Diabetes is a chronic health concern that can easily be managed by practicing healthy eating and healthy lifestyle habits. Getting up early, going for walk, jogging etc and leading active lifestyle can be highly effective in managing diabetes. Similarly, eating whole wheat, oatmeal, fresh fruits and vegetables, beans, and lentils etc are considered to be the best foods for diabetes patients that help control diabetes effectively. There is a lot of confusion about whether diabetic patients should eat fruits or not? The simple answer is yes because there are many healthy fruits for diabetes patients that can help prevent and control diabetes.
And you don’t take my word because, if a study published in British Medical Journal is to be believed then, the higher intake of fruits can actually reduce the chances of getting affected by Type II Diabetes.
But that does not mean all fruits are equally good for diabetes patients, for instance if you are diabetic, you should avoid eating mangoes, but you can eat blueberries.
So what are the best fruits for diabetes patients that can help control and manage diabetes? Well, that’s what we are discussing here in this post. I am sharing a list of some of the best fruits for diabetes patients, and if you are diabetic, then you must read this post till the end.
Various fruits contain lot of nutrients which are really necessary for your well being. So skipping fruits from your diet list will not be a wise thing to do When it comes to the foods for diabetic patients, it is often thought that fruits should be avoided as they contain natural sugar in them. However, recent studies have actually proved that it is nothing but a myth. Hence, do not hesitate to eat fresh and healthy diabetes friendly fruits in adequate amounts and you should be fine.
The American Diabetes Association advises Diabetic patients to eat any fruit. Of course, if you are allergenic to any particular fruit, then avoid that. However, it is a fact that the certain substances present in the fruit may affect the blood sugar levels in your system.
Fresh fruits are the best for diabetics; next comes the processed fruits with added sugar that come in a jar or a can like fruit blends, fruit juices and dried fruits, it is better to avoid these.
The main reason behind recommending not eating the processed fruits is because your system absorbs the processed fruits very rapidly resulting to higher levels of blood sugar in your system. Also, when the fruit is processed, it leads to the removal or reduction in the levels of many vital nutrients including vitamins and fiber. In short, the nutritious value of the fruit is lost and so it is left with not much food value other than the taste.
The National Institute of Diabetic and Digestive and Kidney Diseases recommends diabetic patients to avoid the consumption of fruit juices or the canned fruits having added sugar.
Fruit blends like the smoothies actually have added sugar which may lead to a sudden spike in the blood sugar levels. So they are in general asked to be avoided if you have Diabetes.
Other than that, there is no such restriction when it comes to eating fruits for diabetes patients.
Best fruits for diabetes patients that help control diabetes
Many people fear Diabetes so much they put a lot of restrictions upon them when it comes to food. Minimum diet restriction is always needed for healthy living and that is applicable for all of us, irrespective of whether you are diabetic or not.
Even if you do not have Diabetes, you should always eat healthy and avoid unhealthy foods. Diabetics in general have to follow some diet restriction, but unlike popular belief, discarding fruits completely to avoid Diabetes getting worse is thoroughly a misconception, and that is already proven by science.
So, do not hesitate to eat the fresh juicy fruits in moderate amounts.
But, diabetics should consider checking the glycemic index (GI) of the fruit before eating to be safe. GI is actually the food ratings on a scale of 1 to 10. This score actually indicates how quickly the particular food items may raise the blood sugar levels in your system. Fruits high in GI can be absorbed faster in comparison to those having low or medium GI.
There is another thing for you to take note of and that is the Glycemic load (GL). It takes into account the GI of the food as well as number of carbohydrates present in each serving. GL is hence a better way of deciding how the food affects the blood sugar level over the course of time.
To be specific, the foods that have low GI and GL are actually good for the Diabetic patients. So if you add such foods to your diet, you are going to be safe. Surprisingly there are many fruits that have got low GI and you may make your selection based on that as well.
Listed below are a few of best fruits for diabetes patients that can help them manage and control diabetes.
While making the list, the sugar content of the fruits and nutritional values are considered and hence it should not raise your blood sugar levels.
So here you go.
Apples are healthy and nutritious and they definitely are a good fruit for Diabetic patients. 100 grams of apple contains about 10 grams of sugar. They also have 2 grams of fiber which are mostly present in its skin, so don’t peel off the skin while having apples.
Apples are also linked with a reduced risk of getting affected with Diabetes. Also, they are said to reduce the risk of strokes, which is a big risk factor for those suffering from Type II Diabetes.
In one of the studies, that tracked about 75000 individuals for a decade actually showed that those who ate more apples (along with pears) had about 11% reduction in the risk of having a stroke.
So, you can definitely add them in your diet even though you are Diabetic.
Watermelon is one of my favorite fruit and I am happy to say it is also one of the best fruits for Diabetes control. Watermelon may seem to be high in sugar but surprisingly, there is only 6 grams of sugar in 100 grams of watermelon. This is mainly because of the high water content in it which also makes it low in calories.
In addition, watermelon is rich in lycopene which is a phytochemical proved to improve insulin sensitivity, lower the level of blood sugar as well as lower the risk of getting affected by Type II Diabetes.
However, just be a little careful while eating it because most of the time we tend to over indulge in it which is not good. I know it is juicy and tasty but eating excessively is just not right. This is because not only it add up the sugar content, but also lead to digestive stress (mainly for those having IBS) as watermelons are high in FODMAPs.
The juicy grapes are next in my list of the best fruits for Diabetes patients. Grapes contain a slightly higher amount of sugar with 100 grams of grapes containing about 16 grams of sugar. However, research has shown that eating grapes can actually lower the chances of having Type II Diabetes by 12% in comparison to those who eat less or no grapes. .
Of course, the conclusion is made based on observation but scientists in general, believes that grapes are really good. It may be due to the presence of polyphenols in the grapes which has been proven to show positive impacts on the blood sugar levels.
However, grapes actually make a good snack but they are not low in sugar. So, whenever you are eating grapes, just mind the size of the serving and eat moderately. Also, avoid eating them in addition to any other less healthy snack as that will become too much for you. Instead try to eat them in place of less healthy snacks so that it does not cause much of a problem in your blood sugar levels.
The tasty pomegranates can definitely be an option for the Diabetic patients. It is a slightly more in sugar, with 100 grams of pomegranates containing about 13 grams of sugar. However, there is also about 4 grams of fiber which is good for controlling Diabetes.
Due to the slightly high sugar content, many individuals with Diabetes tend to avoid pomegranates. But if studies are to be believed then pomegranates possess antioxidant properties which actually seem to be beneficial in keeping your blood sugar levels under check.
However, it is better to eat fresh ripe pomegranates and avoid canned and refined pomegranates juices. But, if you want the juice, then simply grind them in the grinder without adding any amount of sugar and then consume them fresh.
Blueberry is one of the highly beneficial fruits for diabetes patients. The main reason is because blueberries are low in sugar with 100 grams of it containing only 10 grams of sugar, it’s considered to be good fruit for diabetics.
The sugar in blueberries are accompanied by 2 grams of fiber, and when you consume sugar and fiber together, there is no quick rise in the levels of blood sugar levels in your system.
This is one of the vital reasons why 10 grams of sugar that you get from the 100 gram serving of the fresh blueberries, it does not adversely affect the blood sugar levels unlike the 10 grams of sugar you consume from a candy bar.
In addition, blueberries are rich in numerous healthy nutrients and antioxidants that give protection to our cells from getting damaged, which is also very much necessary for the Diabetic patients.
Interestingly, there are scientific evidence on how eating more amount of blueberries help in reducing the risk of getting affected by Diabetes by 25% than those who ate less blueberries.
So, if you have Diabetes, please do not fear eating blueberries. They can make a great snack. You may also add them in your salads or eat it the way you like, but moderately.
The strawberries contain lesser sugar than blueberries with 100 grams of strawberries containing about 5 grams of sugar. This indeed is one of the best fruits for diabetes patients.
Strawberries are also rich in manganese, fiber, folate and a large amount of Vitamin C. In fact, it is important for us to know that 100 grams of strawberries provides us with almost 98% of our daily requirement of Vitamin C and that is huge.
Strawberries are very pretty and delicious on their own. You can eat them raw or add them to your breakfast bowls, with yogurt and oats. Eat it the way you want for strawberry is a truly diabetic friendly fruit.
The berries are in general good for the Diabetic patients with the blackberries being no exception. It is in fact, the best berry for the Diabetic patients with 100 grams of the fruit containing 5 grams of sugar and 5 grams of fiber.
High amount of fiber is very helpful in sugar metabolism and can also improve the sensitivity to insulin and studies are a proof to that. More amount of fiber intake also helps in reducing the health concerns related to the Type II Diabetes such as managing weight, controlling the levels of LDL cholesterol etc. All, of these actually show how beneficial blackberries are in keeping Diabetes and the other associated health disorders in check.
Well, avocados are not considered a fruit in the culinary sense but they are actually a fruit and are considered to be among the best fruits for diabetes control. The primary reason is because 100 grams of avocado contain zero sugar and about 7 grams of fiber which is like excellent for the Diabetes patients.
Also, they are rich in healthy monounsaturated fat which is also beneficial for those suffering from Diabetes. Research has already been done on it, and the research has shown that food items that are high in monounsaturated fat and are low in poor quality carbohydrates can actually improve the insulin sensitivity of an individual.
Avocados are good when used in a salad or as a dip. They may even taste delicious on their own. You just need to add a pinch of salt to make it taste even better.
Over to you: What’s your favorite fruit for diabetes control?
Diabetes is a serious health concern and a lot of people around the world suffer from it. People having Diabetes are often asked to maintain a lot of restrictions in whatever they eat. Well, yes, it is necessary to maintain certain restrictions in eating, but the popular belief that you cannot eat any fruit if you have Diabetes is a complete misconception.
There are a number of studies and research that confirms that there are diabetes friendly fruits and a diabetic patient can eat these foods to get all the healthy nutrition and health benefits, and to keep the blood sugar level at check.
Of course, diabetes patients should not eat the sugar containing fruits too much, but eating them in moderate number should not be a problem.
In fact, many times consumption of the fruits can actually reduce the risk of Type II Diabetes. However, for your own safety, you should choose fruits that have got low GI and GL, and also those that are high in fiber.
I have already shared the list of 8 best fruits for Diabetes patients that are proven to be healthy and beneficial for diabetics. It is not that they do not contain any sugar in them, but it is just that they are rich in other healthy nutrients like fiber that can easily restrict your blood sugar levels from going up quickly.
And, as far as the fruits are concerned, it is advisable that you eat them fresh and in moderate quantities.
Also, diabetic patients need to lead a disciplined life in general. Eat only the healthy stuffs and avoid all of the unhealthy food items. Also, maintain proper meal timings and never skip meals.
And, yes, also maintain a proper sleep routine. Go to bed and wake up at the same time. Your body needs enough rest. Other times, try to stay active and happy. This will help in your overall well being.
Diabetes is a simple lifestyle disease and that can be managed by adopting healthy eating and living habits and medicines. But the more you think and panic about it, the risk will increase. So eat well, stay active and avoid unnecessary stress and you’ll be fine.
Are you diabetic?
Which are your favorite fruits? which fruits do you eat and avoid for managing diabetes?
Nutrition data source
Eliana the chief editor at bodyandbeans is a professional yoga instructor and a fitness freak. She has done her master’s in history from Kolkata University. She is passionate about healthy eating and living practices.