According to the Diabetes Association, 25.8 million Americans have diabetes and by 2020 half of all Americans will suffer from this disease.
Diabetes causes high blood sugar (glucose) levels due to lack of insulin production or malfunction. It is mainly classified as type 1, in which the body does not produce insulin, or type 2, in which the body is not able to properly use the insulin it produces.
A diet plan for diabetes should include foods that are rich in nutrients, low in fat, moderate in calories, and few sugary foods.
As fruits are generally sweet, people often think that a diabetic person should avoid consuming them. But there are several fruits that are especially effective in managing blood sugar. Packed with vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and phytonutrients, fruits are a healthy addition to any diet.
Some fruits are better than others for diabetics. On the other hand, diabetics should also take into account factors such as the glycemic index and glycemic load, as they provide information on how different foods affect blood sugar and insulin levels.
Low glycemic index foods are believed to have a beneficial effect on blood glucose control, as they do not significantly affect blood sugar levels. Generally, foods with a glycemic index score of 55 and below are classified as low glycemic index foods. Those with a glycemic index score of 70 and above are considered high glycemic index foods.
The 10 best fruits for diabetics.
The apples crisp, juicy and sweet can offer protection against diabetes. Apples are rich in soluble fiber, vitamin C, and antioxidants. They also contain pectin which helps detoxify the body and eliminate harmful waste products, as well as reducing the insulin needs of diabetics by up to 35%.
In addition, apples help prevent heart attacks, reduce the risk of cancer, and prevent eye diseases among people with diabetes.
The glycemic index: ranges from 30 to 50.
Suggested Serving: A small to medium apple a day is recommended.
Cherries have one of the lowest scores of any fruit on the glycemic index of 22. Cherries contain anthocyanins that are known to help lower blood sugar by increasing insulin production by 50 percent. They also help fight heart disease, cancer, and other diseases that are common among people with diabetes.
Suggested Serving: Cherries can be eaten fresh, canned, frozen, or dried. Half a cup of cherries a day is a good option.
3. Black plums.
The black plums , also known as Jamun or Jambul, can help a lot in controlling blood sugar. Researchers looked at the effects of black plums in treating diabetes. The presence of anthocyanins, ellagic acid and hydrolysable tannins in black plums make this fruit very beneficial for diabetic people. Together with the fruit, leaves, berry and seeds of the black plum tree, they can be used to control blood sugar level.
Suggested serving: Half a cup of black plums daily is recommended, when the fruit is available in the market. You can also make a dry seed powder and eat a teaspoon of the powder with water twice a day.
Guava has a high concentration of lycopene, a high amount of dietary fiber, and a good amount of vitamin C and potassium. All of these nutrients are helpful in maintaining blood sugar level.
Those who are at risk of developing diabetes can help prevent it by drinking guava leaf tea. Dry the guava leaves and crush them. Boil a tablespoon of crushed guava leaves in hot water. Let it sit for five minutes, and then strain it. Drink this infusion once a day.
Suggested Serving: Eat a whole guava sliced without the peel daily. Alternatively, you can drink a small glass of guava juice.
Due to its high content of fiber and healthy monounsaturated fat, avocado helps stabilize blood sugar. Monounsaturated fats also improve heart health. People with diabetes are at increased risk for heart disease and stroke. Also, avocado contains a good amount of potassium, a mineral that helps prevent diabetic neuropathy.
Suggested Serving: One medium-sized avocado a day is good for diabetics. You can include avocados in salads and sandwiches, or make a dressing with their puree with a little lemon juice, garlic and olive oil.
The grapefruit or grapefruit, is high in soluble fiber and vitamin C, and has a low glycemic index 25. Grapefruit contains the flavonoid naringenin known as increasing the sensitivity of the body to insulin and also helps maintain a healthy weight.
Suggested Serving: Half a large grapefruit (about three-quarters of a cup) a day will help you control your blood sugar. Eating the fruit, rather than drinking the juice, provides the greatest diabetes-related benefits.
They are full of antioxidants, vitamins and fiber that can help control your blood sugar level, they are low in carbohydrates and have a low glycemic index of 40. When you eat strawberries, they help you feel full for longer, keep your stable blood sugar level and increase your energy level.
Suggested Serving: Three-quarters of a cup of strawberries a day is considered good for people with diabetes.
You can add fresh strawberries to cereals or salads, eat them as a healthy snack, and use them to make low-sugar desserts.
Oranges are one of the healthiest fruits that can be included in a regular diet for diabetes. Oranges are not very high in natural sugar and contain high amounts of fiber, vitamin C, and other minerals like thiamine that help control blood sugar levels.
Furthermore, oranges are also classified as a low glycemic index food that helps to slowly release glucose into the blood. In addition, oranges can help control or reduce weight, one of the risk factors for diabetes.
The glycemic index: ranges from 31 to 51.
Suggested Serving: A small orange in your daily diet can help keep your blood sugar and diabetes under control. Drinking orange juice does not provide the same benefit, as the fiber content is lacking.
Pears are rich in vitamins A, B1, B2, C, and E, as well as fiber, which help regulate blood sugar levels, lower cholesterol, boost the immune system, and improve digestive health. Additionally, pears are low in carbohydrates and calories, and have a 38 rating on the glycemic index. Pears are particularly beneficial for people who have type 2 diabetes, as they help improve insulin sensitivity.
Suggested Serving: Diabetics can eat a small or medium pear. You can enjoy a pear for dessert or as a sweet snack.
A positive correlation has been found between kiwi consumption and decreased blood sugar levels. Kiwi contains vitamin C, E, and A, flavonoids, potassium, and high amounts of beta-carotene that protect against free radicals and improve overall health. Furthermore, kiwi fruit is high in fiber and low in carbohydrates, which help control blood sugar levels and lower cholesterol.
The glycemic index: ranges from 47 to 58.
Suggested Serving: Eating a kiwi a day will help you control blood glucose levels and offer a healthy alternative to snacks that are high in fat or sugar.
Eat these fruits in moderation to manage your blood sugar as well as satisfy your sweet tooth.