Busting the Myths: Should people with diabetes give up fruits completely?
A lot of uncertainty exists with regards to fruits and if people with diabetes should eat them or not.
The sugar content of the fruits stops you from enjoying your favorite seasonal fruit which can cause your blood sugar levels to spike.
Does that mean you can’t eat it?
Fact: Everyone should eat fruits and vegetables and fulfill their five-a-day target, whether they are living with diabetes or not.
Fruits are a great source of fiber, minerals, and vitamins. They have the right mix of soluble and insoluble fiber for a smooth bowel movement and general well-being.
They are loaded with antioxidants and are thereby associated with a lower risk of developing many health conditions like high blood pressure, heart diseases, strokes, obesity, and certain cancers.
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Now that we’ve understood that fruits are good for you, let’s find out how to make a place for them in your diet plan.
American Diabetes Association (ADA) advises you to count fruit as a carbohydrate (carb) in your meal plan.
The recommended daily allowance (RDA) for carbs is 130 grams per day. The person with diabetes should take 45 to 60 grams of carbs per meal and 15 to 30 grams for snacks.
Your body converts the carbs you eat into sugar, thereby directly affecting your blood sugar levels.
To keep your blood sugar under check, you should eat fruits in moderation. It is advised to be wary of your serving sizes. Also, space out your fruit intake during the day.
This is just to make sure that you are not eating a lot of carbs all in one go, which could affect blood glucose levels after eating.
In addition to this, the different glycemic index (GI) of every fruit and glycemic variability (GV) of every person also has a direct effect on blood sugar levels.
GI tells us how much food boosts blood sugar. High glycemic foods result in a quicker spike in blood sugar, whereas low glycemic foods have a slower, smaller effect.
The variations in the blood glucose levels is called Glycemic Variability (GV). It varies from person to person. For every person, GV is different on different days and also different throughout the day.
Our expert nutritionist coaches can guide you further on the quantity of fruit to be consumed based upon your current blood sugar readings.
It is a rich source of Vitamin A, Vitamin B-complex (except B12), Vitamin C and polyphenols.
Owing to its anti-inflammatory and anti-viral properties, it also boosts your immunity.
Although it has a low GI of 56, people with diabetes should eat it in moderation.
4 medium slices of mango have 15g of carbs in them. No more than 2-3 mango slices should be taken per meal.
Banana is loaded with soluble fiber and potassium. It can be a mid-meal option when combined with nuts.
Though it has a low GI of 51, you have to be careful about the quantity you will consume.
You can consume one and half small bananas (elaichi kela) or half of a regular banana that has 15 grams of carbs each.
Do not combine it with a meal or put it into a blender, enjoy it as it is.
Packed with several nutrients and vitamins, grapes are unarguably one of the healthiest additions you can make to your diet.
They are loaded with a wide range of antioxidants that help your body to get rid of toxins.
The antioxidant content is the maximum in the seeds and the skin. So, don’t throw them away.
Grapes also have a low GI of 44. You can consume about 17 small grapes which equal to 15g of carbs as a snack option.
Watermelon, the most readily available fruit of the summer season, makes it everyone’s favorite as well. Watermelon is high in water and low in calories.
It is an excellent source of vitamins A and C. It contains amino acids which help in reducing muscle fatigue. So having it post-workout has its own gains.
But it has a high GI of 76 so people with diabetes should have it in balance and watch out for their serving size before eating it.
1 bowl of diced watermelon or 1 medium slice of watermelon (about 15 grams of carbs) can be consumed by a person with diabetes.
It can be eaten as a mid-morning or post-workout snack. You should avoid having it as a juice.
Owing to its high water content, muskmelons are great at keeping you hydrated and also aid in weight loss.
It has high potassium which helps in regulating blood pressure.
It has a moderate GI of 65.
People with diabetes can consume 150 g or 1 medium cup of musk-melon as a mid-morning snack.
People with diabetes should count the carbs they eat at each meal or snack. A well-balanced diet with practical lifestyle modifications under expert advice will keep blood sugar levels under control.
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