Fruits Diabetics can Eat and Love
Diabetes has become a rather large epidemic in the United States and worldwide. And it is a disease that has mostly been self inflicted by our dietary and lifestyle habits. According to the World Health Organization, diabetes affects 340 million people worldwide. Type 1 diabetes (also known as insulin-dependent, juvenile or childhood-onset) is characterized by deficient insulin production and requires daily administration of insulin. The cause of type 1 diabetes is not known and it is not preventable with current knowledge. Type 2 diabetes (also known as non-insulin dependent or adult-onset) comes from the body’s inability to utilize its insulin efficiently. Type 2 diabetes comprises 90 % of the people who have diabetes worldwide.
The complications of diabetes and long term health risks are significant such as loss of limb(s), loss of eyesight, diabetic dementia, increased risk for heart disease, and kidney failure. People who are diabetic have a 50 % more likelihood of dying from heart disease and/or stroke. Heart disease is the number one most significant fatal illness in the United States.
Because Type 2 Diabetes is significantly preventable, it is significantly easy to treat in early stages merely by dietary and lifestyle changes in addition to dietary supplements. Diabetes is only treatable when a patient is highly invested and dedicated.
Sugar is bad for diabetes, simple as that. All diabetics should be avoiding sugar, process foods, processed meats and fats, sugar containing drinks such as soda and juice, dried fruits, alcohol, pastries, baked goods, and all other sugar containing items that I forgot to mention.
The good news is that a recent study revealed that there are some fruits that are “good” for diabetics. According to an article published online for the British Medical journal, the consumption of some whole fruits can reduce the risk for diabetes. The article also stated that juice may increase the risk for diabetes.
Three servings per week of any of the following fruits was associated with a decreased risk for diabetes.
- grapes and raisins
- apples and pears
The study also revealed that higher intake of juice and cantaloupe increased the risk for type 2 diabetes. There were some limitations of the study but I thought it worthy to write about due to the increase in prevalence diabetes is throughout the United States and especially in my practice.
Of the fruits above, I would stick to apples, blueberries, grapes, and grapefruit. I don’t agree with the raisins, therefore I would suggest diabetes or people with pre-diabetes stick to whole fruits and not dried fruits as the concentration of the sugar overwhelms the insulin system within the body.
Suggestions for Diabetics or Pre-diabetics:
- Avoid all dried fruit
- Consume whole fruits weekly
- Consume whole vegetables daily
- Consume some whole grains daily to weekly; soaking grains can help with the digestion of grains
- Avoid all processed foods
- Avoid all fast food
- Do not drink juice, alcohol, or any other sweetened beverage
- Avoid all sugar including pastries, cakes, cookies, etc…
- No not consume or use artificial sweeteners; use a small amount of honey or stevia instead
- Exercise daily
- Drink at least 72 – 80 ounces of filtered water daily