Diabetics have many concerns when it comes to the dietary balance they must strictly follow to maintain healthy lifestyles. This is because of both sugar intake and the absorption of sugar into their bodies. Different foods have different absorption rates, and fruit is no different. There are fruits which are both beneficial and detrimental to the diabetic. Under the guidance of a dietitian and a physician, a diabetic can safely plan diets around this problem.
While there are fruits which a diabetic can eat, there are also fruits which a diabetic can't eat. Fruits such as oranges, grapefruit, papaya, plums, nectarines and peaches are among those which diabetics should avoid. Other fruits high in sugar are bananas, grapes and strawberries, which diabetics should also avoid.
The fruits listed above are high in pulp, which contains sugar. When this sugar metabolises into the system it prompts a sudden increase in insulin. The spike in insulin creates a sudden rise in blood glucose in the system. When blood glucose is too high it causes a reaction by the body that triggers defence mechanisms and causes the body to begin shutting down. This is what is called a "sugar attack" when a diabetic becomes dizzy or unconscious.
Portion control is essential in controlling diabetes, even with fruits that are acceptable. Larger amounts of acceptable fruits, such as apples, can still cause a spike in insulin. This is because a larger portion of fruit has a larger portion of carbohydrates. Also, some fruits, such as watermelon and pears, can break down faster than others, whereas cherries and apples are slower to break down sugar. Because of this you should watch the size of the fruit and the amount you eat each day. A good rule to follow is to limit the portion to what can easily fit into the palm of your hand.
Fresh fruit is always preferable over canned or dried fruit. This is because most canned and dried fruits are higher in sugar levels. Unsweetened fruit juice can be drunk, but portion control becomes an issue because the carbohydrate content is not far behind what is found in soda. Fruit concentrates also contain more sugar than fresh fruits and do not contain fibre, which diabetics need.
There has been a long misunderstood theory regarding fruit in the diet of a diabetic. For many years, health care professionals recommended avoiding all fruit, but this advice proved to be detrimental to the overall health of their patients. Current medical research shows that there are still fruits which cannot be eaten, but there are others which can safely be consumed in moderation; it has also been shown that some fruits, when combined with other healthy choices, can be beneficial to overall diet plans.