Nutrition

What Are The Best Fruits for Diabetes?

Reviewed by

Shifa Fathima

A common myth about diabetes is that people with the disease should not eat fruits. If you have diabetes, someone would have advised you to avoid fruits. The reason is that fruits have carbohydrates and fructose (natural sugar) and can impact your blood sugar levels. But here is something people do not know. All fruits are rich sources of vitamins, minerals, and phytochemicals (powerful plant compounds). People with diabetes are at higher risks of chronic diseases. These nutrients help your body fight inflammation and reduce the risk of chronic diseases like heart diseases, stroke, etc. Some fruits also have high fiber content. Fiber slows down digestion and helps manage blood sugar levels. Of course, it does not mean a person with diabetes can have all kinds of fruits and as much as they want. So the question remains, what fruits are good for people with diabetes? This article covers everything about the best fruits for diabetes and has a list of fruits people with diabetes can eat. Before talking about fruits good for diabetes, let us understand the effect of fruits on blood sugar.

How Does Fruit Affect Blood Sugar?

Fruits, by nature, have carbohydrates and fructose that are known to cause a spike in blood sugar levels. However, some fruits also have other nutrients and fiber. As a result of the combination, those fruits do not cause sudden glucose spikes and are healthy for diabetes. Carbs are not the only factor to consider in fruits for diabetes. Glycemic index (GI) and glycemic load (GL) are equally important. They determine how quickly any food can raise blood sugar levels based on how fast it is digested and released into the bloodstream. Low Glycemic Index and -GL fruits are the best fruits for diabetes. With GI and GL, portion size is the key. With the right portion size, you can incorporate all fruits into a healthy and balanced diet. Dieticians recommend having two servings of fruits for diabetes patients. One serving refers to half a cup.

Healthy Ways to Eat Fruit for Diabetes

Healthily eating fruits is as essential as eating healthy fruits. When we eat fruits, we often miss out on the right way to eat them. Here are a few tips to healthily eat fruits for diabetes patients.

  • Eat fresh fruits and not canned fruits. Instead of picking up canned fruits that contain sugar syrup, opt for fresh or frozen fruits. They have maximum nutrients intact and no added sugars.
  • Have fruits with edible skin like apples, peers, etc., without peeling the skin.
  • Watch your portion size especially with dried fruits.
  • Have small or medium-sized fruits or a maximum of two-three servings of fruits during the day. Watch your portion size,
  • Dried fruits like raisins have high carbs and sugar. Individuals with diabetes must be mindful and eat no more than two tablespoons a day.
  • Be careful with fruit juices and smoothies. In addition to reducing the fiber content of fruits, fruit juices and smoothies contain added sugars. It is best to have whole fruits instead of juices and smoothies for people with diabetes.
  • Distribute fruits throughout the day Instead of having two servings of fruits for breakfast, you can have one serving in breakfast and another in the afternoon as snacks.

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Healthiest Fruits for People with Diabetes

Taking carbohydrate content and GI value of fruits into consideration and consuming them in the recommended portion make all fruits good for diabetes. However, some fruits are better than others. Here is a list of fruits people with diabetes must consider.

1. Fruits with edible skin

Apples, pears, and peaches Fruits with edible skin have high fiber content. Fiber helps manage blood sugar levels and keeps your stomach full, aiding in weight loss. These fruits lie in the lower GI and GL scale ranges, making them the best options for people with diabetes.

2. Brightly-colored fruits

Berries and cherries Doctors suggest colorful fruits are good for health. All varieties of berries and cherries are not only brightly-colored but are also high in antioxidants and fiber. They fight inflammation caused by chronic diseases like diabetes.

3. Citrus fruits

Oranges and grapefruits Citrus fruits are a great source of vitamin C that boosts immunity and heals wounds. It helps in diabetes, as high sugar levels lead to slow healing of wounds. They are also rich in fiber. As they come in the form of slices, they also help in portion control.

4. Apricots

Apricots good for diabetes and rich in fiber and low on carbs, making them a good addition to the diet. They are also high in antioxidants that lower oxidative stress caused by high sugar levels.

5. Kiwi

Kiwi good for diabetes and offers high nutritional benefits. It is rich in potassium, low in calories, and has water weight. Not only is kiwi good for hydration, but its seeds also add fiber that manages blood glucose levels. Inositol is a compound present in kiwi that makes your body sensitive to insulin, making it a good choice for diabetes.

6. Low-GI Fruits

Portion control is essential for diabetes. However, low-GI fruits can be consumed a little extra as they do not cause glucose spikes. And they can help people with diabetes manage their sweet tooth. Here is a list of low-GI fruits good for diabetes: Apples Pears, Peaches, Blackberries, Cherries, Plums, Avocados, Grapefruit

7. High-GI Fruits

Fruits with a high GI are advised to be eaten in moderation for diabetes patients. They are not harmful, but excessive portion control must be maintained to avoid sudden glucose spikes. Here is a list of high-GI fruits that an individual with diabetes must be mindful of eating: Watermelons, Mangoes, Pineapples, Dried dates

Also read about the benefits of jackfruit for diabetes.

Bottomline

Fruits are a great source of nutrients, minerals, antioxidants, and other plant compounds that are essential for healthy living. People with diabetes must not completely eliminate fruits from their diet. Rather, they should be mindful of portion control and consume whole fruits. While all fruits are good, fruits such as apples, peaches, plums, apricots, etc., have a low GI and are the best fruits for diabetes. Read more about is guava good for diabetes and is banana good for diabetes.

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