The best fruits to eat for diabetics
If you have diabetes, you might wonder if you can still enjoy fruits. The answer is yes, as long as you choose the right ones and watch your portions. Fruits are rich in vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and fiber, which can help lower blood sugar levels and prevent complications. However, some fruits are high in sugar and carbs, which can raise blood sugar levels and affect your diabetes management. Here are some tips on how to choose the best fruits for diabetics.
- Go for fresh or frozen fruits over canned or dried ones. Canned and dried fruits often have added sugar or syrup, which can increase the carbs and calories. Fresh or frozen fruits are more natural and have less sugar and carbs. They also have more water content, which can help you feel full and hydrated.
- Choose fruits with a low glycemic index (GI). The GI is a measure of how quickly a food raises your blood sugar levels after eating. Fruits with a low GI have less impact on your blood sugar than fruits with a high GI. Some examples of low-GI fruits are berries, apples, pears, oranges, grapefruit and kiwi. Some examples of high-GI fruits are watermelon, pineapple, mango and grapes.
- Limit your portions and count your carbs. Even low-GI fruits can raise your blood sugar if you eat too much of them. A general rule is to limit your fruit intake to about 15 grams of carbs per serving. This is equivalent to half a cup of fresh or frozen fruit, a small piece of whole fruit or a quarter cup of dried fruit. You can use a food scale or measuring cups to measure your portions accurately. You can also use a carb counting app or a diabetes exchange list to keep track of your carbs.
- Pair your fruits with protein or healthy fat. Eating fruits alone can cause a spike in your blood sugar, especially if you have them on an empty stomach. To balance out the sugar and carbs in fruits, you can pair them with some protein or healthy fat. This can help slow down the digestion and absorption of sugar and keep you satisfied for longer. Some examples of protein or healthy fat sources are nuts, seeds, cheese, yogurt, cottage cheese or peanut butter.
- Enjoy fruits as a snack or dessert. Fruits can make a delicious and nutritious snack or dessert for diabetics. They can satisfy your sweet tooth and provide you with many health benefits. However, you should avoid having fruits before or during your main meals, as this can increase your total carb intake and make it harder to control your blood sugar. Instead, have fruits as a snack between meals or as a dessert after meals.
Fruits are not off-limits for diabetics. By following these tips, you can enjoy the best fruits for diabetics without compromising your blood sugar levels or your health.