Firstly What Actually Is Fruit
Fruit is described as the sweet, fleshy edible part of a plant. It is often eaten raw and can come in many different colours, shapes, textures and flavours.
Fruit is one of the core food groups in the Australian diet as it comprises a number of key nutrients that promote overall health and wellbeing. It contains crucial nutrients and antioxidants such as vitamin A , C and E as well as magnesium, phosphorus, zinc and folic acid.
Another important nutrient fruit provides our body is dietary fibre. The evidence for the benefits of fibre are extensive. Fibre contributes to improved bowel function, helps us to feel fuller for longer, promotes healthy gut bacteria and has links to improved weight management.
The Best Fruits For Diabetics
In saying fruit can be healthy for diabetics, “I am referring to fresh fruit, not canned or processed and not dried fruit,” Besser says. “Those have a higher sugar content, as the water has been removed, so you tend to eat more volume of dried fruit compared to fresh, and this will cause sugar spikes.”
And even among fresh fruits, certain types are best, depending on their sugar and water content, as well as a measurement called the glycemic index .
This scale measures how quickly foods will cause blood sugar levels to rise, with a higher number indicating a more rapid spike in blood sugars, which can be dangerous for diabetics.
Foods with a GI of beneficial than high-GI foods for regulating blood sugar.
The following fruits have a low GI:
- Avocado: 15
These fruits have a higher GI and sugar content:
- Mango: 56
- Grapes: 59
- Watermelon: 76
But GI isn’t everything water content also matters. For example, even though watermelon has a high GI, it can still be a relatively safe option because it’s made up of 92% water.
“It is laden with sugar, but due to its high water content, the amount of sugar per serving ends up being reasonable,” says Orville Kolterman, MD, chief medical officer at Pendulum, a company that makes products to help control glucose levels.
Fruit Guidelines For People With Diabetes
The right amount of fruit depends on a persons age, sex, and how much exercise they do.
For people who do less than 30 minutes of moderate exercise per day, the United States Department of Agriculture recommend the following:
- 8 large strawberries
- 1 cup of 100-percent fruit juice
Dried fruit contains more sugar than fresh or frozen fruit. For example, half a cup of dried fruit has an equivalent amount of sugar to 1 cup of fruit in any other form.
People who do more than 30 minutes of moderate exercise per day may be able to eat more fruit than those who do not.
Diabetes causes a persons blood sugar, or glucose, levels to become too high. There are two main types of diabetes.
Type 2 diabetes is the most common form. It can occur at any age, but it usually develops later in life. In people with type 2 diabetes, the cells do not respond appropriately to insulin. Doctors call this insulin resistance.
Insulin causes sugar to move from the bloodstream into the bodys cells, which use it as an energy source.
A person cannot always prevent type 2 diabetes, but often, making lifestyle and dietary changes can reduce the risk of developing this condition.
Other Health Benefits Of Fruit
The good news is that fruit is healthy to eat for people with diabetes, according to the NIDDK.
People with diabetes should eat a balanced diet that provides enough energy and helps to maintain a healthy weight. Some fruits are high in sugar, such as mangoes, but can be part of a healthy diet in moderate amounts.
Fruits can also satisfy a sweet tooth without resorting to candy and other foods with low nutritional value. Most fruits are high in nutrients and low in fat and sodium. Fruits also often contain nutrients not found in other foods.
How Much Fruits Can I Eat If I Have Diabetes
Recommended intake of fruits for adults is 2-3 servings daily. It is important to be sure that your fruits intake is counted as part of your carbohydrate sources and it is within your carbohydrate budget. One serving of fruit should contain about 15g of carbohydrates and the table below shows the examples of the one serving:-
Worst Fruits For Diabetics
This is a bit of a misnomer, since the problem for people with diabetes isnt the fruits themselves . Instead, the problem is what is added to some fruits.
Some things are advertised as fruits, but are actually full of processed sugars and chemicals, and we recommend avoiding these whenever possible. For example, be wary of:
- Canned fruit
- Processed Fruit
- Fruit flavored foods
In any serving size, these foods tend to be closer to candies than whole foods, and run counter to the health benefits of fruit in the first place!
Ladies Lets Be Smart About This
When you have Prediabetes or Insulin Resistanceeating fruit is simply about
- the portion size and
- making sure you eat the whole package which means the fiber that comes with it!
Fruit is loaded with vitamins, antioxidants, fiber and nutrients
and fruit consumption has been repeatedly proven, in studies, to lower the risk of getting diabetes and proven to help those who already have it!
Bottom lineyou need the vitamins, antioxidants, fiber and nutrients that fruit offers! Skipping the fruit robs your body of the stuff it needs.
Butthere are some rules to the question Can I Eat Fruit With Prediabetes?
Why Do I Need To Be Careful About Fruit Juices And Smoothies
Weve mentioned fruit juice and smoothies and these are something that, ideally, need to be avoided or at least cut down on. This is because fruit juice and smoothies have most of the roughage removed or already broken down, so it is very easy to drink large quantities in a short space of time and ultimately this means extra calories and carbohydrate. Having less intact fibre means fruit juices and smoothies are not as beneficial to the body compared to whole fruits.
A serving 150ml provides about 15g carbs which counts towards free sugar, so you can see how easily it is to take in a lot of carbohydrate and free sugar without really noticing.
Which Fruit Is Best For People With Diabetes
Despite what people often think, all fruit is good for people with diabetes. If fact, dietitians and diabetes educators recommend eating fresh fruit!
Even though fruit is a natural source of sugar, its also packed with fibera type of carbohydrate that helps keep blood sugar steady. Plus, fruit is nutritionally dense, meaning its loaded with important vitamins and minerals such as magnesium, potassium and vitamin C. The extra dose of these nutrients is likely one of the reasons people who regularly eat fruit have extra protection against heart disease, high blood pressure and cancer.
1 cup blueberries: 84 calories, 21 g carbohydrates
High in water and low in carbohydrates, blueberries are definitely a diabetes-friendly pick. Blueberries get their deep blue-purple color from anthocyanins, potent antioxidants that may help prevent heart disease. Just keep the 1-cup serving in mind when you try fresh blueberries in this spinach blueberry salad or blend frozen ones into a berry smoothie. When theyre out of season, choose frozen varietiesjust double-check the ingredient list to make sure theres no added sugar. By the way, these are the best meats for diabetics.
1 small banana: 90 calories, 23 g carbohydrates,
1/3 medium avocado: 73 calories, 12g carbohydrates
1 cup raspberries: 64 calories, 15g carbohydrates
1 cup strawberries: 64 calories, 15g carbohydrates
Why Is Fruit Good For You
We are large advocates of eating fresh fruit on a daily basis. We are fortunate to get hands-on experience with people living with diabetes, and are able to witness the blood glucose lowering effect that a low-fat, plant-based, whole food diet has in those living with type 1 diabetes, prediabetes, type 2 diabetes and gestational diabetes.
We have taught thousands of people the exact method of increasing their fruit intake without causing blood glucose spikes, and have experienced similar results to those described in the research:
Are Fruits Unhealthy For People With Diabetes
There is a common assumption among many that fruit is not an okay choice for people with diabetes. People have formed the idea that diabetics should steer clear of fruits because these foods contain high sugar levels like fructose.
The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases says eating fruit when you have diabetes is healthy. The American Diabetes Association reports that as long as you are not allergic to fruit, you can eat whatever fruit you want.
Over 420 million people worldwide have diabetes. More than 29 million people in the US have been diagnosed with diabetes.
Plus, there are new studies in China promoting the health benefits of consuming fruit, even if you are diabetic. Researchers, led by Huaidong Du of the University of Oxford in the UK, studied 500,000 people in China, patients with diabetes and without, and found that eating fruit did not negatively affect diabetics when the portions were done in moderation. The participants of the China Kadoorie BioBank study were between the ages of 30 and 79. The study lasted for seven years. Medical News Today reports, The team found that people who did not have diabetes at the beginning of the study and consumed fresh fruit in high amounts had a significantly lower risk of diabetes. People that may have diabetes running in their family can rest assured that eating fruits every day can reduce your risk of developing diabetes by 12%.
Is It True That Sweeter Fruits Tend To Raise Blood Sugar Easily
It is not exactly the case! Sweetness does not truly reflect the carbohydrate content of a fruit. The sweetness is mainly contributed by its natural sugars i.e. glucose and fructose. These sugars are derived from starches in fruits as it get ripened. Both the natural sugars and starches are part of carbohydrates and hence could have an impact on your blood sugar. Sweeter fruits could have higher proportion of natural sugars whereas those with minimal sweetness could have fewer sugars but higher proportion of starches. One serving of any fruit, regardless of its sweetness, should contain about 15 g carbohydrates and the effect on blood sugar is about the same among all fruits in one serving.
What Is The Best Fruit For People Living With Diabetes
All fruits are not created equal and each one of them has its own unique nutritional profile especially their health-enhancing phyto-chemicals. Consuming a variety of food including different types of fruit helps to fulfil your daily nutrient requirement. Generally speaking, all fruits are good for you as long as you consume them within your carbohydrate budget. Fruits with added sugar, such as canned fruits in syrup or dried fruits coated with sugar, and commercial fruit juices/ drinks/ punches are not advisable to be consumed as they tend to have higher carbohydrate content and less stomach-filling than natural and whole fruits. Your carbohydrate could also be exceeded easily if you do not control the portion of the food intakes.
Avoid Dried Fruit And Fruit Juices
Dried fruit, especially if it is sweetened, is higher in carbohydrates per serving than natural whole fruit. It also contains more sugar because sugars are often added for flavor and can be lower in fiber if the skin has been removed. Just four tablespoons of raisins will cost you: 120 calories, 32 grams of carbohydrates, and 24 grams of sugar.
It’s also best to avoid all fruit juices. Even 100% fruit juice causes instant spikes in blood sugars because the flesh of the fruit, which contains fiber, is discarded. It is also easy to drink an excess amount of calories without realizing it. For example, 1 cup of 100% fruit juice contains 130 calories, 33 grams of carbohydrates, and 28 grams of sugar.
Instead of dried fruit or fruit juice, opt for whole fruitfresh, frozen, or cannedwithout added syrups or sugars.
Tips For Meeting Your Daily Fat And Protein Goals
Remove empty carbs
Refined bread, cookies, pasta, and sweetened drinks will spike your blood sugar quickly and dont offer the nutrition and energy boost youd get from fruit.
Increase plant protein
Higher-fat animal protein sources are linked to insulin resistance, heart disease, cancer, hypertension, and obesity. Look for alternative sources like tofu, beans, and all-natural peanut butter when possible.
Meal-prepping each week means youll always have healthy, balanced meals within reach.
Get creative with ways to add fruit to your meals, too. Examples include berries on top of oatmeal, citrus squeezed onto fish, and a fruit sauce made with berries to go over chicken.
I Heard That Some Fruits Eg Watermelon Raise Blood Sugar More Than The Others Do I Have To Avoid These Fruits
You do not need to limit your options in the type of fruits that you can consume even though there are some evidences showing that certain fruits tend to raise blood sugar more than the others. Glycaemic Index is the system used to classify carbohydrate-containing food according to its potential in raising blood sugar. Food with a high GI raises blood sugar more than food with low and medium GI. However, the same type of food can have different GI values as many factors such as ripeness, processing, food combination, soluble fiber, and acidity, can alter the GI value. In addition, there is still lack of consistent and convincing evidence showing the efficacy of applying GI in blood sugar control. Instead, monitoring total carbohydrate intake remains as the key strategy in the dietary management of diabetes. Yet, GI may be helpful for you in fine-tuning your diet plan.
Best Fruits For Type 2 Diabetes
Fruit contains carbohydrates, which are what diabetics need to moderate and keep track of in their diet. While figuring out the amount of carbs in fruit is important, you should also consider the benefits of each type of fruit when choosing what to eat. Fruit contains antioxidants, which reduce the damage of cells. Whole fruit also contains fiber. Fiber fills you up without raising your blood sugar, which is important for type 2 diabetics. Heres a list of the best fruits for type 2 diabetes:
- Berries Strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, and raspberries Full of antioxidants, fiber, and vitamins plus low on the glycemic index
- Apples Full of antioxidants, fiber, and vitamin C
- Citrus Oranges, lemons, limes, and grapefruit Contain folate, potassium, and vitamin C plus low on the glycemic index
- Apricots Contain vitamin A and fiber
- Cantaloupe Contain vitamin C and antioxidants
- Peaches Contain vitamins A and C, potassium, and fiber
- Pears Contain fiber and vitamin K
- Kiwis fiber, potassium, and vitamin C
How Much Fruit Is Too Much
You may be asking yourself a simple question: if eating fruit is good for you, then how much fruit is too much? Is it possible to overeat on fruit, leading to worsening health, higher A1c values, increased blood pressure, increased risk for heart disease and weight gain?
In a study performed in 1971, researchers classified the effects of a mainly fruit diet to determine what happened to 17 people who ate 20 servings of fruit per day . On this regimen, people ate up to 200 grams of fructose per day, the equivalent of 8 cans of soda.
Researchers found that after 3 to 6 months on a mainly fruit diet, there were no adverse effects, and that body weight, blood pressure and insulin levels began trending down.
Following up on this research, in 2001 researchers tested the effect of 20 fruits per day on blood lipids and colon function, and found that within the first 2 weeks, total cholesterol dropped significantly , as did LDL cholesterol . Although in this case it was a short-term study, they also reported zero adverse side effects of a diet packed with fruit.
Add Extra Activity To Your Daily Routine
If you have been inactive or you are trying a new activity, start slowly, with 5 to 10 minutes a day. Then add a little more time each week. Increase daily activity by spending less time in front of a TV or other screen. Try these simple ways to add physical activities in your life each day:
- Walk around while you talk on the phone or during TV commercials.
- Do chores, such as work in the garden, rake leaves, clean the house, or wash the car.
- Park at the far end of the shopping center parking lot and walk to the store.
- Take the stairs instead of the elevator.
- Make your family outings active, such as a family bike ride or a walk in a park.
If you are sitting for a long time, such as working at a desk or watching TV, do some light activity for 3 minutes or more every half hour.5 Light activities include
- leg lifts or extensions
Glycemic Index Of Fruits
Caption: Image provided by www.goqii.com
Another slightly misunderstood reference that turns some people away from fruit is the glycemic index, which measures the glycemic load of a food, or how much it will raise your blood glucose levels after eating it.
The glycemic index is a good indication of how energy-dense foods are which can be helpful in planning out your pre or post meal insulin, but theyre not a perfect system for planning out healthy eating.
For example, fruits that are high in carbohydrates, whole grain foods, and starchy vegetables tend to be higher on the glycemic index, however they dont spike your blood glucose if you eat them in combination with other fiber-rich foods, allowing you to eat them in abundance as part of a very healthy, low risk diet.
On the other hand, sodas, added sugars, and processed foods have a higher glycemic index, but can be absolutely disastrous for your long term health.
In essence, the glycemic index is a great tool for understanding your blood glucose and staying in range, but it shouldnt dictate your entire dietary strategy.
Why Should I Be Physically Active If I Have Diabetes
Physical activity is an important part of managing your blood glucose level and staying healthy. Being active has many health benefits.
- burns extra calories so you can keep your weight down if needed
- improves your mood
- can prevent falls and improve memory in older adults
- may help you sleep better
If you are overweight, combining physical activity with a reduced-calorie eating plan can lead to even more benefits. In the Look AHEAD: Action for Health in Diabetes study,1 overweight adults with type 2 diabetes who ate less and moved more had greater long-term health benefits compared to those who didnt make these changes. These benefits included improved cholesterol levels, less sleep apnea, and being able to move around more easily.
Even small amounts of physical activity can help. Experts suggest that you aim for at least 30 minutes of moderate or vigorous physical activity 5 days of the week.3 Moderate activity feels somewhat hard, and vigorous activity is intense and feels hard. If you want to lose weight or maintain weight loss, you may need to do 60 minutes or more of physical activity 5 days of the week.3
Be patient. It may take a few weeks of physical activity before you see changes in your health.
Diabetes Diet: Can Banana Affect Your Blood Sugar Levels
Bananas are high in carbs. Foods rich in carbs are known to result in a rapid increase in blood sugar levels. A medium-sized banana contains 14gm of sugar and 6 gm of starch. But bananas are also rich in fibre. Bananas have a low GI score, and this the fruit to be an appropriate choice for diabetics.
Dietitian Upasana Sharma, Head Nutritionist at Max Hospital says, “Banana contains sugar and carbs. But it is rich in fibre and has a low glycemic index. Diabetics can eat banana, but in moderation.”
On being asked in which quantities should people with diabetes eat bananas, she says, “A small banana twice or thrice a week is safe diabetics. But, a diabetic should not consume banana daily.”
What About Prediabetes Does Eating Fruit Increase Diabetes Risk
If you eat too much fruit, probably.
If you have prediabetes, you also have metabolic dysregulation and your goal is to lower blood sugar and A1c.
Therefore, like people with type 2 diabetes, keeping a tight check on portion size and choosing appropriate fruit options will help you achieve your goals.
Health Benefits Of Fruit For Diabetics
The health benefits of eating fruit daily are endless. Eating fruit every day lower relative risk of dying early, reduce heart trouble, stroke, kidney diseases, and eye diseases. The health benefits attributed to eating fruit are possible because fruit is full of fiber and antioxidants. Research from the China Kadoorie BioBank shows that people with diabetes who ate fruit over three times per week had a 17% lower relative risk of dying early as well as a 28% lower risk of developing cardiovascular problems.
The suggestion for diabetics is for them to eat about 100 grams of fruit between meals as a filler. Eating frequent meals and snacks is critical for people who have diabetes. Sticking to 100 grams of fresh fruit between meals is ideal for keeping calorie intake under control. The best fruits for diabetics to consume are pomegranates, grapes, apples, blueberries, strawberries, guava, watermelon, cherries, papaya, and oranges, according to Shilpa Arora, a renowned health practitioner, and nutritionist.
Eating Fruit Can Help You Lose Weight
Fruits are high in nutrients and relatively low in calories, making them a great choice for those looking to lose weight.
Whats more, they are high in water and fiber, which help you feel full.
Because of this, you can typically eat fruit until youre satisfied, without consuming a lot of calories.
In fact, multiple studies indicate that eating fruit is associated with lower calorie intake and may contribute to weight loss over time (
It is also important to note that whole, solid fruit is much more filling than puréed fruit or juice, which you can typically consume a lot of without feeling full .
Studies show that drinking a lot of fruit juice is linked with increased calorie intake and may increase your risk of obesity and other serious diseases (
In other words, avoid drinking a lot of fruit juice and enjoy whole fruits instead.
Eating whole fruit may help you consume fewer calories and lose weight over time. However, drinking fruit juice may have the opposite effect.
Types Of Fruit To Include
There are no “good” or “bad” fruits , but if you’re looking to get the most nutritional value, set your sights on fruits that are high in fiber. For example, you can eat 1 1/4 cup of strawberries for 60 calories, 15 grams carbs, 3.5 grams fiber, and 7.5 grams sugar, or only 1/2 medium banana, which is 60 calories, 15 grams carbs, 2 grams fiber, and 8 grams sugar.
Consuming more fruit may also improve inflammation, a major issue in chronic diseases such as type 2 diabetes. A higher intake of fruit and vegetables results in reduced inflammatory markers and an improved immune cell profile, according to one review which examined 83 separate studies.
It’s also important to choose a wide variety of fruitone study found that a greater variety in fruit and vegetables was associated with a lower risk of type 2 diabetes.
How Much Fruit Per Day Is Okay
One of the most conflicting nutrition topics is How much fruit per day for weight loss or diabetics?
The short answer: it depends.
Nearly everybody can and perhaps should eat at least a tiny portion of fruit per day. However, there are some people who may want to avoid fruit altogether. If you are on a medically-supervised ketogenic diet, you may want to avoid fruit. Thats because ketogenic diets are very low in carbohydrates. The only source of carbohydrates are often from cruciferous low-starch vegetables. Ketogenic diets may help in the treatment of cancer and seizure disorders.
How much fruit per day if you are obese, a type 2 diabetic, or have high-blood sugar? You may want to avoid fruit until weight and blood sugar levels have normalized. Or, limit fruit to only low carb berries in small quantities .
Why You May Need to Limit Fruit Intake
The excess sugar in fruit, fructose , goes to the liver. The excess carbon in fructose is converted into triglycerides, a dangerous type of fat in the bloodstream. So, if you dont burn off that big bowl of fruit salad, the excess sugar will end up being stored around your major organs in your midsection. This type of fat, visceral fat, aka abdominal fat, is the most dangerous to have.
For Healthy People, Some Fruit is Fine
Processed Fructose is the Real Problem
If youre going to eat fruits, which ones should you eat?
- Acai berry
- Cocoa powder, no sugar added
- Clove, clove powder