Should Diabetics Eat Fruit?
This is a tricky question. On the one hand, most of the calories in fruit come from carbohydrates which of course is something diabetics have to watch very closely or their blood sugar may spike. Additionally, most fruits have a high glycemic index compared to low carb high protein foods. On the other hand, some fruits are extremely high in antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, and fiber if eaten in their unadulterated raw form. There is no question that fiber helps regulate blood sugar. Scientific studies are rapidly proving the powerful health benefits of antioxidants. These include antioxidants that help regulate insulin and help our cells become more sensitive to insulin, i.e. they help reverse diabetes. They also include antioxidants that help fight off health complications that diabetics are more susceptible to including heart disease, premature aging, stroke, and cancer. The pectin found in apples has been shown to improve glucose metabolism. Early studies show grapefruit can also lower blood sugar.
My take on this is that most diabetics should eat fruit BUT they should be very prudent about how they go about it. The primary purpose of this article is to give those with diabetes (and those who love them) practical information they can use to make wise decisions about which fruits they eat and how to eat them.
One important caveat: From a strict botanical perspective, some foods which we call “vegetables” are technically fruits but I am not including a discussion of these in this article. I do want to mention that many of these “vegetable fruits” are superstars in the diabetic diet. For example, a medium-sized peeled cucumber which is technically a fruit has only 3 net carbs and an extremely low glycemic load of 1 plus they are chock full of nutrients and fiber.
What Are the Best Fruits For Diabetics?
The best fruits for diabetics, taking all important factors into consideration, are berries. Relative to other fruits, berries are low carb and have a low glycemic index (20 – 45 GI, usually on the lower end of this). They are also exceptionally high in fiber and antioxidants. 日本水果專門店 Within the most common berries consumed in the US, raspberries and blackberries have less carb and a lower glycemic index than blueberries but you can adjust your serving size to compensate for this. For example, a 100 gram serving (about 2/3 cup) of raspberries or blackberries has approximately 6 net carbs whereas the same volume of blueberries has 12 net carbs. So, if you’re keeping your carbs super low you may want to reduce your serving size of blueberries to 1/3 – 1/2 cup.
Diabetics Should Favor Fruits That Are Relatively Low Carb, Have a Relatively Low Glycemic Number, and Are Relatively High In Fiber
Besides berries which I’ve identified as the #1 choice overall, a small serving of apples (12-26 g/fruit), citrus (8-22 g/fruit), and stone fruits (1-19 g/fruit) a few times a week can be part of a healthy diet for most diabetics. These fruits have a relatively low glycemic index and relatively low carb per fruit. Stone fruits are fruits that have a single large pit (the “stone”) in the middle with a sweet fleshy outer layer around it. These include cherries (1 g/fruit), peaches (11-19 g/fruit), plums (7 g/fruit), apricots (3 g/fruit), and nectarines (12-13 g/fruit). For your easy reference, I’ve included the estimated range of net carbs in grams per fruit. If you’re on a really low carb diet (less than 30 carbs per day usually) or you are gaining unwanted weight, you may have to really curtail fruits. It is interesting to note that stone fruits are all members of the genus Prunus which also includes almonds, a superstar in the diabetic diet, and that a peach pit looks a lot like an almond shell. The edible skins of fruits tend to be very high in fiber so be sure to eat your apple peels and that fuzzy peach skin!