Ex-Diabetic Sidebar: When I was diabetic, my doctors and the hospital's dietitian told me that I would have to avoid fruits.
I found that kind of strange, especially, since some of my hospital meals included applesauce, tangerine slices and orange juice! :-)
Avoiding fruits was difficult for me because I had a "sweet tooth" -- a strong craving for sweets. Being diabetic, my body craved sugar and I loved sweets -- not just fruits -- I loved apple pie, brownies, chocolate chip cookies, and ice cream.
During my research, I discovered how to stop the cravings (see below). I also learned that eating some whole fruit can be beneficial, despite the sugar content in most fruits. Why? Because it's better to eat an apple than some cookies or ice cream to satisfy your craving for something sweet! :-)
It's amazing to me how some of these so-called experts say that sugar is sugar no matter where it comes from -- that the sugar from a piece of fruit is the same as the sugar from a candy bar. Technically speaking, they're right. But, they fail to mention the other benefits that you get from the fruit!
For example, whole fruit such as an apple, lemon or blueberries provides water, fiber, Vitamin C and anthocyanins -- all of which are healing nutrients that are not found in the candy bar!
In addition, studies have shown that the nutrients within most fruits (e.g. antioxidants, Vitamin C, fiber, water) can help prevent and reverse the damage to blood vessels and body tissues caused by Type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and other similar diseases.
The key is to make sure that you follow an effective reverse diabetes nutritional program such as the one defined in the "Death to Diabetes" 10-Step Reverse Diabetes Wellness Program.
Most whole fruits are on the moderate to low end of the Glycemic Index (GI), making them a pretty good choice for most people with diabetes.
Many fruits are also packed with vitamins A and C, as well as water,fiber and antioxidants (flavonoids) such as catechin, quercetin, and anthocyanidin.
Key Point!: However, make sure that you include some protein and fat (e.g. walnuts, almonds or other nuts) with your fruit to slow down the absorption of the sugar and reduce the glucose spike.
Top 10 Fruits | Reverse Diabetes
The following is a list of the top 10 fruits that most diabetics can eat because, for most diabetics, these fruits don't cause large or sustained blood glucose spikes.
As a result, eating these fruits can help to satisfy your sweet tooth and still help reverse your diabetes -- as long as it's part of an overall diabetes nutritional program.
However, because everyone responds differently to most fruits, make sure that you check your postprandial blood sugar 2 hours after eating a piece of fruit.
In addition, as explained in the Death to Diabetes book (Chapters 7, 14) and the DTD Cookbook, the fruit must be consumed in balance with other macronutrients. Why? Because an imbalance causes your blood sugar to rise and, in some cases, cause your blood sugar to remain high for more than 1-2 hours.
The list of the top fruits for most diabetics include the following:
- Cherries (Tart)
- Grapes (Dark)
Key Point About Eating Fruits: If you are not aware of the 3 things that you need to do in order to eat fruit and avoid the blood sugar spikes, then, read the section of this web page titled "Eating Tips".
In general, you should avoid eating most fruits during Stages 1 to 3 of the DTD Program. If you need to eat some fruit because you have a craving for sweets, then, eat the fruit with a handful of walnuts and almonds. The protein and fat in the nuts will help to offset the sugar in the fruit.
For more details about how to eat the right fruits as part of a macronutrient-balanced diabetes diet, refer to Reverse Diabetes Diet web page or the Super Meal Plate Model in the author's Death to Diabetes book or his new 3-in-1 Death to Diabetes Cookbook.
Apples are very high in vitamin C, antioxidants and fiber. Apple pulp and peel contain pectin which helps to detoxify your body and remove harmful waste from the body. Pectin also is high in galacturonic acid that can help diabetics lower their insulin requirements up to 30%.
You can eat a fresh sweet-tart apple or toss some slices of apples into a small raw salad or smoothie and enjoy your breakfast.
You can eat fresh (organic) apples without peeling them because apple peel includes a good source of anti-oxidants that good for digestion.
Furthermore, apples are available throughout any seasons of the year.
Note: Apples along with blueberries and grapes are especially beneficial for reducing the risk of type 2 diabetes according to the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.
Tip: Sprinkle some fresh cinnamon on your apple (or any other fruit).
One apricot has just 17 calories and 4 g of carbohydrates; and, are a good source of fiber. Four fresh apricots equal one serving and provide more than 50 percent of your daily vitamin A requirement.
Apricots come loaded with beneficial vitamin A, and also provide considerable amounts of vitamin C, potassium, copper and manganese.
In addition, apricots can help satisfy your sweet tooth without wreaking havoc on your blood sugar levels, unlike sweets that contain sugar and processed carbohydrates. Apricots' low glycemic index and nutrient content help them regulate your blood sugar levels.
Try mixing some diced fresh apricots into hot or cold cereal, or toss some in a salad.
Blueberries contain vitamins A and C, zinc, potassium, iron, calcium and magnesium, and are high in fiber and low in calories.
Additionally, researchers at the USDA Human Nutrition Center (HNRCA) have ranked blueberries number one in antioxidant activity when compared to 40 other fresh fruits and vegetables, so there are many reasons for adding blueberries to your diet.
Blueberries contain both insoluble fiber (it flushes fat out of the system) and soluble fiber (it slows down the emptying in your stomach and enhances blood sugar control).
In a research of the USDA, people who consumed ½ cups of blueberries for 12 weeks reduced their blood glucose levels, decreased depression, and increase their memories.
These benefits are due to anthocyanins in the blueberries, a phytochemical (flavonoid) that reduces fat cells and encourages the release of adiponectin, a hormone regulating blood glucose levels. Improving adiponectin levels can assist in maintaining blood sugar low and enhance our sensitivity to insulin.
And, according to the latest research, blueberries may also offer protection against metabolic syndrome (which can lead to diabetes), the accumulation of abdominal fat, and reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease.
In addition to anthocyanin – which gives the berry its deep blue color -- blueberries also contain an antioxidant compound called pterostilbene, which has been found to reduce cholesterol as well as prescription drugs. It shares similar qualities to another cholesterol-reducing antioxidant, resveratrol, which is found in both grapes and red wine.
If you want to maximize your antioxidant benefits from blueberries, go organic! A recent study verified that organically grown blueberries had significantly higher concentrations of total phenol antioxidants and total anthocyanin antioxidants (delphinidins, malvidins, and petunidins) than conventionally grown blueberries, as well as significantly higher total antioxidants (flavonoid quercetin).
Note: Other berries such as blackberries, cranberries, raspberries, and strawberries provide similar health benefits.
Cherries are known as a fruit with a low glycemic index at 22. This fruit contains Vitamin C, antioxidants, potassium, beta carotene, iron, magnesium and fiber.
Cherries, like blueberries, are high in anthocyanins that help you increase insulin production (up to 50%) for controlling blood sugar levels.
According to a new study, cherries can help to ease inflammation better than other fruits.
Because cherries have a short growing season, it can be tough to get them fresh.
Grapes provide vitamins C, A and K, and several B vitamins, including folate, thiamin, riboflavin, niacin and vitamin B6, which supports brain function and mood hormones.
Grapes also contain several important minerals, including calcium, potassium, phosphorus and small amounts of magnesium, iron and zinc.
Grapes are a good source of dietary fiber, with more than 1 gram in each cup. The fiber can help slow digestion as well as nutrient absorption for reducing blood sugar effects.
The skins of purple grapes contain a polyphenolic compound called resveratrol. Resveratrol has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, including protection against heart disease.
Resveratrol modulates the blood glucose response by effecting how the body secretes and uses insulin. Resveratrol also reduces oxidation of low-density lipoprotein (LDL), which contributes to the formation of plaque, fatty deposits in your arteries that can cause cardiovascular disease.
Resveratrol may also block the formation of blood clots, lowering the likelihood of stroke. In addition, in a stud published in 2010 in the "American Journal of Clinical Nutrition," human subjects who consumed resveratrol had increased blood flow to their brains, suggesting that the compound might also improve brain function, although more studies are needed to confirm this.
Resveratrol may prevent the narrowing of the arteries and reduce the risk of heart disease. In addition, grapes also contain a large amount of ellagic acid as one of anti-cancer properties.
Quercetin, which is a flavonoid responsible, along with resveratrol, for the color of purple grapes,is a potent antioxidant that stabilizes and removes free radicals.
According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, quercetin reduces the rate of cancer cell growth, at least in the laboratory. It also says that quercetin might lessen allergies and asthma, reduce high blood pressure and the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis, although more research with human subjects is needed to confirm these effects.
Grapefruits are high in vitamin A, vitamin C, B-Complex vitamins (riboflavin, thiamin, Niacin, B12), Vitamin K, and soluble fiber. Minerals include calcium, magnesium, iron, potassium, sodium and zinc. This fruit also contains three amino acids.
With the Gl rating of 25, this fruit is low in glycemic index. Grapefruits contain flavonoid naringenin that helps diabetes patients balance Gl levels and insulin in blood.
If you have a digestive problem relating to acidity in the digestive system, grapefruit can help. Although it is sour, it actually has an alkaline effect after digestion. Red grapefruit also increases the flow of gastric juices, which aids in digestion if you have a digestive disorder.
Diabetes patients and those at risk for diabetes can also benefit. Eating this fruit will reduce the starches and sweets in your system, which can help you control blood sugar, and ward off diabetes.
Scientific researches show that eating 1 to 2 servings of grapefruit per day to lower the risk of diabetes.
However, grapefruit affects how a number of prescription drugs work, so check with your doctor about eating grapefruit (or drinking grapefruit juice) if you’re taking prescription medications.
This fruit is an excellent source of vitamin C and vitamin K as well as a very good source of copper and dietary fiber. It is also a good source of vitamin E, vitamin A, flavonoids, beta carotene, potassium, folate, and manganese.
According to scientifically proven studies and researches, kiwi can help people prevent numerous diseases such as obesity, heart disease, colon cancer, asthma and protect human DNA from different mutations. Kiwi also contains fiber for controlling cholesterol and blood sugar problems.
One medium kiwi contains about 13 g of carbohydrates and 56 calories. So, kiwi is a good fruit to be included in diabetic diets. Kiwi fruit is available through the seasons of the year and you can enjoy this fruit to reverse Type 2 diabetes naturally.
Next Steps: Get Started Reversing Your Diabetes
If you want a lot of balanced diabetic recipes for meals, snacks, appetizers and desserts, then, I recommend my Diabetes Cookbook.
If you want to get a jumpstart and reduce the toxic load in your cells (and, stop the cravings), then, I recommend that you use my Cleanse and Detox ebook.
Here are some additional fruits with a low glycemic index that can help to reverse your diabetes.
Lemons contain an array of vitamins and minerals, including vitamin C, vitamin B6, vitamin A, vitamin E, folate, niacin thiamin, riboflavin, pantothenic acid, copper, calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium, zinc, phosphorus and protein.
This citrus fruit has a low glycemic index and soluble fiber, that helps slow absorption of sugar in the blood.
Lemons contain flavonoids, which contain antioxidant and cancer fighting properties. It helps to prevent diabetes, constipation, high blood pressure, fever, indigestion and many other problems, as well as improving the skin, hair, and teeth.
Studies conducted at the American Urological Association highlight the fact that lemonade or lemon juice can eliminate the occurrence of kidney stones by forming urinary citrate, which prevents the formation of crystals.
The health benefits of lemon include treatment of throat infections, indigestion, constipation, dental problems, fever, internal bleeding, rheumatism, burns, obesity, respiratory disorders, cholera and high blood pressure, while it also benefits the hair and skin.
Known for its therapeutic property for generations, lemon helps to strengthen your immune system, cleanse your stomach, and it is considered a blood purifier.
Note: Limes have some of same health benefits.
Peaches are a rich provider of vitamin A, beta-carotene, and vitamin C. They are also a good source of vitamin E (alpha-tocopherol), vitamin K (phylloquinone), vitamin B1 (thiamine), vitamin B2 (riboflavin), vitamin B3 (niacin), vitamin B-6, folate, and pantothenic acid.
Peaches also contain minerals such as calcium, potassium, magnesium, iron, manganese, phosphorous, zinc, and copper. Peaches are low in calories and are a good source of dietary fiber.
The peels and the pulp of peaches possess significant antioxidant properties. The presence of chlorogenic acid in peaches also contribute to their protective effects.
Antioxidants such as lutein, zeaxanthin, and beta-crytoxanthin help in scavenging the oxygen-derived free radicals and protect the body against the harmful effects of various diseases.
Peaches contain potassium, which is vital for proper nerve signaling and cellular functioning of the body. The potassium content in peaches also helps in metabolic processes, utilizing carbohydrates, maintaining electrolyte balance, and the regulation of muscular tissues.
Research has shown that phenolic compounds present in the peel and pulp of the clingstone peaches helps in maintaining lower levels of LDL cholesterol and stimulating good HDL cholesterol. This aids in reducing the risk of developing diseases related to the heart and maintains optimal cardiovascular health.
Tip: When you want a snack, whip up a quick smoothie by pureeing peach slices with low-fat buttermilk, crushed ice, and a touch of fresh cinnamon or ginger.
Pears contain vitamin A, vitamin C and moderate sources of antioxidant flavonoids such as beta carotene, lutein and zeaxanthin.
These compounds, along with vitamin C and A, help the body protected from harmful free radicals.
The fruit is a good source of minerals such as copper, iron, potassium, manganese and magnesium as well as B-complex vitamins such as folates, riboflavin and pyridoxine (vitamin B-6).
Like apples, pears contain pectin, a soluble fiber, which can help with cholesterol. Pears also contain insoluble fiber, which helps with bowel regularity.
Pomegranates are good source of vitamin C, and many vital B-complex vitamins such as pantothenic acid (vitamin B-5), folates, pyridoxine and vitamin K, and minerals like calcium, copper, potassium, and manganese.
Pomegranates are a good source of soluble and insoluble dietary fibers (providing about 4 grams per 100 g) to aid in smooth digestion and bowel movements.
Pomegranates contain certain ellagitannin compounds such as Granatin B, and Punicalagin. Studies suggest that punicalagin and tannins can be effective in reducing heartdisease risk factors by scavenging harmful free radicals from the human body.
Regular consumption of pomegranate has also been found to be effective against prostate cancer, benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), diabetes, and lymphoma.
There are several other fruits (not listed above) that can help reverse Type 2 diabetes naturally. These fruits include: raspberries, cranberries, strawberries, blackberries, oranges, citrus fruit, limes, Goji berries, and mangosteen.
Technically, avocado is a fruit; so, are tomatoes. Avocados are unquestionably beneficial for diabetics because they provide heart-healthy monounsaturated fat. Avocados not only lower your LDL cholesterol, but they also reduce the amount of triglycerides fat in your blood.
Tomatoes are an excellent source of vitamin C, biotin, molybdenum, and vitamin K. They are also a very good source of copper, potassium, manganese, dietary fiber, vitamin A (in the form of beta-carotene), vitamin B6, folate, niacin, vitamin E, and phosphorus. Tomatoes are heart-healthy and help to support the cardiovascular system, including lowering blood pressure.
However, please keep in mind that since the tomato is a night-shade fruit, it may trigger inflammation within your cells.
Here are some tips from the Death to Diabetes book and cookbook that can help you reduce the impact of the fruit on your blood glucose level.
For the healthiest, tastiest fruit, buy fruits that are fresh, local and in season. The shorter the food miles, the tastier the crop.
If you buy fresh fruit that was grown in your own country, it'll taste better than the same imported fruit, as crops deteriorate once they're picked.
Try to avoid the cheapest fruits found in supermarkets - even if they're fresh - as they tend to get sprayed with insecticides and pesticides which may still be present.
Eat fruits that have a low glycemic index, such as the fruits listed on this web page.
Fruits should not be eaten with your main meals. Instead, have a fruit in between meals or as a snack.
Eat fruits with some protein and fat, such as nuts and olives to balance the glycemic load.
FYI: The protein and fatin the nuts and the fat in the olives will help to offset the sugar in the fruit.
Sprinkle fruits with fresh cinnamon, which is very helpful in balancing blood sugar levels.
Grind whole flaxseeds in a coffee grinder and sprinkle over fresh fruit to balance sugar levels.
Avoid most bottled fruit juices because they are high in sugar, have no fiber and would cause your blood sugar to spike.
In addition, avoid cooked or dried fruits.
Test, Test, Test: No two people are the same when it comes to eating fruit! Some people can tolerate a bit of fruit, others can tolerate none at all, including berries. The key is to test.
Test before you eat particular fruits and test again one hour after.
That’s the only way you’ll truly know.
Next Steps to Wellness and Reversing Your Diabetes
If you want to learn how to integrate eating fruits into a diabetes-friendly balanced nutritional program, then, perform the following:
2. Get his 3-in-1 Diabetes Cookbook.
3. Refer to the Reverse Diabetes Diet web page.
Death to Diabetes Book
Disclaimer: This site does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.
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