber is great for those with diabetes as it helps to keep bowels active and prevents constipation. If you’re prone to constipation because of diabetes related problems, then consuming onions is good for you. Moreover, a diet that’s rich in fiber can help to lower your blood’s cholesterol level and therefore, minimize your chances of heart diseases. 100g of common onions gives you 1.7 grams of dietary fiber. 100g of sweet onions give you only 0.9 grams of dietary fiber.
Vitamins and Minerals
Onions have a moderate amount of Vitamin C or Ascorbic Acid. It also provides other nutrients such as Vitamin A and Folate, as well as Niacin. Spring onion or scallion is the best source of vitamin C of all onions. Half a cup of spring onions is enough to provide you with up to 9.4 mg of Vitamin C.
Blood Sugar Effects
Onions are rich in micronutrients known as flavonoids. This is a group of plant derived chemicals that are known for having several health related benefits. The flavonoids found in onions includes quercetin, allyl propyl disulphide and cysteine.
Medical experts suggest that the flavonoids found in onions could affect ones level of blood glucose in their body. Further studies also show that consuming fresh onions can greatly help in reducing the blood glucose among people suffering from both Type 2 and Type 1 Diabetes. Additional research is required to determine if onions can be a useful addition to a diabetic patient’s nutritional therapy.