Can Diabetics Consume Fruits?

Can Diabetics Consume Fruits?

Can Diabetics Consume Fruits?
Can Diabetics Consume Fruits?

Can Diabetics Consume Fruits?

In order to manage diabetes, one must pay careful attention to the foods and nutrients included in one’s diet, particularly the number of carbs consumed. Because fruit is a natural source of carbohydrates and includes naturally existing sugar in the form of fructose, its viability as a healthy addition to a diet for diabetics is sometimes called into doubt.

In contrast to what is often believed, diabetes patients should make fruit a regular component of their diet as part of a balanced eating plan.

According to Mary Ellen Phipps, M.P.H., RDN, author of The Easy Diabetes Cookbook, “the advantages of fruit are the same for persons living with diabetes as they are for those who do not have diabetes.”

“The regular consumption of fruit is beneficial to our bodies since it contains essential nutrients and fiber. The majority of fruits also have a high water content, which is what makes them such an effective source of hydration as a dietary category.”

Learn more about the reasons why diabetics who eat a diet that includes fruit are eating themselves healthier.

The Effect That Fruit Has On Your Blood Sugar Levels

Fruit is a good source of carbs since it contains both fiber and fructose in addition to glucose. Because it also contains minerals, antioxidants, vitamins, and water, we may consider it to be a meal that is high in nutritional density.

But despite the fact that fruit contains a wide variety of elements that are beneficial to health, fructose is the one that is most often singled out as the food that diabetics should avoid.

Sugar in fruit

Unfortunately, because of misconceptions like this, the notion that those with diabetes and those who are trying to prevent diabetes should avoid fruit is kept alive and well.

In point of fact, research carried out in 2017 and published in the journal PLOS Medicine demonstrates that integrating fruit into one’s diet as part of a healthy eating plan is connected with the prevention of chronic diseases such as type 2 diabetes.

Even while fructose consumption eventually affects the amount of glucose in the blood, the consumption of fructose that comes from the fruit also brings with it other nutrients that are beneficial to health.

In addition, the amount of fructose that you take in when eating whole fruit is significantly lower than the amount that you take in when eating or drinking foods that contain significant amounts of fructose in the form of high-fructose corn syrup.

This is an important distinction to make when thinking about the effect that fructose in fruit has on blood sugar levels.

Phipps asserts that diabetics are free to indulge in their favorite fruits whenever they so want.

“However, it is essential to keep in mind the number of carbohydrates consumed and how this affects one’s specific blood sugar levels. If necessary, modify the portion amount, or consider adding a protein source to the dish instead.”

Fiber in fruit

Fruit is a good source of carbohydrates known as fiber. Fiber, in contrast to other kinds of carbohydrates, is not digested by the body and does not produce an increase in one’s blood sugar levels; on the contrary, fiber actually lowers one’s blood sugar levels.

Intake of dietary fiber not only leads to feelings of fullness but it’s also been linked to a lower chance of developing type 2 diabetes, according to a study that was published in the journal Nutrients in 2018.

Consuming a suitable amount of fiber has been found to have a favorable effect on the glucose response in the blood after a meal, in addition to helping to increase feelings of fullness.

But a significant number of Americans do not get enough fiber in their diets. The average American diet does not include an adequate amount of fiber, as stated by Amanda Veneman, RD, who is the wellness manager at Flik Hospitality Group.

“Most Americans barely receive half of the amount of fiber required per day, and eating fruit is a fantastic way to get closer to the suggested 30 grams,” adds Veneman. “Fruit is a terrific way to get closer to the recommended 30 grams.”

Those who suffer from diabetes can find that increasing their intake of fruit helps them fulfill their recommended daily fiber intake.

According to Cari Riker, RDN, LDN, CDCES, “Fruits are loaded with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, all of which may help fight illness in addition to delivering a wide range of health advantages.” Consuming foods rich in antioxidants is an effective way to combat inflammation.

According to a meta-analysis that was published in 2018 in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, research demonstrates that consuming a diet that is high in fruits and vegetables is connected with a decrease in inflammatory markers.

Although all fruits contain some amount of fiber, the amount varies greatly depending on the kind of fruit. If you have diabetes and consume fruit, choosing varieties with greater fiber content may help you better control your blood sugar levels.

Pears, apples, and stone fruits such as apricots and plums are examples of fruits that are rich in fiber. Berries, such as strawberries, raspberries, and blackberries, are also high in fiber.

Varieties of Fruit

It is possible to purchase fruit in a number of different preparations, such as fresh, canned, frozen, dried, and fruit juice. The nutritional profile of each variety, particularly the total fiber and carbohydrate content per serving, is distinct from one another.

If you are able to differentiate between the many kinds of fruit and the ways they may be prepared, you will be in a better position to choose the one that is most suitable to your requirements.

Fresh Fruit

People who have diabetes may benefit in several ways from eating fresh fruit of any kind. The most essential considerations to make when selecting the fresh fruit you will consume are whether or not you like it and whether or not it is easily accessible.

By eating fruits that are in season at different times of the year, you may increase the diversity of fruits you consume throughout the year.

Dried Fruit

Carbohydrates become more concentrated in dried fruit because the water evaporates during the drying process. This indicates that one serving of dried fruit has a greater amount of carbs per gram than its fresh equivalent does.

As an example, one cup of grapes has roughly 16 grams of carbs, but one cup of raisins (which are dried grapes) has about 115 grams of carbohydrates.

Dried fruit servings are noticeably less than fresh fruit portions, despite the fact that they contain the same total amount of carbs.

It is vital to take into consideration the size of the portion since the number of carbs may rapidly accumulate when they are concentrated in smaller parts, such as they are in dried fruit.

Fruit that has been canned.

If you are searching for fruit that will keep for a longer period of time, one choice that is shelf-stable is canned fruit. Canning fruit normally involves one of three methods: preserving it in its natural juice, in light syrup, or in heavy syrup.

Depending on the method of processing, there will be substantial variations in the number of carbs that are included in a single serving.

If you are comparing the same kind of fruit that has been canned in either light or heavy syrup, the type of fruit that has been canned in its juice will have a lower total quantity of carbs per serving.

This is due to the fact that syrups include extra sugar, hence increasing the total carbs that are present in each meal.

Picking a fruit that has been preserved in its own juice as opposed to one that has been preserved in syrup is the greatest way to reduce the amount of added sugar in your diet.

Frozen fruit

If you are searching for fruit that you can have on hand without having to worry about it going bad within a few days or weeks, frozen fruit is another choice that will last a long time for you.

The vast majority of fruit is frozen without any extra sugars being added; nevertheless, by reading the label of the frozen fruit, one may confirm the existence of additional components that might have an effect on the total calories or carbs that are included in a single serving.

Fruit juice

Due to the absence of fiber, fruit juice has a greater total carbohydrate content per serving when compared to whole fruits. The absence of fiber in fruit juice has been linked to a quick spike in blood sugar, according to research that was published in 2021 in The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism.

Those who have diabetes should give this some thought since the reaction of the blood sugar to drinking fruit juice as opposed to eating whole fruit may be different.

Suggestions for Diabetics Who Want to Eat Fruit

Consuming fruit may be a component of a healthy diet for diabetics, as can be deduced from the aforementioned conclusion. According to Veneman, “Meeting the healthy eating objectives outlined in the Dietary Guidelines for Americans may be facilitated by including fruit into one’s diet on a daily basis.”

She brings up the fact that the Dietary Guidelines for Americans suggest that individuals consume between 1.5 and 2 cups of fruit on a daily basis.

If you want to avoid a spike in your blood sugar, it is in your best interest to pay careful attention to the components of any meal or snack that you eat that contains fruit.

Patients with diabetes are strongly encouraged by Phipps to consume fruit as part of a meal or in combination with protein or fat in order to lessen the influence on their blood sugar levels. “For instance, rather of enjoying an apple by itself, consider savoring it with some peanut butter,” she recommends. “

Consuming fruit with meals that are high in protein and/or fat may also help one feel fuller after eating them together.

“Pairing fruit with fat and/or protein may help slow down the absorption of carbs, which encourages a gradual increase in your blood sugar,” adds Riker. “This can help produce a sensation of fullness, which can assist with supporting healthy portion management.”

Phipps claims that an individual’s sensitivity to changes in their blood sugar is very variable. According to her, “how each person reacts to various varieties of fruit might be extremely different,” and this difference has more to do with individual traits than it does with the type of diabetes.

Because of this, it is very important to monitor how your blood sugar reacts to the different meals you eat under the direction of a trained dietitian or a health care practitioner.

What It All Comes Down To

Consuming fruit should be included as part of a balanced diet for diabetics. Carbs that come in the form of fruit should be handled differently from carbohydrates that come in the form of added sugar.

Riker asserts that when one consumes fruits, one consumes a great deal more than just basic sugars. Fruits are loaded with vitamins and minerals, as well as antioxidants and fiber, but added sugars do not give any extra health advantages.

Do not be scared to consume fruit on a regular basis if you have diabetes. Also, keep in mind that even if you do not have diabetes, the fruit may give some degree of protection against the development of chronic diseases.