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How to Enjoy Sweet Fruit Without Blood Sugar Spikes

The different opinions on including fruit in a meal plan for balancing blood sugar show how confusing diabetes management can be. This uncertainty points to the gap between the reality of living with diabetes and the perceived dietary restrictions.

Understanding how food affects glucose levels gives you the freedom to enjoy all foods mindfully, including the natural sweetness of fruit, without feeling confused or bound by strict rules.

Are Hormonal Changes Making Blood Sugar Even Harder To Manage?

Navigating Fruit Choices for Stable Blood Sugar

Many people with diabetes question if fruit is okay to eat. Let's clear things up so you can feel confident about your choices.

Natural Sweetness of Fruit

You can enjoy fruits with mindfulness, considering their carbohydrates. Fruit sugars, like fructose, come with fiber, akin to complex carbs. While fructose initially raises blood sugar, the fiber slows digestion, curbing spikes.

Fiber's Role

Fiber in fruits helps stabilize blood sugar by slowing sugar absorption. Fruits with peel, like apples and berries, boast the most fiber. Conversely, fruit juices lack fiber, causing rapid blood sugar surges—often used for low blood sugar treatment.

Balanced Eating

Eating fruit alongside other macro-nutrients, like protein and fat helps stabilize blood sugar even more. This trio moderates the body's reaction to fruit consumption, averting spikes and maintaining stable glucose levels. Learn how to make balanced meals and get eight delicious recipes

Girl eating a bowl of fruit

The Glycemic Index

The glycemic index (GI) is a useful tool for choosing which fruits to eat if you have diabetes. The GI ranks food based on how quickly it impacts blood sugar levels. Fruits with a higher GI may cause your blood sugar to rise quickly compared to lower-GI fruits.

The ranking system looks like this:

  • Low GI: 1-55

  • Medium to High GI: 56 and up

10 Lower Glycemic Fruits to Choose (less sugar)

  1. Blueberries - 1 cup (53)

  2. Strawberries - 1 cup (40)

  3. Apples - 1 cup (36)

  4. Papaya - 1 cup diced (38)

  5. Cherries - 1 cup pitted (22)

  6. Avocado - 1/2 (Yep, it's a fruit) (40)

  7. Blackberries - 1 cup (49)

  8. Raspberries - 1 cup (40)

  9. Guavas - 1 cup (29)

  10. Pears - 1 cup sliced (33)

10 Higher Glycemic Fruits to Limit or Avoid (more sugar)

  1. Mangoes (60)

  2. Grapes approx. 15 (54)

  3. Watermelon (76)

  4. Kiwi - 1 cup (58)

  5. Banana ripe (62)

  6. Pineapple (66)

  7. Raisins 1 small box (66)

  8. Cantaloupe - 1 cup diced (70)

  9. Figs - 1 fig (54)

  10. Peaches - 1 cup (76)

The Choice is Yours...

THE KEY WORD here is CHOICE. When you choose to eat fruit, base your choice on these five factors:

  1. Current blood sugar

  2. How active you are before and after

  3. Dose insulin if needed.

  4. BALANCE fruit with any other carbohydrate food(s) you may eat along with any fruit.

  5. Portion size matters.

Gather the carbohydrate facts of your favorite fruits along with portion size. This will help you decide how to factor fruit into meals and snacks, without compromising blood sugar.

Banana with almond butter

How to Eat Fruit Alongside Protein and Fat to Keep Blood Sugar More Stable:

  • An apple or 1/2 banana with 1 Tbsp. of nut butter

  • Orange with 1/4 raw mixed nuts

  • Add some berries to Greek Yogurt

  • Top a green salad with melon, avocado, and chopped walnuts.

  • Click here for 12 balanced smoothie recipes with your favorite fruits

So, when managing diabetes, it's all about knowing what foods will serve your body, energy, and blood sugar the best! The first step is understanding how real whole foods like fruit can be enjoyed. This allows you to make informed food choices and reach your blood sugar goals.

You can do this without feeling deprived and with the freedom to decide when you'll include fruit in your meal plan.

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Fruit bowl


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