Diabetics are encouraged to reduce their sugar intake, so it might seem as if fruit would be included in these recommendations. Luckily, this assumption is not entirely accurate. It contains natural sugar and should be limited, but fruit should be eaten by everyone in moderation. It is a great substitute for sugary, processed snacks and desserts. If you are diabetic, consider the following when choosing fruits that are right for you:
The glycemic index is a rating system for how quickly sugar enters a person’s bloodstream. Foods range from one to 100 on the index. When a fruit ranks low on the glycemic index (below 50), it is considered low and has a mild effect on a person’s blood sugar level. These low-ranking fruits are the best option for diabetics.
Fresh peaches have a glycemic measurement of 28. They are a great source of vitamin A and antioxidants, helping people reduce their cancer risk. This makes them an ideal addition to a diabetic diet. Remember, fresh peaches are different than canned and frozen in sauce. If fresh peaches are unattainable in your area during certain seasons, opt for frozen peaches in their natural form.
Apples are a great snack food and can be paired with other healthy options, such as peanut butter, for variety. Apples have a glycemic measurement of 36 and are a great source of vitamins A and C, beta-carotene, and phytonutrients. Studies have also shown apples reduce the risk of artherosclerosis.
Grapefruit has long been considered a popular diet food. Its glycemic index rating of 25 makes it a great option for diabetics, but there are some risks associated with grapefruit. Some medications are affected by grapefruit juice, so patients concerned with blood pressure, organ health, cholesterol, and autoimmune diseases should speak with their doctors before incorporating grapefruit into their diet.
It should noted the above information pertains only to fresh fruit. Canned fruits are preserved with sugar and rank much higher on the glycemic index. This includes “light” and “light syrup” varieties, as well as those in heavy syrup. Many frozen fruit options are a great alternative when you cannot get fresh, but it is important to read the packaging to ensure they are all natural and simply flash-frozen fresh fruit.