Last week, we wrote 10 Fruits that are High in Sugar and should be consumed in moderation, especially by diabetics. Fruits with a low glycemic index (GI value of 55 or less) are a safe choice for diabetics as they help to regulate blood sugar levels better. Even though some fruits are very sweet, they are still generally low-GI, which makes them an excellent substitute for unhealthy sweet snacks (such as chocolate and candy) or savory snacks (such as packets of chips, as we wrote about here) which diabetics should avoid. But low sugar fruits do exist and they are very tasty!
This week, Health Fitness Revolution is bringing you 10 low sugar fruits that are diabetic-safe:
- Berries: All berries (strawberries, blackberries, raspberries, young berries and gooseberries) have a low glycemic index (low-GI) per typical serving; this means eating them will help you to stay full for longer, your blood sugar levels will remain steady and, subsequently, your energy levels will be sustained for longer. Berries are full of antioxidants which boost your immune system by neutralizing harmful by-products of metabolism called “free radicals” that can lead to cancer and other diseases. The antioxidants in berries are also good for your eyesight as they prevent eye damage and offer protection against retinal degeneration (particularly diabetic retinopathy and diabetic cataracts).
- Apples: Apples are the convenient fruit for diabetics. They’re low-GI, available throughout the year and a great, easy snack to pack for work or school. Apples are high in pectin, a soluble fiber which helps to lower cholesterol and regulate blood sugar levels and bowel function, and also has an anti-inflammatory effect which may help diabetics to recover from infections faster. We wrote about the health benefits of apples here.
- Cherries: Although cherries have a lot of sugar, they have a very low GI load and are thus safe for diabetics to consume. Cherries also contain powerful antioxidants called anthocyanins that provide the distinctive red color and have strong anti-inflammatory and anti-aging properties.
- Sour Citrus Fruits: This includes grapefruits, limes, and lemons. Citrus fruits are a great source of vitamin C, which helps to boost the body’s resistance against infections and helps to protect cells from damage caused by free radicals. Grapefruit also contains the flavonoid narigenin, which has been found to increase the body’s sensitivity to insulin and helps to maintain a healthy weight, which is a vital part of diabetes treatment.
- Guavas: This tropical fruit has a low GI of 20 and high in fibre – the perfect combination to keep your blood sugar levels steady and your energy sustained. Guavas also contain about four times the amount of vitamin C as an orange.
- Pears: Pears are high in fiber, vitamins A, B1, B2, C, E, folic acid, niacin, copper, phosphorous, potassium, calcium, iron and magnesium. Chinese pears have the most medicinal properties, but all pears help diabetics improve blood sugar levels.
- Jambul Fruit: Indigenous to India, this fruit are not readily known of in the U.S. It helps to control the conversion of carbohydrates in the pancreas into blood sugar. The bark, leaves and flowers of the jambul plant can also be used to manage blood sugar levels.
- Prunes: The soluble fiber in prunes help normalize blood sugar levels. It does this by slowing the rate digested food leaves the stomach, thereby delaying the absorption of glucose.
- Cranberries: A 2009 study published in the “Health Studies Journal” reports that low-sugar dried cranberries can help regulate blood sugar levels in individuals with type 2 diabetes.
- Apricots: With a GI of only 31, it is low in sugar and has nutrients that can help protect the heart and eyes, as well as provide the disease-fighting effects of fiber.