Is It Important For People With Type 1 And Type 2 Diabetes To Be Careful About How Much Fruit You Eat
Yes. For all people, and for all people with diabetes, fruit can affect your blood sugar level. That doesnt mean that you shouldnt eat fruit at all fruit still includes important nutrients that your body needs, some of which can lower your risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and other chronic conditions.
Diet For People With Diabetes: The 16 Best Foods
Figuring out the best foods to eat when you have diabetes doesnt have to be tough.
To keep things simple, your main goal should be managing your blood sugar levels.
Its also important to eat foods that help prevent diabetes complications like heart disease.
Your diet can have a major role in preventing and managing diabetes.
Here are the 16 best foods for people living with diabetes, both type 1 and type 2.
Replace White Carbs With Whole Grains
Big offenders on the low-quality carb list are refined starches, like white rice and anything made with white flour, including white bread and pasta. These white carbs act a lot like sugar once your body begins to digest them, which means they will increase your glucose levels. Replace white carbs with whole grains, such as brown or wild rice, barley, oatmeal, high-fiber cereals, and whole-grain breads, for carbs that break down more slowly and have a less dramatic effect on blood sugar. The first ingredient should say a whole grain whether its whole grain or whole rye, it should say whole, explains Kimberlain.
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How Consuming Too Much Sugar Can Be Dangerous
Just about everyone at some point will experience high blood glucose levels. Your blood glucose levels elevate every time you consume a meal and especially after youve enjoyed a high-glycemic food such as a bagel or piece of cake.
Its unrealistic to assume you will never indulge now and again. Occasional sugary treats are completely acceptable, but chronically high blood glucose starts to damage the body if left untreated.
Complications associated with chronically high blood glucose include:
- Skin infections
The Best Fruits For Diabetics And How Much You Should Eat
- Yes, diabetics can eat fruit, but it’s important to pay careful attention to your fruit intake.
- Even though fruit is a carbohydrate high in sugar, which can spike blood sugar, it also is high in fiber, which can help regulate blood sugar.
- Fresh fruit is better for diabetics than dried fruit or fruit juice here’s which fruits are best to eat and how much you should have each day.
- This article was medically reviewed by Stephanie Redmond, PharmD, a certified diabetes educator and co-founder of Diabetes Doctor.
- This story is part of Insider’s guide to Diabetes.
When you eat carbohydrates, your body breaks them down into sugar, which enters your blood in order to be used as fuel. For diabetics, who cannot process blood sugar effectively, carbohydrates can raise blood sugar, and because of that, many diabetics try to limit or count carbs, including sugar and other carbs, like those from fruit or grains.
Fruit is a carbohydrate that contains sugar, and it may spike blood sugar levels if eaten excessively. However, fruit also has a high fiber content, and eating lots of fiber can regulate blood sugar levels and even help prevent type 2 diabetes.
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Other Health Benefits Of Fruit
The good news is that fruit is healthy to eat for people with diabetes, according to the NIDDK.
People with diabetes should eat a balanced diet that provides enough energy and helps to maintain a healthy weight. Some fruits are high in sugar, such as mangoes, but can be part of a healthy diet in moderate amounts.
Fruits can also satisfy a sweet tooth without resorting to candy and other foods with low nutritional value. Most fruits are high in nutrients and low in fat and sodium. Fruits also often contain nutrients not found in other foods.
The Best Fruits For Diabetics
Fruits are the perfect snack.
They are loaded with nutrients and fiber, relatively low in calories, and easy to bring to work.
However, they do contain naturally occurring sugars, sometimes in large amounts. This can be a concern for those who struggle to manage their blood sugars.
This article takes a science-based look at the most suitable fruits for diabetics.
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Best Vegetables And Fruits For Type 2 Diabetes
Choosing the right fruits to eat when you have diabetes can help to lower your blood sugar and keep it stable. See what to put on the menu when planning your diabetic diet.
Type 2 diabetes diet doesnt mean you have to give up all the things you really love to eat, you can still enjoy a wide range of foods and in some cases, it even helps reverse type 2 diabetes. Creating a diet for type 2 diabetes is a balancing act. It carries a variety of healthy carbohydrates, fats, and proteins.
The ultimate way is to choose the right combination of foods that will help to keep your blood sugar level in your target range and avoid big swings. So, we are giving you some tips to eat the best vegetables and fruits for type 2 diabetes.
Best Fruits For Type 2 Diabetes
Fruit contains carbohydrates, which are what diabetics need to moderate and keep track of in their diet. While figuring out the amount of carbs in fruit is important, you should also consider the benefits of each type of fruit when choosing what to eat. Fruit contains antioxidants, which reduce the damage of cells. Whole fruit also contains fiber. Fiber fills you up without raising your blood sugar, which is important for type 2 diabetics. Heres a list of the best fruits for type 2 diabetes:
- Berries Strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, and raspberries Full of antioxidants, fiber, and vitamins plus low on the glycemic index
- Apples Full of antioxidants, fiber, and vitamin C
- Citrus Oranges, lemons, limes, and grapefruit Contain folate, potassium, and vitamin C plus low on the glycemic index
- Contain vitamin A and fiber
- Cantaloupe Contain vitamin C and antioxidants
- Peaches Contain vitamins A and C, potassium, and fiber
- Pears Contain fiber and vitamin K
- Kiwis fiber, potassium, and vitamin C
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What Are The Best And Worst Fruits For Diabetics
Eat meals that are low in sugar, low in fat, low in salt, high in fiber, and digest slowly to avoid diabetes. The simplest approach to achieve this is to focus on natural, unprocessed meals that are primarily vegetables while avoiding any dairy products and eggs.You should also drink lots of water to help your body absorb all of the fiber youll be eating on this plant-based diet. In addition to the water, juices, tea, and soy milk in my meals and coffee, I drink at least two liters of water every day.You should also take a decent multivitamin pill to offset any nutritional deficits you may get as a result of eliminating dairy and eggs.Most fruits contain some natural sugars, but not in excessive amounts. The majority of them are exceptionally minimal in fat and salt. Theyre also heavy in fiber and take a long time to digest. Fruit should thus be included in a diabetes-fighting diet, especially because most fruits are high in micronutrients .This general rule, however, has several exceptions. Here are nine of them, which you should either avoid or treat with extreme caution.
Why You Should Pay Attention To Glycemic Load In Fruit
Harvard Health argues that the glycemic load gives you a more accurate idea of how high your blood sugar might rise after eating a food. For instance, you may think that watermelon is bad for diabetics because it has a glycemic index of 80. However, watermelons glycemic load is only 5 because it contains very little carbohydrates.
Fruit is beneficial to health for many reasons and need not be avoided due to its sugar content, Sollid says. But the portions we eat important to keep in mind. Its also important to look at the bigger picture the entire meal or snack. In addition to watching portion sizes, mixing lower GI foods into a meal can help keep blood glucose more under control. For example, pairing your fruit with cottage cheese and nuts can further reduce the risk that your blood sugar spikes.
In effect, nearly all of natures sweets can help you maintain a diabetes-friendly diet. Even better, some fruits can actively help stabilize your blood glucose levels over the long haul.
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Berries Can Improve Blood Sugar Control
When it comes to heart-healthy, nutrient-rich foods, the humble berry is quite the powerhouse. Johns Hopkins Medicine states that berries are high in antioxidants, which reduce cell damage and inflammation in the body. Research shows that they may also help the body regulate blood glucose levels.
Blueberries, for instance, have a low glycemic index of 53 and a low glycemic load of 7.2, making them a very safe fruit for diabetics. According to a 2016 study from Antioxidants, blueberries may have an anti-diabetic effect by improving insulin resistance and sugar tolerance. Researchers believe that the polyphenols, or potent plant compounds in the berries, help tissues in the body absorb glucose so it doesnt linger in the blood stream.
Raspberries and blackberries have similar benefits. In a 2019 trial published in Obesity, researchers found that one to two cups of frozen red raspberries paired with a high-carb meal significantly reduced insulin levels two hours after eating. Another study from 2018, which was published in Nutrients, found that blackberries promoted fat oxidation, or the breakdown of fatty acids. The study also showed that these fruits improved insulin sensitivity in overweight and obese patients.
Citrus Fruits May Improve Insulin Sensitivity
Citrus fruits perform well in terms of the glycemic index and glycemic load. A medium-sized orange has a GI of 43 and a GL of 5, making it an easy fruit to add to your diet. A grapefruit has a GI of 25, and a half cup of chopped grapefruit has a GL of just 1.2. Nutritionists believe the high fiber content in both of these fruits keeps blood sugar spikes at bay.
In addition, research shows that the citrus fruits contain plenty of flavonoids, or plant compounds that fight oxidative stress. Flavonoids have anti-inflammatory and anti-diabetic properties. In a 2020 systematic review published by Nutrients, researchers found that a wide variety of flavonoids in fruits like oranges and grapefruit promoted insulin sensitivity.
So, how much citrus fruit, berries, and other fruit should you eat? The Cleveland Clinic suggests that you follow U.S. dietary guidelines and aim for five servings of fruit and vegetables per day, even if you have diabetes or high blood sugar. Be sure to speak with your doctor if you want to create more precise guidelines for yourself. Hopefully, you can rest easy knowing that fruit is not the enemy.
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Other Healthy Strategies For Eating Fruit
What else can you do to make sure you eat healthy fruit?
Portion size is key! Set out the amount of fruit that you want to eat, and then stick to that portion this will help you avoid eating too much fruit and experiencing a blood sugar spike. Its also helpful to spread multiple servings of fruit out over the course of the day, rather than eating a lot of fruit at once.
Choose fresh fruit whenever possible. Canned fruit, dried fruit, and sometimes frozen fruit often have added sugars . Processed fruit also generally contains added sugar.
Try to avoid fruit juice. Fruit juice contains all of the sugar of fruit without the fiber to help your body process it. This means that juice can cause your blood sugar to spike quickly. If you are drinking fruit juice, drink a very small portion and consider adding water to it make sure you get 100% fruit juice so that no extra sugars are added to sweeten the drink. Note: this is why juice can be used to quickly raise your blood sugar if you are experiencing hypoglycemia.
The Best Fruits For Type 2 Diabetes And Which Ones To Have In Moderation
Have you recently been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes? Youre probably wondering how to navigate diet changes, and we know how hard that can be. You might have asked yourself if you can still eat fruit since its high in sugar, and the answer is yes! Fruit is full of good things, like vitamins, minerals, and fiber. While fruit is still good for you, you do need to eat it in moderation since it can be high in sugar and carbohydrates. Weve got a list of the best fruits for type 2 diabetes, fruits to avoid, and how to incorporate them into your diet.
Best Fruit For Diabetes Type 2
Can I have any kind of fruit to eat?
If youre also wondering whether fresh fruit can be part of a healthy diet or what type of fruit is best to eat with type 2 diabetes and prediabetes, youre in the right place.
Unfortunately, when it comes to fruit there are some limitations, which can be a bit disappointing for some people who do love their fruit.
However, there are still plenty of options and when you stick to the right types of fruit in an appropriate portion size, you can still keep blood sugar levels within a healthy range.
Lets talk about why certain fruit can be problematic, then go over your best fruit options. Plus weve got some frequently asked questions and a blood testing technique you can use to evaluate how different fruits affect you.
Of course you probably know that added sugar is your enemy.
Consuming added sugar, which is now found in thousands of food products, is linked to increased risk of cancer, heart disease, high blood pressure, obesity and other health conditions.
But fruit, its often considered a healthy food, right? But the thing is, fruit also has a fairly high sugar content.
Although fruit is a natural food source, one thing to keep in mind is that fruit is high in natural sugar, predominantly fructose. This can be slightly problematic for a few different reasons.
One thing you have to keep in mind at all times is your primary goal: keeping your blood glucose and A1c within the healthy range.
Limit Packaged Snacks And Baked Goods
Aside from all the sugar, junky white flour, sodium, and preservatives they contain, packaged snacks and baked goods like chips, pretzels, crackers, cookies, doughnuts, and snack cakes often have unhealthy trans fats. Trans fats increase your bad cholesterol, lower your good cholesterol, and raise your risk of heart disease. They’re also even more dangerous than saturated fats, especially for people who have type 2 diabetes, who are already at increased risk of heart disease, explains Kimberlain. In fact, theres no amount of trans fats that you can safely include in your diet, especially if you have type 2 diabetes, she notes.
The good news is that trans fats are now listed right below the amount of saturated fats on food labels, making it easier to steer clear of them. Look for labels that list 0 grams trans fat, but keep in mind that according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration , products with less than 0.5 g can claim 0 g, so they may not be trans-fat free. Check the ingredients list as well to make sure the product doesnt contain any partially hydrogenated oils, a major source of trans fats. Seek out healthy fats in salmon and other fatty fish, as well as in nuts, seeds, avocado, and olive and canola oils.
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How Much Fruit Should Someone With Diabetes Eat
The US Dietary Guidelines recommend that all adults eat about two cups of fruit per day, where one piece of fruit is about the size of a one-cup serving. People with diabetes should still eat fruit, but should be more mindful of fruit intake, paying attention to the type and amount of fruit that you eat. Pairing fruit with foods that also have protein and fat can help prevent a blood sugar spike.
Get The Most Out Of Your Fruit Choices
When choosing fruit, you’ll want to think about portion size, convenience, cost, and flavor, but also health benefits. Certain types of fruit, such as berries and citrus fruits, can be beneficial for people with diabetes.
Berries are rich in vitamin C, folic acid, fiber, and disease-fighting phytochemicals. Vitamin C is an important water-soluble vitamin that is involved in repairing cells , slowing down aging, and boosting immunity. Additionally their rich colorred, blue, and black comes from anthocyanins. Research suggests that anthocyanins may help fend off certain chronic disease, including cardiovascular disease.
Citrus fruits, such as tangerines, also contain vitamin C, and potassium and are a good source of fat soluble vitamin A, an important vitamin for eye health. Citrus fruits, also contain phytonutrients which can protect cells from damage, reduce inflammation, lower the risk of cardiovascular disease, and provide other health benefits. But, if you are on a potassium restricted diet or take cholesterol-lowering medication you may have to watch your intake of citrus fruits so make sure you discuss intake with your physician before adding them to your meal plan.
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