Nothing is forbidden to a diabetic. The mantra continues to be all about wise choices.
A recent question and answer in the L.A. Times discusses whether diabetics can eat fruit.
Dr. Adrienne Youdim, medical director of the Cedars-Sinai Center for Weight Loss, disses the idea that diabetics should avoid fruit, instead encouraging it as being part of a healthy daily meal plan, but with the awareness that some fruits have a higher glycemic index.
Ann Albright, president of healthcare and education for the Alexandria, Va.,-based American Diabetes Association further discusses fruit. “A diabetic’s response to eating fruit and other carb-rich foods will vary depending on time of day, current glucose levels, what else is or was being eaten, how the food was prepared and any medications being taken.”
She further states, “Be a bit more careful about non-fresh fruits, such as ones that are dried and canned in syrup — both have higher sugar contents. Unsweetened fruit juice is fine, but again, keep portion size in mind. Juice is not verboten, but don’t think that drinking a 32-ounce glass is OK because it’s healthy. The carb content is not that far off from a soda.”
What is the glycemic index?
Basically a ranking of foods based on how fast they are absorbed into the blood stream, raising the blood sugar levels.
From the Canadian Diabetes Association:
It is a good idea to get to know and understand the Glycemic Index, because choosing foods with a low GI rating more often than choosing those with a high GI may help you to:
• Control your blood glucose levels
• Control your cholesterol levels
• Control your appetite
• Lower your risk of getting heart disease
• Lower your risk of getting type 2 diabetes
On the glycemic index glucose is given a ranking of 100 and the listing of common fruits is determined based on that ranking.
Keep in mind that fruits with higher numbers are absorbed faster and the lower numbers are slow carbs that are absorbed slowly. Watermelon and pineapple are on the very high end and cherries and grapefruit are low.
Links for the Glycemic Index of fruits:
From the Mayo Clinic-Fresh Fruit Kebabs with Lemon Lime Dip!
4 ounces low-fat, sugar-free lemon yogurt
1 teaspoon fresh lime juice
1 teaspoon lime zest
4 to 6 pineapple chunks
4 to 6 strawberries
1 kiwi, peeled and diced
1/2 banana, cut into 1/2-inch chunks
4 to 6 red grapes
4 wooden skewers
In a small bowl, whisk together the yogurt, lime juice and lime zest. Cover and refrigerate until needed.
Thread 1 of each fruit onto the skewer. Repeat with the other skewers until the fruit is gone. Serve with the lemon lime dip.
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