Diabetes & Fruit – What Should You Eat and When?
Fruits can have a place in your diabetes diet.
Taking a bite into a fresh, crisp apple, or some other tasty fruit is a great way to satisfy your sweet tooth and ingest many healthy, wonderful nutrients. But for people with diabetes, the sugar content found in fruit can serve as a cause for concern. Luckily, fruits can and should be a part of your diabetes diet; you just need to know what you can eat and when, and how to eat it.
Want to learn more about carbs and diabetes? Read this blog post.
The benefits of fruits for diabetics
Diabetes is a chronic but manageable metabolic disorder, in which your pancreas either isn’t making enough insulin (the hormone regulating the movement of sugar to the cells) to help your body metabolize sugar, or the insulin that is produced isn’t working as effectively as it should. The body struggles to control its levels of blood sugar, and, as carbohydrates directly influence blood sugar levels, people with diabetes must constantly be conscious of their carbohydrate intake, while still ensuring they consume the nutrients they need to survive and thrive.
Aside from its carb count, fruits provide diabetics with several nutritional and other benefits:
- A great source of fiber: Many fruits, especially those with peel and/or pulp, are high in fiber and water, great for slowing the absorption of sugar and controlling blood sugar levels.
- A healthier option for a sweet treat: Fruits are sweet to the tongue and provide you with the energy boost you seek, without containing any artificial sugars or sweeteners.
- Contain other essential nutrients: Citrus fruits contain vitamins A and C, bananas contain potassium and tryptophan, pears contain vitamin K, etc.
How to choose fruits – the glycemic index
The glycemic index (GI) is a rating of foods from 1-100; the higher the number, the quicker the food will raise your blood sugar. As such, diabetics should choose fruits with a low GI rating. Fruits low on the glycemic index (under 55) include:
These fruits should be preferred over medium and high GI fruits, though those are also safe for diabetics, in moderation.
Diabetes & fruit – what to eat and when?
It is recommended that all people eat five servings of fruits and vegetables each day. This recommendation is applicable for people with diabetes as well.
Here are some practical tips to help you navigate eating fruits as a diabetic:
- At mealtime, focus on non-starchy vegetables, saving your fruits for dessert and snack time.
- Include a healthy fat at each meal to encourage a feeling of fullness from the non-starchy (i.e. less filling) vegetables and promote antioxidant and nutrient absorption.
- Prefer fresh, whole fruits over juices and canned goods.
- Keep in mind that a single serving of fruit (15 g of carbs) is roughly the size of a baseball (one cup of fresh fruit, or half a cup of processed fruit).
Diabetes, fruit, and CuraLin
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Taking CuraLin as a supplement along with your smart daily fruit choices can help you maintain healthy blood sugar levels, while still enjoying life and being healthy.
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