Fruits For Diabetes: All You Need To Know
Eating fruit is a delicious way to satisfy hunger and meet daily nutritional needs. However, most fruits contain sugar, which raises questions about whether they are healthy for people who have diabetes. Is fruit unhealthy for people with diabetes? This article will look at what you need to know about fruit and diabetes. Contents of this article: What is fruit? Most people can probably name several fruits such as oranges and apples, but not know why they are fruits. Fruits contain seeds and come from plants or trees. People eat fruits that are stored in many ways - fresh, frozen, canned, dried, and processed. But aren't tomatoes and cucumbers also fruits because they have seeds? There are many foods that are classed as fruits that may surprise some people. Tomatoes, cucumbers, avocados, peas, corn, and nuts are all fruits. It's fine to think of tomatoes and cucumbers as vegetables rather than fruits, however. What's important is how much energy (calories) and nutrients each food has. The bottom line: it's not important to know the difference between fruits and vegetables but to know that both are good for health. Does eating fruit play a role in managing diabetes? Eating enough fiber plays an important role in managing diabetes. A diet high in soluble fiber can slow the absorption of sugar and control blood sugar levels. Many fruits are high in fiber, especially if the skin or pulp is eaten. Many fruits are filling because they contain fiber and a lot of water. Diets containing enough fruits and vegetables can reduce the risk of obesity, heart attack, and stroke. Obesity has been linked to type 2 diabetes. Fruits are high in fiber and nutrients, so they are a good choice in meal planning. Fruits that have been processed such as applesauce and fruit juices have had their Continue reading >>
How Much Fruit Should You Eat Per Day?
Fruit is an important part of a healthy diet. In fact, diets high in fruit are associated with all sorts of health benefits, including a decreased risk of many diseases. However, some people are concerned with the sugar content of fruit and worry that eating too much of it may be harmful. So how many servings of fruit should you eat each day to be healthy? And is it possible to eat too much? This article explores the current research on the topic. The nutrient composition of fruit varies greatly among the different types, but all varieties contain important nutrients. For starters, fruit tends to be high in vitamins and minerals. These include vitamin C, potassium and folate, of which many people don't get enough (1, 2). Fruit is also high in fiber, which has many health benefits. Eating fiber may help lower cholesterol, increase feelings of fullness and contribute to weight loss over time (3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8). What's more, fruits are loaded with antioxidants, which help fight free radicals that can damage cells. Eating a diet high in antioxidants may help slow aging and reduce the risk of disease (9, 10, 11). Because different fruits contain different amounts of nutrients, it is important to eat a variety of them to maximize the health benefits. Fruit is high in important nutrients like vitamins, minerals, fiber and antioxidants. Eat many different types to get the most benefits. Fruits are high in nutrients and relatively low in calories, making them a great choice for those looking to lose weight. What's more, they are high in water and fiber, which help you feel full. Because of this, you can typically eat fruit until you're satisfied, without consuming a lot of calories. In fact, multiple studies indicate that eating fruit is associated with lower calorie intake and Continue reading >>
How Much Fruit Should Be Eaten By Diabetics?
An October 2011 study published in the “Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics” found that diabetics who ate adequate amounts of fruit were able to reduce two medical risk factors associated with cardiovascular disease. If you have diabetes, eating fruit daily provides your body with essential nutrients, helps control your blood sugar and reduces your risk for other illnesses such as cardiovascular disease. Ask your health care provider or registered dietitian how to include fruits in your meal plan. Video of the Day 2 to 4 Servings Daily The National Diabetes Information Clearinghouse suggests that people with diabetes consume two to four servings of fruit a day, depending on their calorie needs. If you require between 1,200 and 1,600 calories, aim for two fruits daily. Three fruits should be your goal if you need between 1,600 and 2,000 calories daily. People requiring 2,000 to 2,400 calories should consume four fruits daily. A serving is equivalent to a small piece of fruit roughly the size of a tennis ball, 1/2 cup of juice or canned fruit, 2 tablespoons of dried fruit or 3/4 cup to 1 cup of fresh berries or melon. Avoiding the Blood Sugar Roller Coaster Because fruits contain natural sugars, they will raise your blood sugar. Balancing them throughout your day will help prevent peaks and valleys in your blood sugar levels. The American Diabetes Association suggests that the best fruits to choose include fresh, frozen or canned without added sugar. Canned fruits in juice or light syrup, dried fruits and juices contain more sugar, and you should limit these. Melons and pineapple have a higher glycemic index and so may raise your blood sugar more than other fruits, but they can still be included in your diet. An important component of fruit for diabetics Continue reading >>
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 >>
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 >>
Diabetes Diet: Should I Avoid Sweet Fruits?
I've heard that you shouldn't eat sweet fruits such as strawberries or blueberries if you have diabetes. Is this true? Answers from M. Regina Castro, M.D. It's a common myth that if you have diabetes you shouldn't eat certain foods because they're "too sweet." Some fruits do contain more sugar than others, but that doesn't mean you shouldn't eat them if you have diabetes. The total amount of carbohydrates in a food affects blood sugar levels more than does the source of carbohydrates or whether the source is a starch or sugar. One serving of fruit should contain 15 grams of carbohydrates. The size of the serving depends on the carbohydrate content of the fruit. The advantage of eating a low-carbohydrate fruit is that you can consume a larger portion. But whether you eat a low-carb or high-carb fruit, as long as the serving size contains 15 grams of carbohydrates, the effect on your blood sugar is the same. The following fruit servings contain about 15 grams of carbohydrates: 1/2 medium apple or banana 1 cup blackberries 3/4 cup blueberries 1 cup raspberries 1 1/4 cup whole strawberries 1 cup cubed cantaloupe or honeydew melon Continue reading >>
Can Diabetics Eat Strawberries
Some fruits contain a very high amount of carbohydrates that can cause high blood sugar levels in diabetics. The 30 grams of carbohydrates found in a banana, the 50 grams found in a mango and the 52 grams found in a 16-ounce serving of orange juice can be too much for some people with diabetes. Checking your blood sugar levels after eating is the best way to determine whether the foods and fruits you eat allow you to keep your blood sugar levels under control. Strawberries and most other berries tend to contain less carbohydrates per serving and constitute excellent fruit options for all diabetics. Slow-Release Carbs Diabetics need not only to pay attention to the amount of carbs they eat, but also to the type. Some carbs are called high glycemic or quick-release carbs, which have the potential to result in a sharp rise in your blood sugar levels. Fruit juices, dried fruits and tropical fruits tend to be more problematic for diabetes control because of their high glycemic index. Strawberries and all other berries, such as blackberries, raspberries, blueberries and cranberries, contain slow-release carbohydrates, the best kind to optimize diabetes control. Another advantage of strawberries is that they contain fewer carbohydrates compared to most other fruits. A generous 1-cup serving of strawberries has 11 grams of carbs including 3 grams of fiber, which corresponds to the equivalent of only 8 grams of available carbs. Available carbs represent the portion of the carbs found in a food that can raise your blood sugar levels and can be calculated by removing the grams of fiber from the total carbs. Replacing your usual serving of fruit with a serving of strawberries can help you reduce your carb intake and keep your blood sugar levels in the target range. A serving of fru Continue reading >>
Can People With Type 2 Diabetes Eat As Much Fruit As They Want?
Someone with diabetes, whether type 1 or type 2, can eat fruit but portion size and quantity is an important part of balancing blood sugar levels. Fruit is a healthy food choice containing very little to no fat or sodium. Since fruit contains carbohydrate, people with diabetes will need to calculate the amount of carbohydrate into their meal plan. A typical fruit serving of ½ cup of juice, ¼ cup dried fruit, 1 medium piece of fresh fruit or ½ cup canned fruit packed in its own juice will provide about 15 grams of carbohydrate. Someone with diabetes cannot eat all the fruit they want unless they calculate the carbohydrate from fruit into their meal plan. It is best to have a balanced diet from all food groups to achieve the best nutrition from foods. People with type 2 diabetes cannot eat as much fruit as they may want, even though fruit is rich in vitamins, minerals and fiber. The problem is that it contains carbohydrates that break down into glucose (sugar) when digested. Insulin is needed to allow the glucose to be used by the body’s cells. People with type 2 diabetes either have cells resistant to the effects of insulin or they simply don’t make enough of it. That’s why part of managing type 2 diabetes is watching what you eat and limiting the number of carbohydrates you consume. Depending on your size, activity level and the need to lose weight, you can have two to four servings of fruit a day. Choose fresh fruit, or frozen or canned fruit without added sugar. Talk to your dietitian or diabetes educator about what your meal plan should include. Remember that one serving size of fruit equals: a small piece of whole fruit, like an apple or orange 1/2 cup of frozen or canned fruit (canned in juice or light syrup) 3/4 to 1 cup of berries or melon 2 tablespoons Continue reading >>
Can A Diabetes Diet Include Fruit?
Although fruit contains sugar, it's also loaded with essential vitamins, minerals, and fiber. Learn how fruit can be part of a healthy type 2 diabetes diet. Most people with type 2 diabetes know they can't indulge in a piece of chocolate cake or sip sugar-laden drinks every day. But is all sugar off limits in a type 2 diabetes diet even the natural sugar found in fruits? "For most people with diabetes,eating fruit is fine," says dietitian Nora Saul, RD , a certified diabetes educator at the Joslin Diabetes Center in Boston. Fruit is a healthy snack, packed with the fiber, vitamins, and nutrients essential for good health. But that doesn't mean people with type 2 diabetes can eat all the fruit they want. "Every single fruit has carbohydrates, which means it will impact your blood sugar levels ," says Lorena Drago , a certified diabetes educator and spokesperson for the American Association of Diabetes Educators. Read on to learn how you can enjoy natures candy while keeping your blood sugar levels in check. Fruit is an important part of a healthy diabetes-friendly diet. But because its a source of carbohydrates, you need to pay attention to each fruits glycemic index ranking and appropriate serving size. The glycemic index (GI)is a numerical rating assigned to carbohydrate foods that indicates how much a food will affect blood sugar levels. Ounce for ounce, low GI foods raise blood sugar levels less than higher GI foods, says Saul. So to keep your blood sugar levels stable the goal for everyone with diabetes its important to reach for low GI foods. Of course, portion size is also very important since the more of a carbohydrate-containing food you eat, the more it impacts your blood sugar levels. If you're looking for the most nutritional bang for your carbohydrate buck, Continue reading >>
Can I Eat Fruit If I Have Diabetes?
Fruit is not off-limits if you have type 2 diabetes. It has too many good things going for it, such as fiber and nutrients, as well as its natural sweetness. These fruits are good choices. Keep in mind that fruit gives you carbs, and “as with any carbohydrate, it's important to be mindful of serving sizes,” Shira Lenchewski, RD, says. Pairing fruit with some protein, such as nonfat or low-fat yogurt or a few nuts, also helps. “This super fruit literally has it all,” says Lynn A. Maarouf, RD, nutrition educator at the Stark Diabetes Center at the University of Texas Medical Branch. “It supplies enough beta-carotene and vitamin C to meet your daily requirements and is an excellent source of potassium (an antioxidant which can help lower blood pressure).” Portion Size: 1/3 of a melon Nutritional Info: 60 calories, 15 grams of carbs One serving of strawberries gives you 100% of your daily requirement of vitamin C. “Also, these sweet berries contain potassium, which help keep blood pressure down, and fiber, which makes you feel full longer while keeping blood sugar levels in check,” Maarouf says. In a recent study, people who ate strawberries along with white bread needed less insulin to steady their blood sugar, compared to people who ate just the white bread. “The research suggests it’s the polyphenols in strawberries that may slow down the digestion of simple carbohydrates, thereby requiring less insulin to normalize blood glucose,” Lenchewski says. Portion Size: 1 cup Nutritional Info: 60 calories, 15 grams of carbs These tiny tangerine hybrids are high in both vitamin C and folate, which has been shown to improve blood sugar control in people with type 2 diabetes. “They fit nicely into a backpack or briefcase, and they have a peeling that slides Continue reading >>
Are You Eating Too Much Fruit?
Loading your diet with fruit seems like a no-brainer, right? Your body gets a boost from nutritious superstars like fiber , vitamins, and antioxidants, plus juicy berries might even satisfy your sweet tooth . But that doesnt mean maintaining a 24/7 fruit free-for-all is good for your health. Fruit is high in a sugar known as fructose. Even though the sugar is coming from this healthy source, you still have to use moderation, says Brigitte Zeitlin, MPH, RD, CDN, a dietitian at B-Nutritious . If youre panicking because youve been devouring fruit salad to your hearts content, dont worry. Heres what you need to know about how much fruit you should really be eating every day. Why Eating Too Much Fruit Might Impact Your Health Sugar comes in a few different forms: Glucose, fructose and sucrose. Glucose helps keep all your systems chugging along smoothly. Carbohydrates break down into glucose, your bodys main source of fuel, says Beth Warren , MS, RDN, CDN, registered dietitian and author of Living a Real Life with Real Food . Then you have fructose, the only type of sugar found in fruits. Its metabolized in the liver, as opposed to in the blood stream. Sucrose, more commonly known as table sugar, is simply a combination of both glucose and fructose. RELATED: The Bitter Truth About Sugar and Its Effects on Our Health High blood sugar, which is caused by too much glucose in your blood, can lead to diabetes. Refined carbohydrates, like white rice or white-flour baked goods, are common culprits leading to high blood sugar. In addition to their sugar content, they lack the fiber that prevents glucose spikes, wreaking havoc on your blood sugar levels. Too much sugar in the blood stream at once leads to fat storage and insulin resistance, a precursor to type 2 diabetes, says Zeitli Continue reading >>
Fruit For A Diabetes Diet: What To Know Before You Snack
People with type 2 diabetes know that they need to pay attention to their carbohydrate intake. Of the three main macronutrients in food — protein, fat, and carbohydrates — it's the carbohydrates that directly affect blood sugar levels, and this includes the carbohydrates in fruit. But a study published in August 2013 in the British Medical Journal looked at the association between fruit and type 2 diabetes and found that fruit can still be a crucial part of a good diabetes diet. The study, which followed nearly 190,000 people over a number of years, found that eating whole fruits — especially blueberries, grapes, and apples — significantly reduces the risk for type 2 diabetes. On the flip side, drinking more fruit juices actually increases the risk for diabetes. “If you have type 2 diabetes, you do need to watch your sugar," says Katie Barbera, RD, CDE, of Northwell Health Systems in New Hyde Park, New York. She explains that while both whole fruit and fruit juice have carbohydrates, a small piece of whole fruit is equal to about 4 ounces (oz) of fruit juice. So if you drink 12 oz of fruit juice, you could be getting more than you need. “And whole fruits have a lot of other advantages for a diabetes diet," Barbera adds. Understanding the Carbohydrates in Fruit Like vegetables and grains, fruits contain carbs. You need the fruits for a healthy diet, but with type 2 diabetes you also need to keep track of the carbs. Still, figuring out which fruits are best for diabetes is about more than counting carbs — it's also important to take into account the beneficial nutrients certain fruits provide. “Whole fruits are an excellent source of antioxidants," Barbera says. "They have a lot of fiber, so they make you feel fuller and satisfy your hunger. They also add Continue reading >>
Eating With Diabetes: What About Fruit?
By Amy Poetker, Registered Dietitian and Certified Diabetes Educator 2/15/2012 Packed with vitamins, minerals, and fiber, fruit should be part of any healthy diet. As a diabetes educator, some of the most frequent questions from my clients have to do with fruit. Can I still eat fruit? How much fruit should I eat? What are the best fruits for someone with diabetes? Most people with diabetes are worried about eating fruit because they know that fruit contains sugar. And in the past, people with diabetes were told to avoid eating sugar. While it's true that fruit contains naturally-occurring sugarsand sometimes added ones, too (more on that below)fruit also provides a host of other healthy nutrients that are beneficial for everyone, including people with diabetes. In addition, it's important to remember that people who have diabetes can eat anything, including fruit! Here's why. All carbohydrate-containing foodsnot just those with sugaraffect blood sugar levels. It is the amount of carbohydrate you eat (not the type) that has the biggest influence on blood sugar levels. Because of this, people with diabetes can treat all carbohydrate-containing foods (including fruit) the same when meal planning. Too much of any carbohydrate at a given meal or snack will probably raise your blood sugar higher than you would like. Therefore, a big part of diabetes meal planning is devoted to carbohydrate counting or budgeting carbohydrates in some way. You should work with your diabetes educator or a dietitian that specializes in diabetes in order to determine how much carbohydrate you need. If you count carbohydrates to control your blood sugar, you simply include the carbohydrates in a serving of fruit into your carbohydrate budget for a meal or snack. For instance if you have a 45-gram Continue reading >>
Diabetes Nutrition Guide: Understanding The Glycemic Index
The glycemic index (GI) is one nutritional tool you can use to help rate the quality of carbohydrates that you eat. The index measures how quickly the carbohydrates in a specific food impact your blood sugar. They are rated low, medium, or high, depending on how quickly they raise your blood sugar level, compared to either glucose or white bread (these foods have a glycemic index rating of 100). By choosing low glycemic index foods, you can minimize dramatic increases in your blood sugar. Additionally, if you eat a high glycemic index food, you can expect that it will increase your blood sugar more significantly. It may also cause a higher post-meal blood sugar reading. Many factors can change the glycemic index of a food. These factors include its composition and how the food is cooked. The glycemic index of food also changes when it is mixed together. The glycemic index of food is not based on a normal serving of a particular food. For example, carrots have a high glycemic index, but to get the amount measured for carrot’s glycemic index you would have to eat a pound and a half. A different measure, called glycemic load, is also available. This measure takes into account both the speed of digestion and the amount present in a normal serving of a food. It may be a better way to measure the impact a carbohydrate food has on blood sugar. To assign a GI number, foods are assigned to one of three categories: low, medium, or high. low GI foods: have a GI of 55 or less medium GI foods: between 56 and 69 high GI foods: 70 or higher For glycemic load, under 10 is considered low, 10 to 20 is considered medium, and over 20 is consider high. Several factors are taken into account when assigning a food a glycemic rating. These factors include: Acidity Foods that are highly acidi Continue reading >>
- The effect of a low-carbohydrate, ketogenic diet versus a low-glycemic index diet on glycemic control in type 2 diabetes mellitus
- Why the Glycemic Index Fails for Many People with Diabetes
- Association of Glycemic Variability in Type 1 Diabetes With Progression of Microvascular Outcomes in the Diabetes Control and Complications Trial
Diabetes: The Truth About Food Serving Sizes
Confused about how much you can eat when you have diabetes? First you need to know how much food is in a serving. It may be different from what you expect. Let’s say you eat a cup of rice at dinner. But a serving is actually considered 1/3 cup. So you got three times as many carbs as you thought. To outsmart those mistakes, get to know what a serving size really holds. And for expert help, talk to your dietitian or a certified diabetes educator. 1/2 banana 1 small apple, orange, or pear 1/2 cup chopped, cooked, or canned fruit 1 cup raw leafy vegetables 1/2 cup other vegetables cooked, raw (chopped), or canned 1/2 cup vegetable juice 1 slice of bread 1/2 English muffin, bun, small bagel, or pita bread 1 6-inch tortilla 4-6 crackers 2 rice cakes 1 ounce ready-to-eat cereal 1/2 cup cooked cereal, pasta, or bulgur 1/3 cup cooked rice 1 small potato or 1/2 large potato 1/2 cup sweet potatoes or yams 1/2 cup corn kernels or other starchy vegetables such as winter squash, peas, or lima beans 2-3 ounces cooked lean beef, veal, pork, lamb, chicken, turkey, or fish 2-3 ounces low-fat natural cheese (such as Swiss, cheddar, Muenster, parmesan, mozzarella, and others) 1/2 cup cooked dry beans 1/4 cup tofu 1 egg (or an equal serving of egg substitute) 2 tablespoons peanut butter 2 ounces processed cheese (American) 1/2 cup low-fat cottage cheese 1/2 cup canned tuna (packed in water) 1 cup low-fat milk 1 cup low-fat yogurt (unsweetened, or sweetened with aspartame or other artificial sweeteners) Continue reading >>