For people managing diabetes, it is a common belief that they should refrain from fruits due to their sugar content. While it’s true that high-sugar fruits can lead to sudden spikes in blood sugar levels, this doesn’t imply a blanket ban on all fruits. Fruits offer a wealth of essential vitamins, minerals, and fiber, and there is a category of low-sugar fruits that are safe for diabetes management. So, diabetics can still enjoy the benefits of fruits without compromising their health, striking a balance between nutrition and sugar control.
Health Shots reached out to Deepika Jayaswal, a consultant dietitian and nutritionist at Motherhood Hospitals, Sarjapur, Bengaluru, to find out the best low-sugar fruits for diabetics.
Fruits with low sugar content for diabetics
Here are 5 low-sugar fruits that can be beneficial for individuals with diabetes:
Berries such as strawberries, blueberries and raspberries are not only delicious but also exceptionally low in sugar. They are rich in antioxidants, fiber and vitamins. They also contain low carbohydrates and have a low glycemic index, which make them an ideal choice for individuals with diabetes. You can enjoy berries in various forms, such as by adding them to yogurt, oatmeal, smoothies, or simply as a snack. They can also help satisfy your sweet cravings without causing a spike in blood sugar levels.
Apples are one of the most widely consumed fruits and are known for their natural sweetness. However, they are relatively low in sugar compared to many other fruits. They contain soluble fiber, which can slow down the digestion and absorption of sugar, which aids in regulating blood sugar levels. What’s more? Apples are low glycemic index (GI) fruit, meaning they have a minimal impact on blood sugar levels. Choose whole apples over apple juice or applesauce to benefit from the fiber content.
Pears are another ideal fruit for diabetics. They contain soluble fiber, vitamins, and minerals and are low in sugar, which can aid in better blood sugar control. They also have a low glycemic index and can be satisfying, which can control your sugar craving. The fiber content of pears slows down the absorption of sugars, promotes a feeling of fullness, and helps regulate blood sugar levels. Pears can be enjoyed fresh, as part of a fruit salad, or added to the dessert.
Pomegranate contains a low glycemic index (GI) and glycemic load (GL), which is useful for individuals with high glucose levels. Apart from being low in sugar, it is a rich source of antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals-all of which help reduce insulin resistance. You can enjoy pomegranate juice in moderation without added sugar, or you can also eat pomegranate seeds.
Oranges, when consumed in moderation as whole fruits, can be part of a diabetes-friendly diet. They are a good source of vitamin C, fiber, and antioxidants. While the sugar content is low, it is important to be mindful of portion sizes due to their natural sugar content. You can enjoy oranges as a snack or add them to salads and fruit bowls. Their tangy and refreshing flavour makes them a popular choice among people with diabetes.
Quantity of fruits for diabetics
Portion control is key, even when consuming fruits with lower sugar content because overeating low-sugar fruits can also result in a blood sugar spike. It’s always a good idea for individuals with diabetes to monitor their blood sugar levels and consult a dietitian to create a personalized meal plan that meets their nutritional needs and health goals.