The Impact of Nature’s Sugar on Blood Sugar
While fruits are an important part of any healthy diet, diabetics must be careful about the kinds and amounts of fruits that they ingest.
Carbohydrates are the body’s most important source of energy, with fruit serving as one of the healthiest forms of carbs. All carbohydrate-containing foods have some form of sugar, which is converted into glucose during digestion and becomes energy for your cells. As fruit is a source of natural sugars, fructose, eating fruits can cause fluctuations in blood sugar levels, which can be extremely dangerous in diabetics as it may require extra insulin. Some people are skeptical of diabetics incorporating fruits into their diets, fearing that sugar in the fruit will have an equally harmful effect as other kinds of sugary foods.
While diabetics should steer clear of many sugary desserts, considering the options, fruit is highly encouraged in the diabetic diet to obtain nutrients and increase satiety. Compared to any other kind of snack you may have eaten as an alternative, fruits take the gold in having low levels of bad sugars and calories, while being high in fiber, nutrients and flavonoid compounds.
Putting Too Much Stock in a Name:
While there is sometimes debate about what exactly constitutes a fruit, fruits share the characteristics of containing seeds being produced by plants or trees. Some unlikely candidates qualify as fruits including cucumbers, peas, corn, nuts, and avocados and tomatoes.
Loaded with vitamins, minerals and fiber that you need for healthy digestion, its less important whether it is a fruit or vegetable than that it contains the nutrients needed to maintain your health. Eating fruit can be a healthy way to curb your sweet tooth so that you don’t eat anything that you will regret later.
Fresh fruit should always be the first choice if it is available, if you choose canned fruits make sure not to get a kind with added sugars. Canned fruits are healthiest when packed in natural juices, but are also ok in moderation with a light syrup. What’s important when choosing which fruits to eat is the energy and nutrient content of the food that you’re consuming.
Staying Low on the Glycemic Index:
Most diabetics are very familiar with the Glycemic index, which is a ranking of the carbohydrates content in foods on a scale from 0 to 100, rating the extent and speed at which they raise blood sugar after consumption. Foods that have a glycemic index or 55 or below are considered low. Foods with a high glycemic index are those which are digested and absorbed quickly which results in extreme fluctuations in blood sugar levels. On the other hand, foods with a low-GI take much longer to digest and absorb, which help to produce gradual rises in levels of blood sugar and insulin rather than spikes.
This is known to have benefits for health, especially for those afflicted with diabetes. Diets that maintain a rich array of low GI foods have been shown to encourage lower glucose and blood lipid levels in diabetics. Low GI foods are beneficial for weight because they help to control appetite and delay sensations of hunger, also known to help consumers avoid insulin resistance.
Tips of the Trade:
Many fruits have a high-water content, which is good to help an individual feel fuller when they’ve eaten less. Most fruits rank low on the glycemic index because of their fructose and fiber content, while some tropical fruits like melons or pineapples fall closer to the middle of the glycemic index because of their higher levels of sugar. Eating fiber is an important facet of a mindful diabetic’s diet.
Keeping optimum levels of fiber present in your diet can help to slow the absorption of sugars, thereby helping to control blood sugar levels by delaying absorption in the GI tract. Dried fruit is also a popular healthy snack, still packing large amounts of nutrients into every bite. The only downside to consuming dried fruit over fresh is that you may need to eat more before feeling full and satisfied, as most fruits fill you up with their water content. As with anything, you should be mindful of serving sizes when feasting on fruit, as while they are great for you they still hold calories and sugar
Here are some fruits and how they influence blood sugar: