This weeks question from http://foodpicker.org !

Is it ok to eat peas & carrots if you have diabetes?  I heard to avoid those two veggies.

Diabetes and vegetables go together just like peas and carrots. But hey, what about peas and carrots??!  You may have peas and carrots, but here is a diabetes-smart approach to take. While many healthcare professionals in the diabetes field will tell you vegetables can be considered a “free food” because of their minimal carbohydrate content, there are a few exceptions. Peas, corn, potatoes, and Lima beans are examples of starchy vegetables, which contain enough carbohydrates to be considered a serving (15 grams = 1 serving). So although these items are perfectly alright and rich in vitamins, just include them when you are carbohydrate counting. For peas, 1 cup  is 23 carbohydrates, so having half a cup would put you just under 1 serving of carbohydrates.

Carrots are kind of tricky. Many of the “root” vegetables are higher in carbohydrates, however carrots have one of the lower carbohydrate contents in their category. Carrots’ sugar content is higher, making the carbohydrates a bit more than maybe you would find in broccoli, spinach, green beans, etc. Despite this, they are also not really categorized as a starchy vegetable like peas, which are higher in carbohydrates.  So to answer your question, 1 cup of cooked, sliced carrots is 16 grams. If you’re looking at baby carrots, 1 baby carrot is 1 carbohydrate. So you could have 15 baby carrots before you equal one serving.

So in conclusion, you can have peas and carrots, just remember, all things in moderation. You could have 1/2 cup of peas, and 1 cup cooked sliced carrots and that would fulfill a little less than 2 carbohydrate servings. Pair them up with a non-starchy vegetable,  a protein, and one serving of whole grain, and voila! A complete, satisfying meal with 3 carbohydrate servings. (Remember: women can have 2-3, men 3-4 servings)

Pretty cool huh? I think so.