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Consultancy Corner: Fruits play important role in diabetic diet

Fruits and vegetables all play a major role in keeping healthy levels of blood glucose, blood fats and blood pressure. Maintaining a healthy weight, as well as normal blood pressure is also of importance while living with diabetes.


Diabetes is a condition with high blood sugars due to a dysregulation of insulin secretion in our body. Diabetes is one of the fastest growing conditions in India. There have been many myths about consuming fruits by people who have Diabetes.
India being a tropical country, summer is a festival of seasonal and delicious fruits such as mangoes, jack fruits, grapes, and watermelons. During this season diabetic patient are in a dilemma about consuming seasonal fruits and the impact of these fruits on their blood sugar targets.
A diabetic diet is not much different from a normal balanced diet. Fruits are encouraged and proved to prevent patients from cardiovascular disease, gastrointestinal disease, and cancer. Fruits are rich in vitamin and antioxidants which detoxify your body and supports your immune system to prevent infections.
Fruits in Diabetics are recommended based on their Glycemic index. Glycemic index (GI) is referred to as the amount of sugars present in food and its effect on blood sugars. Lower the GI, better the blood sugar level. Some fruits are lower in GI but higher in calories. These fruits are recommended to be consumed in moderations because of the caloric limits in Diabetic patients.
Mangoes: Mangoes are good sources of vitamins, antioxidants and rich in fiber. Mangoes are considered to have moderate GI but are high in calories. Diabetic patients with well-controlled sugar can have Mangos in moderation and preferably during the day. They are advised to keep a watch over their daily calorie intake. Diabetics whose sugars are uncontrolled are advised not to have mangos.
Jack Fruit: Jack fruits are rich in fiber and carbohydrates. It contains flavanone, carotenoids and is rich in other vitamins. This tropical fruit has low GI when consumed raw but high when ripe. Diabetics are allowed jack fruit when raw. Raw jack fruits can be beneficial in controlling sugars. Ripe jack fruit have high caloric value and is not recommended for Diabetic patients.
Watermelon: Watermelon has high GI and is not suitable for Diabetics. Researches have shown the benefits of lycopene present in watermelons to reduce the risk of cardiac disease. Many may even argue that the portion size of watermelon did not contribute to high blood sugar but managing blood sugars by monitoring the portions size does not work best for diabetes. In a well-controlled diabetic patient, 100g to 200g of watermelon can be an acceptable recommendation.
Diabetics are encouraged to consume more fruits, some of the fruits which are recommended for diabetes patients are pears, papaya, apple, jamun, guava, cherries, strawberries, blueberries, peaches, oranges, pineapple, and pomegranate. Diabetes is more of a condition rather than a disease. If well controlled, it can give you a healthy life with no complications. A diabetic diet is not starvations, it’s all about eating the right food and having a balanced diet. In conclusion, seasonal fruits can be a part of your daily diet and should be consumed in moderation.
Helpful points
  • Avoid Cooking of processing fruits and vegetables which will lead to loss of nutrients
  • Consume fruits and vegetables as natural as possible
  • Avoid fruit syrups, as they are processed and add extra sugars that negate the health benefits of the fruit which we consume.
  • Drink fruit juices in moderation, drinking too much fruit juice could also lead to an increase in your blood glucose
  • Eating a wide range of fruits ensures you are getting a well-rounded diet
  • For people with diabetes, it is more important to consume a healthy amount of fruits and vegetables to avoid health problems including heart diseases, stroke, obesity and cancer