Eating fruits is a delicious way to satisfy one’s hunger and also meet the daily nutritional needs. Fruits contain fructose, also known as fruit sugar, naturally. But many people falsely believe that fruit should not be consumed by people with diabetes or that it can increase the risk of diabetes.
“However, eating at least two servings of fruit every day has been linked to a lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes,” said Dt. Lakshita Jain, certified clinical dietician, lecturer, diabetes educator, meat technologist, and the founder of NUTR.
She added that individuals who consume more fruits produce less insulin to lower their blood glucose levels. This strictly suggests an association between fruit intake and markers of insulin sensitivity.
“This is important because high levels of circulating insulin (hyperinsulinemia) can damage blood vessels and are related not only to diabetes, but also to high blood pressure, obesity, and heart disease,” she told indianexpress.com
Fruits are a great choice for lowering diabetes risk because of their fibre content and natural sugar content. Dried fruits and juice are more concentrated sources of sugar, so limiting the portion size is important.
Which fruit to choose:
Choose low to moderate Glycemic Index (GI) fruits. GI is a food ranking based on how slowly or how quickly different foods cause an increase in blood glucose levels. Fruits low on the GI scale tend to release glucose slowly and steadily. Fruits high on the GI release glucose rapidly. Also, high in fibre fruits have lower glycemic ratings.
Fruits vs fruit juices:
Choose whole fruit instead of fruit sugar because fruit juice is just concentrated sugar without fibre. So if you had to have fruit juice then have it with pulp or once it is juiced, add back the fibre or pulp back in juice.
“Excessive market fruit juice consumption can be as bad as full-sugar sodas. Market fruit juice is a little healthier than soda with some add-on vitamins, minerals and other micronutrients in it. However, without the fibre or the chew factor, it is more akin to soda drinking than eating the fruit with all its fibrous goodness. Also, they are loaded with sugar,” she shared.
Who should reduce the number of fruits?
You are safe eating 1 mango or 1 whole banana a day even if your sugar levels are 150 mg dl. But If your sugar levels elevate more than 300mg dl, stop fruits until the sugar level comes to the normal range.
“Eating at least two servings of fruit every day has been linked to a lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Choose whole fruit like papaya, apple, oranges, lychee instead of fruit juices. Opt for homemade fruit juices instead of market one if you are keen on juices,” she added.