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Soya is a godsend for diabetics. Here’s everything you need to know

Updated on:27 January 2021, 19:21pm IST
Many people wonder if soybean can be added to the diet of diabetics. Well, here’s why soya is one of the best diabetic foods out there.
Grace Bains
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vegan protein sources
We have the answer to this long-standing question! Image courtesy: Shutterstock
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Those who know anything about diabetes are aware of the fact that this metabolic disease requires strict dietary restrictions. For the uninitiated, diabetes is an illness where your body is not able to process blood sugar. This happens when your body doesn’t make enough insulin, the hormone required to process blood glucose, or is not able to use it effectively.

This high level of blood sugar affects all organ systems in your body, particularly the liver, kidney, nerves and heart. In such a situation, it becomes important to consume foods that will not cause a sudden spike in your blood glucose levels. At the same time, you also need to include foods that will help your body process blood sugar more efficiently.

So, can soybean be included in a diabetic diet?

Soybean is essentially a legume which can also be found in other edible forms such as soy milk, flour, tofu, soy sauce and chunks. In India, too, it is consumed widely. At times we make daal out of it and other times, we add soya chunks to our pulao. For the longest time, people have asked whether soybean is a healthy inclusion in the diet of diabetics.

The answer to that question is a clear YES! Soybean can be extremely beneficial for diabetics and should definitely be added to their diet. A study from the University of Massachusetts Amherst found that soybean is rich in bioactive compounds known as isoflavones. These compounds are responsible for lowering the risk of diabetes and heart diseases. More importantly, the study noted that consuming soy-based foods can lead to a decrease in blood sugar levels and even improve tolerance of glucose in those who have been diagnosed with diabetes.

food for diabetes

What’s more, it provides diabetics with some essential nutrients and vitamins that they miss out on due to cutting out various foods from their diet. Soybean can benefit a diabetic’s health because:

  • It is extremely rich in fibre, aiding better digestion
  • It has a high protein content
  • It is a great source of omega-3 fatty acids
  • It is rich in iron and boosts blood circulation
  • It has high levels of zinc and calcium, ensuring your bones stay strong
How can you eat soybean if you have diabetes?

One of the greatest benefits of soybean is its versatility! You can consume the legume in multiple forms to keep your blood sugar levels in check:

1. Soybean flour

Ditch wheat and include soybean flour in your diet, especially in the form of roti.

2. Dal

You can prepare soybean dal.

3. Soybean chunks tikka

Roast some soybean chunks and add some spices to it for that extra punch of masala!

4. Tofu salad

Add tofu to your salads to boost your intake of soybean.

food for diabetes
Not just vegans, even you should add tofu in your diet. Here’s why. Image courtesy: Shutterstock
5. Soy milk

Replace dairy with soy milk when you’re consuming cold coffee or a healthy smoothie.

If you are a diabetic, here are 2 things you need to keep in mind while eating soybean
1. Pair it with the right ingredients

There’s no point of adding soybean to your diet if you’re cooking it along with ingredients that will cause a spike in your blood sugar levels, such as potatoes. Hence, ensure that you’re pairing it with foods that are diabetic-friendly too.

2. Consume it in moderation

Soybeans are rich in phytoestrogens and can affect your hormonal balance by interfering with the presence of estrogen. Hence, consume soybean in moderation and do not go overboard. Anything in abundance causes harm.

So, soybean is extremely healthy for those who have diabetes and also those who want to prevent it, as long as you moderate your consumption!

Grace Bains Grace Bains

Grace is someone who likes writing enough to make a living out of it. When she isn’t writing, you will find her having chai and reading a book.