When people think of diabetes, the first thing that usually comes to most people's mind is sugar - specifically, avoiding sugar. Many people think that avoiding sugar also means avoiding fruit. After all, they often hear how fruit is full of natural sugars so that must make it bad for diabetics, right? Not necessarily. While there are some fruits that aren't good for diabetics, there are many fruits that can be a great part of a diabetic diet. The main thing to remember is to get the good benefits of these fruits, they need to be consumed in their natural, whole form. Skip fruit juices, syrups, and processed fruits. So before crossing fruit off the grocery list permanently, it might be worth taking a few minutes to read about these fruits and how they can benefit a diabetic diet.
1 - Cherries
Cherries are chock full of antioxidants that help fight against heart disease, cancer, and other diseases. They weigh in at just over 50 calories per cup of cherries and are great at fighting inflammation. Cherries also help people sleep. They can buy them fresh, frozen, dried, or canned. Just remember to carefully check labels for added sugars. Stick with fresh and frozen whenever possible.
2 - Apples
Apples are a nutritious and delicious treat. For diabetics, apples really can keep the doctor away. A single medium-sized apple has less than 100 calories, tons of fiber and even has some vitamin C. Make sure they eat the apple skins too because they offer some extra fiber and antioxidants that can help protect the heart. Apples make a great on-the-go snack and with so many varieties to choose from, they'll never get bored eating them. Apples are best eaten fresh, but if they want to try apple chips, check the labels for additional sugars.
3 - Any berries
Blueberries, strawberries, blackberries, oh my! The berry family is a serious powerhouse for diabetics. They are packed with antioxidants and fiber. Most berries come in at less than 100 calories per serving and some are even less than 50 calories per serving. Like apples, there are so many different types of berries that they'll never get bored eating them. They can eat them by the handful as is or they could layer them with some yogurt for a delicious and healthy parfait breakfast. Bonus: Grapes are considered a berry and are low-glycemic, making them a great option! People can also buy berries frozen to add to smoothies or flavor waters. Just make sure they don't have any extra sugar in them.
4 - Peaches
Peaches are a summer treat, reminiscent of childhood and long, lazy days. They're also very diabetic-friendly! A medium peach only has about 60 calories and contains tons of potassium and vitamin C. While it's not a good idea to enjoy those peaches in a cobbler or pie, they can eat them straight off the tree or toss them into a healthy smoothie for a sippable treat. They can also buy frozen peaches just for making into smoothies, but like any other fruit, check labels carefully for added sugars.
5 - Oranges
Oranges are a delectable, juicy treat for anyone but they're great for a diabetes diet. With more than 70% of a day's vitamin C, they also have folate and potassium, both of which can lower blood pressure. A medium orange only has about 62 calories and with its thick skin, it's great for tossing in their purse or to a passenger when heading out. If a person enjoys citrus, they're not limited to just oranges either. Grapefruit and other citrus fruits can also be excellent for a diabetic diet. One thing to note: Some citrus fruits can interfere with some medications so it's not a bad idea to confirm with the doctor that citrus fruits are okay.