Did you know?
- A research study conducted on postmenopausal women with type 2 diabetes showed that consuming blueberries for 8 weeks improved their insulin sensitivity and reduced oxidative stress.
- Another study on women with gestational diabetes found that consuming 2 servings of fruits per day was linked to a reduced risk of acquiring diabetes later in life.
- Oranges, grapefruits, and other citrus varieties have been shown to improve insulin sensitivity, lowering the risk of developing type 2 diabetes in women.
With all these facts, we are trying to establish that fruits are an important part of diabetes management. Why? Here are some explanations:
- Fruits contain natural sugars, which can cause a rise in blood sugar levels. However, they also contain fiber, which slows down sugar absorption into the bloodstream and prevents rapid spikes in blood sugar levels.
- Consuming fruits can help meet the daily requirement of vitamins and minerals, which is essential for people with diabetes.
- Studies have shown that a diet rich in fruits and vegetables improves insulin sensitivity, reduces inflammation, and minimizes the chances of developing type 2 diabetes.
According to Dr. Sarah Johnston, Winnipeg, “Fruits, such as berries and citrus fruits, are rich in antioxidants and can help reduce the risk of complications associated with diabetes. Including fruits in moderation can help maintain stable blood sugar levels and support a well-balanced diet.” “Fruits with a low glycemic index, such as berries and cherries, have minimal impact on blood sugar levels. They can be enjoyed as a healthy snack or added to meals, providing essential nutrients and helping maintain stable glucose levels throughout the day.”, she adds.
Why You Need to Add Fruits to Your Diet
Incorporating non-sugary, low GI fruits into a diabetes-friendly diet can offer many health benefits. While fruits contain natural sugar, they also provide essential nutrients, fiber, and antioxidants, making them a valuable part of a balanced meal plan for diabetes patients.
Here’s why you need to include non-sugary, low GI fruits in a diabetes-friendly diet:
Rich in Nutrients
Fruits contain essential vitamins, minerals, and phytochemicals. They provide a wide range of nutrients, such as vitamin C, potassium, folate, and various antioxidants.
Great Source of Fiber
Most fruits are rich in dietary fiber, which offers several health advantages for diabetes patients. Fiber regulates blood glucose levels by slowing sugar absorption and preventing frequent spikes. It also promotes satiety and aids in weight management by reducing hunger and controlling calorie intake.
Low Glycemic Index (GI)
The glycemic index (GI) measures how quickly carbohydrate-rich food raises blood glucose levels. Many fruits have a low to moderate GI, meaning they gradually impact blood sugar. Opting for fruits with a lower GI can help maintain normal blood glucose levels.
Excellent Antioxidant Properties
Fruits are abundant in antioxidants, such as flavonoids, carotenoids, and vitamin C. These compounds protect against cell damage triggered by oxidative stress, which is prevalent in diabetes patients. Antioxidants support cardiovascular health and minimize the risk of complications associated with diabetes.
Good for Hydration
Several fruits, like strawberries and oranges, have high water content. Adding these fruits to your diet can contribute to hydration, which is crucial for maintaining overall health and aiding digestion.
According to Medical News Today, “Eating fruit can be a good way to satisfy hunger and meet daily nutritional needs, but most fruits contain sugar. People with diabetes can eat fruit, but they need to consider portion sizes and types of fruits they consume.”
Don’t be scared of fruits!
Diabeticme.org recommends fruits like strawberries, apples, pears, apricots, and grapefruit that are low in sugar, provide essential vitamins and minerals, for highly effective diabetes management. Additionally, The American Diabetes Association suggests that having a piece of fresh fruit or fruit salad for dessert is a great way to satisfy your sweet tooth and get the extra nutrition you’re looking for.
So, the next time you visit the grocery store, do not forget to add a box of berries to your shopping cart.