All carbohydrate-rich foods are likely to have some sort of effect on your blood glucose. Celery is high in fiber and contains very low amounts of digestible carbohydrates in the form of sugars. Ultimately, the crunchy stalks aren't likely to have drastic effects on your blood glucose. Due to its fiber content, celery may actually be a good tool to help keep your blood glucose levels under control.
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Your body can't tell the difference between added sugar in a candy bar and natural sugar from a stalk of celery. All sugars wind up as simple carbohydrate molecules in the form of glucose, which become your body's main fuel source, according to the Mayo Clinic.
Every fruit or vegetable lands somewhere on the glycemic index, a measuring tool that classifies carbohydrate-containing foods by their ability to raise blood sugar levels, according to the Mayo Clinic. While fruits like watermelon and pineapple are high on the glycemic index, a non-starchy vegetable like celery lands on the lower end of the spectrum, per the U.S. National Library of Medicine.
When glucose hits your blood, your body produces insulin, a hormone that regulates sugar absorption, according to the Mayo Clinic. Insulin forces glucose into cells to give them the energy they need to work.
However, if glucose isn't needed, insulin allows cells to store the fuel for later. Without adequate insulin, sugar stays circulating in your blood, leaving you with abnormally high blood sugar. Luckily, celery isn't high in carbohydrates and thanks to its fiber, it may not raise blood sugar levels too high. One small study looked at the effects of celery on elderly people with diabetics. Researchers found that taking celery leaf extract three times a day before meals for 12 days reduced blood sugar levels, per the results published in the Saudi Medical Journal in February 2018.
Read more: 7 Foods That Won't Cause Blood Sugar Spikes
Although fiber is a type of carbohydrate, like sugars and starches, it's processed differently. The human body can't fully deconstruct fiber, leaving it primarily intact as it travels through your gut, according to the Mayo Clinic. This can help normalize digestion and promote satiety.
Although fiber doesn't turn into glucose, it can still affect your blood sugar. Soluble fiber turns into a jelly-like substance when it binds with fluid in your gut, according to the Mayo Clinic. This material slows digestion as a whole, including delaying sugar absorption. As a result, your blood glucose is more likely to stabilize. As celery is high in fiber, it can help keep your blood sugar under control.
Your Carbohydrate Allowance
If you're managing prediabetes or diabetes (or simply want to control your blood sugar) you have to keep track of the carbohydrates you consume at each meal.
But there is no set number of carbs to have at each meal that applies to everyone. Many factors, such as your weight and activity level, as well as your hunger, play a role in your carb needs, according to the American Diabetes Association. To determine what makes senes for you, talk to a dietitian or diabetes care and education specialist, per the CDC.
- Mayo Clinic: "Nutrition and Healthy Eating"
- Mayo Clinic: "Dietary Fiber: Essential for a Healthy Diet"
- Mayo Clinic: "Insulin and Weight Gain: Keep the Pounds Off"
- U.S. National Library of Medicine: "Glycemic index and diabetes"
- Saudi Medical Journal: "The effects of celery leaf (apium graveolens L.) treatment on blood glucose and insulin levels in elderly pre-diabetics"
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: "Carb Counting"
- American Diabetes Association: "Carb Counting and Diabetes"
- USDA: "Celery, Raw"
- National Diabetes Information Clearinghouse: Diagnosis of Diabetes and Prediabetes
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Carbohydrates
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