If you have type 2 diabetes and you're concerned about your diet, you should be aware of the sugars in fruit.
Fortunately, there are a bunch of fruits that don't contain much sugar and are even healthy for diabetics.
In this article, you will learn which 13 fruits a person with type 2 diabetes can and can't eat along with the healthiest ways to eat them.
Eating fruit is generally a healthy thing to do.
Fruit contains a relatively high concentration of vitamins and minerals. And eating fruit will give you more vitamins than you get from most vegetables.
But we rarely hear about the 'bad side' of fruits. And certainly not about the adverse effects they can have on diabetics.
It's like this:
When you have type 2 diabetes, your body has trouble processing sugars. That's because something has gone wrong with the hormone called insulin, which normally makes sure that whenever you eat something sweet, the sugars are neatly carried away.
But when something goes wrong with this hormone, excess sugar stays in your bloodstream. Your blood flows throughout your whole body and passes all your organs and tissues. And that sugar-rich blood will damage every place it passes.
It does not matter which organ it is, whether it's your kidneys or your eyes. Too much sugar will destroy your body.
If you have diabetes, you have to be extremely careful about the amount of sugar you eat.
The less sugar you ingest, the lower the risk of high blood sugar levels.
And the lower you keep your sugar level throughout the day, the more you will limit potentially permanent damage to your body.
But what does fruit have to do with this?
And often in large amounts. Fortunately, the amount of sugar varies depending on the type of fruit.
Thus you can control the amount of sugar that enters your blood by choosing different types of fruit.
Later on, I'll give you a list of the fruits with the least sugars.
But first, you have to realize that every bit of sugar you eat will increase your blood sugar level and can therefore cause blood sugar fluctuations.
By keeping your blood sugar low – by eating as little sugar as possible –the symptoms and complications of your diabetes will not get worse. Taking responsibility and eating as few sugar-rich products as possible is more important than the type of fruit you choose.
Blueberries do not contain much sugar and are safe. But if you buy two kilos of blueberries, then process into a concentrated jam and then eat almost the whole jar... you'll have a big sugar problem.
These products all contain fruit and come with all kinds of promises. The packaging is decorated with quality stamps, stories of traditional methods of preparation, and beautiful words about how healthy this fruit marmalade is.
In reality, jams, dried fruit, and fruit juices are manufactured to get as much sugar as possible into your body with every little bite or sip. This is easy to prove. Fruits contain about 10% sugar. But jam contains 60% or more. Eating a piece of fruit is also more filling than eating two spoonfuls of jam, whether or not it's on a slice of bread and butter.
Dried fruits and fruit juice are not much better. If you don't yet have diabetes, the chances of getting it increase with every glass of juice you drink – each glass contains the equivalent of seven cubes of sugar (source). When even government nutrition programs admit that fruit juice is unhealthy and causes diabetes, you know it's time to cut down.
Is dried fruit healthy? Nope. Although it can definitely be described as "food", it doesn't come close to fresh fruit in the health stakes. Dried figs, for example, contain a whopping 50% sugar (or more). Not exactly something you could call healthy.
Your mother used to call you to drink freshly squeezed orange juice right away before the vitamins disappeared. Boxes of orange juice in supermarkets are covered with all manner of complicated check marks and tables attempting to convince you how healthy the contents are.
These are myths. Fruit juice dumps a heap of sugars into your bloodstream that are no different from the ones you get in soft drinks (source). They cause type 2 diabetes and make existing diabetes worse.
The truth is that juices (and other products made from fruit) contain a lot of sugar. Now that you know the truth, you know what to do: avoid juices, jams, marmalades, dried fruit and other 'fake' fruit products. They are all poison to a diabetic and will only make you sicker.
Drinking smoothies made out of real fruit without the addition of juices or sugar IS ALLOWED. Why? Because all the fiber is still present in fruit smoothies.
Fruits grow on trees or plants which you can pick and eat raw.
If there is another processing step before the fruit is on your plate, then it is probably unhealthy. And you should avoid it no matter what.
To be healthy, fruit should be picked from the fruit tree/bush and reach your supermarket shelf without undergoing any further processing. Only eat real fruit.
And not only because of the sugars.
Another attribute of unprocessed fruit is particularly beneficial if you're diabetic. It's not the skin or the extra "vitamins", neither is it the heart or core of the fruit.
It's the fiber.
The vitamins in fruit are a nice bonus. But what makes fruit really healthy is the fiber. The more fiber a fruit contains, the healthier it is. Because the more it saturates you and slows down your sugar intake, the more it helps to keep your blood sugar under control.
The fact that fruit contains fiber does not mean that you should live on fruit alone. For one thing, fruit contains sugar as well. And the two things do not cancel each other out.
If you eat a box of apples you will have to process all the sugar from a box of apples. Yes, the apples contain fiber. But the more sugar you take in, the less difference the fiber will make. Step one to staying healthy is to minimize sugar intake and step two is to increase the amount of fiber you ingest.
Some fruits contain more sugar than others. An apple contains 10 grams of sugar per 100 grams. An avocado contains less than 1 gram. The avocado is better for your sugar level.
You can eat an apple, but don't go overboard. This should keep you feeling full. Still hungry? Then eat a bigger breakfast, lunch and/or dinner.
I've listed fruits that you can easily eat as a snack. So no lemons for example. Sure, they contain little sugar and it is therefore good if you have diabetes. But when was the last time you sucked your way through the segments of a freshly peeled lemon?
Also, there are some savory fruits, such as coconut. This is a great substitute for sweet fruit.
It is tempting to eat the same thing every day. This applies to fruit as much as anything else. If you like raspberries and they contain quite small amounts of sugar and a lot of fiber, why not eat a bowl of raspberries every day?
Now compare that with the following process:
If you taste the same taste every day, your brain begins to crave for more, and you must prevent that. Change flavors as much as possible so that you don't get used to one in particular, and your hunger stays the same or even decreases.
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Apples do not contain a lot of fiber. And in terms of sugar, they are relatively high: around 13 grams per 100 grams. So, not the ideal fruit compared to other options.
But let's keep it real. Lots of people love apples. They are a great convenience food.
And when someone mentions "fruit," apples are pretty much the first thing that many people think of.
Several fruits are better for you than apples, and I'll talk about that later. But, for the time being, an apple is better than a chocolate bar.
There are 6,5 grams of fiber in an avocado and hardly any sugar.
The full feeling it gives you is due to the saturated fat content – about 2 grams per 100 grams.
The occasional avocado will do you good. And, as I mentioned above, they contain virtually no sugar.
These are my favorite. Preferably fresh and otherwise frozen. Frozen blueberries taste a bit like mini ice creams which you can enjoy for a while.
The natural colors (antioxidants) of blueberries are good for your body. They are therefore an excellent variety with other fruits.
And they contain a lot of fiber: 6.5 grams per 100 grams.
Raspberries are high on my list with 7 grams of fiber. And they contain relatively little sugar, only 4 grams per 100 grams.
They are also available frozen.
Bananas contain very little fiber and lots of sugar when they are ripe. But.... what if you eat bananas that are not yet fully ripe?
A banana that is on the edge of ripeness is a bit firmer and contains more fiber. Not my favorite fruit but still delicious, so I'm told.
Try to eat one once in a while – if you can find any at your local supermarket of course.
These are on the same level as blueberries, including all the benefits.
They are a bit smaller and you have to eat quite a few to feel full.
The sourer the kiwi, the less sugar it contains. This fruit has little fiber and little sugar too if you choose a slightly sour piece.
With about the same amount of sugar but with 4 times more fiber, oranges are a healthier choice than kiwi.
Just eat it as it comes, don't make juice out of it.
Yes, it takes a bit of effort, but it's well worth it for the health benefits.
There is hardly any sugar in a coconut.
Shredded coconut is a tasty snack. The oil is healthy to bake with, and the water is healthy to drink. You could even eat/drink the cream and milk.
A ripe mango contains a lot of sugar and little fiber. So avoid those if possible.
But green mango with some vinegar and salt is a much-eaten snack in South America. It's slightly sour with a nice bite to it.
And because it contains less sugar, it's an excellent alternative for a ripe mango.
Did you know that the tomato is officially not a vegetable but a fruit? And that it contains only 2,5 grams of sugar per 100 grams? That's not a lot.
When I was young, my mother always cut some wedges of tomato as a snack.
This is an ideal food for curing type 2 diabetes because of the low sugar content. Give it a try.
A tasty snack with minimum amounts of sugar. Olives are a good substitute for fruits.
Also good for getting rid of your craving for sweets. The fewer sweets you eat, the more accustomed you get to eating fewer sweets! And the less you depend on them.
This fruit is relatively new to many people. Cranberries contain anti-inflammatory compounds, which makes them very healthy.
And if that doesn't convince you, the amount of sugar they contain is only 4 grams per 100 grams.
Please note that dried cranberries are not allowed because they are... dried (and often covered in sugar).
You can use all these fruits to reduce blood sugar spikes and even to reverse type 2 diabetes.
It was recently discovered that it's possible to reverse type 2 diabetes. And you can find everything you need in order to do it in your local supermarket – including fruit.
You can turn it around with one powerful method. I call it 'The Diabetes-Free Secret'. The pages I have written about this secret will change your life forever. You will learn:
Enter your e-mail address below and allow me to send you the E-book for free.
PS: what kind of fruit do you eat? And which types of fruit do you try to avoid? Leave a comment below.
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