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What fruits to eat if you suffer from diabetes

Diabetes is a chronic disease in which the body struggles to keep blood sugar under control. What fruits can you eat if you have diabetes, and which ones you should avoid?
Fruits are delicious and are an ideal way to provide the body with the necessary nutrients. However, many of them contain a high amount of sugar, which might make them unsuitable for diabetics.

List of fruits suitable for diabetes patients

People living with diabetes can eat fruit, but it is extremely important to consider their glycaemic index.

Fruit with low glycaemic index (below 55)

  • apples
  • avocado
  • bananas
  • berries
  • cherries
  • grapefruit
  • grapes
  • kiwi
  • nectarines
  • oranges
  • peaches
  • pears
  • plums
  • strawberries

Fruits with medium glycaemic index (between 56 and 69)

  • melon
  • figs
  • papaya
  • pineapple

Fruits with high glycaemic index (higher than 70)

  • dates
  • watermelon

The connection between fruits and diabetes

According to the American Diabetes Association, any fruit can be eaten by people living with diabetes, as long as they are not allergic to a particular compound of a certain fruit. A meta-analysis published in 2013 in the British Medical Journal shows that high fruit consumption is associated with a lower risk of type 2 diabetes. However, fruit may have unwanted effects on blood glucose. Fresh or frozen fruits are better for our health than processed ones (in the form of compote, jam or jelly, and also dried fruit or fruit juices).

Diabetes patients should avoid processed foods as the body absorbs processed fruit more quickly, leading to an increase in blood sugar. Processed fruit removes or reduces levels of certain essential nutrients, including vitamins and fibre. The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases recommends that people living with diabetes avoid fruit juices or canned fruit that contain added sugar.

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