Should People with Diabetes Avoid Eating Fruits?
Eating fruits is a good way to satisfy a sweet tooth, but for people with diabetes, it is usually considered dangerous to add fruits in their diets just because they are “too sweet”. Actually, most fruits do contain sugar, but that doesn’t mean you should avoid them if you have diabetes.
What Is GI and GL?
It is necessary to learn about GI and GL if a person plans to lose weight or has been diagnosed with diabetes. GI, referring to glycemic load, is a rating showing how quickly a certain food may raise the blood sugar levels. The bigger the figure is, the faster the food is absorbed. While GL ( Glycemic Load) is more accurate in accessing how food affects blood sugar, as it combines GI with the number of carbohydrates in a serving.
That said, people with diabetes are recommended to eat low GI and low GL fruits, including apple, avocado, banana, orange, peach, grape and much more. However, do remember to avoid dates and watermelon for their rather high GI ratings.
Benefits of Fruits for Diabetes
Fiber: The fiber contained in fruits plays a big role in controlling weight. It can slow the absorption of food/sugar and thus control the blood sugar levels.
Vitamin and other nutrients: Fruits contain many other nutrients, such as vitamins A and C, which are rich in oranges and grapefruits. Amino acid-like potassium and tryptophan can also be found in bananas.
How Many Fruits to Eat?
If a person has diabetes, he or she should know that carbohydrate-rich foods can cause big spikes in blood sugar levels. And even with the low GI fruits in mind, we’d better not to eat too many fruits at one time. According to studies, adults, children, and people with diabetes should eat five servings of fruits and vegetables a day. Fill half of the plate with vegetables or fruits, and add enough high-fiber starches (whole grains, beans, etc.) and fat to help absorb antioxidants and vitamins.
The types of fruits should be as varied as possible in order to take in the variety of needed nutrients. But do make sure what you eat is fresh or frozen fruits rather than processed fruits like dried fruits and fruit juices. The latter is actually “fake fruits”, leading to quicker absorption and higher blood sugar levels. What’s more, these “fruits” are also deprived of many nutrients, including vitamins and fiber.
In conclusion, diabetes is not a disease that stands against fruits. Take in fruits in a proper amount, and avoid fruits with high GI and GL like watermelons, and the “fake fruits”, fruits juice and dried fruits. Combining fruits with enough high-fiber starches and fat, people under the disease can also enjoy their varied flavors.