Diabetes is a condition affecting important body functions and requires thorough care. Learn information about fruits you can eat without any risks.
Once you have been diagnosed with diabetes, you have probably been told that eating fruit is prohibited for people with such a condition. Probably, someone recommended that you avoid bananas and watermelons, since they are too sweet. However, these are common misconceptions. Fruit has many beneficial components required for the body, including fiber that helps pull cholesterol from the heart, prevents blood sugar spikes and enhances your overall health state.
Additionally, fruit serves a unique source of minerals and vitamins, specifically potassium that helps to decrease blood pressure. Considering all the positive features of the product, the only thing you need to mind is the type of fruit you eat. Besides, you need to take an appropriate portion to get the maximal benefit out of the course.
Fruit is also classified as a carbohydrate that contains fructose. Irrespective of its source, natural sugar breaks down and transforms to glucose. Patients with diabetes may need to keep track of the amount of carbohydrates they eat. Below you can find 4 useful tips on how to use proper fruit and avoid undesirable complications:
#1. Avoid Fruit Juices and Dried Fruit
It is recommended to eliminate the consumption of fruit juices, even 100% natural ones. The reason is in the juice ability to spike blood sugars instantly due to discarded fiber. Additionally, it can result in drinking too many calories without realizing the problem.
Dried fruit, peculiarly sweetened, contains a higher carbohydrate concentration than whole fruit. Thus, it contains more sugar because of extra sugar it gets for its flavor. Besides, it can be lower in fiber, since skin of the fruit is removed.
Instead of fruit juice and dried fruit, you can select whole fruit, including frozen, fresh or canned without sugar.
#2. Track Portions
Once you follow a consistent, fixed carbohydrate meal plan, it is inevitable to see fruit as a source of carbohydrates. Choosing fruits, stick to one serving per snack or meal, limiting servings to no more than 2-3 a day. Keep in mind that a single fruit serving is around 15 g of carbohydrate.
Here comes a list of whole fruit per one serving:
• 15 grapes or cherries;
• 2 small kiwi;
• 1 1/4 cup strawberries;
• 1/3 medium mango;
• 4 small apricots;
• 1 cup raspberries;
• 3/4 cup blueberries;
• 1 cup of melon;
• 1/2 medium banana;
• 1 small piece orange, peach, apple, pear, plum;
• 2 small tangerines.
Once you are in search of fruit with the maximal value for the biggest portion, you will probably prefer the ones rich in fiber, such as blueberries, blackberries and raspberries.
#3. Select Fruit with Low Glycemic Index
According to numerous investigations, people with diabetes should choose fruit, which have the lowest Glycemic index. This index is generally used as a measure of carbohydrate-containing foods, which increase blood glucose.
The products are classified according to their influence on blood sugar. Any food with an ultimately high GL will considerably advance blood glucose, compared to foods with low or at least medium GL, with exceptions being melon and pineapple. It does not mean these fruit are banned, but you’d better avoid them if you notice blood sugar spikes after their consumption.
Foods, which trigger blood sugar spikes, are individual for every patient. Moreover, you can find that the riper is a fruit, the more it influences your blood sugar. Therefore, you need to monitor your personal sensitivity to certain foods and select the ones which work best for you.
#4. Combine It with Protein
There is a theory that combining fruit with protein can decrease the rise of blood sugar. Thus, you can add protein to a fruit snack or incorporate fruit into your daily meal allotment for carbohydrates. For instance:
• 1 small peach together with ½ cups of low-fat cottage cheese;
• 4 oz apple taken with 1 tablespoon almond butter;
• 1 non-fat Greek yogurt and 1 cup raspberries.