33% of a balanced diet*
* Vegetables is one half of the Fruit and Veg food group which makes 33% of a balanced diet.
Diabetics are much safer with the veg section of fruit and veg. Whilst there are some sweet veg around, they aren’t as common as the sweet fruits.
One of the reasons why you’re supposed to eat fruit and veg, is to get a good mix of naturally sourced nutrients. These are important for diabetic dieting as it helps keep your diabetes under control & reduce your symptoms.
So it is essential to get a good mix.
Apart from salads, veg tends to be cooked. Unfortunately cooking can reduce the nutrients in the veg dramatically.
So what’s the best way to eat from the vegetables food group?
- Eat them raw.
Simply wash and enjoy. You can also chop them finely or grate them to top a dish.
- Lightly steam them.
The best way to do this is with a steamer. They soften the veg and retain more nutrients than boiling.
- In the oven.
Roast, bake or casserole them. Try adding them to lasagne, pasta bakes or vegetarian casseroles.
- Try grilling veg.It’s quick and retains more nutrients than boiling. Grilling vegetables can add great textures to recipes.
- Try not to boil them!
Whilst convenient, this is the worst option . If you want quick, soft veg, consider buying a steamer.
Why not check out the Vegetables Video Recipes on the Healthy recipes page for an easy to follow guide on cooking healthy foods for diabetics:
When’s the best time to buy Vegetables?
The best vegetables (taste and health wise) are FRESH, LOCAL & IN SEASON.
So here is a list of vegetables and their general seasons to help you buy fresh, seasonal veg:
NOTE – Some vegetables may appear more than twice if they grow and ripen in more than one season. Often this happens when there are several different varieties of the same vegetable.
|Spring||–Broad Beans –Sprouting broccoli –Green Cabbage –New carrots –Cauliflower
–Spring onions –Peas –Radishes –Spinach –Watercress –Asparagus –Lettuce –Onions –Greens
|Summer||–Beetroot –Broad beans – Carrots –French beans –Runner beans –Courgettes
–Cucumber –lettuce –Mangetouts –Peas –New potatoes –Radishes–Spinach
–Tomatoes –Bell Peppers –Eggplant –Okra –Onions
–Corn on the Cob
|Autumn||–Sprouting broccoli –Green, Red & White Cabbage –Cauliflower –Celery
–Corn on the cob –Leeks –Marrows –Spinach –Tomatoes –Watercress –Cucumbers –Greens –Squash –Bell Peppers –Okra
|Winter||–Broccoli –Brussels Sprouts –Green, Red & White Cabbage –Celery –Leeks
–Parsnips –Swedes –Beets –Carrots –Sweet Potatoes
Remember, whilst the 5 a day plan is useful, don’t follow it religiously. Just like the grains group, fruit and veg have to form a third (roughly 33%) of your daily diet.
And it is more important to have a balanced diet than an unbalanced one with your 5 a day!
Try combining fruit and veg with your meals at home and everywhere you go.