A popular question from diabetics is “can I eat fruits?” Today I will spend some time looking at one fruit and its’ contribution to the debate on how to control diabetes with diet. I am speaking about none other, than the one which is known for “keeping the doctor away.” Yes, we will be focussing on the apple today.
The Bigger Picture-A Synopsis from my Journey
I am assuming that by now I have answered your question about diabetics eating fruits. I have diabetes and I love eating fruits, especially apples. I stick to a low carb, mostly plant-based diet and this includes a variety of fruits. And, yes, my readings are controlled. My readings get out of whack when I consume too much meat and carbs for 2 days or more.
I have approximately 3 servings of fruit for the day. That’s when I am counting. I told you before, I love fruits and once I am eating plant-based, I can eat more than the 3 servings and get a decent reading. Some days, that’s good enough for me.
The Payoff-Control is Sweet, but Readings are Low
To wake with a 5.2 (93.6) after a fasting and knowing that I took only 1 metformin for the day (before going to bed), is heavenly in my books. Please understand that I am coming from 12 (216) to 18 (324) in the mornings after 12 hours fasting.
My only change has been a lifestyle one. I spend more time in the produce section of the supermarket now. One of the fruits I love to buy is apple. I also am more active than I was a year ago. Well, it was difficult to do simple chores around the yard because I was always tired.
Now, I cut the lawn, clean up the bushes from the fence, rake the yard, pick fruits and clean the house more than once for the week. I am awake during the days and my proudest accomplishment is that I am now keeping up with my 18-year son when we go to the mall.
And yes, it is not the apple alone, but it does help. I eat at least 8 apples in any given week. This is combined with other fruits, but we will talk about those in another posting. It is a combination of eating apples and other fruits, and, in general, a predominantly plant-based diet and being active.
Apples Reduce the Risk of Diabetes
According to the Harvard School of Public Health, the risk of developing diabetes was lowered when the persons being studied ate whole fruits, which included apples, grapes, and blueberries (Datz, 2013).
Please note that this does not include fruit juices. The same study mentioned that the persons who drank fruit juices increased their risk of developing diabetes. It is also of interest to note, that prior to this study, there was much debate about diabetics consuming fruits.
Only 6.5% of the persons in the study developed diabetes (Datz, 2013). We can’t be certain if we will have the same result of that over 6% and so, as is the norm on this website, I am suggesting that you regularly check your blood glucose when consuming fruits.
From as early as 2004, Boyer, reminded us that the peel of the apple contained quercetin, which is responsible for the reduced risk of developing Type 2 Diabetes. This indicates that the information concerning apple as a fruit which can prevent and treat diabetes has been around for a long time.
Another Synopsis of my Journey
I have been checking two, sometimes three times for the day. For this reason, I can say I am sure that apples have a positive effect on my blood glucose level. I am yet to find a fruit which does not work well for me. The closest I have come is with mangoes. It raises my blood glucose just a tad bit, but nothing to be alarmed about.
Let me pause here to remind you that we are all different as it relates to how we respond to food. The cure will never be a one size fits all. What works perfectly for me, may not work as well for you. My recommendation is that you continue to study, get the available information and do your experiment, testing as you go along. It will be worth the effort.
Bit by Bit, Block by Block
You are probably getting extra bags out to go shopping for fruits by now. But, please wait and allow me to share some more information from said research. The persons being studied ate at least 2 servings of apples and or other fruits and lowered their risk by 23% (Datz, 2013).
I am encouraging those of you who like to have “fruit juices” from the stores, which by the way are from concentrate and most of them have never been close to any fruits and instead is only a “flavored drink.” Please, stop drinking these “juices”, and drink more water and eat your fruits instead. A high 21% of those in the research who had fruit juices developed type 2 diabetes (Datz, 2013).
Based on this research, if you are not a fruit person, then maybe 3 servings of an apple per week could do the magic for you. I am not ashamed to remind you that this is my serving for the day.
Glycemic Index Connection
The researchers discovered that regardless of the glycemic index of the fruit, the blood glucose risk was still lowered (Datz, 2013). This probably explains why I do not have a big issue with mangoes, but I get an even higher reading when my son does his mango-carrot drink (because he adds a little water, but no sugar. He puts enough mango to sweeten the drink).
Remember, that the more fiber, then the slower the food will pass through the system and the less the blood sugar will spike. Consuming apples could prevent diabetes, especially when combined with other lifestyle changes, which includes exercise to control or possibly eliminate diabetes.
Nordqvist (2016) listed these other benefits of consuming apples:
- Fights obesity
- Lowers cholesterol
- Prevents breast cancer
- Reduces the risk of a stroke
- Prevents dementia
- Improves brain health
Here are some apple jokes:
- Why did Eve want to leave the garden of Eden and move to New York ? She fell for the Big Apple
- What kind of apple isn’t an apple? A pineapple.
- What did the apple say to the apple pie? “You’ve got some crust.”
- What’s worse than finding a worm in your apple? Taking a bite and finding half a worm.
- If an apple a day keeps the doctor away, what does an onion do? Keeps everyone away.
- What did the apple skin say to the apple? I’ve got you covered.
I trust that by now, you would have understood that apples have you covered as it relates to your blood glucose, cholesterol and brain health, to name a few. This post brings to your attention that consuming at least three apples per week could keep your doctor away because of the lowering effect on blood glucose.
It was also made abundantly clear that consuming fruit juices will not have the same lowering effect, with the potential of preventing diabetes. Instead, the researchers encouraged us to exchange these juices for fresh whole fruits, such as an apple.
As more information is given to us, let us continue to research with open minds and do our regular blood glucose testings, to ensure that we can control diabetes, or even eliminate it from our lives. Apples are making it possible for us to prevent diabetes from interfering with our loved ones.
I cannot think of a “fast food” as quick as washing an apple and eating said fruit to ensure that our doctors do not become our best friends.
Once again, we looked at another plant-based food which can help us to control our blood glucose and leaves us healthier and happier.
I now cease the opportunity to thank you for reading this page and I invite you to leave your comments in the box below. Your views are special and we would appreciate your sharing, so that as a team we can effectively fight and win diabetes, making it a “disease of the past.” Team Crawford, yes we can and we will.
Here are two books you may find useful:
Until next time, make the right food choices and walk good.
- Boyer, Jeanelle, and Rui Hai Liu. “Apple Phytochemicals and Their Health Benefits.” Nutrition Journal. BioMed Central, 12 May 2004. Web. 11 Aug. 2016.
- Datz, Todd. “Eating Whole Fruits Linked to Lower Risk of Type 2 Diabetes.”News. Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, 29 Aug. 2013. Web. 11 Aug. 2016.
- Nordqvist, Joseph. “Apples: Health Benefits, Facts, Research.” Medical News Today. MediLexicon International, 12 Jan. 2016. Web. 11 Aug. 2016.