I’m all about fruit right now. Yesterday was day 15 of my Clean Eating Detox Diet (I’m almost done writing the guide and will have it available soon), which means I added fruit back into my diet after having removed it for 2 weeks.
So, I’m really happy to be eating fruit again and to be able to tell you about how some fruits might actually help curb the diabetes epidemic that is afflicting the United States right now. And I’m talking about Type 2 Diabetes – not the auto-immune Type 1. Though I believe the findings could be applicable to Type 1 sufferers as well. So this information is for everyone, whether you have diabetes already or you are hoping to avoid it altogether.
Here’s the problem: when you experience spikes in your blood sugar levels over and over again instead of keeping it steady, you greatly increase your risk of developing metabolic syndrome (also known as pre-diabetes or insulin resistance). If you are eating refined sugars, flours (white-flour breads and pastries), processed foods, or drinking soda, you are likely experiencing a lot of sugar spikes.
The solution: if you can blunt (delay and keep spikes lower) blood sugar spikes that are bound to happen after eating a meal or especially after eating something sweet, you can actually reduce your risk of developing diabetes. In addition to legumes like beans and lentils, some fruits like apples and berries appear to blunt blood sugar after eating.
The fruit findings come from three separate studies done in 2010 in Greece, Finland, and the UK. All three studies found that the polyphenols (phytonutrients that are antioxidants) in apples and berries appear to blunt blood sugar spikes caused by other foods in a meal (and just straight table sugar in the Finnish study). All three studies showed that eating berries slowed and greatly decreased blood sugar spikes caused by eating other foods.
It may seem counterintuitive that fruit, which is sweet and high in fructose (a type of sugar), can actually help maintain a steady blood sugar level. This is just one more example of how whole foods are simply the way to go. Obviously the benefits would not be found if you just drank the fruit juice. Fruit juice is mostly fructose and is missing most of the nutrients (like the polyphenols and fiber) found in the skin and pulp.
So be sure to incorporate berries, apples, and other fruits and foods high in antioxidants with your meals and snacks whenever possible to help keep your blood sugar levels even and your risk of developing diabetes at bay.