The Role of Fruits in Diabetes Management

Fruits play a crucial role in human health. Recent scientific evidence further supports the role of fruits and vegetables in protecting against various diseases such as type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, cancer, heart disease, and stroke. These illnesses are leading global causes of mortality. Increasing fruit and vegetable consumption helps reduce the risk of chronic illnesses. Fruits are indispensable food products from a nutritional standpoint. As part of a balanced diet, fruits provide essential growth-regulating factors necessary for maintaining overall health. Fruits are widely available in nature and contain many beneficial components such as vitamins, flavonoids, minerals, saponins, polyphenols, carotenoids, isothiocyanates, and various dietary fibers.

Fruits should be a fundamental component of a person's healthy diet. Whether they have type 2 diabetes or not, fruits provide important elements of a balanced nutrition, such as fiber, vitamins, and minerals that are necessary for the body. Type 2 diabetes patients can still benefit from the advantages of other fruits as long as they avoid fruits with high carbohydrate and sugar content that can raise blood sugar levels. For diabetes control, fruits with a low glycemic index should be preferred.

Fruits such as cherries, plums, grapefruits, dried apricots, raisins, peaches, apples, pears, strawberries, guavas, oranges, grapes, papayas, bananas, kiwis, pineapples, figs, and mangoes have a low glycemic index. Although watermelon has a high glycemic index, it has a low glycemic load per portion, so it won't have a significant impact on blood sugar levels. However, the consumption of watermelon should be moderate. Fruits should be consumed fresh, cooked, or in the form of fruit juice without added sugar. When buying fruits, you can try to get them in small portions. Avoid fruit juices as they have lower fiber content and are less filling compared to whole fruits. If you need to purchase canned fruit juice, check that it is "unsweetened." Avoid frozen or canned fruits preserved in heavy syrup.

In a study involving three prospective cohorts of men and women in the United States, researchers discovered notable differences in the associations between individual fruits and the risk of type 2 diabetes. Increased consumption of blueberries, apples, grapes, bananas, and grapefruit was significantly linked to a decreased risk of developing type 2 diabetes. These associations were generally consistent across all three cohorts. Interestingly, the variance in glycemic index and glycemic load values among fruits did not explain the connection between specific fruits and the risk of type 2 diabetes. Furthermore, higher consumption of fruit juices was associated with an increased risk, while substituting whole fruits for fruit juice was linked to a lower risk, with the exception of strawberries and cantaloupe. Increased consumption of fruits, especially blueberries and green leafy vegetables, yellow vegetables, cruciferous vegetables, or those high in fiber, is associated with reducing the risk of type 2 diabetes.

Best fruits for diabetics

Berries - It has been shown that berries contribute to the prevention of Type 2 diabetes and regulation of body weight by promoting a feeling of satiety and reducing energy intake. Research has indicated that berries such as blackberries, blueberries, and cranberries can potentially reduce the risk of developing Type 2 diabetes. These berries are rich in polyphenolic compounds, which can improve glucose metabolism and account for the observed protective effect.

Kiwi - Kiwi possesses a significant amount of dietary fiber, which effectively regulates the metabolism of carbohydrates and the gradual release of glucose into the blood. It is abundant in antioxidants, making it an excellent aid in reducing the likelihood of chronic illnesses like diabetes, heart disease, stroke, and cancer. Moreover, kiwi's antioxidant properties offer an alternative means to counteract oxidative damage caused by reactive oxygen species, making it a valuable intervention against the aging process.

Papaya - Papaya (Carica papaya Linn) is among the fruits known for its antihyperglycemic activity and high antioxidant content. Studies have indicated that papaya contains C vitamin, fiber saponins, and flavonoids, which can lower blood sugar levels.


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