We all know that we need to get our minimum of 5-a-day for good health. Crammed with vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and phytonutrients, fruit and vegetables help our bodies to stay in peak condition. However, when it comes to fruits, which are “safe” for diabetics, and which could cause blood sugar levels to climb too high?
“There is no such thing as a ‘bad’ fruit,” says Liesbet Delport, registered dietician and co-founder of the Glycaemic Index Foundation of South Africa. “However, when you have diabetes, it is important to control your blood glucose levels at all times, which means that you also have to look at the glycaemic index of foods – a measure of the effects of carbohydrate-rich foods such as fruit on blood sugar levels.” This is an important consideration especially as fruits are often eaten on their own.
Fruits with a low glycaemic index (GI value of 55 or less) are a safe choice for diabetics as they help to regulate blood sugar levels better. Even though some fruits are very sweet, they are still generally low-GI, which makes them an excellent substitute for unhealthy sweet snacks (such as chocolate and sweets) or savoury snacks (such as packets of crisps and fatty biltong or dried wors) which diabetics should avoid.
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