It is often said diabetics should avoid eating fruit. However, fruit is not prohibited, however a few options are better than others. In fact, fresh, whole fruit packs fiber, antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals. This makes fruits a nutrient-rich food definitely to be a part of diabetic-friendly treatment. Diabetics must be watchful, still. Various fruit selections might have an impact on the normal blood sugar levels.
Fructose in Fruits
Fructose is the type of sugar present in fruit. It breaks down or metabolizes rapidly by the liver. During this process, fructose may circumvent an enzyme. It signals when cells have an excess of sugar.
This might elevate the levels of blood glucose if a person consumes more fructose at once like having drinks with high-fructose corn syrup. Yet, it’s less expected while a person consumes whole, fresh fruit. Research has found that consuming fresh fruit does not relate with a negative impact on blood glucose control.
Fresh fruit packs antioxidants, fiber, vitamins, and minerals. All of this function together to promote healthy blood glucose levels. Research has found that diabetics who consumed fresh fruit 3 days per week notice a reduced risk of vascular complications like stroke.
Role of Fiber
Fiber present in fruit can be soluble or insoluble. It aids in preventing the blood glucose spikes by delaying digestion processes. Also, fiber helps in pulling away cholesterol from heart. In addition, it enhances the feelings of fullness, causing less food consumption.
The fiber content might alter based upon the state of the fruit. Whole, fresh form of fruit has the most fiber as their cell walls remain intact. Cooking breaks the fiber structures of the fruit. This may make digestive processes simpler.
A diabetic’s best approach is to choose fruits with edible peels. These may include berries, apples, and pears. Limit fruits that require peeling like melons or bananas. Read more about fruits good for diabetes.
Plus-Points of Antioxidants
Fruits with dark colours like deep reds, blues, or purples are classically rich in antioxidants. Antioxidants are plant compounds that act to defend against free radicals. Antioxidants assist the body fight all forms of stress. These dark pigments derive from anthocyanin, which studies propose might aid in fighting chronic problems like heart diseases.
Also, antioxidants in fruits may aid in preventing inflammation. This is a main problem in chronic patients like type 2 diabetics. As per studies, consuming more fruit and veggies lowers inflammatory markers. Also, it improves a person’s immune response to disease.
Types of Fruit to Limit
Diabetics must have some types of fruit only in restricted amounts. Dried fruits, fruit juices, and fruits rich in sugar and low in fiber must be prevented.
Dried fruit is a super-concentrated form of whole fruit. This gives rise to foods with rich carbs per serving in comparison to whole, fresh fruit. Also, dried fruits might comprise additional sugars and fewer fibres on removal of peels.
Around 28 grams of raisins (2 tablespoons) comprises:
- 100 calories
- 23 grams of carbs
- 18 grams of sugar.
One cup of fresh grapes comprises:
- 62 calories
- 16 grams of carbs
- 15 grams of sugar.
Even 100% fruit juices may give rise to blood glucose spikes. The body doesn’t need to work much to break down the glucose present in juice. This is because of the removal of all the fiber content. Thus, juice gets metabolized rapidly and elevate the glucose levels within minutes.
Also, juice provides loads of calories without making a person feeling full. This might work against weight loss efforts and might even support weight gain.
If a person drinks fruit juice, try combining it with water to lower the quantity of water. A person might also try preparing one’s own juice from whole fruits and veggies. Other alternative is to replace fruit juice completely for whole fruit (fresh or frozen). This provides a person with huge benefits of nutrients and fiber.
GI value increases with the ripeness of a fruit. This implies that ripe fruit elevates the levels of blood sugar more than food having low GI score.
A few high-GI foods can be:
- Watermelon (GI = 72)
- Banana (GI = 58)
- Pineapple (GI = 56)
Glycemic index of 55 and less is low score. Few low-GI foods can be:
- Apple (GI = 38)
- Grapefruit (GI = 25)
- Blackberries (GI = 4)
Fresh fruit comprises vitamins, fiber, antioxidants, and minerals. All form a vital part of a healthy diet for diabetics. Opting for whole, fresh fruits, instead of juices or dried fruit, might offer fiber and nutrients. Also, they aid in restricting blood glucose spikes.