If you are a Type 2 diabetic, you may wonder if you should eat fruit. Most fruit is quite sweet which leads people to believe all fruits are bad to eat. As with all food, it's best to eat fruit in moderation and some types are better than others.
It's also important to eat your fruit rather than drink commercially prepared fruit juice: there's a lot of extra sugar and additives in commercial bottled drinks, many of which are unhealthy. If you drank one glass of fruit juice it wouldn't be too harmful but if you really wanted more, you should dilute it with water to reduce its potency.
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Fiber-rich fruits are healthy to eat. They're low on the Glycemic Index (GI) so they don't cause your blood sugar to spike as much as other fruits. If the skins or seeds are edible, they are the high fiber fruits and include:
- passion fruit,
- avocados, and
Fruit containing a high fructose to glucose ratio is healthy to eat. Fructose doesn't need insulin in order to metabolize. It's GI is only 19 compared to:
- table sugar (sucrose) which has a GI of 60, and
- glucose which has a GI of 100.
The fruits with this healthy ratio include:
- mangoes and
While this type of fructose is healthy, it is best to avoid drinks containing high fructose corn syrup (HFCS). Soda usually contains HFCS which is a highly refined sweetener. HFCS is also sometimes contaminated with mercury, a dangerous poison that sparks free-radical damage to your cells.
Apples contain high levels of pectin which helps diabetics with their glycemic control and decreases the amount of insulin needed by up to 50%. Grapefruit is another healthy fruit as it helps manage insulin while you're eating your meals as well as having the added ability to help you lose weight which further decreases your resistance to insulin. Grapefruit is at the lowest end of the GI scale with a rating of only 25.
Some fruits have high levels of sucrose and glucose with a high GI. This means you should only eat a small amount. These fruits include:
- oranges, and
Dates are among the worst possible fruits to eat as half-a-cup contains 55 gm of sugar with a GI level of 53.
Canned fruit is either soaked in its own juices or in syrup. The "syrupy" kind is much higher in sugar and should be avoided. Fruit canned in its own juice is much healthier.
The American Diabetes Association highly recommends citrus fruits and berries to be part of your daily diet. Berries are rich in antioxidants, vitamins and fiber. Citrus fruits have high levels of both vitamin C and fiber.
So now you know you can eat fruit even if you are diabetic... as long as you are careful about your choices and serving sizes.
Type 2 diabetes is not a condition you must just live with. You can take control of the disease... and get your health back. Eating the right fruit will definitely help with your blood sugar control.
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