What is diabetes?
Diabetes is a chronic health condition affecting our bodily function of converting food into energy. Whenever the sugar level in our blood goes beyond a certain point, the pancreas releases insulin, which helps transform sugar into energy.
In diabetes, the body is incapable of generating sufficient quantities of insulin. As a result, sugar content in the blood goes up.
Diabetes in India is a widespread occurrence. As per the statistics, 77 million people in the country have diabetes. Diabetes in India has reached a proportion of concern, and India ranks 2nd after China in terms of the number of diabetes-affected people.
What are the beverages advisable for a person with diabetes?
In a diabetic condition, the body suffers from insulin insensitivity, and hence the general tendency is high levels of sugar retention in the blood leading to other complications. Therefore, a person with diabetes needs to concentrate on beverages which are low on the glycemic index and don’t cause sudden spikes in blood sugar.
Some drinks a person with diabetes may consume are detox water, whey protein drink, and unsweetened hot chocolate milk. Some other drinks considered low risk for a person with diabetes are black tea, buttermilk, tomato juice, apple cider vinegar, and herbal tea.
A person with diabetes may choose to avoid soft drinks, energy drinks, and packaged fruit juices as they have added sugar, raising blood sugar levels.
Is coconut water good for diabetes?
As mentioned above, diabetes in India has reached an alarming number. In a developing country, a natural remedy may be a better option as advanced medical treatments are not available to all. Coconut water is one such option that is abundantly available in India and is beneficial to a person with diabetes.
Coconut water is one of the best sources of hydration which is full of electrolytes and balances two salts—sodium and potassium. Coconut water is also rich in vitamins and essential minerals like iron, zinc, calcium, phosphorus, copper, manganese and amino acids. All these are beneficial to a person with a chronic condition like diabetes. Therefore, the answer to “is coconut water good for diabetes?” is yes.
The nutritional profile of coconut water
A cup of coconut water (250 ml) contains the following nutrients:
- Calories: 44
- Fat: 0g
- Sodium: 64mg
- Carbohydrates: 10.4g
- Fibre: 0g
- Sugars: 9.6g
- Protein: 0.5g
- Vitamin C: 24.3mg
- Potassium: 404mg
Fresh coconut water contains little to no fat.
Possible adverse effects of coconut water
Overconsumption of coconut water, however, may have adverse side effects on a person with diabetes. As coconut water is rich in potassium, excessive consumption of coconut water may lead to a complication called hyperkalemia, meaning the presence of excess potassium in the body.
Experts feel the consumption of coconut water should be limited to 1 to 2 cups a day without added sugar.
How to consume coconut water?
The best way to have coconut water is without any added sugar. We can add lemon juice to get some tang. A dose of chia seeds may also be a choice as an energising beverage.
The best time to have coconut water is in the morning on an empty stomach. The presence of lauric acid in coconut water helps strengthen our body’s metabolism.
Coconut water is a drink which is good for a person with diabetes because of its nutrient contents. However, we should avoid adding sugar. We should also restrict coconut water consumption to around 250 to 280 ml daily.
Frequently Asked Questions
- Is coconut water good for diabetes?
Yes, the nutrient contents of coconut water and low glycemic index make it a drink that is good for people with diabetes.
- Does coconut water raise blood sugar?
No, coconut has a very low glycemic index. Hence, it does not raise blood sugar levels.
- How much coconut water can a person with diabetes have in a day?
A person with diabetes should have unsweetened coconut water and must limit the consumption between 240 and 280 ml daily.
- How does coconut water improve insulin sensitivity?
Coconut water is rich in manganese, potassium, magnesium and vitamin C, which improve insulin sensitivity.