4 Ways on Adding Fruits in your Daily Menu
Are you diabetic? If you are, then, you’re in luck! This article will help you incorporate fruits in your diet without having to increase your blood sugar to a critical level. You may have heard people telling you that you’re not supposed to eat fruits because they have natural sugars and it will zoom you glucose levels to the sky. Well, that’s not entirely true. Your body needs the nutrients it can get from fruits. It can benefit you greatly like lower blood cholesterol and make you feel full, among other health benefits.
You are very well aware that fruits can provide you the necessary vitamins and minerals, right? For instance, it has potassium which can certainly lower your blood pressure. The secret here is consuming the RIGHT KIND OF FRUITS that a diabetic can safely eat at the PROPER PORTION SIZE. You just have to pick wisely. Fruits are naturally sweet, yes, and when it breaks down inside the body, it becomes fructose. Any type of carbohydrate, like fruits, when metabolized will become fructose or sugar.
Anyway, here are some ways to make sure that you are eating the right kind of fruits for a diabetic and at the right amount, as well:
#4 – No to Dried Fruits and Fruit Juices
When you hold a dried fruit packet, read the nutrition facts and you will see what you are eating. Dried fruits are filled with sweeteners which mean that the carbohydrate content is higher because sugar is added to it. Fruits with no skin are not fiber-enriched anymore because all the fiber nutrients are on the fruit peel. So please NO dried fruits.
As to fruit juices, it is a NO as well. Why? You discard the skin which means goodbye fiber. Then, if you buy a 100% pure juice box, how sure are you that it is indeed with no sugar content? It will definitely spike your glucose levels.
The best choices are fresh and whole fruits. You can eat the canned ones but it has to be with no added sugar content.
#3 – Eat Fruits in Serving Size
As a diabetic, you have your very own and customized meal plan, correct? You do have an allocation for carbohydrates like grains which you can swap for fruits – as long as you eat the fruit in its serving size. You can eat three fruit servings each day and no more.
Now, what is a serving size? Here is your guide:
For apples, oranges, tangerines, peaches, pears and plums – a baseball-sized ball is one serving.
If you want banana, you can eat half a banana which is 3 inches long. That’s one serving.
Two kiwis or four apricots is one serving, and it must weigh no more than 4 ounces.
One cup of melon and its sisters, honeydew, watermelon and cantaloupe is one portion.
If you like grapes, limit yourself to 15 pieces. Same with the cherries.
Mango is really not an option here but if you have a craving, one serving for a diabetic like you is 1/3 of a medium mango. It has very high sugar content.
The best fruits to eat by a diabetic are strawberries (1 ¼ cup), blueberries (3/4 cup), raspberries (1 cup) and blackberries (1 cup). These berries are rich in fiber and low in sugar compared to other fruits.
#2 – Eat those Fruits with Low Glycemic Index
According to the American Diabetes Association, a diabetic must eat fruits that contain low glycemic index. You know that eating any type of food with high carbohydrate content will surely increase your blood sugar levels, right? Now, foods are rated according to their glycemic index. It means that there are foods with high, medium and low glycemic index. As a diabetic, you should always opt for the foods in that low glycemic index category.
It is nice to know though that most fruits are in the low GI department but there are some like melon and pineapple that can make your blood sugar levels erratic. If you can stay away from eating it, then, that would be much better for you.
Each person has a “trigger” fruit. Trigger means that after you eat this fruit, your blood glucose level spikes up. You should learn to avoid this and know which fruits will suit you best.
#1 – Fruits plus Protein equals Healthy Diabetic
Food experts find it a great combination to eat especially for diabetics – fruit and protein. Protein pulls the “spiking agent” down which is responsible for quickly increasing a diabetic’s blood sugar level. This is the reason why they pair fruits with protein – for that exact purpose.
Here are some great combinations:
Apple and almond butter
Non-fat Greek yogurt and raspberries
Peach and low fat cottage cheese
Of course, don’t forget your serving size!