People who are diagnosed with diabetes often hesitate in adding fruits to their daily diet fearing they could raise their blood sugar levels being sweet in taste. However, their fear is only partly true. Fruits are a storehouse of fibre, vitamins, antioxidants and all the essential nutrients that are important in maintaining gut health, immunity and overall health. But at the same time, they also have a type of sugar called fructose that is naturally present in fruits. In fact, studies claim that consumption of fruits regularly can cut risk of diabetes. This doesn’t mean though that people with diabetes can fill their plate with all sorts of fruits and consume them multiple times a day without fear of sugar spikes. There are certain fruits that are high in GI (glycaemic index) while some are low GI which means they are broken down slowly and raise blood sugar only gradually over a period of time. Once you know which fruits are more suitable for your blood sugar levels, you can consume them in the quantities recommended by your diabetologist. Even fruits with high GI can be consumed but in smaller quantities. (Also read: 7 winter superfoods for people with diabetes)
“Some fruits are good for people with diabetes, while others are not. However, every fruit has its own benefits and should be consumed on a regular basis, weekly, or seasonal basis. Like many other foods, fruit can make your blood sugar go up. Your HbA1c, or average blood sugar level, can also go up if you experience frequent spikes in your blood sugar. Despite the well-established health benefits of eating fresh fruits, the sugar content of fruits has raised questions about its effect on glucose levels and their suitability for people with diabetes,” says Dr V. Mohan – Chairman and Chief Diabetologist- Dr Mohan’s Diabetes Specialities Centre.
THE RIGHT QUANTITY OF FRUITS FOR PEOPLE WITH DIABETES
“There is nothing like the best and worst fruits for diabetics. Diabetics can eat all the fruits, but for the fruits with a higher glycaemic index, the portion size of those fruits needs to be controlled. Where the difficulty occurs is when fruits with a higher glycaemic index are ingested in excess. Therefore, if you have diabetes, you should consume 150–200 g of fruit every day. But if your sugar levels are higher, this quantity drops to 100 to 150 grams a day. The quantities of higher-glycaemic fruits can be around 100 grams. So, portion control is key when it comes to fruits,” says Dr Charu Dua, Chief Clinical Nutritionist, Amrita Hospital, Faridabad, on fruits for diabetes.
Dr Dua, however, adds that it is important that diabetic patients do not combine fruits with the main meals like breakfast, lunch, and dinner, because usually our food is rich in carbohydrates and fruits are the source …….