Are Apples a Good Fruit for Your Blood Sugar Levels?

By KrisTina | Articles

Aug 29

If you happen to have diabetes, then it’s understandable why there might be some hesitation when it comes to reaching out towards the fruit bowl for a nice snack.

Even though they are healthy, there is a large number of fruits which are rather high in natural sugars, which fall under the carb category, and thus warrant caution.

It’s no easy task to pick the right fruit (as well as the proper amount) if you happen to be counting carbs in order to properly manage your blood glucose.

That’s why we’ve taken the liberty to provide you with plenty of information regarding one of, if not the most popular fruit in human history: the apple. Read on to find out all about it and the effect it has on you and your health.

Health Benefits

The proverb “An apple a day keeps the doctor away” is certainly used for a reason. Apples are bursting with vitamin C and fibers, especially in its peel. So, don’t make the mistake of throwing that part away. Apples also contain smaller amounts of iron, calcium, and vitamin A.

Regular intake of apples can prove beneficial for your digestive system, thanks to its high fiber content. It can assure a more regular excretion of waste from your body.

Even though almost any person can reap their benefits, they are of particular importance for those with diabetes. The reasons for this are that fresh apples are:

  • Cholesterol-free
  • Fat-free
  • Sodium-free
  • Rich in fiber

Furthermore, apples (whether its peel or the fleshy part itself) also happen to be abundant in antioxidants named polyphenols. They are useful for a number of things:

  • Aiding one’s body in protecting itself against any diseases
  • Slow down the natural aging process
  • Help manage one’s proper weight
  • Support the health of one’s bones

Apples Can Help Reduce Diabetes-Related Risks

At least according to research done on the subject. A 2004 review states that consuming apples may lower one’s risk of certain chronic ailments. These fruits have even been connected to a lower risk of cardiovascular-related problems.

This is especially good news for adults with diabetes, as, on average, their chances of having a stroke or developing heart disease are four times as likely as those of an average individual.

The results of a study back in 2000 suggest that the daily consumption of apples leads to a lower risk of thrombotic stroke. This particular type is linked to cerebral vascular disease, which is much more common for those with diabetes.

However, as we’re sure you’ll agree, much more research is needed on the positive and negative sides of apples.

Apples and the Glycemic Index

This scale is widely used by those with diabetes or high blood sugar issues, so naturally, the question also arises concerning apples.

We are sure we don’t need to tell you that lower Gi foods (up to 55) are a far better option than high GI foods (70 or even higher), or medium GI foods for that matter (55-69).

We’re sure you’d be happy to know that a medium-sized apple (138 g, give or take) has a GI of about 37, which means it’s low on the GI scale!

But what about the glycemic load? Together with the GI, it gives the complete picture on how much effect a particular food might have on your blood sugar. It measures how fast the sugar from the food enters your bloodstream, as well as the carb content of a particular serving.

We’re sure you’d be happy to know that an apple has a GL of only 5! Everything under 10 is considered low and above 20 – a high value (which one should best avoid).

Some Other Fruits Which are Diabetes-Friendly

We understand that one can tire from eating apples on a constant daily basis. But don’t worry, there are some other options you can try to mix things up a little!

And remember: fresh fruit is by far your best option, but you may add frozen fruit as well. Just make sure there aren’t any added sugars to it.

As for dried, canned or juiced fruit…You should be aware that it can spike up your blood glucose levels far more than any fresh or frozen fruit can. Here are some other fruits which are low on the GI scale:

  • 5 whole apricots – GI of 34; GL of 5
  • 1 small pear – GI of 37; GL of 4
  • 1 medium orange – GI of 40; GL of 4
  • One small or medium nectarine – GI of 43; GL of 5

Conclusion

So, as you can see, this should be more than enough to answer your question on whether it’s safe to eat apples or not with diabetes. Not only is it safe, but it may also prove beneficial in managing your diabetes!

A regular consumption of this tasty natural snack may have other benefits for your general health as well.

Having this in mind, be sure never to overdo it. If you monitor your daily diet as you should and consult with your doctor regularly, adding apples should be no problem, as long as you mind your daily amount.

Another useful bit of information is, as you add these fruits to your diet, to keep an eye on any changes or side effects you may experience. After all, each individual reacts to specific foods differently, and one can never know for sure.

For instance, in case you notice a change in your blood glucose levels, don’t hesitate to contact your doctor immediately to discuss any possible concerns.

You may also want to seek the help of a certified dietitian for any tips on how much is enough and which recipes best suit your current lifestyle and health history.

The bottom line is that you shouldn’t be afraid of apples, as they are both filling and nutritious and obviously a far better option than any packaged snacks.

Instead of complete avoidance, moderation is the key to maintaining not just your blood sugars, but also your body and health as a whole. Stay mindful and healthy, dear readers.

Source: Health Line | Diabetes