10 Low-Glycemic Fruits for Diabetes
We humans come by our sweet tooth naturally — Our bodies need carbohydrates because they provide energy to cells. But for the body to be able to use it for energy, we need insulin.
When our bodies don’t produce any insulin or are unable to use it (type 1 diabetes) or make enough of it properly (type 2 diabetes), we’re at risk for high blood sugar levels. High levels can lead to chronic complications such as nerve, eye, or kidney damage.
The glycemic index (GI) tells you how quickly foods containing carbohydrates affect your blood sugar level when eaten by themselves. According to the American Diabetes Association (ADA), GI scores are rated as:
Low: 55 or below
Moderate: 56 to 69
High: 70 and above
The lower the GI score, the more slowly the rise in blood sugar, which can help the body better manage post-meal changes.
Most whole fruits have a low to moderate GI. Many fruits are also packed with vitamins A and C, as well as fiber.
A more useful estimation of the food-blood sugar effect is the glycemic load (GL), which has more narrow categories of low, medium and high foods. This calculation takes into account the GI, plus the grams of carbohydrates per serving of the food.
Though each person living with diabetes responds to or tolerates carbohydrate choices and amounts differently, GL better estimates the possible real-life impact when someone eats a particular food.
To calculate the GL yourself, use this equation: GL equals the GI, multiplied by the grams of carbohydrates, divided by 100.
Low: 0 to 10
Moderate: 11 to 19
High: 20 and above
GI score: 20
GL score: 6
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