Fruits are very essential for health and contain multiple important vitamins and minerals. Fresh fruits are good for diabetics as compared to dried fruit or fruit juice. Fresh fruits retain their nutrients and vitamins and also have less risk of complications for diabetes patients. People who eat more fruit actually have a lower risk of developing diabetes.
However, if you’re already diagnosed with diabetes, you naturally need to be careful with the fruits you consume. This is because people with diabetes need to control their diet to maintain their blood sugar levels in a healthy range. And, there are many fruits that have high natural sugar and thus are unhealthy for diabetic patients.
Healthy Fruits for People In Diabetes
All fruits have vitamins, minerals and are good for diabetic people unless they contain high levels of sugar. But some fruits are likely to lower your chances of developing chronic symptoms of the disease:
- Blackberries. One cup of raw berries has 62 calories, 7.6 grams of fiber, and 14 grams of carbohydrates.
- Strawberries. One cup of whole strawberries has 46 calories, 3 grams of fiber, and 11 grams of carbohydrates.
- Tomatoes. One cup of sliced tomatoes has 32 calories,2 grams of fiber, and 7 grams of carbohydrates.
- Oranges. One medium orange has 69 calories, 3 grams of fiber, and 17 grams of carbohydrates.
Some fruits are low on the GI scale (55 or under). The glycaemic index (GI) is a rating system for foods containing carbohydrates that shows how quickly they affect your blood sugar (glucose) level when that food is eaten on its own. Examples include:
- kiwi fruit
Medium-GI fruits (GI of 56 to 69)
Some fruit between 56 and 69 with GI is considered to be a medium food. Mentioned below are all fruits that still have GL levels under 70.
- Honeydew melon
Some fruits are on a higher GI scale (70 or higher). These include:
Avoid Dried Fruit and Fruit Juices In Diabetes
Dried fruit is sweetened and has higher carbohydrates per serving than natural whole fruit. It also includes more sugar because if the skin has been removed it can be lower in fiber and also added for flavor and. Just four spoons of raisins (1/4 cup) will cost you: 120 calories, 24 grams of sugar, and 32 grams of carbohydrates.
In addition, it is best to avoid all fruit juices. Instant spikes in blood sugars because of 100% fruit juice causes the flesh of the fruit, which contains fiber, to be removed. Also, it is easy to drink an excessive amount of calories without realizing it. For example, 1 cup of 100% mixed fruit juice contains around 130 calories, 28 grams of sugar, and 33 grams of carbohydrates.
Instead of fruit juice or dried fruit, choose whole fresh fruit, frozen, or canned without adding syrups or sugars.
How much fruit should you eat for diabetes?
Many adults and children eat five fruits and vegetables each day. It does not change for people with diabetes. People fill their half plate with fruits and vegetables.
People suffering from diabetes need to consume non-starchy vegetables for 50 percent of the meal depending on the fruit. Half of the meal remaining should be protein and high-fiber carbohydrates like beans or whole grains. Many experts suggest healthy fat at each meal to boost your feeling full and increase absorption of antioxidants and vitamins.
Diabetes patients must pick fruits that are low in sugar content and control the portion size that they consume. Control in portion is crucial when eating fruit. Since it can depend on the size and type of fruit for a single portion of fruit — one piece of whole fruit or a 1/2 cup of sliced fruit which is considered one carb serving which contains 15 grams of carbohydrates.
Many people with diabetes should eat 3 to 4 carb servings per meal and 1 carb serving per snack, though you need to check with your doctor to develop an individualized eating plan. Make sure that you’re still limiting your carbohydrate intake.
Moreover, talking with a doctor or a registered dietitian can provide you with an eating plan including fruit to meet your specific needs. Like vegetables, it’s good for people who eat a variety of fruits to get their needed nutrients to enjoy their varied flavors.
Keep Portions in Check
About a total of 45% of daily calorie intake comes from carbohydrates. When eating fruit, try to keep with one fruit serving per meal or snack.
Make Sure that one serving of fruit is equal to about 15 grams of carbohydrates. How much you eat of each fruit within that one-serving limit totally depends on the type of fruit. Mentioned below is a list of one serving for common whole fruits-
- 1 small piece (4 ounces) apple, peach, pear, or plum
- 1/2 medium banana
- 1 large tangerine or 2 small (4 ounces total)
- 2 small (2 ounces each) kiwi
- 4 small (1 ounce each) apricots
- 1 cup of melon (cantaloupe, watermelon, or honeydew)
- 17 small grapes or cherries
- 1/3 medium mango
- 3/4 cup blueberries
- 1 cup raspberries
Fruit is a part of your diabetes diet. If you have diabetes or not, fruit is important for our health. Fruits like apples and bananas, and eating a variety of fruits, especially blue, red, and purple fruits like berries, are higher in antioxidants and increase your blood sugar. Try not to eat fruit alone. You can eat healthy fat like nuts or nut butter to increase blood sugar and slow digestion.
Good nutrition is an important care tool for diabetes. If you have diabetes, a good meal plan can help in your balance of carb intake and medications to maintain your blood sugar level.