Fruit Consumption and Diabetics: How Much Fruit Should You be Eating?

Fruit Consumption and Diabetics: How Much Fruit Should You be Eating?

Fresh produce is in season! It all looks so pretty, smells so great and tastes simply delightful!

With so much produce starting to become available, it's important we realize how much fruit we're actually consuming; too much can spike blood sugar levels in diabetics, but too little and you miss out on the vitamins and fiber that fruit provides. So how would the typical diabetic know how much fruit is right for them?

An easy way to think about it is to consider diabetic exchanges. About a tennis ball-sized fruit portion provides 15 grams of carbohydrate.

We also know that 15 grams of carbohydrate is equivalent to a serving, or exchange, of fruit.

Typically, to keep a meal balanced, an individual can fit 2-3 servings of fruit into their daily diet. Some individuals on higher calorie allowances can fit in as many as 4 throughout day.

The trick is to recognize that each of us needs balance from a variety of foods. And if fruit is your only primary food of choice (say, for instance, an all-fruit Blast,) blood sugars may rise and fall without any consistency. This rise and fall leads to loss of energy, overeating and weight gain.

In practice, many individuals enjoy a fruit, like a banana, with some almonds or walnuts, which together offer a balance of carbohydrate, protein and fiber to the snack. This is a great idea and for many, it helps prevent overeating.

Just remember, this beautiful season of fresh produce comes around every year, so take it slowly and methodically. Keep track of what you eat and make sure you stay within your limit of fruit each day - a number your physican or diabetes educator can help you figure out.

Consider dicing fruit and adding it to other foods to make it last longer and allowing you to savor it more. Also, consider adding more vegetables to your Blasts, which are equally abundant this time of year. Include a nutty boost so you can have a delicious and balanced treat!

Registered Dietitian, Licensed Dietitian, Certified Diabetes Educator

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