If you’re diabetic, it’s likely that you’ve been advised by many people not to eat fruits. Well, they’re wrong. It’s a myth that eating fruit is not good for diabetes. Fruits and vegetables play a key role in a diabetes diet. All fruits contain natural sugar, are fiber-rich, and contain many vitamins and minerals.
Consumption of fruit and vegetables helps reduce the risk of developing health conditions such as high blood pressure, heart diseases, stroke, obesity and certain cancers. According to the American Diabetes Association, the best choices of fruit are those that are fresh, frozen or canned without added sugars. The association recommends that diabetic patients:
- choose canned fruits in juice or light syrup and consider dried fruit and 100% fruit juice that are also nutritious choices
- maintain a food diary to track the servings of fruits and vegetables they consume
Most people with diabetes don’t have to reduce the amount of fruits and vegetables they eat. However, you should be aware of the amount of carbohydrates in the fruit that you eat as it may affect your blood sugar levels. Consider including low-carbohydrate fruit (about 15 grams) in your diet, such as, 1/2 medium apple or banana, 1 cup blackberries, 3/4 cup blueberries, 1 cup raspberries or 1 1/4 cup whole strawberries. Eating fruit and vegetables raw is a good practice as some nutrients are lost through cooking. If you prefer them cooked, try steaming or microwaving your veggies and fruit rather than boiling them in a lot of water.
Though fruit juices are rich in natural sugar, they have less fiber than the whole fruit. Also compared to eating the actual fruit, juice takes short time to complete, resulting in loading up with a lot of carbs over that period. More carbs means increase in blood sugar levels and weight. But if you would like to drink juice, stick to one small glass a day. If you’re having juice along with your breakfast, consider ways to reduce the intake of carbohydrates by planning for a healthy breakfast. If you opt for tinned fruit, make sure to choose those that are tinned in their natural juice rather than sugar syrup.