Guess what? There is a lot of mixed information out there about the benefits, whether positive or negative, of fruits and berries for diabetics.
Here’s the thing:
How do you know what health advice to follow and the actual impact that fresh fruit and berries have on your health?
Not to worry:
I’ve got you covered!
Today, I’m going to explain how you can help improve diabetic health using fruits and berries, what they are comprised of, and which fruits to prioritize.
Let’s dig right in!
Effects of Fructose on the Body (Does Fructose Raise Your Blood Sugar?)
The sugar found in fruit is called fructose, and it is metabolized quickly by the liver. In the process of its breakdown, fructose is capable of bypassing an enzyme that signals when cells have had too much sugar.
Skipping past this limiting step is the danger of consuming a lot of fructose at once (such as when drinking beverages sweetened with high-fructose corn syrup, for example). But this occurrence is less likely when you’re consuming whole, fresh fruit. I have read several studies that show that the consumption of fresh fruit is not associated with a significant negative impact on blood sugar control.
Fresh fruit is full of fiber, minerals, and antioxidants, which may all work together to support healthy glucose regulation. One large study discovered that people with diabetes who consumed fresh fruit at least three days per week had a lower risk of death and vascular complications than those who rarely did or didn’t consume fresh fruit at all.
But depending on their respective fiber and fructose levels, certain fruits may cause your blood sugar to rise at a quicker pace than others. The tricky part of measuring a blood sugar response is that everyone responds to food differently. While one person may be able to eat bananas without an issue, another may find that bananas cause their blood sugar to jump. The Balanced Diet could help you address your unique case. I recommend you CONTACT me for more support.
Is Fiber Good for Diabetics?
The fiber found in fruit, both soluble and insoluble, can help prevent blood sugar spikes by slowing down the metabolism process. It may also aid in pulling cholesterol away from your heart, and increase the feelings of fullness, resulting in less food intake.
The fiber content may change depending on the state of the fruit itself—factors such as freshness and how it is prepared (steamed, baked, etc.) can all affect this. Fresh, whole fruit has the most fiber because the cell walls are intact. Cooking breaks down the fiber structures in the fruit, and while this can make the body’s metabolism job easier‚ it also means the sugars are more readily available for absorption.
Your best bet is to look for fruits with edible peels, such as apples, pears, and berries, and to limit those that need to be peeled, such as bananas and melons.
The Power of Antioxidants in Fruits & Berries for diabetics
Fruits of darker hues—such as deep reds, purples, and blues—are typically rich in antioxidants. Antioxidants are plant-based compounds that work to fight free radicals in the body, helping the body repair itself from all types of stress.
These pigments are courtesy of a compound called anthocyanin, which research suggests may help fend off chronic diseases like cardiovascular disease. The more colorful your food, the more antioxidants it likely boasts.
Skipping out on fruit altogether means you’d be missing out on these plant powerhouses.
Best Antioxidant Fruits & Berries for Diabetics
Some of the fruits you should prioritize include:
• Blueberries: Are Blueberries Good for Diabetics?
Blueberries are seriously one of the top berries for diabetics. Blueberries are quite low in sugar, with 10 grams per 100 grams of fruit. But that sugar is also accompanied by 2 grams of fiber. This is important because when sugar and fiber are eaten together, blood sugar levels don’t spike as quickly. It’s the reason 10 grams of sugar from fresh fruits will not have the same effect on blood sugar levels as 10 grams of sugar from a candy bar.In addition, blueberries provide loads of other beneficial nutrients and antioxidants that protect our cells from damage. Interestingly, a recent case study of over 187,000 people tracked over two decades found that those who ate the most blueberries had more than a 25% lower risk of getting diabetes than those who ate the fewest. Blueberries are great for a snack, and you can even enjoy them in salads. Although they can be particularly expensive, know that frozen blueberries are still nutritious and often much more affordable.
In another study published in 2010 by The Journal of Nutrition, obese adults with prediabetes improved insulin sensitivity by drinking blueberry smoothies. The study suggested that blueberries can make the body more responsive to insulin, which may help people with prediabetes. In fact, the American Diabetes Association (ADA) calls blueberries a diabetes superfood. While there’s no technical definition of the term “superfood,” blueberries are packed with vitamins, antioxidants, minerals, and fiber that promote overall health. They may also help prevent disease.The Balanced Diet always recommends blueberries for people living with diabetes. They may help with glucose processing, weight loss, and insulin sensitivity. Would you consider including blueberries in your food plan? Kindly CONTACT me for a FREE consultation to help you with this.
• Strawberries: Eating Strawberries for Breakfast And the Impact on Your Health
Strawberries contain even less sugar than blueberries, with only 5 grams per 100 grams of fruit. This makes them a great choice for diabetics. They also provide fiber, manganese, folate, and a lot of vitamin C. In fact, 100 grams of strawberries (5-6 large strawberries) provides 98% of our daily vitamin C requirements. The Balanced Diet always recommends strawberries for breakfast, either adding them to foods like oats and yogurt to make them more delicious, or you can also eat them on their own. Would you like to add strawberries to your meal plan? CONTACT me to walk you through this during your FREE 20-minute phone consultation.
• Blackberries: The Best Fruit for Diabetics
Blackberries stand out as not only the best berry but perhaps the best fruit for diabetics. Per 100 grams of fruit, they contain only 5 grams of sugar and an impressive 5 grams of fiber. High fiber diets help with glucose (sugar) metabolism and can improve insulin sensitivity too. More fiber also improves other health issues related to type 2 diabetes, such as high LDL cholesterol and weight management. Blackberries are slightly tarter than the other berries for diabetics but are typically eaten in the same way.
• Grapes: Health Benefits of Grapes on Blood Sugar
Grapes contain 16 grams of sugar per 100 grams of fruit, which is more than others in this list. However, research has found that those who ate the most grapes had a 12% less chance of developing type 2 diabetes than those who ate the fewest. Of course, this is only observational research (does not prove cause and effect), but many scientists genuinely believe there is something special about grapes. It may have something to do with the polyphenols in grapes, which have been shown to have positive effects on blood sugar levels. Grapes make an easy snack but are not low in sugar. So, they should definitely be eaten in place of, rather than in addition to, another less-healthy snack. For example, replacing a flavored yogurt or bag of chips would be a healthy step up.
Final Words on Whole Fruits & Berries for Diabetics
With relatively few calories and lots of important nutrients, whole fruits are a great option for people with diabetes. Some varieties, however, can be high in sugar, so they are best eaten in place of – rather than in addition to – less healthy foods. Fresh, frozen, or canned fruits are all healthy choices, but be sure to avoid fruits canned with added sugars or syrups. Fruit juices are also not a good option because they are an unnaturally concentrated source of fruit sugar, without the beneficial fiber. For example, one apple juice can be made of 4 or more apples (usually peel is removed), yet you would never be able to eat 4 apples in one sitting. Whenever possible, stick with fruits in their whole, natural form. The fruits mentioned above can be eaten without impacting your blood sugar level but if you are thinking of ways you could create a diet around these fruits, please don’t hesitate to CONTACT me to schedule a FREE 20-minute phone consultation where would discuss your unique needs.
Prioritize Your Health and Take the Next Step Today
Are you tired of consuming food that negatively impacts your blood sugar level?
You could take charge of your health today with a FREE 20-minute phone consultation.
What does that consist of?
We will identify the key problem areas for your health and give the necessary support for your unique needs.
Because we believe that there is no one size fits all solution.
If you or your loved ones are suffering from diabetes and are seeking an improved and balanced diet to help support your health that doesn’t affect your blood sugar level, then take the next step…
Please schedule your FREE consultation today. It would be our pleasure to assist you.
Chen Ben Asher will give you her best care recommendations based on what’s happening inside your body on a cellular level, in a bid to achieve optimum results. Be rest assured that no stone will be left unturned as we look for the root cause!
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