Mushrooms are a nutrient-rich food for people with diabetes.
The facts at a glance
Glycaemic Index & Diabetes
Diabetes is a common condition in which the blood sugar levels or, more accurately, the blood glucose levels, rise above a healthy level in the blood. Estimates suggest that 900,000 people in Australia have diabetes, with the majority having type II diabetes.
You may have heard of the Glycaemic Index (GI), which is the measure of the effect a carbohydrate-containing food has on your blood glucose (sugar) levels. The effect is an indication of the speed at which the carbohydrate in food is digested and absorbed into the blood.
A rapid rise in blood glucose shows that carbohydrate in food has been digested and absorbed into the blood quickly. People with diabetes are encouraged to eat mainly low GI foods, foods with only a minor effect on blood glucose levels.
The dietary advice for people with diabetes is to eat mainly least processed foods, such as fruits, vegetables, mushrooms, lean meats, low-fat dairy, nuts and whole grain cereal foods. Those foods that are the least processed generally have the least effect on blood glucose levels.
Mushrooms won't raise blood glucose
Mushrooms have a low carbohydrate level. As the carbohydrate content of mushrooms is so low, the mushroom has a GI close to zero. In other words, eating mushrooms has no real effect on blood glucose levels, something that is of benefit to people with diabetes.
|Low GI||Medium GI||High GI|
|Breads, cereals||Multigrain bread, porridge, All-Bran, muesli||Rye bread, pita bread||Crispbreads, water crackers|
|Rice, pasta||Pasta, spaghetti||Gnocchi, Doongara rice||Rice|
|Vegetables, legumes||Carrots, baked beans, chick peas||Sweet potato, pumpkin||Potato|
|Fruit||Orange, banana, apple, pear||Pineapple, cherries||Watermelon|
|Dairy foods||Milk, yogurt|
|Snacks||Nuts, chocolate||Muesli bars, potato chips||Confectionery, biscuits, cereal bars|
|Spreads||Marmalade||Honey, golden syrup||Glucose|
|Drinks||Fruit juice||Some soft drinks||Sports drinks|
Mushrooms help to lower blood glucose
Researchers at the University of Western Sydney found that mushrooms helped lower blood cholesterol and blood glucose in laboratory animals, possibly due to the fibre in mushrooms, which is different to that found in vegetables (Jeong 2010). Further research in humans indicates that powdered mushroom reduces the blood glucose response after a meal, especially in young women (Marsales 2014).
In addition, mushrooms provide other very useful health benefits to anybody with diabetes. For example, they are cholesterol free and are virtually fat free and, with abundant antioxidants.
They also contain compounds that lower blood cholesterol, and therefore, may help to reduce your risk of heart disease, which is more prevalent in people with diabetes.
As mushrooms are a source of potassium and virtually salt-free, they also help keep your blood pressure healthy. As they are low kilojoule they will never end up on your waist. The mushroom is ideally suited for weight control because it is low in fat, low in kilojoules and has the ability to reduce your appetite and lower the risk of over-eating during the day.