While there are methods to control and monitor diabetes, there is still no cure to this day. According to Diabetes Australia “Diabetes is the epidemic of the 21st century and the biggest challenge confronting Australia’s health system. Around 1.7 million Australians have diabetes. This includes all types of diagnosed diabetes (1.2 million known and registered) as well as silent, undiagnosed type 2 diabetes (up to 500,000 estimated).” With so many people being diagnosed, knowing what to eat can quickly become a stressful ordeal, leading to many sufferers can feel lost when it comes to meal time.
Often one of the first food groups to be culled is fruit, since fruit is generally sweet, many people believe they should be avoided at all costs! Luckily, this isn’t the case, there are actually a great number of fruits that not only provide valuable nutrients, but also have little impact on blood sugar levels.
Of course, some fruits are better than others when it comes to diabetes. Furthermore, careful attention must be paid to both the glycaemic index and the glycaemic load (GL) of different fruits as they deliver crucial data on how blood and insulin levels may be affected. Foods with a low glycaemic index (GI) are regarded to have a positive impact on blood glucose since they do not impact blood sugar in a significant manner. Generally, foods with a glycaemic index reading of 55 or less are known as low glycaemic. However, foods with a reading of 70 or more are regarded as high glycaemic index.
With that cleared up, here’s 5 of the best fruits for diabetics:
Not only are avocados delicious but they’re also an ideal fruit to consume for diabetics. Avocados are a very unique fruit in that they contain more fat and protein than they do carbohydrates, meaning their glycaemic index score is very low. In fact, according to a comprehensive table of glycaemic index and load in certain foods, published 2002, in the “American Journal of Clinical Nutrition” avocados weren’t even included! The journal concluded that a GI rating was not warranted for avocados, stating that they’re unlikely to have a major impact on blood glucose, even in large quantities.
Beyond their low GI, avocados are also incredibly healthy, containing a high amount of unsaturated healthy fats which can decrease the risks of heart disease and may improve cholesterol levels.Unsaturated healthy fats have also been theorised to reduce the risk of developing diabetes and also preventing the progression of diabetes.
So, include avocado in place of that piece of bread, cracker or extra bit of meat in your salad or on that dinner plate, you will be doing yourself a favour.
That’s right, whether it’s blueberries, raspberries or strawberries, they are all low in glycaemic index! Raspberries come in the lowest at a mere 32 GI, followed by strawberries at 40 GI and finally blueberries at 53 – keeping in mind that a low score is regarded as 55 or less.
These berries are chock-full of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties, in fact they sport so many antioxidants, they knock some fruits and vegetables out of the park.
Berries can assist in regulating blood sugar, may assist in the improvement of cognitive functions and most importantly, are thought to actually prevent diabetes – and also to stop diabetes progressing.
Berries are a great addition to a healthy breakfast, sprinkle some berries over your cereal and/or fuse them with your yogurt and smoothies for a delicious morning boost
An apple a day keeps the doctor away right? It certainly can! Not only do apples contain immunity boosting vitamin C and antioxidants to keep you feeling fresh, but they have also been linked to improvements in heart health and reducing the risk of certain cancers!
With a glycaemic index ranging from only 30 to 50 depending on your favourite varieties, apples are a sensible snack for any diabetic, try to go for no more than one daily – just like the saying.
It doesn’t get much better than grapefruit!
With a glycaemic index score of just 25 combined with high levels of vitamin C and fibre, grapefruit is one of the best fruits for diabetics to enjoy – do try to eat the actual fruit however, instead of the juice! Just drinking the juice means you miss out on all the important fibre found in the skin, not to mention additional nutrients. Moreover, juices often contain a bevy of extra sugars and ingredients that a diabetic should avoid.
Cherries make this list because not only do they have one of the lowest scores for fruit on the glycaemic index, 22, but they also contain a wealth of nutrients. Cherries deliver, fibre, iron, folate, vitamin C, potassium, beta-carotene as well as many antioxidants. In addition, cherries have been linked to the treatment of cancer, heart health and many other diseases, they can be enjoyed fresh, dried and frozen – half a cup of cherries is a sensible serving size.
Remember, living with diabetes, doesn’t mean that all fruit need to be completely avoided, it’s all about identifying the best ones to eat and eating them in moderation.