Can I eat watermelon? Is apple good for me? Is canned juice allowed in diabetes? Being a diabetic, you always worry about what you can and cannot eat. You will have several questions on the single topic of fruits! In addition, there are a lot of myths about the diet for people having diabetes, adding more confusion to your mind. We understand your concern. Learn more about fruits and their connection with diabetes control below.
Can Diabetes Patients Eat Fruits?
Diabetes is a lifestyle disease that must be managed with healthy food choices. Fruits are considered a good energy source with micronutrients like vitamins, minerals, and fibre. However, each fruit has different amounts of these nutrients. Several fruits contain a high amount of glucose and may increase blood sugar levels. Hence, the Indian diet chart for diabetic patients includes fruits and vegetables with low sugar content.
Choosing the less sugar-containing fruit is thus essential. Let’s learn more about fruits for diabetics.
Fruits and Their Contents
Fruits mainly contain carbohydrates, sugars (most commonly fructose), vitamins, minerals, fibre phenolic compounds, and antioxidants. While all phytoconstituents are beneficial, you must watch the sugar and carbs content in fruits. Starchy fruits are energy-rich, while berries have a proven role in managing diabetes. Similarly, the Indian berry- Jamun (black plum) – is helpful for diabetes. Indian gooseberry is yet another fruit that has proven its efficacy in diabetes. Apples, plums, pears, and pomegranates have less sugar. Therefore, fruits for diabetics should be carefully selected.
Tips for Choosing Fruits for Diabetics
Fruits vary in their glycaemic index (GI) and sugar content. GI is a number assigned to the food depending upon how much sugar it adds to your blood. In diabetes, it is wise to choose fruits with lower GI and less sugar. The cut-off points suggested by the International Standards Organization (ISO) are high (GI ≥70), medium (GI= 56–69), and low (GI ≤55) GI values. The Indian Diet plan for diabetic patients will help you choose the correct fruits.
While you are strolling through the aisles of a supermarket or going to a fruit vendor, we have some useful tips for you as you choose the fruits for diabetes:
- Fruits are best when you eat them fresh. Choose to buy fresh fruits.
- Beware of canned or frozen fruits. Either they will have an added preservative or sugar. Being diabetic, any additional sugar is not good for you. If you want to buy canned fruits, read the label carefully and purchase only if they are canned in their juice, unsweetened, or without additives.
- Some dried fruits such as dates, cranberries, and raisins might be good for you. But their portion sizes are small, and their glycaemic index is medium. Just two tablespoons of dried cherries or raisins may add 15 g of carbohydrates to your diet. Hence, you cannot have a big portion of these.
- Avoid drinking smoothies or fruit juices. Very often, they have added sugar that may be risky for you. Always prefer to eat raw fruits that are freshly cut because they also provide fibre.
- While you think of making fruits a part of the meal, try to use them as a replacement for starchy or carbohydrate-containing vegetables or whole grain roti or bread. It will avoid increasing the carbohydrate intake and eventually, blood glucose levels.
List of Fruits with a Low Glycaemic Index
Some fruits that you may add to your fruit basket without worrying about the elevated blood glucose levels are as follows:
- Indian gooseberry
Fruits to Avoid in Diabetes
Avoid eating large quantities of the following fruits as they have a high glycaemic index:
- Custard apple
Colourful, flavoured, and nutrition-rich fruits are a rich source of antioxidants and are beneficial for daily intake. High fibre, antioxidants, minerals, and vitamin content in fruits make them a healthy food choice. Consult your nutritionist or check the Indian diet chart for diabetic patients before you choose to eat any fruit. It is necessary to monitor the portion you consume and the type of fruit for better control of blood glucose if you have diabetes.
If you are recently diagnosed with prediabetes or diabetes, consult your physician and nutritionist. They will guide you about the fruits and portion sizes, which can avoid a surge in your blood glucose levels. Maintaining your diet as per your physician will also help you prevent the condition from worsening or leading to diabetic complications. Eat only recommended fruits, and leave your worries aside!