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Diabetes Health Center

Can I Eat Fruit if I Have Diabetes?

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By Amy Capetta
WebMD Feature

Fruit is not off-limits if you have type 2 diabetes. It has too many good things going for it, such as fiber and nutrients, as well as its natural sweetness.

These fruits are good choices. Keep in mind that fruit gives you carbs, and “as with any carbohydrate, it's important to be mindful of serving sizes,” Shira Lenchewski, RD, says. Pairing fruit with some protein, such as nonfat or low-fat yogurt or a few nuts, also helps.

Cantaloupe

“This super fruit literally has it all,” says Lynn A. Maarouf, RD, nutrition educator at the Stark Diabetes Center at the University of Texas Medical Branch. “It supplies enough beta-carotene and vitamin C to meet your daily requirements and is an excellent source of potassium (an antioxidant which can help lower blood pressure).”

Portion Size: 1/3 of a melon

Nutritional Info: 60 calories, 15 grams of carbs

Strawberries

One serving of strawberries gives you 100% of your daily requirement of vitamin C.

“Also, these sweet berries contain potassium, which help keep blood pressure down, and fiber, which makes you feel full longer while keeping blood sugar levels in check,” Maarouf says.

In a recent study, people who ate strawberries along with white bread needed less insulin to steady their blood sugar, compared to people who ate just the white bread.

“The research suggests it’s the polyphenols in strawberries that may slow down the digestion of simple carbohydrates, thereby requiring less insulin to normalize blood glucose,” Lenchewski says.

Portion Size: 1 cup

Nutritional Info: 60 calories, 15 grams of carbs

Clementine

These tiny tangerine hybrids are high in both vitamin C and folate, which has been shown to improve blood sugar control in people with type 2 diabetes.

“They fit nicely into a backpack or briefcase, and they have a peeling that slides off easily, making them a simple afternoon snack that’s sweet enough to keep you away from the vending machines,” Maarouf says.

Portion Size: 2

Nutritional Info: 70 calories, 18 grams of carbs

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If the level is below 70 or you are experiencing symptoms such as shaking, sweating or difficulty thinking, you will need to raise the number immediately. A quick solution is to eat a few pieces of hard candy or 1 tablespoon of sugar or honey. Recheck your numbers again in 15 minutes to see if the number has gone up. If not, repeat the steps above or call your doctor.

People who experience hypoglycemia several times in a week should call their health care provider. It's important to monitor your levels each day so you can make sure your numbers are within the range. If you are pregnant always consult with your health care provider.

Congratulations on taking steps to manage your health.

However, it's important to continue to track your numbers so that you can make lifestyle changes if needed. If you are pregnant always consult with your physician.

Your level is high if this reading was taken before eating. Aim for 70-130 before meals and less than 180 two hours after meals.

Even if your number is high, it's not too late for you to take control of your health and lower your blood sugar.

One of the first steps is to monitor your levels each day. If you are pregnant always consult with your physician.

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