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The Importance of Fruit in a Diabetic Diet

When you have diabetes, especially if you’re suffering from Type 2, a common concern is fruit consumption, and whether or not it will cause glucose levels to get too high. However, studies are showing that reducing fruit consumption might not actually be very beneficial. Rather, an emphasis should be placed on monitoring portion size and the type of fruit consumed to gain the myriad health benefits.

Diabetes and Fruit

A new study in Nutrition Journal examined a group of 63 overweight men and women who were all given general nutritional advice. From there, participants were divided into two groups: one was told to limit fruit in their diets, while the other was instructed to consume two or more servings of fruit each day. The results, after 12 weeks, revealed that while both groups lost weight, there wasn’t a substantial difference in glucose fluctuations between each group, and the group who ate more fruit showed greater benefits from following the nutritional advice that was provided at the beginning of the study.

2013 study, which followed 190,000 people over several years, monitoring the development of type 2 diabetes, revealed that the consumption of whole fruits lowered risk of developing the disease. However, consuming refined and processed fruits, actually increased risk. Why is this? Well, a standard serving of fruit is usually around 4 ounces. When drinking fruit juice, we are usually consuming closer to 12 ounces. This doesn’t even account for the additional and abundant sugar that is added to most fruit juices.

Fruit

In addition to the vitamins and minerals found in fruit, it is full of antioxidants, which help prevent cell damage and reduce inflammation, and the fiber offered is a great way to fill up without raising your glucose. The important things to remember are to pay attention to serving size, try to balance fruit consumption by pairing it with a protein; like nuts, and to maximize the benefits by eating the right fruits. Blueberries, grapes, apples, citrus fruits, pineapples, cantaloupe, and apricots pack the highest nutritional punch. Make sure to leave the skin on your apples for extra fiber!

For more information on fruit consumption, check out the video below. 

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L.D. and her ten-year-old lab, Eleanor Rigby Fitzgerald, moved to Seattle two years ago from Tucson, Arizona. They chose Seattle because they heard that's where they kept all the good coffee - plus Ella learned about grass. L. De Mello likes books, music, movies, running, and being outdoors as much as possible.