Wondering if consuming fruits regularly is a healthy option for you since you are suffering from diabetes? The answer is a big YES! Fruits are loaded with vitamins, minerals and fibres and can be consumed by people with diabetes if their blood sugar is under moderate to good control .
Fruit contain carbohydrates, so you need to count it as part of your meal plan. Having a piece of fresh fruit or fruit salad for dessert is a great way to satisfy your sweet tooth and get the extra nutrition your body requires.
Many people with diabetes are afraid to eat fruits because they think the sugar content of the fruit is unhealthy for their diabetes, but what they need to know is that fruits can be part of a diabetes meal plan too .
Due to its high fiber and nutrition content, a serving of whole fruit can fit into a meal plan without causing sharp increases in blood sugars.
Table of Contents:
- 11 Best Fruits for Diabetes
- Health Benefits of fruits
- Glycemic Index (GI) Monitoring
- Fruits to be avoided if you are diabetic
- How much food one needs to eat?
- Tips for balancing your diet
As long as it is incorporated into the total carbohydrate of the meal or snack, it is a great and highly nutritious choice—especially as a dessert .
11 Best Fruits for Diabetes:
‘An Apple a day keeps the doctor away’ has been rightly said as apples are rich in fibres and contain Vitamin C. When you are eating apples, do not peel off the skin as the skin is rich in antioxidants .
Also, apples are full of polyphenols, plant compounds that seem to protect against a variety of chronic diseases .
Many researchers have shown a positive correlation between kiwi consumption and lowering of blood sugar level .
Because most fruits are sweet and contain simple sugar, you might expect them to raise blood sugar dramatically giving them a high Glycemic Index (GI) . However, this is not the case with high-fibre fruits such as kiwi.
Kiwi can help regulate your blood sugar in two ways:
1. Kiwi has a low GI
It comes under the category of ‘Low’ GI because the high fibre content of kiwi slows the uptake of sugar during digestion, which means that the glucose is less rapidly taken up by the body and only slowly released into the bloodstream .
2. Kiwi can lower the rate of glucose uptake from other foods
A new scientific study has shown that eating kiwifruit with your breakfast will significantly slow the update of sugars from your breakfast in your bloodstream . This is because the fibre in kiwi has a very high water-holding capacity.
When eaten, the kiwi fruit fibre attracts water so that it swells and thickens like a gel. As your breakfast is digested, it is broken down into smaller sugars and these move more slowly through the gel. This results in sugar being taken up at a reduced rate into the blood and energy delivered more slowly.
3. Black Jamun
Undoubtedly, this is one of the best fruits for diabetics. It is known to improve blood sugar control . Seeds of these fruits can be powdered and consumed by patients to control diabetes. The jamun fruit and jamun leaves are good for diabetes patients.
The black plum has antidiabetic features. Jamun helps to convert starch into energy and keep your blood sugar levels in check.
In the summer season, the sugar patient should eat jamun regularly because of its low glycemic index. Jamun reduces the symptoms of diabetes like frequent urination. The extract of bark, seeds, and leaves are too beneficial in the treatment of diabetes.
In a recent study in CDRI, Lucknow, India, it has been found that the dried alcoholic extract of the seeds is good to reduce the level of blood sugar . The decoction of the bark and powdered seed is good in the treatment of diabetes.
The extract of the bark, seeds and leaves are good in decreased sugar in the urine (glycouria). Jamun and jamun seeds have hypoglycemic effects. Jamun seeds powder contains jamboline, a type of glucose, which helps to control the conversion of starch into sugar.
Guava is a superfood with some amazing hidden health benefits. It is low on Glycemic index (GI) and so it can be consumed by the diabetics. Guava controls diabetes and it is good for constipation.
Guavas are high in vitamin A and vitamin C and contain high amounts of dietary fibre.
Good for diabetics, pineapples also benefit the body as they are rich in anti-viral, anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties.
Though low-GI fruits are a safer choice for diabetics, you can still eat medium to high-GI fruits (such as banana, pineapple, watermelon, sweet melon and papaya), as long as you do it after exercising for at least an hour to avoid a high sugar spike.
Incorporating papaya into your diet can have many possible health benefits. Studies suggest that consuming papaya decreases the risk of obesity, diabetes, and heart disease as well as promotes healthy skin and hair, increases energy and decreases overall weight .
Papaya is very accessible and is available most times of the year in many supermarkets.
This exotic fruit is filled with many antioxidants, nutrients, and vitamins, which play a role in reducing many other lifestyle health conditions such as cancer and bone fractures.
These citrus fruits can be consumed on a daily basis by diabetics, as they are rich in vitamin C. Oranges are healthy citrus fruit, but if you have type 2 diabetes, you may worry about their high sugar content if your blood sugar levels are out of control.
Fortunately, oranges contain components that make them a nutritious part of a diabetic diet as long as you eat them in concert with other healthy foods.
Blueberries are small fruits, but they contain a lot of power to help you do the big job of managing diabetes.
The American Diabetes Association names blueberries as a “diabetes superfood” because blueberries are packed with nutrients, such as fiber and antioxidant vitamins, which provide several key benefits for dealing with diabetes .
Studies suggest that eating strawberries, which have a low glycemic index, in quantities of at least 2–3 servings per week can lower the risk of developing Type 2 diabetes .
Watermelon is typically a summertime favorite fruit. Watermelons are a good source of vitamins, minerals and fibres but people suffering from diabetes have to be cautious about their daily intake of the fruit.
Although watermelons have a high GI value, their glycemic load is low, making them good fruits for diabetes patients . However, consume them in moderation.
Juicy peaches can also be included in your diabetes-friendly diet. Peaches contain vitamins A and C, potassium, and fiber, and are delicious on their own or tossed into iced tea for a fruity twist .
When you want an easy diabetes-friendly snack, whip up a quick smoothie by pureeing peach slices with low-fat buttermilk, crushed ice, and a touch of cinnamon or ginger.
Low carb, high in fiber, rich in vitamin A, apricots are a great option for diabetics . Include one apricot in your daily diet. Apricots are a sweet summer-fruit staple and a wonderful addition to your diabetes meal plan. One apricot has just 17 calories and 4 g of carbohydrates.
Four fresh apricots equal one serving and provide more than 50 per cent of your daily vitamin A requirement. These fruity jewels are also a good source of fiber. Try mixing some diced fresh apricots into hot or cold cereal, or toss some in a salad.
Health Benefits of Fruits
Fruits are one of nature’s beautiful gift to mankind. They are sweet, tasty, come in all shapes and sizes but have many health benefits that can prevent complications like heat stroke, high blood pressure, cancer, and diabetes. They fight skin disorders and promote healthy hair growth.
There are many health benefits of fruits and research have shown that fruits lead to better living. Other benefits of fruits are as follows:
- Boost Energy: When you eat fruits, your supply of energy increases in no time. This is the reason why athletes often eat fruits during and after exercise and why diets for pregnant mothers mostly involve fruits.
- Kidney Stones: Fruits which are rich in vitamin C help in treating kidney stones. Citrus fruit like oranges, lemons are great for reducing your chances of suffering from kidney stones.
- Strong Bones: Fruits rich in vitamin K and calcium are good for bones and help improve the bone mineral density. Fruits such as oranges and grapefruit.
- Dietary Fibre: Fruits have immensely good dietary fibre which helps in reducing blood cholesterol levels and may lower risk of heart diseases. Fibre is needed for good bowel functions. It helps reduce constipation and diverticulosis.
- Type 2 Diabetes: Fruits like apple, avocado, plum, orange have a low GI – less than 55 and will help in controlling blood sugar levels.
Glycemic Index (GI) Monitoring
Along with counting carbs, you may also factor in the glycemic index when eating. The glycemic index measures how carbs raise your blood sugar. Some foods cause blood sugar to rise more rapidly than others.
Factors contributing to the glycemic index in foods are:
- Cooking Method
|Brand Drug Name||Drug Category||Common Side Effects|
|Adipex-P (phentermine)||Appetite suppressant; sympathomimetic amine||Increased blood pressure and heart rate, insomnia, nervousness, restlessness, dependence, abuse or withdrawal may occur with long-term use. When given as a single agent, phentermine is not implicated in valvular heart disease.|
|Alli (orlistat) – over-the-counter (OTC)||Lipase inhibitor||Oily spotting, gas (flatulence), fecal urgency, soft stools, fecal incontinence; take Alli with a daily multivitamin.|
|Belviq (lorcaserin)||Selective serotonin 2C receptor agonist (suppresses appetite)||Headache, nausea, dizziness, fatigue, dry mouth, constipation; euphoria/dissociation may occur with higher doses; do not exceed 10 mg two times a day.|
|Bontril PDM, Bontril SR (phendimetrazine)||Appetite suppressant; sympathomimetic amine||Increased blood pressure and heart rate, insomnia, nervousness, restlessness, dependence, abuse or withdrawal may occur with long-term use.|
|Contrave (bupropion and naltrexone)||Antidepressant (weak inhibitor of norepinephrine and dopamine) and an opioid antagonist||Nausea, vomiting, headache, fatigue, constipation, dizziness, insomnia, dry mouth, diarrhea, increased blood pressure, anxiety, tremor, hot flush, unusual taste.|
|Desoxyn (methamphetamine)||Appetite suppressant; sympathomimetic amine||High abuse potential; use only if alternative treatments are ineffective; increased blood pressure and heart rate, insomnia, nervousness, restlessness, dependence, abuse or withdrawal may occur with long-term use.|
|Didrex (benzphetamine)||Appetite suppressant; sympathomimetic amine||Increased blood pressure and heart rate, insomnia, nervousness, restlessness, dependence, abuse or withdrawal may occur with long-term use.|
|Diethylpropion||Appetite suppressant; sympathomimetic amine||Constipation, restlessness, dry mouth, Increased blood pressure and heart rate, insomnia, nervousness, restlessness, dependence, abuse or withdrawal may occur with long-term use.|
|Qsymia (phentermine and topiramate extended-release capsules)||Combination appetite suppressant-anorectic; exact action of topiramate on weight loss is not known||Paresthesias, dizziness, altered taste, insomnia, constipation, dry mouth.|
|Saxenda (liraglutide)||Glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) receptor agonist; regulates appetite and food intake.||Nausea/vomiting, diarrhea, constipation, headache, heartburn, fatigue, dizziness, stomach pain, gas, dry mouth, low blood sugar in type 2 diabetes, increased lipase.|
|Suprenza (phentermine)||Appetite suppressant; sympathomimetic amine||Increased blood pressure and heart rate, insomnia, nervousness, restlessness, dependence, abuse or withdrawal may occur with long-term use.|
|Xenical (orlistat)||Lipase inhibitor||Oily spotting, gas (flatulence), fecal urgency, soft stools, fecal incontinence; take Xenical with a daily multivitamin.|
If a food has a high glycemic index, it can raise your blood sugar quickly. You can still eat these foods, but you should balance them with low glycemic foods at meals.
Walk each day to remain in shape and help control weight, along with improved energy levels and endorphins. Make it brisk, and keep the pace up for at least 30 minutes. Remember to warm up, cool down and stretch.
So all the fruit lovers out there, do not let diabetes stop you from enjoying your favourite seasonal fruits, for fruits qualify under bounties of nature with huge health benefits.
Fruits to be avoided if you are diabetic
If you are diabetic, chances are that you are not allowed to eat fruit. That is not true, people with diabetes can include fruit as part of their healthy eating plan but consuming too much isn’t good as it will affect your blood sugar.
We have prepared a list of fruits that you can avoid because they have a higher glycemic index or because people overeat them which result in high blood sugar.
Grapes are high in carbohydrates. A small grape contains one gram of carbohydrate which means 20 grapes are considered one serving of fruit. And we don’t stop eating at 20 now, do we? To avoid overeating, place the grapes in a small bowl to avoid overeating.
2. Dried Fruit
Dried fruits are usually coated in yoghurt, chocolate or sugar and contain a large amount of carbohydrate. Replace dried fruit with fresh fruit to add volume to your meal and try to reduce sugar content.
An entire mango consists of 30 grams of carbohydrate and about 26 grams of sugar. Always limit your portions and control your cravings. As the mango softens, it ripens and the GI rises which in turn will raise your blood sugar.
When we eat cherries, we don’t eat 1 or two, we always take a handful of them which spikes the blood sugar level. Similar to grapes, cherries have the same carbohydrate so its best you try avoiding cherries.
How much food one needs to eat?
Good news for people with diabetes, you can eat all your favorite food but you need to control your portion size and enjoy them less often. Your dietician will help create a diabetes meal plan for you that meets your needs and likes.
You need to plan your meals! There are two common ways are plate method and carbohydrate counting, also called carb counting.
This method will help you control your portion sizes. This method will show you the amount of each food which you need to eat. To get the best results, use a nine-inch plate. Place the non-starchy vegetables on half of the plate, meat and protein one-fourth of the plate and grain or other starch on the last one. Create your plate.
- Use everyday objects or your hand to judge the size of the portion
- 1 serving of cheese is six dices
- 1 serving of pancake is a DVD
- The ½ cup of cooked rice or pasta is a rounded handful
- 28 grams serving of fish is a checkbook.
- 1 serving of meat is the palm of your hand.
Keeping track of your carbohydrate counting you eat and drink is very essential. Carbohydrates turn into glucose in your body, they affect the glucose level more than any other foods do thus carb counting will help you manage the blood glucose level.
The amount is calculated in grams so you need to read the Nutrition Facts Foods Label to learn the estimate the number of grams of carbohydrate in the food you eat.
In addition to the plate method or carb counting, visit a registered dietitian for additional help and support.
Tips for balancing your diet
A healthy diet is crucial to managing your diabetes. You should track your daily carbohydrate consumption and maintain a healthy meal plan.
Your diet should consist of foods that are high in vitamins, minerals, and nutrients. These can be found in:
- Whole Grains
You should avoid foods that are high in fat, foods that are highly processed, and sweets. A nutritionist or doctor can help you determine a balanced diet that manages your condition.
Just remember that moderation is the key to success! For more useful tips on weight loss, fitness and healthy eating, contact our Possible Nutritionist today. The first consultation is on us!