Zucchini and Type 2 Diabetes

Zucchini (or even “courgette” in British English) is one of our favourite foods here in Diabetes Meal Plans.

Not only is it very easy to develop and relatively inexpensive, but it is also an extremely mild tasting versatile vegetable which can be incorporated into many dishes.

Zucchini is a type of summer squash, an extremely low-starch vegetable, which can be consumed liberally without negatively impacting your glucose levels. Zucchini is most frequently varying shades of green, but there are orange and yellow varieties also.


Zucchini Nutrition Facts

  • Zucchini is low in calories (35 per cup) and carbohydrates (3.5 g per cup)
  • Zucchini has a very low glycemic index of 15
  • Zucchini is a good source of carotenoids
  • Zucchini supplies antioxidants
  • Zucchini supplies many vitamins and minerals crucial to metabolism
  • Zucchini contains nourishment from your flesh AND skin and seeds

Zucchini (, 196 g)

Calories: 33 | Complete Fat: 0.6 g | Sat Fat: 0.1 g | Poly: 0.1 g | Mono: 0.02 g | Total Carbs: 6.1 g | Fiber: 2.0 g | Net Carbs: 4.1 g | Protein: 2.3 g

Vitamin: 31 mg | Iron: 0.73 mg | Magnesium: 35 mg | Phosphorus: 74 mg | Potassium: 512 mg | Zinc: 0.63 mg

Vitamin C: 35.1 mg | Thiamin: 0.088 mg | Riboflavin: 0.184 mg | Niacin: 0.884 mg | Vit B6: 0.319 mg | Folate: 47 ug | Vit B12: 0 mg | Vit A: 392 IU | Vit E: 0.24 mg | Vit D: 0 IU | Vit K: 8.4 ug

Zucchini (,180 g)

Calories: 27 | Complete Fat: 0.6 g | Sat Fat: 0.1 g | Poly: 0.2 g | Mono: 0.05 g | Total Carbs: 4.8 g | Fiber: 1.8 g | Net Carbs: 3 g | Protein: 2 g

Vitamin: 32 mg | Iron: 0.67 mg | Magnesium: 34 mg | Phosphorus: 67 mg | Potassium: 475 mg | Zinc: 0.59 mg

Vitamin C: 23.2 mg | Thiamin: 0.063 mg | Riboflavin: 0.043 mg | Niacin: 0.918 mg | Vit B6: 0.144 mg | Folate: 50 ug | Vit B12: 0 mg | Vit A: 2011 IU | Vit E: 0.22 mg | Vit D: 0 IU | Vit K: 7.6 ug

Health Benefits of Zucchini


  • B vitamins in addition to Zinc and Magnesium (all current in summer squash) are crucial to hormonal regulation and blood sugar stability.
  • is important for bowel health, lipid metabolism and blood glucose balance.
  • Manganese (excellent source) and Vitamin C (great source) along with carotenoids like lutein and zeaxanthin supply antioxidants which protect against oxidative cell damage.
  • Potassium assists with decrease of blood pressure, maintenance of fluid balance, and protects against kidney and heart disease.

Research on Zucchini Specific to T2 Diabetes

A quantifying the effects of adding peels from squash together with glucose to diets of diabetic mice showed a reversal in negative glucose impact.

Factors for Consideration

While zucchini is usually secure, it does belong to a plant family which could contain toxins known as which behave as a defense mechanism for plants. However, varieties grown today are bred to contain trace/low amounts of the poison and aren’t harmful to people. Additionally, the poison is very bitter-tasting so if current, it will be detectable. As long as your zucchini tastes nice, you have no need to worry about

In addition, zucchini does consume a great deal of pesticides, it is best to scrub the skins and/or rinse well with vinegar solution prior to eating, if you don’t buy it organic.

Zucchini and Diabetes Conclusion

In short, zucchini is a great low calorie, low carb choice to incorporate as a normal food option in a diabetic diet.

Zucchini in the KitchenZucchini and Type 2 Diabetes

Pick zucchini that is heavy for it’s size, unblemished with firm skin and bright colour.  

Attempt to steer clear of any black or soft spots. Different dimensions are better for different dishes. When creating zucchini lasagna or noodles, it is wonderful to have the huge ones, however for munching on slices or pitching in dishes that the smaller ones are fine and have a bit more flavor. Medium sized ones are great for grilling.

The really enormous ones (ie. > 1.5 feet and/or 6″ diameter) are usually very woody and seeds are grainy so you might only be able to use the flesh from those.

Zucchini should be stored refrigerated in crisper drawer until ready to use, subsequently washed just ahead. A diluted vinegar solution can get rid of a significant quantity of the pesticides sprayed.

Zucchini will keep for about 7-10 days. If they’re somewhat tender, use in sauces, slow cooker dishes or casseroles. And if the skin is a bit spotted, simply peel them and use anyhow.

Zucchini can also be frozen but freezing will affect the texture quite a bit so should only be used in sauces, casseroles, or as a sip at there.

  • Sliced very thinly and baked as processors
  • and used as a noodle and pasta substitute
  • Sliced length ways and used as a lasagna noodle substitute
  • Diced and added to stir fries
  • Sliced or diced and seasoned for grilling
  • Grated and added to salads
  • Or simply eat the zucchini raw 

Zucchini can also be pureed and added into just about anything–smoothies, soups, casseroles, chili, etc..

  • Steaming: Zucchini (chopped or spiralized) can be steamed for 3-4 minutes.
  • Boiling: Zucchini can be boiled 2-3 minutes, although there’ll be more nutrient reduction and the texture will be more pliable.
  • Sauteed: Zucchini can be sauteed in broth or sauces.
  • Grilled: Zucchini could be garnished using olive oil, topped with spices if desired and grilled 5-7 minutes.
  • Microwaved: Zucchini can be microwaved, covered 4 minutes until softened.
  • Baked: Large zucchinis could be filled up with additional veggies, cheese and meat as “zucchini ships” and baked from the oven 30-50 minutes depending on the dimensions and fillings. Furthermore, zucchini can be thinly sliced and baked as ‘chips’ in 350F/ 180C for 15-20 minutes until crispy. Or slit length manners, drizzle with olive oil and bake for 20 minutes to add using a roast dinner.
  • Frying: Zucchini can be added to stir fries (a common ingredient in ‘Ratatouille’); because they’re very delicate, they should be added right at the end as they’ll only take a few minutes to cook through.

Note: If using as a pasta substitute, it helps to lightly salt the sliced pieces and allow them ‘sweat’ out much of their water, then blot it with a paper towel.

Zucchini Kitchen Utensils

One of the most essential items is a Paderno Vegetable Spiralizer, to make zucchini noodles. A set of sharp knives makes your kitchen handy function simpler. Keep a great grater convenient because zucchini is perfectly grated in salads, stews, soups and other foods. For a little bit of fun, use a crinkle cut knife. And consistently have baking trays along with also a tiered steamer to steam your veggies. It is the ideal way to eat them!

Cutting Techniques

Zucchini is extremely easy to cut. Simply slice into rounds using a sharp knife in a downward motion keeping your knuckles and palms wedged against the top of the blade to avoid cutting yourself.

Here are an assortment of presentation videos.

The way to slit and chunk zucchini

The best way to cut zucchini for grilling

The best way to julienne and dice zucchini in nice bits

The best way to cut thin layers of zucchini

Zucchini Recipes

Chicken Pesto Zoodles

Diabetic Lunch: Chicken Pesto Zoodle Salad

Beef Basil Noodles


Zucchini Pizza Boats


Cheesy Vegetable Bake

Diabetic Low Carb Vegetable Bake

While you’re here, catch our free resources — food list and blood glucose graphs with hints.

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