Fresh fruit isn’t off limits for diabetics

It’s no secret that people with diabetes have to take certain things into consideration when navigating their diet. But, according to Leigh Ann Brooks, nursing services operational lead, Diabetes Education, Parkview Regional Medical Center, that doesn’t mean eliminating nature’s candy.

Summer sunshine brings warmth, fun and an abundance of produce that we can grow and consume locally. Don’t let your diabetes stop you from enjoying these healthy, all natural sweets! Yes, fruits contain carbohydrates, but that doesn’t mean you should avoid eating them this season. Fruits are packed with vitamins, minerals and fiber our bodies need each day.

In a study done by the Public Library of Science in 2017, it was reported that people with diabetes who consumed fruit at least 3 times a week had a 17 percent lower all-cause mortality risk for complications from their diabetes than people who did not eat fruit. In addition, those without diabetes had a 12 percent lower risk of developing the disease compared to those who ate no fruit and the risk reduced with additional fruit consumption.

The best fruits to consume when you have diabetes are fresh, frozen or canned fruits without added sugars. Many fruits are currently in season locally, so now is the time to stock up on fresh fruit and freeze or can some to enjoy throughout the year. Fresh fruit can also be a great way to satisfy your sweet tooth without over consuming sweets loaded with extra sugar.

Being mindful of your carbohydrates is fairly simple. For example, 15g of carbohydrate from fruit is typically 1 cup of fresh fruit or a ½ cup of canned fruit, unsweetened. In addition, you can often estimate 15g of carbohydrate for a piece of fruit about the size of a baseball. It is important to keep in mind that dried or dehydrated fruit can often be very concentrated or have extra sugar added to it. Therefore, the portion size for dried fruit is two tablespoons.

Here is a list of fruits currently in season:

  • Blueberries
  • Cherries
  • Peaches
  • Pears
  • Plums
  • Strawberries
  • Grapes
  • Melon

Need a tasty recipe for seasonal fruits and vegetables in Indiana? I like to visit the foodgeeks website and browse their seasonal recommendations.

 

References:

http://journals.plos.org/plosmedicine/article?id=10.1371/journal.pmed.1002279

https://www.foodgeeks.com/seasonal?state_id=14

https://www.in.gov/dwd/2619.htm

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