Eating fruits and vegetables daily is equally important for everyone, even if someone has diabetes.
Even though many diabetics think they can’t eat fruit because of its high sugar content, it’s not the type of sugar they should avoid.
It’s a natural one as opposed to the one found in cakes, chocolates, sodas, and even in honey and fruit juices. (1)
The most important factor that affects our blood sugar levels is the number of carbs we ingest.
A single portion of fruit has 15 to 20 grams of carbohydrates, while a small chocolate bar contains 30 grams of carbs and a chocolate muffin even 55 grams. (2)
Therefore, it’s much healthier if we avoid cakes, chocolates, and other snacks than fruits.
Still, the best option is to keep a food diary to know how much and how often we eat fruits.
Many overdo grapes, dried fruit, and tropical fruits. For example, a tablespoon of dried fruits contains 20.8 grams of total sugar, 20.8 grams of carbohydrates, and 82 calories.
On the other hand, an apple contains just 11.8 grams of sugar, 11.8 grams of carbohydrates, and 47 calories.
Moreover, we should pay attention to your serving sizes as well. This doesn’t refer to replacing a large banana with a small bar of chocolate, but completely the opposite.
Be Careful about Fruit Juices and Smoothies
The best thing would be to completely avoid these beverages or at least reduce them. Fruit juices and smoothies contain high amounts of sugar and their roughage is usually removed or broken down. (3)
This means it’s easy to consume them in large quantities in a short time, which results in extra carbs, sugar, and calories.
A single serving contains 13.2 grams of total sugar, 13.2 grams of carbohydrates, and 54 calories. However, most glasses can fill even larger quantities.
What is in a Portion
Here’s a useful guide recommended by NHS Choices: (4)
Fresh Fruit in Small Size
Two or more small-sized fruits are one portion. For instance, 2 kiwi fruit, 2 satsumas, 2 plums, 3 apricots, 7 strawberries, 6 lychees, or 14 cherries.
Fresh Fruit in Medium-Size
One banana, apple, orange, pear, nectarine, and other pieces of fruit would be one portion.
Large Raw Fruit
That would be one 5 cm slice of melon, a slice of papaya, half a grapefruit, two 5 cm slices of mango, and one large slice of pineapple.
Around 30 grams of dried fruit make one portion. It includes one heaped tablespoon of currants, raisins, or sultanas, 2 figs, 1 tablespoon of mixed fruit, 3 prunes, or a handful of dried banana slices.
Canned Fruit in Natural Juice
The same amount of fresh fruit you’ll eat is the amount of a portion of canned fruit in a natural juice. That would be 6 apricot halves, 2 pear halves, 2 peach halves, or 8 segments of canned grapefruit.
How to Bump Up Your Fruit Intake
It’s important to consume fruits of all colors, as they all have different essential vitamins and minerals. Choose whatever is in the season to avoid paying a lot.
- The period around February includes cooking apples, apples, oranges, Clementine, and rhubarb. Banana is also available and quite cheap;
- Clementines, apples, rhubarb, and bananas are rich in vitamin C, so they can improve your immune system and speed up the healing process of wounds;
- The iron-rich dried fruits help your blood transport oxygen throughout the body;
- Thanks to the high levels of calcium, rhubarb supports the formation of bones;
- Great and at the same time fun choices for kids’ lunch boxes are the easy-peeling clementines and kids-sized apples;
- Also, you can bake some cooking apples with a bit of nutmeg and cinnamon served with 0% or low-fat Greek yogurt. What’s more, if you chop them and stew them with some raisins and water, you’ll get a nice, healthy dessert;
- Prepare a healthy ice cream by mashing baked, or frozen bananas kept in the fridge for 1 to 2 hours.
Don’t forget to spread the amount of fruit you eat throughout the day. It’s important to avoid ingesting a lot of carbs in one go as this will increase your blood sugar levels.