Best Fruits For Diabetics to Eat
Rejoice diabetics, you can safely eat fruits!
No fruit is a bad fruit; it’s just that when you have diabetes, it is important to control your blood glucose levels at all times, which means that you also have to look at the glycaemic index (GI) of foods. GI is a measure of the effects of carbohydrate-rich foods such as fruit on blood sugar levels. Because fruits are often eaten on their own, GI is an important consideration while consuming them. Fruits with a low glycaemic index (GI value of 55 or less) are a safe choice for diabetics as they help to regulate blood sugar levels better. Even though some fruits are very sweet, they are still generally low-GI, which makes them an excellent substitute for unhealthy sweet snacks (such as chocolate and sweets) or savoury snacks, which should be avoided by diabetics. Here is a list of fruits that are safe for diabetics.
Strawberries and Other Berries
Nothing beats a bowl of strawberries as a sweet treat. You are good to go with a 250g basket of strawberries. Berries of all kinds, such as blackberries, raspberries, young berries and gooseberries have a low glycaemic index (low-GI) and a low glycaemic load (low-GL) per typical serving. If you eat them, you will stay full for longer, your blood sugar levels will remain steady and, subsequently, your energy levels will be sustained for longer. You could enjoy strawberries on their own, or could have them with a bowl of plain low-fat yoghurt.
Apples are the perfect fruit for diabetics. Benefits: They’re low-GI, available throughout the year and a great snack to pack for on-the-go, because they don’t bruise easily. Apples contain abundant pectin, a soluble fibre which helps to lower cholesterol and regulate blood sugar levels and bowel function, and also has an anti-inflammatory affect which may help diabetics to recover from infections faster. They are Quercetin, a strong antioxidant found in high concentrations in apple skins, is associated with a decreased risk of type 2 diabetes. It is also associated with preventing heart attacks, reducing the risk of cancer and warding off eye disease.
The sweet aroma of a ripe, juicy peach is a sure sign that summer has arrived. Peaches are low-GI and packed with fibre, vitamins and antioxidants, especially immune-boosting vitamin C. Peaches are best enjoyed fresh - avoid the canned, syrupy peaches. One medium sized peach (weighing about 150g) equals one fruit portion.
Yet another low-GI fruit option available throughout the year is pears. They’re rich in vitamins and minerals and a good source of fibre - which helps to regulate blood sugar levels, lower cholesterol and improve digestive health. Although not well documented, pears are among the least allergenic of all fruits and are therefore recommended by health practitioners as a safe alternative in the preparation of food products for allergy sufferers.
Grapefruit also contains the flavonoid narigenin, which has been found to increase the body’s sensitivity to insulin and helps to maintain a healthy weight, which is a vital part of diabetes treatment. Grapefruit is also low-GI and rich in soluble fibre which helps improve blood circulation, lowers blood cholesterol levels and is thought to reduce the risk of some cancers.
When one mentions oranges, the first thing that comes to mind is vitamin C. However, oranges are also low-GI and low-GL per serving, thanks to their high content of soluble fibre, which helps to keep blood sugar levels under control and lowers blood cholesterol levels. Furthermore, oranges are rich in Vitamin A and B-complex vitamins, and immune-boosting flavonoids such as hesperetin and narigenin which all help to reduce your risk of disease.
Plums and prunes (dried plums) are a well-known remedy for constipation and regulating the functioning of the digestive system. However, did you know that plums are also a rich source of antioxidants and phytonutrients? In fact, one plum has the same amount of antioxidants as a handful of blueberries. Plums are also high in minerals such as iron, fluoride and potassium and vitamins A, C and E. Remember not to peel your plums as many of the antioxidants are found in the skin.
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