The Diabetic Myth: Can You Eat High Sugar Fruits?

The Diabetic Myth: Can You Eat High Sugar Fruits?

"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!

Registered Dietitian, Licensed Dietitian, Certified Diabetes Educator

I am fighting Type 2 Diabetes. I just started using NutriBlast after seeing the great info-mercials. At first I was skeptical because I was always told that as someone with this health challenge, I should stay away from any type of fruit, until I started practicing portion control and taking the various nutrients into consideration. For example, I use lots of spinach, kale, arugula and other greens, some lower sugar fruits like berries and apples, very little banana, pineapple or mango (because of the sugar content), about 1/4 avocado - which I love - for the good fats, plus some nuts or flaxseeds as boosters and spring water for a nutrient-rich and delicious "smoothie". I find that after being on this program for a while, I find that I have more energy, I'm more alert than ever, I sleep better and wake up more rested, and on a good day, my blood sugar levels have better readings. BTW, I've taken out the word "should" out of my vocabulary. Just because I'm dealing with this illness does not mean I have to be deprived of have the necessary nutrients to enjoy a healthier lifestyle on a cellular level. Thank God for NutriBullet!
Comment by gailg
March 01, 2014
I have type 1 diabetes. I need to take insulin everytime I blast. Here is my challenge. Even if I properly count all the carbs in my blast and I take the right amount of insulin my blood sugar swings high and then low because I think the blast gets absorbed so quickly. Usually on fast acting insulin if I eat and take the insulin at the same time I'm good because the food takes about 20 mins to begin to be processed and the insulin takes 20 mins to start to work. So as my blood sugar starts to rise I have the insulin on board to act on it. However, the blast pre-process the food so the absorbtion is quicker then the insulin can work. Its almost as if I need to take he insulin 20 mins before I drink my blasts. Any suggestions ?
NutriLiving Krista Haynes on March 03, 2014
As with any new dietary regimen it takes some trial and error to see how your body responds. Each person metabolizes foods differently and it may also depend on what ingredients you are using in your Blast. Make sure there is plenty of protein and fiber (helps slow blood sugar absorption) and use some of the lower sugar fruits like berries! For some other tips, check out some of the articles and recipes we have right here on NutriLiving. Here are three that may provide some useful suggestions to get you started.
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