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World Diabetes Day 2020: 10 Fruits To Avoid If You Have Diabetes

14 November is observed as World Diabetes Day which is the birthday of Sir Frederick Banting, who co-discovered insulin along with Charles Best in 1922.

The day was initiated in 1991 by the IDF and the World Health Organization as a response to growing concerns about the escalating health threat posed by diabetes. The theme of World Diabetes Day and Diabetes Awareness Month 2020 is The Nurse and Diabetes - where the campaign aims to raise awareness around the crucial role that nurses play in supporting people living with diabetes, especially amidst this pandemic.

The campaign is represented by a blue circle logo that was adopted in 2007 after the passage of the UN Resolution on diabetes. The blue circle is the global symbol for diabetes awareness. It signifies the unity of the global diabetes community in response to the diabetes epidemic.

A balanced diet can do wonders to your body and health. Adding fruits to your diet can provide your body with the needed nutrition in the form of essential vitamins, carbohydrates and minerals. Diabetics, on the other hand, need to make a few careful choices while eating fruits. Though fruits can be good for our health, certain fruits can be harmful to a diabetic.

Each fruit differs in the number of antioxidants and nutrients and can benefit a person depending on their body requirements [1]. In the case of a person with diabetes, different fruits can cause a different change in the level of blood sugar in the body. To stay safe, it is mostly advised to avoid a few fruits that can surge the blood sugar level [2].

In this article, we will explore some of the most common fruits which should be avoided by individuals with diabetes.

GI: The Glycemic Index (GI) is a relative ranking of carbohydrate in foods according to how they affect blood glucose levels.


1. Mango

Every 100 g of mango has about 14 g of sugar content, which can worsen the blood sugar balance [3]. Though the 'King of the Fruits' is one of the most delicious fruits in the world, it should be avoided due to its high sugar content [4]. Regular consumption can lead to a prolonged surge in blood sugar level.


2. Sapota (Chikoo)

Also known as sapodilla, this fruit contains around 7 g of sugar in every 100 g of 1 serving [5]. The glycemic index value (GI) (55) of the fruit, as well as the high sugar and carbohydrate content, can be extremely harmful to an individual suffering from diabetes [6].


3. Grapes

Rich in fibre, vitamins and other essential nutrients, grapes also contain a good amount of sugar quantity. Grapes should never be added to a diabetics diet as 85 g of grapes can contain carbohydrates as high as 15 g [7].


4. Dried Apricot

While fresh apricot can be added to a diabetes diet, one should never consume processed fruits like dried apricots [8]. One cup of fresh apricot halves has 74 calories and 14.5 g of naturally occurring sugar.


5. Dried Prunes

It is one of the primary fruits to be avoided by diabetics. With a GI value of 103, prunes contain 24 g of carbohydrates in a serving of one-fourth cup [9].


6. Pineapple

Although it is comparatively safe to consume pineapple when suffering from diabetes, excessive consumption can wreak havoc on your blood sugar levels [10]. Control your consumption and monitor the changes in your blood sugar levels.


7. Custard Apple

Though a good source of vitamin C, calcium, iron and fibre, custard apple is not the best option for a diabetic [11]. A small serving about 100 g can contain carbohydrates as high as 23 g. Some studies point out that, a diabetic can eat custard apple but has to be extremely careful [12].


8. Watermelon

Low in fibre and calories, watermelon has a GI value of 72 and a half-cup serving can contain about 5 grams of carbohydrates, making it one of the fruits that can be consumed in very small portions [13].


9. Papaya

Having an average GI value of 59, papaya is high in carbohydrates and calories. If added to a diabetics diet, it should be consumed in a very limited quantity to avoid an increase in blood sugar [14].


10. Fruit Juices

100 per cent fruit juices, made of any fruit, should be avoided by individuals suffering from diabetes as it can cause glucose spikes [15]. As these juices do not contain any fibre, the juice is quickly metabolised and raises blood sugars within minutes [16].


On A Final Note…

Most of the fruits are classified based on their efficiency to manipulate the blood sugar level. Among the fruits to avoid diabetics should consider the GI index value of the fruit before adding it to their meal. Generally, GI should be equal to 55 or lower to be safe for consumption for a person with diabetes.

Fruits such as strawberries, pears and apples are some of the examples that are low in carbohydrates and can be included in a diabetics diet.


Frequently Asked Questions

Q. Are fruits harmful for diabetes?

A. Not all fruits. Whole, fresh fruit is packed full of fibre, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, making it a nutrient-dense food that can be part of a healthy diabetes treatment plan.

Q. Are bananas OK for diabetics?

A. Bananas are a safe and nutritious fruit for people with diabetes to eat in moderation as part of a balanced, individualized diet plan.

Q. Can diabetics eat rice?

A. Yes, but you should avoid eating it in large portions or too frequently.

Q. Can fruits cause diabetes?

A. Generally, eating fruit as part of a healthful diet should not increase the risk of diabetes. However, consuming more than the recommended daily allowance of fruit may add too much sugar to the diet.

Q. Is Basmati rice good for a diabetic patient?

A. Wholegrain Basmati rice can be added to the diets of people who suffer from type 2 diabetes.

Q. Can diabetics eat potatoes?

A. Although potatoes are a starchy vegetable, a person with diabetes can eat potatoes but the intake should be monitored.