Fruitful information for diabetes

Fruit juices – even fresh pressed juices – contain too much sugar. But you know that already right? There has been enough of coverage in recent months, comparing juices with other sugary drinks, and showing that even a fresh fruit juice can contain as much sugar as some regular soda drinks.

Advice has emerged to suggest that whilst it’s necessary to avoid juices, it’s OK to eat whole fruits. How often do you see advice for diabetics along the lines of “eat plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables”? It always jumps out at me that maybe we are still playing down the effects of fruit – because at the end of the day fruit contains sugar. It may be OK (ish) for non-diabetics, but I am concerned that diabetics are still being advised to eat sugary foods – and “plenty” of them.

I was especially worried to read a Twitter post just this morning advising diabetics to eat a vegan diet with unlimited amounts of fruit. Whoa there!

I have nothing at all against veganism if that’s your bag – the RebalanceDiabetes programme caters for most dietary preferences! But “unlimited” quantities of fruit makes me break out into a cold sweat! Not all fruits were born equal! Whilst you can certainly enjoy some fruits on a regular basis, others are so high in sugars that you might even want to avoid them most of the time.

So I thought it might be time to get to know a bit more about different fruits, and how they stack up in terms of sugar content. To make it easy I’ve ranked fruits in categories – lowest, moderate, high and very high sugars:

Limes, lemons, rhubarb (officially a vegetable, and containing less than 1% sugar), raspberries, blackberries are perhaps unsurprisingly among the lowest. They are not sharp without good reason! But it does mean you can enjoy these on a daily basis – just watch your portion sizes!

Slide1

Blueberries, strawberries, melons, nectarines and peaches, apples, grapefruits & apricots contain moderate amounts of sugar, and fit in well with a low carbohydrate eating plan.

Next come oranges, pears, pineapple and plums. These fruits have relatively higher levels of sugar, and perhaps need to be eaten less frequently.

Finally, cherries, grapes (over 20% sugar), figs, bananas, mangoes, and pomegranates can be considered to be among the highest.

Slide2

The highest of all are, predictably, dried fruits, including dates, raisins, apricots and prunes. As these contain whopping amounts of sugar – up to 70% or even more – these are the ones to strictly limit!

Armed with this information, you can hopefully make wiser fruit choices? Happy eating!

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