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Worried about blood sugar levels? Just eating one whole fruit a day on empty stomach can control them – The Indian Express

Apr 7th, 2023

Can those with Type 2 diabetes eat fruits? This continues to be a confusing area for most diabetics trying to keep their blood sugar levels in check. Truth be told, much of the scepticism stems from the supposition that fruits include their concentrated juices. Whole fruits, which are rich in fibres the bulk of which delays digestion, food breakdown and the release of glucose into the bloodstream must be included in a diabetics diet. Fibres add satiety and tame your cravings. Juices, on the contrary, can raise blood sugar levels because of their high sugar and low fibre content. Besides, fruits should be on everybodys diet given that they come packed with antioxidants, vitamins and minerals, taking care of all our micro-nutrient requirements. Taken together, all of them protect the human body from the oxidative stress of free radicals and boost immunity levels, says Dr Seema Gulati, National Diabetes, Obesity, and Cholesterol Foundation (NDOC) Centre for Nutrition Research.

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In fact, latest research, she says, has confirmed that those who consume one serving of whole fruit per day be they blueberries, grapes and apples have a lower risk of developing Type 2 diabetes. Another study suggests that if you already have Type 2 diabetes, eating whole fruits can help control your blood sugar.

But there are some ground rules. Those living with Type 2 diabetes can safely have one fruit every day. But the fruitshould be had on an empty stomach, not as an add-on to a meal or as an addition to other carbohydrates. This is the commonest mistake that many diabetics make. Have the fruit when you are at your hungriest, usually after you wake up. Also make sure that this single fruit becomes a part of your total carbohydrate allowance for the day. So, including the fruit would mean eliminating other calorie-rich foods to make way for it. Also, having a fruit after a full meal will increase blood sugar sharply as it would increase the total calorie load of that given meal, says Dr Gulati. If not in the morning, then a fruit can be had as a snack when hunger pangs kick in between large meals. Have it when you are really hungry.Mix the fruit with nuts, seeds and other proteins like yogurt for instance, she adds.

Of course, portion control matters too. Some fruits ought to be had as a lesser portion given theirglycaemic index (GI). As you know, the higher the score, the faster the absorption and the consequent rise in blood sugar. Usually, we say that one serving offruitshould contain 15 grams of carbohydrates and the total daily fruit intake should not exceed 30 gm. Otherwise, diabetics must know that low GIfruits(GI 20-49) include apples, avocados, cherries, guava, peaches, pears, and strawberries. Medium GIfruits(GI 50-69) include figs, grapes and oranges. Fully ripe bananas, mangoes and dates are examples of high GIfruits, says Dr Gulati.

But even when consuming low GI foods, we need to worry about the glycaemic load.Even one unit of glycaemic load approximates the effect of eating one gram of glucose. So dont gorge on low GI food. This is why the portion size becomes important. The culprit is always total calories, she explains.

Whole fruits are packed with natural sugar, which is sugar all the same. Thats why portion size becomes very important. As per the guidelines recommended by the American Diabetes Association (ADA), if a diabetic person is not allergic to any fruit then they may consume any fruit depending upon its glucose level and portion size. Besides, whole fruits are abundant in potassium and magnesium that help in regulating blood sugar levels, says Dr Tushar Tayal, Consultant, Internal Medicine, CK Birla Hospital, Gurugram.

He suggests a few options: Watermelon has a GI of 72 but provides antioxidants and keeps the body well-hydrated. As a diabetic, you need to have a small portion and take out something from your diet to make way for it. Strawberries, apart from being a good source of Vitamin C, folate, magnesium and potassium, have a GI of 41, suitable for diabetics. Apple, with a GI of 39, is also good for weight loss due to the presence of fibre and vitamins, and is recommended for diabetics. Some more fruits with low glycaemic index include berries, citrus fruits, cherries, guava, unripe bananas, kiwis, grapefruits and pears. High GI fruits like mangoes, grapes, ripe bananas, watermelon and pineapple should be consumed in moderation. All you have to do is pick the right fruit.

IE Online Media Services Pvt Ltd

First published on: 05-04-2023 at 17:01 IST

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Worried about blood sugar levels? Just eating one whole fruit a day on empty stomach can control them - The Indian Express

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