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Is Drinking Coconut Water Safe For Diabetics?

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ISSA Certified Specialist in Fitness & Nutrition
Is Drinking Coconut Water Safe For Diabetics? September 19, 2017

Coconut water is one of the best natural drinks abundantly available around us.

I’m not kidding. One look at the web magazines and web pages, and you’ll see celebrities promoting this refreshing drink as their ultimate ‘weight control’ weapon. It’s sweet, tasty, nutrient-dense—all without being too high in calories. And this is why coconut water is often recommended to those with high blood sugar levels.

But, is it advisable to drink coconut water for diabetes? Let’s find out.

Coconut Water—A Brief

So, what’s so unique about this drink?

Coconut water is fresh, sterile, and devoid of artificial sweeteners and preservatives. It is, therefore, safe for all to consume coconut water without worrying about any health risk.

This drink is also an excellent electrolyte replenishment. It is rich in two essential salts—potassium and sodium, along with calcium, phosphorous, zinc, manganese, iron, copper, and fundamental amino acids. Coconut water also contains natural sugars like fructose (15%), glucose (50%) and sucrose (35%). Now let’s find out here can diabetic patient drink coconut water.

Coconut Water For Diabetes – Is It Safe?

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Good news for people with diabetes around the world!

Call it a work of the plentiful natural sugars or its sterile nature—coconut water has joyfully passed the safety test for diabetes—as stated in the February 2015 edition of the Journal of Medicinal Food (1).

However, one should not exceed the limit of drinking coconut water every day, no matter how much you like it. This is because despite being a healthy drink coconut water does contain fructose, and although low in content (around 15%), fructose can interfere with your blood sugar levels.

So, when should you stop?

An ideal recommendation is 8 ounces (250 ml) twice a day. Anything more than that can harm your health adversely. Another important tip is to have coconut water in its natural form without adding any external ingredients.

Note: It is important to note that one needs to consume the water of green coconut, and not the thick milky substance, which is known as the pulp. The whitish pulp of the coconut is high in sugar and fat. Therefore, it is not suitable for diabetes patients.

[ Read: How Does Honey Help Diabetics? ]

Why Is Coconut Water Good For Diabetics

Wondering why consumption of coconut water for diabetes is recommended?

Let’s look through the benefits of coconut water for diabetics:

1. Nutrient Density

This is a given.

As established earlier, coconut water is particularly high in several essential vitamins, minerals, and amino acids. Each cup of this tasty drink contains 5.8 mg vitamin C, 0.1 mg riboflavin, 57.6 mg calcium, 60 mg magnesium, 600mg potassium, 252 mg sodium, and 0.3 mg manganese. These nutrients, especially sodium and potassium, help in keeping the blood sugar fluctuations in check (2).

2. Contains More Fiber And Less Carbs

As a diabetic, having control over carbohydrate intake is as important as keeping track of its sugar content. In fact, a recommended diet for diabetics (as prescribed by physicians) should be high in fiber and low in carbohydrates.

These carbs, being exceptionally high on natural sugars can quickly contribute to a spike in blood glucose level, which could prove harmful for people with diabetes.
Coconut water, being high on fiber (2.6 grams per 240 grams coconut water), is a good solution to keep blood sugar levels in check (3).

3. Improves Blood Circulation

Those with Diabetes often suffer from poor blood circulation. Due to this problem, they often experience discomforts like numbness in the feet, blurred vision, and kidney failure. Intake of coconut water improves to reduce such condition quite efficiently.

Coconut water improves blood circulation by widening the blood vessels (4). Thus, it provides great relief against fighting the symptoms and side effects of diabetes. Besides, it is capable of healing a diabetic disorder called atherosclerosis.

[ Read: How Does Cinnamon Help Control Diabetes? ]

4. Helps Maintain Weight

Image: Shutterstock

Abnormal weight gain is a general tendency amongst diabetic patients. Coconut water has the ability to prevent unnecessary hunger and therefore helps you eat less.

Additionally, it is a rich source of nutrients like essential salts, minerals and contains no cholesterol at all (5, 6). Coconut water is loaded with all the right nutrients. It is an excellent source of Omega-3 fatty acids and antioxidants. Both of these are essential in diabetes to check sugar levels and body weight.

So this incredible drink can qualify as an ideal midday snack that offers only energy and not calories. Moreover, a diabetic patient can easily choose this natural cooler, as other colas are a strict ‘no’ for them because of their high sugar content.

5. Improves Metabolism

Image: Shutterstock

Coconut water helps induce metabolism which, in turn, improves fat burning and sugar burning process within the body. This activity of coconut water within our bodies helps to provide patients with more energy and vigor for life (7).

[ Read: How Does Fenugreek Help Cure Diabetes? ]

6. Has A Low Glycemic Index

Coconut water is an excellent choice for diabetics because of its exceptionally low glycemic index.

It has a glycemic load of 3, and thus having coconut water does not lead to an immediate spike in the blood glucose level (8). Moreover, magnesium content in this drink helps improve insulin sensitivity in an individual (9).

As we learnt, coconut water is good for diabetes as it contains certain nutritional properties that help in maintaining the blood sugar levels. It is high in fiber and belongs to the alkaline pH food group that helps to cope with acid-producing factors within the body. Consuming coconut water is safe for obese diabetic patients as well, as it does not add more calories to one’s health. Moreover, this drink is completely safe, so what are you waiting for? Include this tasty natural drink in your daily routine and see the results for yourself.

How was our article on coconut water for diabetes and are clear about the link between coconut water and diabetes? Did we miss out on any point? Do write to us in the comments box below.

Stay fit, stay healthy!

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