What is diabetes?
The high blood sugar levels in the body due to metabolic diseases is called Diabetes Mellitus, which we usually refer to as Diabetes.
Whenever the pancreas do not produce enough insulin or when the insulin production is sufficient but there is no proper response from the cells, diabetes sets in.
Types of diabetes
The commonly known diabetes are:
- Type-1 diabetes which is insulin dependent.
- Type-2 diabetes where insulin produced is resisted or inadequate.
- Gestational diabetes occurring in pregnant women who have no previous history but develop high blood sugar level once conceived.
- Type-3 diabetes, also known as alzhemeirs disease where the brain resist insulin
- Other types of diabetes which occur very rarely.
Diabetes can be prevented and treated by various methods including adopting appropriate physical exercises, observing different life styles, by change in food habits etc.
Inadequate Production and or inadequate absorption of insulin are the most important reasons for developing diabetes. Hence great care must be taken in the choice of food selected by each person.
Diabetic friendly fruits
If you’re diagnosed with diabetes of any type and would like to consume fruits, it is preferable to consume those with low GI (Glycemic index). It is because the sugar in the fruits, which are more easily digested, directly get into the body and increases the blood sugar level instantaneously.
How and why some of the fruits are more diabetic friendly is ascertained by knowing their glycemic index (GI) first.
GI is the rate of rise in blood sugar level due to consumption of food. In order to ensure that the blood sugar do not rise abnormally one has to select fruits that have relatively low GI. If the glycemic index is below 55 it is considered low, between 56 and 59 it is moderate and 60 and above are considered high.
In recent times another index known as glycemic load factor (GLF) is also computed for each fruit. The computation of Glycemic load factor is by taking the level of carbohydrates also along with the glycemic index. Glycemic load factor is a more desirable indicator for assessing if a particular fruit is suitable for diabetics. Diabetics can consume fruits containing a glycemic load factor up to 10.
On analyzing the glycemic load factor we find there are many fruits which are diabetic friendly and ten such top fruits are discussed here:
Strawberries have high amounts of antioxidants, dietary fiber and vitamins. The glycemic index of strawberry is 41 and the glycemic load factor is only 1 in a quantity of 120gm making it a super food for a diabetic patient.
GI of peach is 42 and GLF is 4 in 120 gm. serving. Peaches are delicious fruits with significant amounts of vitamin A and C, potassium and dietary fiber. You can consume peaches by cutting them into slices and adding to low fat buttermilk and a piece of ginger.
GI of lime is 32 and GLF is just 1 in 120gm serving. Lime belongs to the citrus family of fruits and has very high content of vitamin C. Moreover the good amount of soluble fiber is highly beneficial to diabetics.
The all-important glycemic index of apricot is 32 and its glycemic load factor is only 3 making it a very good fruit for the diabetics. An apricot fruit of average size provides 17 calories of energy and 4gm. carbohydrates. By consuming four apricots one can get 50% RDA of vitamin A and significant amount of fiber.
Average size apple provides 77 calories of energy 21 gm. carbs. It is a good source of vitamin C and fiber. The thick skin of the apple contains lot of antioxidants. GI of apple is 39 and GLF 6 in 120 gm. serving. It is truer in the case of diabetics that “an apple a day keeps the doctor away”.
It is one of the most beneficial fruits for a person with diabetes on account of the low GI of 38 and GLF of 4. Pears contain good amount of vitamin K and dietary fiber.
The delicious orange fruit is a safe fruit too for diabetics with its GI of 40 and GLF of 4 in 120gm serving. Oranges are high in vitamin C and low in carbohydrates.
Plums have a GI of 24 and GLF of 5. Plums contain anthocyanin, ellagic acid and hydrolysable tannins which are exclusively advantageous to diabetics. You can control the urge for frequent urination and continuous thirst by consuming plums.
With a GI of 25 and GLF of only 3 grapefruit is a good fruit that every diabetic can consume liberally. Grapefruits are both sweet and sour and contains lot of antioxidants and soluble fiber in addition to vitamin C.
Guava is a humble fruit but has a number of vitamins and minerals. It has high amount of vitamin C, antioxidants, folate, potassium and minerals. With a GI of 24 and GLF of only 3, Guava is a must to eat fruit for diabetics.
Please note that you should consume all these fruits and not as juice for reaping the full benefits in them.