Most people with type 2 diabetes know that they can’t indulge in a daily chunk of chocolate cake for dessert or sip sugar-laden drinks. But is all sugar off limits in a type 2 diabetes diet, even the natural sugar found in fruits? According t everydayhealth.com, fruit is a healthy snack, packed with fiber, vitamins and nutrients, even those with diabetes can enjoy in moderation.
“In general, for most patients, all kinds of fruit are fine,” says dietitian Nora Saul, MS, RD, a certified diabetes educator at the Joslin Diabetes Center in Boston.
But that doesn’t mean that people with type 2 diabetes can eat all the fruit they want — fruit will affect their blood sugar levels. “Every single fruit has carbohydrates,” says Lorena Drago, a certified diabetes instructor and consumer adviser for the American Association of Diabetes Educators.
The right choices can be made by following these few simple guidelines:
Diabetes and Fruit: The Glycemic Index
Pay attention to its glycemic index ranking. The glycemic index is a numerical rating assigned to carbohydrate foods and indicates how quickly a food will affect blood sugar levels. Low-glycemic-index foods raise blood sugar levels at a slower rate than higher glycemic index foods. So low-glycemic-index foods will help keep blood sugar levels more stable — the goal for everyone with diabetes.
Apples, oranges, and pears are some of the fruits with a low glycemic index and may be a good choices to limit carbohydrates. But it’s also good to go for variety. Different fruits provide different vitamins and minerals. Just watch the portions and don’t eat too much at once. Keep portions small for those fruits with a very high glycemic index.
Diabetes and Fruit: Go for the Berries
For the most nutritional bang for the carbohydrate buck, opt for berries. Strawberries, blackberries, blueberries, and other berries are nutrition powerhouses in terms of nutrients. But just because they’re healthy, remember not to overdo it on the carbohydrates.
Diabetes and Fruit Juice:
Drinking juice doesn’t not provide the same nutritional benefits of the whole fruit. Because juice provides no protein, fiber or fat there is nothing to slow down absorption and juice tend to spike blood sugar levels. The key is moderation and very small quantities — 4-ounces or less.