It is a common myth that if you have diabetes you shouldn’t eat certain foods because they are “too sweet.” Some fruits do contain more sugar than others, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t eat them if you have diabetes. The total amount of carbohydrates affects blood sugar levels more than does the source of carbohydrates or whether the source is a starch or sugar.
One serving of fruit should contain 15 grams of carbohydrates. The size of the serving depends on the carbohydrate content of the fruit. The advantage of eating a low-carbohydrate fruit is that you can consume a larger portion. But whether you eat a low-carb or high-carb fruit, as long as the serving size contains 15 grams of carbohydrates, the effect on your blood sugar is the same.
The following fruit servings contain about 15 grams of carbohydrates:
1/2 medium banana
1/2 cup (83 grams) cubed mango
1 1/4 cup (190 grams) cubed watermelon
1 1/4 cup (180 grams) whole strawberries
1/3 cup (80 grams) sapodilla (Sapota)
3/4 cup (124 grams) cubed pineapple
Bananas, apples, oranges and grapes may be perennial favorites in India, but mangoes are the most widely consumed fruit in the world. It’s easy to understand the widespread appeal of this fragrant, succulent fruit – its orange flesh tastes like a ultra-sweet blend of pineapple and peach. Even though they’re relatively high in sugar, mangoes aren’t a “forbidden fruit” for most diabetics.
The main objective of any diabetes diet is to keep blood glucose levels under control. Carbohydrates – which are primarily found in fruits, vegetables, grain products and processed foods made with added sugars – have a far greater influence on blood glucose than either protein or fat. Eating the same, limited amount of carbohydrates at regular times each day helps diabetics maintain normal blood sugar levels.
According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, between 45 and 65 percent of the calories in a diabetes diet should come from carbohydrates – preferably those provided by fruits, vegetables, whole grains and other nutrient-dense, fiber-rich foods.