Optimising fruit intake for diabetics

Dr Srinivas Kandula, Consultant Endocrinologist at Care Hospitals Nampally, debunks the myth that all sweet fruits should be avoided by diabetics.
Image for representational purpose only.
Image for representational purpose only.

HYDERABAD: Even though there has been significant attention on managing blood sugar levels, few misconceptions still do the round. A common misconception exists regarding fruit consumption among diabetic individuals, often seen as an alternative to sugar but potentially problematic due to their natural sugars. We spoke with experts to discern the fruits suitable for diabetic patients.

Dr Srinivas Kandula, Consultant Endocrinologist at Care Hospitals Nampally, debunks the myth that all sweet fruits should be avoided by diabetics. He emphasises that while certain fruits contain more sugar, the total carbohydrate content in food impacts blood sugar levels more than the type of carbohydrates consumed.

He recommends limiting fruit servings to those containing no more than 15 grams of carbohydrates. Including low-carbohydrate, high-fibre seasonal fruits like apple, guava, orange, pomegranate, papaya, and watermelon during snack times, in quantities of 50 to 100 grams, aids in better sugar control. He advises against fruit juices.

Sujatha Stephen K, Chief Nutritionist at Yashoda Hospitals, Malakpet, focuses on low glycemic index fruits for diabetic individuals. She stresses the importance of maintaining excellent glycemic control (Hb levels around 60.5 or sugars below 200) before incorporating fruits into the diet.

Low glycemic index fruits like apple, papaya, guava, and oranges, rich in vitamins, minerals, and fibre, offer energy without spiking sugar levels.

However, fruits with high sugar content, such as banana, sapota, custard apple, and mango, should be consumed sparingly or restricted if glycemic levels are high or if insulin is being used. She suggests including vitamin-rich fruits like dragon fruits, kiwi, peaches, and berries in the diet.

In essence, while fruits offer essential nutrients, diabetic individuals should be mindful of their carbohydrate intake and opt for low glycemic index fruits to help maintain stable blood sugar levels.

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