Fruits aren’t Good for People With Diabetes: Myth Vs. Reality
There is this prevalent belief that fruits aren’t as healthy for diabetic patients as otherwise assumed. Many people eventually believe in this concept, steering away from fruits, which significantly limit their intake of key nutrients like fiber and vitamins.
Admittedly, the likes of apple, banana, and strawberries are sweet and contain sugar. So, it only makes sense to do away from them when trying to control your glucose level.
However, in reality, when managing diabetes, how “sweet” and what you’re eating is far from being the right parameter you should consider. There are food items that are sweet but quite good for your health.
The key measure here is the Glycemic Index (GI) or Glycemic Load (GL), in specific.
Glycemic Index and Glycemic Load
Glycemic Index is a relative ranking between 1 and 100 of how quickly the foods spike blood sugar levels. For instance, Food A with 23 GI will raise blood sugar levels slowly vs. Food B with GI 70. Glycemic Load, on the other hand, is a relative ranking between 1 and 100, which undertakes the GI of a food and the grams of carbohydrates in a serving.
At large, you want to eat foods that are absorbed slowly by the body. So, the focus should be on items that have a low Glycemic Index and Glycemic Load, which raises the glucose level slowly.
Are Fruits Bad?
Now comes the most interesting part: Many of the fruits, although with natural sugar, have low GI. They are absorbed by the body slowly, not making much of a difference in the glucose level as is it is commonly perceived.
And this is exactly why the American Diabetes Association doesn’t restrict diabetic patients from eating any fruit. As long as the person isn’t allergic to it, they can eat any fruit.
So, people with diabetes can eat fruits. In fact, they must eat them owing to fruits’ high nutritional value, packing vitamins, fiber, and minerals in abundance. It would help them minimize the risk factors of several critical conditions, including obesity, which is linked to Type 2 diabetes.
Of course, there are some limitations here. Different fruits have different GI levels. So, it makes one better than the other.
Recommended Read: 5 Nutrition Tips to Control Your Diabetes Naturally
Which Fruits Are Good (And Which Are Bad)
Some fruits that have a low Glycemic Index and are good for diabetic patients include avocados, cherries, grapefruits, apples, peaches, strawberries, kiwi fruit, and berries. Others that have medium or high GI include papayas, pineapples, dates, watermelon, and honeydew melon.
So, if you have diabetes, you have no reason to not eat fruits. Add enough portions of them in your breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Mix different types to keep your meals interesting and to provide your body with a range of diverse nutrients. Before you do make such changes in your diet, it’s usually a good idea to consult a certified nutrition health coach to ensure you’re doing things right.