Diabetes Management,Healthy-diet

Is Papaya Good for Diabetes?

Debolina Raja ,
June 2022

Papaya helps control blood sugar: Myth or Fact

If you or a loved one have diabetes, one of the things you constantly think about is what foods are safe to eat. Which foods will raise your blood sugar levels and which ones will keep them under control are some questions that people with type 2 diabetes often ask themselves.

One fruit that traditionally has the reputation for being healthy and also helpful in controlling blood sugar is Papaya. So, does eating papaya really help to control blood sugar levels, or is it just a myth? Let’s find out.

Glycemic Index or GI of papaya

Glycemic Index, or GI, is a system that assigns a number or numeric value to foods based on how much carbohydrate they contain and how fast eating each of these can increase your blood sugar levels. 

What you eat will have an impact on your overall blood sugar levels. Keeping track of the GI count of the foods you eat can help you understand how they affect your blood sugar levels.

It will also help you avoid certain foods or include some in your regular diet, depending on your specific needs.

Glycemic index, or GI, is usually divided into three categories:

  • Low GI – between 1 and 55
  • Medium GI – between 56 and 69
  • High GI – 70 and above 

The glycemic index of papayas is 60. This amount of GI is considered safe for people with diabetes to consume but in moderation.

A glycemic index of 60 also means that eating papayas will not immediately raise your blood sugar levels. However, it is not as good as fruits with low GIs such as banana, raw mango, or papaya

Papaya and its health benefits on diabetes

Papaya seeds, leaves, and fruit are considered healthy and beneficial for various health issues, including diabetes. 

  • Papayas are rich in antioxidants, therefore it is effective in reducing oxidative stress which helps prevent vascular (microvascular & cardiovascular) complications related to Type 2 diabetes. 
  • Eating papayas may also help prevent the risk of developing other chronic complications of diabetes from developing or worsening.
  • Papaya has various lipid-lowering properties and vasodilating properties, which make it ideal for people with diabetes. As hypertension and high cholesterol are often common in people with type 2 diabetes. 
  • Fermented papaya also shows positive results in reducing basal as well as postprandial glycemia, as well as improving your lipid profiles. All of these are beneficial and desirable, especially for those who have diabetes. 
  • Papayas also contain flavonoids, which help reduce inflammation in your body. People with diabetes are prone to inflammation due to insulin resistance.  

According to the USDA (United States Department of Agriculture), papayas, both green and yellow, are very good for the control of blood sugar levels, as well as for the overall health of diabetics and diabetes control.

  • The USDA states that the pulp of the yellow papaya has insulinogenic properties, which means that it can help in the production and better use of insulin in the body. 
  • Research has indicated that green papayas can inhibit the accumulation of lipids in the liver cells, which is beneficial, as increased lipid formation can lead to insulin resistance in the body. This is also beneficial in preventing obesity that may occur as a result of diabetes. 
  • Studies have also shown that the pulp of the green papaya contains various insulinogenic properties and can effectively help reduce and control blood sugar levels in the body. 

How to add papaya to your daily diet

Once your doctor gives you the go-ahead, here are a few ways in which you can include green as well as yellow papaya in your daily diet:

  • Grate the raw or green papaya and add it to salads, or make it the star ingredient of the salad.
  • Have the ripe or yellow papaya as a fresh fruit snack in the morning or as your mid-morning snack.
  • Use the green papaya to make a delicious sabzi (dish) that you can eat with rotis or rice. 
  • Grill the raw papaya or have it stir-fried. 

Keeping its many health benefits in mind, eating papaya can be a good way to keep your blood sugar levels in check, as well as improve your diabetic health. 

Fittertake:

However, before you start eating papaya, make sure that you do speak to your diabetes care team and dietician/nutritionist to understand how much papaya is safe for you to eat, and follow medical advice as given.

Controlling blood sugar with diet is only one aspect of diabetes management or reversal. It is important to take a comprehensive approach that includes exercise, stress, and sleep management.

Fitterfly’s programs Diabefly, Diabefly Pro, and Diabefly Reverse are personalized programs that come with a team of dedicated coaches to focus on different aspects of diabetes management or reversal.

They can not only provide helpful information about what fruits are safe for you. But also help you form healthy habits that will help you sustain your progress for a lifetime. 

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