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What to do with fruits?


One of the things I miss most about my Vincy home is the abundance of fruits. Oh, the mangoes, the sugar apple, the golden apple and Bequia plums…I am one of the crazy people in the U.S buying mediocre guavas for 4 dollars a pound because I miss them so much. Having this abundance of fruits is a blessing, but I know many people have a difficult time figuring out how to enjoy their fruits when they have diabetes.{{more}}

One big rule to remember is this: FRUITS ARE YOUR FRIENDS. Really, think about it: your friends are good for you, they support you and make life fun, but having too many of them around can be troublesome 🙂 Same thing with fruits. Overall, fruits are wonderful, fresh fruits being preferred to prepared fruits, although frozen and dried ones can be just as good nutrition-wise. They provide many different vitamins and minerals to our bodies, as well as fibre which we need for good health also. Plus, they just taste great. I have never had a bad day when there was a Julie mango in my hands and it is very hard to get vexed when you have a mouth full of sweet golden apple.

For people with diabetes, fruits can prove to be a bit tricky. You should still include fruits in your diet. Please remember that in future. Anyone who says people with diabetes cannot have fruit is wrong, wrong, wrong. The TYPE of fruits and the AMOUNTS of fruits are what you need to pay close attention to in order to keep them in your diet without making your sugar go too high.

Fruits count as sugars/starches. They are not “free” just because they are good for you. The good news is that many do not increase your sugars very much as long as you stay with the recommended serving (eat one mango at lunch, not five). People vary, and some folks have a big bump in their sugars with a particular fruit, while your neighbor may not. You need to find out what works for you. As a general rule, the juicier the fruit, the more likely it will raise your blood sugars a bit. The more fibre in the fruit, the less likely it will cause a big, quick bump and will more likely cause a very slow and small rise in your sugars. I know, you are saying to yourself, “Who wants a dry hairy mango?” But yes, that mango dripping with juice is more likely to cause a little bump in your sugars. Again, though, it is not going to be a big rise for most people as long as you stay with a reasonable serving of mango and not eat the whole basket at one time.

Fruits that are high in fibre include mangoes, figs, pineapple, coconut, bananas and pawpaw. Golden apples probably should also be in that list, and if you want some imported stuff then you can include apples and berries. While they are not as exciting as their fresh versions, dried fruits are excellent in terms of fibre content and many times are actually very tasty. You can include raisins, prunes and dried figs here.

Please enjoy those fruits, but as with everything even when it is good: in moderation! Until next week, stay safe and healthy, Vincies!

Anita Ramsetty, MD
Medical Director Endocrine Care Group
Tel: 843-798-4227