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Can You Eat Fruit If You Have Diabetes?

I Have Diabetes: Which Fruit And Vegetables Can I Eat?

I Have Diabetes: Which Fruit And Vegetables Can I Eat?

This is a common question amongst people living with Diabetes. We are taught from a young age that fruits and vegetables should form a huge part of a healthy balanced diet and including them reduces our risk of disease1,2,3. On the other hand, we also hear that they contain sugars and as a general rule, people living with Diabetes are taught to avoid added sugars where possible. These messages can be very confusing! Today I aim to give you the low down on how fruits and vegetables can form part of your everyday diet for those living with Diabetes. WHY ARE FRUIT AND VEGETABLES SO IMPORTANT? From a nutritional point of view, fruits and vegetables are low in Energy, contain various types of Fibre, and are high in many Vitamins, Minerals, Phytochemicals, Flavonoids and other bioactive compounds. All of these perform tasks in the body to reduce risk of chronic diseases and premature death1. HOW MANY FRUIT AND VEGETABLE PORTIONS SHOULD YOU BE EATING? The amount of fruits and vegetables recommended per day varies from country to country as well as amongst different organizations. The World Health Organisation (WHO) recommends 400g or 5 portions of fruits and vegetables per day2. South African guidelines for fruit and vegetable intake mirror that of the WHO. In South Africa, it is estimated that 66.4% of women and 72.2 % of men eat less than the recommended 400g of fruits and vegetables per day1. A meta-analysis and systematic review released in 2017, which reviewed 95 studies and included two million people worldwide, found that an intake of fruit and vegetables of 200 g/day reduced the risk of death from Coronary heart disease by 8-16%, stroke by 13-18 %, cardiovascular disease (CVD) by 8-13%, cancer by 3-4% and all-cause mortality by 10-15%3. These values doubled for each ad Continue reading >>

Myth: I Can't Eat Fruit If I Have Diabetes

Myth: I Can't Eat Fruit If I Have Diabetes

Save for later Although we know fruits and vegetables are good for us people with diabetes are often told they can’t eat fruit because they are too sweet or contain sugar. All fruits contain natural sugar, but also contain a good mix of vitamins, minerals and fibre. Why are fruit and vegetables so good for us? Eating fruits and vegetables lowers the risk of developing many health conditions including high blood pressure, heart diseases, strokes, obesity and certain cancers. It’s even more important for people with diabetes to eat more fruits and vegetables as most of these conditions are more likely to affect them. Fruits and vegetables have a good mix of soluble and insoluble fibre which is good for your bowels and general health – so it makes sense to eat more of them Should people with diabetes cut back on fruit because of sugar content? Managing diabetes has to do with managing your blood glucose, blood fats, blood pressure and your weight, and fruits and vegetables can play a positive role in all these. The concern has been that because fruits contain sugar, it makes your blood glucose go up. In fact, most fruits have low to medium glycaemic index, so they do not lead to a sharp rise in your blood glucose levels compared to other carbohydrate containing foods like white or wholemeal bread. Portion size is very important when considering the biggest effects on your blood glucose levels so let’s look at this in more detail. A portion of fruit contains about 15-20g carbohydrate on average, which is similar to a slice of bread. To put things in perspective, just a can of cola contains 35g carb and a medium slice of chocolate cake contains 35g of carbs as well. So, if you are looking to reduce your carb intake, with the aim to manage blood glucose levels, the ad Continue reading >>

Five Diabetes Myths, Busted

Five Diabetes Myths, Busted

David Kendall, M.D., is the chief scientific and medical officer of the The American Diabetes Association. The group’s 71st Scientific Sessions begin Friday in San Diego, California, with presentations of the latest research, treatment recommendations and advances toward a cure for diabetes. Each year diabetes accounts for more deaths than breast cancer and AIDS combined. While diabetes (both type 1 and type 2) is ever more manageable because of advances in medication, a better understanding of blood glucose monitoring and new technologies for delivering insulin, uncontrolled or undiagnosed diabetes still remains the leading cause of blindness in adults, kidney failure and amputation. There are many myths about diabetes - myths that can do much harm. Many believe that diabetes is “just a touch of sugar,” or only something we develop in later life. Although diabetes is manageable, the diabetes epidemic continues to grow; every 17 seconds someone is diagnosed with diabetes and at the current rate, one in three people in the U.S. will have diabetes by the year 2050. Knowing the facts (and your own risk) can help all of us fight the misconceptions associated with this awful disease and ultimately stop diabetes. So take a minute to learn the facts about diabetes. The more we know, the better equipped we are to detect, prevent and treat diabetes and its deadly complications. 1) Myth: Diabetes is really no big deal. Fact: As I’ve already noted, diabetes causes more deaths a year than breast cancer and AIDS combined. The risk of heart problems is more than twice as high in people with diabetes and two out of three people with diabetes die from heart disease or stroke. Uncontrolled diabetes also leads to a host of other complications. 2) Myth: Eating too much sugar cause Continue reading >>

Following A Diet For Diabetes And Kidney Disease

Following A Diet For Diabetes And Kidney Disease

Both of these illnesses can be difficult to manage alone, but can create even more stress when you have to manage both. Many Americans suffer from both conditions though and according to the End-Stage Renal Disease Incident and Prevalent Quarterly Update, approximately 37% of patients with ESRD have diabetes. (1) Diet becomes even more important for patients with both conditions. You will need to pay more attention to the amount of carbohydrates (sugars) that you eat. Carbohydrates can be found in many foods such as fruits, milk, breads, deserts and many drinks. Sodium remains important for both CKD and diabetic patients. Keeping your diet lower in sodium helps to lower blood pressure and reduce fluid retention. Protein is another nutrient that has enhanced importance and too much protein can be harmful for diabetic patients. It is important to talk to your dietician and nephrologist to determine the levels appropriate for your care. Another major change from only a kidney friendly diet is emphasis on eating on a routine and balancing out your meals and snacks. Peritoneal dialysis patients that also are diabetic need to be extra careful with their sugar levels, because dialysate solutions used to clean the body are normally sugar based solutions. Your care team will help determine what solution is best for you and help you adjust your diet to account for the extra sugar in the dialysate. Your care team should be aware of your status as a diabetes patient, however be proactive and make sure your dialysis care team is aware of your condition. The Following are examples of foods and drinks that are can be exchanged and are good for both diets: Fruits Good alternatives: Berries, grapes, cherries, apples, plums Avoid: Cantaloupe, mangos, kiwi, oranges, pomegranate Vegetables Continue reading >>

Daily Diet Of Fresh Fruit Linked To Lower Diabetes Risk

Daily Diet Of Fresh Fruit Linked To Lower Diabetes Risk

"Eating fresh fruit daily could cut risk of diabetes by 12%," the Mail Online reports. A study of half a million people in China found those who ate fruit daily were 12% less likely to get type 2 diabetes than those who never or rarely ate it. It was also found that people with diabetes at the start of the study who ate fruit regularly were slightly less likely to die, or to get complications of diabetes, such as eye problems (diabetic retinopathy), during the study than those who ate fruit rarely or never. Many people with diabetes in China avoid eating fruit, because they are told it raises blood sugar. However, the study suggests fresh fruit may actually be beneficial for people with and without diabetes. Fruits which release sugars more slowly into the blood, such as apples, pears and oranges, are the most popular in China, according to the researchers. So this may be the preferred option if you are worried about diabetes risk, or have been diagnosed with diabetes. The study doesn't show that fruit directly prevents diabetes or diabetes complications, as an inherent limitation of this type of study is that other factors could be involved. And it doesn't tell us how much fruit might be too much. Overall, the research suggests fresh fruit can be part of a healthy diet for everyone. Where did the story come from? The study was carried out by researchers from the University of Oxford, and Peking University, Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences, China National Center for Food Safety Risk Assessment, Non-communicable Disease Prevention and Control Department, and Pengzhou Center for Disease Control and Prevention, all in China. It was funded by the Kadoorie Charitable Foundation. The study was published in the peer-reviewed journal PLOS Medicine on an open-access basis, so Continue reading >>

How To Eat To Manage Diabetes - Top 10 Tips

How To Eat To Manage Diabetes - Top 10 Tips

Moderation is key when it comes to managing diabetes. Douglas Twenefour, clinical advisor at Diabetes UK, explains what to eat when and shares his top 10 tips for managing your diabetes... There is not a ‘one-size-fits-all’ eating pattern for people with diabetes, but Douglas Twenefour suggests tips that can be incorporated into individual healthy eating goals for people who have the condition... 1. Eat regular meals Spacing meals evenly throughout the day will help control your appetite and blood glucose levels – especially if you are on twice-daily insulin. 2. Opt for slowly absorbed carbohydrates All carbohydrates (carbs) affect blood glucose levels, so be conscious of how much you eat and opt for carbs that are more gradually absorbed. Try wholewheat pasta, basmati rice; granary, pumpernickel or rye bread; new potatoes in their skins, sweet potatoes and yams; oat-based cereals, such as porridge or natural (unsweetened) muesli. For more information, take a look at our Spotlight on... low-GI foods. 3. Cut the fat Eat less fat – particularly saturated fat. Try unsaturated fats and oils, especially monounsaturated fats like extra virgin olive oil and rapeseed oil, as these types of fat are better for your heart. Use lower fat dairy products including skimmed or semi-skimmed milk. Grill, steam or bake foods rather than frying. Remember that all fats contribute similar amounts of calories, so limit your overall intake if you are aiming to lose weight. 4. Five a day Aim for at least five portions of fruit and vegetables every day to give your body the vitamins, minerals and fibre it needs. A portion is: 1 medium-sized piece of fruit, like a banana or apple, 1 handful of grapes, 1 tablespoon (30g) dried fruit, 1 small glass (150ml) of unsweetened 100% fruit juice or Continue reading >>

Eat Fruit To Beat Diabetes: Daily Intake Can 'slash Your Risk Of The Condition'

Eat Fruit To Beat Diabetes: Daily Intake Can 'slash Your Risk Of The Condition'

Scientists at Oxford University have discovered that greater consumption of fresh fruit is linked with a lower incidence of diabetes, as well as a reduction in complications among people who already have the disease. Those who eat fruit daily have a 12 per cent lower risk of developing the disease. And researchers said the news can be positive for those who already have the condition, with regular fruit eaters 17 per cent less likely to die of it. Last night medical experts welcomed the findings. Dr Emily Burns, Diabetes UK's Research Communications Manager, said: "Fresh fruit has many health benefits and it's a myth that people with diabetes should not eat it. The type of sugar in whole fruit is different to the added sugar we should avoid. "We know that a balanced diet is beneficial for overall health and preventing Type 2 diabetes." The benefits of eating fruit and vegetables are well established. However the sugar content of fruit has led to uncertainty about associated risks of diabetes and vascular complications. Now, after studying more than half a million people, the Oxford research team have concluded it is beneficial - the first study to make such a direct link. The findings, published in the journal PLOS Medicine, showed people who eat plenty of fresh fruit had a lower risk of developing diabetes in comparison with other participants. The team recruited more than 500,000 adults from ten widely different areas across China - where many people still eat little fruit - and tracked their health for seven years. Study leader Dr Huaidong Du said: "Among individuals who were free of diabetes at the start of the study daily consumption of fresh fruit was associated with a 12 per cent lower relative risk of developing it, compared to never or rarely consuming fresh fr Continue reading >>

4 Tips For Eating Well With High Cholesterol

4 Tips For Eating Well With High Cholesterol

Here’s some good news: it doesn’t take a huge effort to start making heart-healthy food decisions. Especially when you have diabetes and high cholesterol, watching your diet is critical. There are changes you can make to what you eat every day. We recommend that you talk to a certified diabetes educator or registered dietitian about changing how you eat. They can work with you to create a meal plan that is delicious, flexible (you won’t always be eating the same thing), and healthy—for both your heart and your diabetes. In the meantime, here are 4 tips to help you eat well when you have high cholesterol. Eat More Whole Grains Conveniently enough, many pastas and breads have whole grain versions. The next time you’re shopping, reach for the whole grain pasta instead of the regular pasta. Also, try replacing white rice with brown rice. You could also have whole grain couscous. Eat More Fruits and Veggies We know you’ve heard it before, but it’s true: you should eat your fruits and veggies. All the fiber in fruits and vegetables can help lower your cholesterol, so try to work more of them into your day. For example, you could mix fruit into your yogurt for breakfast. You can snack on raw vegetables throughout the day. You can make it a point to shop your local farmers’ market (if you have one) to get seasonal produce. Cook with Olive Oil Instead of cooking with vegetable oil, cook with olive oil, which is a “healthy” fat. Olive oil has monounsaturated fats in it, which are healthier than saturated fat or trans fat. Limit High Cholesterol Foods The next time you’re at the store, make it a point to read the food label of everything before you put it in the cart. Choose foods that are low cholesterol—or even no cholesterol! The Nutrition Facts label wi Continue reading >>

4 Sweet Science-backed Reasons That Diabetics Can Eat Fruit Worry-free

4 Sweet Science-backed Reasons That Diabetics Can Eat Fruit Worry-free

Extremely low-carb diets aren’t as healthy for you because they skimp on fruit and claim that fruit contains natural sugars that just turn to sugar in the body. It’s true that all carbohydrates from food eventually end up as blood glucose—including the carbs in fruit. That said, fruit has a much lower impact on blood sugar levels than other truly harmful foods like candy bars and soda. That’s because, like vegetables, fruit is mostly water. What isn’t water is fiber, and that fiber slows the progression of fruit sugars into the bloodstream, causing a slow, steady rise in blood sugar rather than a huge spike. Here’s more: Fruit isn’t just not bad for your diabetes. It’s good for it, and for your waistline too. 1. Fruit fights inflammation. Peaches, plums, and nectarines contain special nutrients called phenolic compounds that have anti-inflammatory properties. (These nutrient-rich foods also fight off inflammation.) These compounds travel through the bloodstream and then to your fat cells, where they affect different genes and proteins for the better, finds research done at Texas A&M University. 2. Fruit prevents diabetes. Flavonoids are nutrients found in plant foods, and especially in many types of fruit. Research shows that these compounds can lower the risk for developing type 2 diabetes, probably because these nutrients improve insulin sensitivity. Harvard’s long-running Nurses’ Health Study found that women who consumed more anthocyanins (the pigment that makes blueberries blue and strawberries red) were much less likely to develop type 2 diabetes than women who consumer fewer of these health-promoting compounds. Science says these are the 15 best foods for diabetics. 3. Fruit slims you down. New research suggests fruits may actually be more imp Continue reading >>

What Should I Eat?

What Should I Eat?

People with diabetes should follow the Australian Dietary Guidelines. Eating the recommended amount of food from the five food groups will provide you with the nutrients you need to be healthy and prevent chronic diseases such as obesity and heart disease. Australian Dietary Guidelines: To help manage your diabetes: Eat regular meals and spread them evenly throughout the day Eat a diet lower in fat, particularly saturated fat If you take insulin or diabetes tablets, you may need to have between meal snacks It is important to recognise that everyone’s needs are different. All people with diabetes should see an Accredited Practising Dietitian in conjunction with their diabetes team for individualised advice. Read our position statement 'One Diet Does Not Fit All'. Matching the amount of food you eat with the amount of energy you burn through activity and exercise is important. Putting too much fuel in your body can lead to weight gain. Being overweight or obese can make it difficult to manage your diabetes and can increase the risk of heart disease, stroke and cancer. Limit foods high in energy such as take away foods, sweet biscuits, cakes, sugar sweetened drinks and fruit juice, lollies, chocolate and savoury snacks. Some people have a healthy diet but eat too much. Reducing your portion size is one way to decrease the amount of energy you eat. Being active has many benefits. Along with healthy eating, regular physical activity can help you to manage your blood glucose levels, reduce your blood fats (cholesterol and triglycerides) and maintain a healthy weight. Learn more about exercise and maintaining a healthy weight. Fats have the highest energy (kilojoule or calorie) content of all foods. Eating too much fat can make you put on weight, which may make it more diffi Continue reading >>

Really? Diabetics Should Avoid Eating Fruit

Really? Diabetics Should Avoid Eating Fruit

THE FACTS For most people, eating fruit goes along with a healthy diet. But for people with diabetes, it’s a different story. Should fruit be kept to a minimum or even avoided altogether because of its sugar content? Or do the fiber and other nutrients it contains minimize its effect on blood sugar? Because of a lack of research, and conflicting advice, there has not been a clear answer. But a new study in Nutrition Journal should provide some guidance: It found that restricting fruit intake did not seem to benefit diabetics. In the study, the first randomized trial to address the issue, researchers recruited 63 overweight men and women with newly diagnosed Type 2 diabetes. All of the subjects were given medical care and nutrition advice, including suggestions to limit calories. But some were randomly assigned to limit their fruit intake, while a second group was instructed to eat at least two pieces of fruit daily. The goal was to see how this affected their levels of glycosylated hemoglobin, which provides an indication of blood sugar level over time. The first group ended up consuming about 135 grams of fruit a day, roughly equivalent to a single orange or banana, while the second group consumed about 320 grams of fruit daily. After 12 weeks, both groups had lost weight and had smaller waists, but those who ate more fruit had the greatest reductions. And there was no significant difference between the two groups when it came to their blood sugar measures. “Considering the many possible beneficial effects of fruit,” the authors wrote, “we recommend that fruit intake should not be restricted in Type 2 diabetic subjects.” THE BOTTOM LINE Avoiding fruit may not prove beneficial for Type 2 diabetics, but more research is needed. Continue reading >>

Apples | Reverse Type 2 Diabetes

Apples | Reverse Type 2 Diabetes

Ex-Diabetic Sidebar: When I was diabetic, my doctors and the hospital's dietitian told me that I would have to avoid fruits. I found that kind of strange, especially, since some of my hospital meals included applesauce, tangerine slices and orange juice! Avoiding fruits was difficult for me because I had a "sweet tooth" -- a strong craving for sweets. Being diabetic, my body craved sugar and I loved sweets -- not just fruits -- I loved apple pie, brownies, chocolate chip cookies, and ice cream. During my research, I discovered how to stop the cravings (see below). I also learned that eating some whole fruit can be beneficial, despite the sugar content in most fruits. Why? Because it's better to eat an apple than some cookies or ice cream to satisfy your craving for something sweet! :-) In addition, studies have shown that the nutrients within most fruits (e.g. antioxidants, Vitamin C, fiber, water) can help prevent and reverse the damage to blood vessels and body tissues caused by Type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and other similar diseases. The key is to make sure that you follow an effective reverse diabetes nutritional program such as the one defined in the "Death to Diabetes" 10-Step Reverse Diabetes Wellness Program. Most whole fruits are on the moderate to low end of the Glycemic Index (GI), making them a pretty good choice for most people with diabetes. Many fruits are also packed with vitamins A and C, as well as water,fiber and antioxidants (flavonoids) such as catechin, quercetin, and anthocyanidin. Top 10 Fruits | Reverse Diabetes The following is a list of the top 10 fruits that most diabetics can eat because, for most diabetics, these fruits don't cause large or sustained blood glucose spikes. As a result, eating these fruits can help to satisfy your sweet to Continue reading >>

The Best And Worst Fruits To Eat If You Have Diabetes

The Best And Worst Fruits To Eat If You Have Diabetes

Good news for fruit lovers everywhere: eating fresh fruit is associated with a lower risk of diabetes and a lower risk of complications if you already have the disease, according to a new study published in PLOS Medicine. Featured recipe: Fresh Fruit Salad If you've been steering clear of fruit because of the sugar content, there's no reason to do so, according to this study. Over a seven-year time period, researchers analyzed the diet and health outcomes of more than 500,000 Chinese adults. The researchers found that higher fruit consumption was not associated with higher blood sugar, even for people with diabetes. Adults who consumed fruit more frequently actually had a lower risk of developing diabetes. The study only analyzed fresh fruit consumption, not dried fruit or fruit juice, so we turned to a few registered dietitians and certified diabetes educators to clarify the best and worst fruits, appropriate serving sizes, and how many carbohydrates you should get from fruit each day. First it's important to note that "diabetes care is individualized," says Staci Freeworth, RD, CDE, and professor of nutrition at Bowling Green State University. This is why it is important for people with diabetes to see a certified diabetes educator (CDE). These specialists can break down how many carbohydrates you should be eating each day based on your individual needs and health history. Best Fruits to Eat Recipe to Try: Purple Fruit Salad Whether you have diabetes or not, the consensus from dietitians is the same regarding which fruits are best to eat. "The best fruits for everyone to eat are the ones that create the least influence on blood sugar, often termed 'low glycemic load,'—even if you don't have diabetes," says Daphne Olivier, RD, CDE, founder of My Food Coach. "These in Continue reading >>

8 Best Fruits For A Diabetes-friendly Diet

8 Best Fruits For A Diabetes-friendly Diet

1 / 9 What Fruit Is Good for High Blood Sugar? When you're looking for a diabetes-friendly treat that can help keep your blood sugar within a healthy range, look no farther than the produce drawer of your refrigerator or the fruit basket on your kitchen table. Believe it or not, the notion that fruit is not safe when you need to watch your A1C is a popular diabetes myth that has been debunked again and again. Indeed, according to the American Diabetes Association (ADA), many types of fruit are loaded with good-for-you vitamins and minerals, as well as fiber — a powerful nutrient that can help regulate blood sugar levels and decrease your risk of developing type 2 diabetes, according to the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. Fiber — which can also be found in some of the best vegetables for diabetes, as well as whole grains — can further benefit your health because it promotes feelings of fullness, curbing unhealthy cravings and overeating, research shows. Healthy weight maintenance can increase your insulin sensitivity and help in your diabetes management. So, how do you pick the best fruit for diabetes? While some forms of fruit, like juice, can be bad for diabetes, whole fruits like berries, citrus, apricots, and yes, even apples — can be good for your A1C and overall health, fighting inflammation, normalizing your blood pressure, and more. But as with any food in your diabetes diet, you have to be smart about counting carbohydrates and tracking what you eat. Portion size is key. Consume fruit in its whole, natural form, and avoid syrups or any processed fruits with added sugar, which have the tendency to spike your blood sugar. Stick to the produce aisle and the freezer section of your grocery store. If you're using the glycemic index (GI) or glycemic Continue reading >>

13 Best And Worst Foods For People With Diabetes

13 Best And Worst Foods For People With Diabetes

How to choose food If you have diabetes, watching what you eat is one of the most important things you can do to stay healthy. "The basic goal of nutrition for people with diabetes is to avoid blood sugar spikes," says Gerald Bernstein, M.D., director of the diabetes management program at Friedman Diabetes Institute, Beth Israel Medical Center in New York. Candy and soda can be dangerous for diabetics because the body absorbs these simple sugars almost instantly. But all types of carbs need to be watched, and foods high in fat—particularly unhealthy fats—are problematic as well because people with diabetes are at very high risk of heart disease, says Sandy Andrews, RD, director of education for the William Sansum Diabetes Center in Santa Barbara, Calif. Worst: White rice The more white rice you eat, the greater your risk of type 2 diabetes, according to a 2012 review. In a study of more than 350,000 people, those who ate the most white rice were at greatest risk for type 2 diabetes, and the risk increased 11% for each additional daily serving of rice. "Basically anything highly processed, fried, and made with white flour should be avoided," says Andrews. White rice and pasta can cause blood sugar spikes similar to that of sugar. Have this instead: Brown rice or wild rice. These whole grains don't cause the same blood sugar spikes thanks to fiber, which helps slow the rush of glucose into the bloodstream, says Andrews. What's more, a Harvard School of Public Health study found that two or more weekly servings of brown rice was linked to a lower diabetes risk. Worst: Blended coffees Blended coffees that are laced with syrup, sugar, whipped cream, and other toppings can have as many calories and fat grams as a milkshake, making them a poor choice for those with diabete Continue reading >>

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