"I can't NutriBlast because fruit has too much sugar!"
Sound familiar? All too often, I hear patients with diabetes and even some misinformed medical professionals make these kinds of statements, saying bananas, carrots and other delicious, beautiful and healthful whole foods are bad to eat because they can raise blood sugar levels.
These statements are very disheartening; they are based on misinformation and people everywhere define their entire diets around them, missing out on the valuable nutrients that sweeter fruits and veggies can provide.
Let’s compare carbohydrate, fiber, protein and fat content in some popularly misunderstood fruits and vegetables - numbers that play a big role in your blood sugar numbers. Of course, fruits have minimal protein and fat, but they have a variable amount of fiber and carbohydrate. There is simply no reason we can’t enjoy a variety of these wonderful treats if we look at balance.
After all, BALANCE is KEY!
In the day-to-day practice of educating patients with diabetes and pre-diabetes, I encourage the consumption of 2-3 fruits and 5-8 cups of vegetables daily depending on body size and other health conditions. The only time vegetables are limited is if there is active diverticulitis, a limiting surgical procedure, or allergies. There's no other time I would limit the intake of vegetables.
Dried fruits should be eaten in smaller quantities as they contain more carbohydrate per volume than they do in their original state.
As we can see, watermelon contains less carbohydrate than apple, but also contains half the fiber. Lima beans contain more carbohydrate, but much more fiber.
As an educator working with many carb-counting and label-reading newcomers, I like to keep things simple. I encourage everyone to look at the totals for each item they are tracking instead of worrying about calculating simply the net carbohydrate load.
In keeping blood glucose levels stable and within normal limits, you don't have to be picky with weighing and counting. Just be sure you know how many carbohydrates you're getting, optimize the fiber and limit the fat. This overall concept works, time and time again. When balance is really the focus and is accomplished, a simple and straight-forward plan keeps everything working and happy.
A couple of sidenotes:
Bananas. Bananas have a high carbohydrate load, for sure. But keep in mind that bananas also contain 1-2 grams of pre-biotic, which helps optimize the gut environment. Definitely worth a few extra carbs in my book!
Avocados. With all of their wonderful characteristics, avocados are very misunderstood. Keep in mind that, while they contain lots of heart-healthy fats, these fats also carry with them a higher calorie load. Be mindful of portion sizes.
So what's the final take away here?
Increasing your vegetable and fruit consumption by using your NutriBullet can absolutely help optimize your blood glucose values. Don’t pass up a chance to increase your produce intake; enjoy a few extra fruits and vegetables!