Are Apples Safe for Diabetics?

Are Apples Safe for Diabetics?

As per the American Diabetes Association, eating apples and other fruits is not harmful to the patients with diabetes. This is interesting to know since these fruits are loaded with carbohydrates and sugars.

Apples consist of a different kind of sugar as compared to other foods. Moreover, they are also rich in nutrients and fiber. A person with diabetes must know how apples can affect him. This information can help them understand which fruits to include in their diet and which to avoid.

In this article, the effects of apples along with other fruits on the patients with diabetes will be explored.

Are Apples Good for Diabetics?

It is generally advised to the people suffering from diabetes to watch their total carbohydrate intake. This is to make sure that their blood sugar levels remain stable throughout the day.

It also makes sense if a diabetic person is seen monitoring foods for the presence of sugar and carbs.

As per the US Department of Agriculture, a medium-sized apple consists of 25 grams of carbs and almost 19 grams of sugar.

Most of the sugar present in an apple exists in the form of fructose which can have a different effect on the body as compared to other types of sugar. Moreover, fructose is different as compared to other processed and refined sugars that are normally found in packaged foods like biscuits and chocolates.

This can be explained through a review published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. This review indicated that replacing sucrose or glucose present in a food item with fructose causes a lesser increase in blood sugar after having a meal.

A medium-sized is also said to have 4 grams of dietary fiber in it. This fiber is extremely helpful for the gut health and can slow down the absorption of sugar in the body. This can prevent the spikes observed in the insulin and sugar levels of the diabetics.

In addition to this, eating fruits in combination with a healthy protein and fat can also reduce the spikes in the blood sugar of a diabetic patient. Moreover, it will also ensure that a person feels fuller for a longer duration of time.

Altogether, apples are said to have a lesser impact on the blood levels of insulin and sugar. They are also considered as a low-glycemic fruit which is harmless for people with diabetes.

However, it is still important for a diabetic patient to monitor any changes in their blood sugar and insulin levels after eating an apple. This will provide an idea of what to expect in their body every time they have a fruit.

apples for diabetes

What are the Benefits of Apple?

A lot of people love apples for their color and taste, but at the same time, this fruit is also extremely nutritious.

A medium-sized apple is said to contain around 100 calories and 25 grams of carbohydrates. It can fulfill 20 percent of the daily dietary value of fiber. The skin and flesh of an apple are rich in vitamin A and C, water, and certain antioxidants that boost the general health.

Because of these nutrients, water, and fiber present in the composition of an apple, this fruit induces satiety in an individual much faster. This is why it is the perfect choice of snack for a lot of people who like munching between meals.

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Apples are also rich in certain flavonoids such as quercetin. These flavonoids are protective and can be really helpful in preventing diabetes in people.

Following a diet full of vegetables and fruits such as apples is great for everyone but is particularly beneficial for a person with diabetes or the one at high risk of developing it.

Diabetes and Fruits in General

Fruits and vegetables are healthy food items for everyone but their importance is particularly high for a person suffering from chronic health conditions such as diabetes.

Eating fruits in their raw form can provide the maximum amount of benefits because processing can snatch most of the nutrients from its composition.

apples for diabetes

The Role of Berries

Berries are said to have lower levels of sugar as compared to other fruits. They also have a naturally high concentration of flavonoids, antioxidants, and nutrients which can boost the immune system of a person and improve health.

Just like apples, berries are also rich in quercetin which means that these fruits can be particularly beneficial for the people suffering from diabetes.

Rich-colored berries can be a perfect choice of food for the diabetics. Some of these berries include:

  • Strawberries
  • Blueberries
  • Raspberries
  • Grapes and currants
  • Blackberries
  • Tart cherries
  • cranberries

If you are unable to find these berries in fresh forms, they are always available in frozen forms. Dried versions of these berries can also be used even though they have a lesser amount of nutrients in their composition.

Be sure to look out for any added sugars in dried or frozen forms as this can be unsuitable for diabetic patients.

The Role of Other Fruits

Generally speaking, every fruit is good to go for the patients of diabetes unless they do not have an allergy to it.

As per the American Diabetes Association, the following fruits have a low glycemic index and can be used by the diabetics without experiencing any spikes in their blood sugar levels

  • Avocado
  • Mango
  • Banana
  • Pineapple
  • Kiwi
  • Papaya
  • Watermelons
  • Cantaloupe
  • Honeydew melons
  • Citrus fruits, for example, oranges, grapefruit, and tangerines
  • Stone fruits, such as plums, apricots, and peaches

As mentioned before, a diabetic person must always monitor how a certain fruit affects their sugar levels and watch out for any abnormal symptoms before including it in their daily diet.apples for diabetes

This is because the level of sensitivity towards fruit is different for different people. For some people, it might not be safe to eat certain fruits even though they have a low glycemic index. But the same fruit can be perfectly fine to consume for others.

Are Fruit Juices Safe?

Fruit juices that are made up of 100 percent real fruit are normally said to be safe for a patient with diabetes, although it is advised to reduce the intake of such fruits. This is because fruit juices are said to have a higher amount of sugar and a lesser fiber content as compared to the raw fruits.

This means that fruit juices have a higher tendency of disturbing blood sugar levels as compared to the raw fresh fruits.

Four ounces of a fruit juice is said to have 15 grams of carbohydrates. It is important to remember the total carbohydrate intake during every meal in order to manage diabetes. This must also be remembered while you are consuming any fruit juice.

Fruit juices having added sugars are to be avoided at all costs.

Takeaway

Apples are a nutritious food choice and they are a perfect and healthy snack to munch on between meals. Because they have a low glycemic index, apples are said to affect the blood sugar and insulin levels to a minimal extent. This means that they can be safely consumed by the people suffering from diabetes.

However, it is advised to regularly monitor your blood sugar levels especially after eating an apple. This will let you know how apples affect your body and whether your body is ready to manage other fruits.

Nancy holds a Pharmacy degree from University of Michigan and Masters of Science MS in Infectious Disease and Global Health (MS-IDGH) from Tufts University. She worked as a lecturer for three years before she turned towards medical writing. Her area of interest are infectious diseases; causes, mechanism, diagnosis, treatments and prevention strategies. Most of her writings ensure an easy understanding of uncommon diseases.

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