Fruits and vegetables are the basis of a healthy diet. Fruit, however, is rich in sugar, fructose, which helps to raise blood sugar levels in people with diabetes. Many, therefore, believe that it is better to avoid fruit. True or false? We asked Dr. Cesare Berra, head of metabolic diseases at Humanitas.
False. Fruit, as well as vegetables, are important components of a healthy diet even for people with type 1 and type 2 diabetes – explains the expert – However, both the quantity and quality of carbohydrates in general, including those derived from fruit such as fructose, can affect the glycemic response, lead to weight gain, insulin resistance and hypertriglyceridemia. A moderate consumption of fruit, better fresh and in season, and with a low glycemic index, is certainly recommended. The glycemic index, i.e. the speed at which the level of glycemia increases following the intake of food, must in fact be considered in the choice of foods to be introduced into the diet of the diabetic because it can lead to an improvement in glycemic control and reduce the risk of hyperglycemia. In general, therefore, it is better to prefer:
– Fresh and seasonal fruit to be consumed with the skin washed well
– Avoid cooked or dehydrated fruit because the concentration of sugars is higher due to the loss of water during cooking or dehydration
– Limit the consumption of sugary fruit such as fresh grapes, bananas, figs, persimmons, walnuts, peanuts, hazelnuts and chestnuts to once a week.
– Avoid fruit in syrup
– Consume fruit two hours after the meal, as snacks, to avoid increasing the glycemic load after the meal, especially if the meal includes carbohydrates (bread, pasta, pizza)
– Avoid packaged fruit juices, juices and centrifuged juices because, even if they are “with no added sugar”, they are in reality a concentrate of “natural” sugars from the fruit.