What's the Deal with Fruit?
Most people trying to manage blood sugars are a little confused about whether to include including fruit in their food plan, So What are the best fruits to eat, and does it matter how ripe the fruit is?
There are definitely different opinions among experts and nutritionists about including fruit in a food plan geared towards controlling blood sugars. In general, fresh fruits are healthy, nutritious foods that are good sources of vitamins, minerals, phytochemicals.
The down-side is that fruits contain varying amounts of the sugars fructose and glucose. Eaten in excess these sugars can have negative effects on health and blood sugar control. here is also a growing concern that many of today’s fruits are hybridized to make them sweeter, almost turning some of these fruits into junk food.
Additionally, many people think that fruit only has the sugar fructose in it and that because fructose does not cause a sharp rise in blood sugars and insulin, that you can eat as much fruit as you want. But, neither of those assumptions are correct.
Actually, fruits contain different types of sugar, including glucose and fructose. For example, a cup of raw blueberries (148 g) contains approximately 15 grams of sugar comprised of 7.2 grams of sucrose, 7.4 grams of “free” fructose and less than on gram of sucrose (a sugar comprised of bound molecules of sucrose and fructose - sucrose is the sugar most people know as “table sugar”).
When consumed, fructose goes right to the liver and triggers something called "lipogenesis" (the production of fats like triglycerides and cholesterol). HIGH consumption of fructose has a propensity to increase serum triglycerides, and new studies are showing a link between high fructose consumption and insulin resistance.
The bottom line when it comes to fruit:
MODERATION is the best approach. You don’t have to avoid all fruit, but be aware of both the amount and type of sugar as you make decisions about which fruits and the amount to include in your food plan. If you are insulin resistant, diabetic, have high cholesterol and/or high triglycerides, it is best to limit fruit and fructose intake. ( some experts advise limiting fructose to 15 grams a day from all sources)
As fruit ripens, the overall amount of carbohydrates does not change. But the sugar content increases as more of the starches turn to sugar. So while really ripe fruits do taste delicious, be aware that they will have a higher sugar content.
Eat whole fruit. The fiber plays a large part in protecting you from those large sugar and insulin spikes.
Avoid fruit juices and do not add a lot of fruit to smoothies, especially ripe bananas and tropical fruits
If you want to eat apple slices, pair them with protein such as cheese, peanut or almond butter
Eat fruit lower on the glycemic index (lemons, limes, avocados, strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, blackberries are good choices).
BEST Choices for normalizing blood sugars & crushing cravings
BETTER option than high sugar fruit choices (in moderation)
Berries (Strawberries, Blueberries, Raspberries, Blackberries)
Unsweetenend Acai (frozen or Powder)
OK...Not the worst thing you could eat (in small amounts)
Apples, Pears (slice & try to eat with some protein)
Grapes, Cherries, Kiwi, Mango, Peaches
AVOID...fine to enjoy every once in awhile
Dried Fruit, Raisins
Watermelon, Cantaloupe, Honey Dew