Glycemic Index is the value ascribed to a food item that is based on how quickly it releases glucose into the blood. The currency of energy in the blood is glucose. If a particular food item has a high glycemic index, it means that it releases energy into the blood at a quicker rate and vice versa. A faster energy release means a steeper spike in blood sugar levels, something that is not conducive to a person who has diabetes. Since they already have trouble with controlling the blood sugar in their bodies, sudden crests and troughs make their condition worse and put them at a higher risk of other organ failures. Therefore, it is advised that people with diabetes have fruits that have a low glycemic index, i.e., fruits for diabetes.
Fruits are a healthy snack option for diabetics as the sugar, fructose that is present in them is not readily assimilated by the human body. Therefore, the spike in blood sugar is gradual and good for the system. Also, fruits provide an excellent source of fibre and help you feel fuller for longer. This, in turn, leads to proper weight management and prevents obesity. Here are ten fruits for diabetes with a low glycemic index.
These have a glycemic index of 38. A versatile fruit, it can be poached, baked, or eaten as is. The healthiest option would be to eat them with their peel on as the amount of vitamins and minerals is highest under the skin.
Oranges have a glycemic index of 40. Apart from providing a boost of vitamin C, oranges offer a good dose of fibre. Many people choose to have orange juice which isn’t a healthy alternative as the juice has all the calories minus the fibre.
With a glycemic index of 39, apples provide you with fibre and a dash of crunch. They make a hearty salad, baking and cooking options. Apart from this, they have an added advantage as they are gut-friendly and boost your iron levels.
The little fruits pack a punch. They have a glycemic index of just 20 but are abundant in nutrients. Rich in potassium, antioxidants, and fibre, cherries are good for your immune system and your heart. They have a rather short growing season so canned cherries can be substituted as long as low in sugar.
This citrus fruit has a glycemic index of 25. Vitamin C, antioxidants, potassium and fibre are some of the nutrients they are rich in. Grapefruits help maintain healthy heart function and are good for digestion. They also boost immunity.
One of the favourites with young and old alike, Strawberries can be baked, cooked or had in their natural form. They make for exciting partners with drinks and food. Their glycemic index is 41.
These have a GI of 29. People who suffer from constipation swear by them as they are potent natural laxatives. The fibre in prunes adds bulk to the stool and reduces cholesterol as well.
Succulent and juicy, what is there not to love about peaches? With a glycemic index of 45, they are a good option for people with diabetes. Rich in essential vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, peaches offer a delicious alternative to a calorie-laden dessert.
Plums have a glycemic index of 40. Because they bruise quickly, you might have difficulty laying your hands on them. They are rich in antioxidants and are juicy.
Grapes have a glycemic index of 53. They provide fibre, vitamin B-6 and other essential minerals in ample amounts. They are good for digestion, boost one’s moods and support efficient brain function.
This dry fruit has a glycemic index of 32. It can be considered as one of the low glycemic index fruits. They provide vitamins A and E, and also a bite-sized portion of copper. Like any other dry fruits, apricots have a good amount of sugar in them. Hence, make sure to consume them in smaller portions. One issue with having dried apricots is that they bruise quite easily. As a result, many ship them in to avoid this problem.
This is one fruit where its glycemic index depends on how ripe it is. In general, studies point to a number which is below 55, making it one of the lower GI fruits. Another research done on the Nigerian avocado reveals its index to much more than 40! And wait till you hear this. A completely raw and peeled avocado is said to have a glycemic index of close to zero!
Irrespective of the indices, it is a fact that the fruit contains very few sugars. One of the main sugars found in it is called D-mannoheptulose, which is known to help monitor blood sugar management.
Some benefits of eating avocado are that it helps in lowering the risk of metabolic syndrome, something that can increase the chances of getting diabetes. It can also help in reducing the chances of many blood vessel diseases like kidney, failure, heart disease, and even a stroke.
Guava comes on the list of low glycemic index fruits with a score of 12! You can add this fruit to a meal or simply have it as a snack. Due to it being rich in fibre, the fruit keeps you fuller for a longer time, which can help in maintaining good health. The fruit is also pivotal in bringing down blood sugar levels, especially in type-2 diabetic patients. A pro tip: have the fruit without the peel as it helps in lowering total serum cholesterol and triglycerides.
Having a GI score of 23, Tamarind is high in fibre. It is also packed with an array of vitamins and minerals like potassium, iron, B1, B2, C, K, and more. The fruit also has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, which can be protective against diseases like cancer, diabetes, and heart-related disease.
So the next time, you feel hungry, opt for any one of the prescribed fruits for diabetes.
Read More: 4 Best Foods For Diabetics