Nutrition Month: A Guide to Fruits and Vegetables for Diabetics

Nutrition Month: A Guide to Fruits and Vegetables for Diabetics | HealthSoul

When you are diabetic, your diet has a huge influence on your overall health. Most diabetics know that they need to avoid sugary, processed foods, but many are surprised to learn that even common fruits and vegetables can have a negative effect on blood sugar levels. Use these tips to pick the best fruits and vegetables for your diet.

How Much Fruit Should You Eat?

Many diabetics automatically avoid fruit because they think it is sugary, but the reality is that eating fruit daily may be a good idea. A 2011 study published in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics found that people with type 2 diabetes who ate fruit each day had a lower chance of developing heart problems due to diabetes. In general, around four servings of fruit each day is recommended by the National Diabetes Information Clearinghouse. The amount of fruit you can eat in a day will vary a little depending on what sort of diet you are following to manage your diabetes. Fruit does have a low glycemic index, but it has moderate amounts of carbohydrates. Therefore, those on a low carb diet might want a slightly lower dose of fruit.  

How Many Vegetables Should You Eat Daily?

According to a 2010 study in the British Medical Journal, vegetables are a key part of managing diabetes risks. Vegetables provide fiber to slow down sugar absorption, and most of them are very low in sugar. Around five helpings of non-starchy vegetables, a day is recommended by the American Diabetes Association. A single helping is ½ cup of cooked vegetables or 1 cup of raw vegetables, so you may need to eat vegetables at each meal. Starchy vegetables like corn, peas, root vegetables, and squashes contain more carbohydrates, so you should try to limit this to just one to three servings a day.  

How Many Vegetables Should You Eat Daily?

Are There Any Fruits or Vegetables You Should Avoid?

Most fruits are filled with water and fiber, so they do not make your blood sugar spike too much. However, melons, dates, papayas, figs and pineapples have a higher amount of sugar, so they can be problematic. You should also try to limit eating dried fruits, fruit juices, or fruits canned in syrup because these have higher sugar content. There are not many vegetables that a diabetic person needs to avoid. However, you should try to limit the intake of potatoes, parsnips, pumpkins, acorn squash, green peas, butternut squash, and corn. These vegetables do increase your blood glucose.  

What Are the Best Fruits and Vegetables for Diabetics to Eat?

These fruits and vegetables are particularly helpful for diabetics.

  • Spinach
  • Onions
  • Peppers
  • Carrots
  • Broccoli
  • Radishes
  • Cauliflower
  • Artichokes
  • Cucumber
  • Tomato
  • Avocados
  • Berries
  • Oranges
  • Apples
  • Cherries
  • Peaches
  • Kiwi
  • Tangerines

Did you also know that eating certain kinds of fruits can help with allergies?