Their Doctor Told Them Not to Eat Fruit?
I recently asked for questions about Diabetes on my social media pages. One IG user responded with, “I’ve heard some people say ” Their doctor told them not to eat fruits because they contain too much sugar ” … What can you tell us about diabetes/high blood sugar and fruits?” This is an EXCELLENT question!! So I thought I’d share the response with all of you.
What is Diabetes?
Let’s begin with a brief review of Diabetes. Diabetes is a condition in which The body is unable to properly process the sugar that is eaten. The levels of this sugar then becomes elevated and leads to other problems in the person’s body. Elevated blood sugar can occur because their pancreas no longer produces as much insulin (Type 1 and Type 1.5) or their body is no longer responding well to the insulin that is produced (Type 2 and Gestational). This is diabetes in a nutshell.
In any of these situations, each time the person consumes sugar, any form of sugar, the body has a diminished capacity to properly use or store it. Depending on the type of sugar and the amount of sugar consumed, this leads to chronically high blood sugars, bouts of hypoglycemia, and cellular/tissue damage.
Types of Sugar
I mentioned above that any time a person eats sugar, no matter the form, that the body has a decreased ability to take care of it. This is true, but of course it’s not as simple as this.
Though all types of sugar will affect the blood sugar level, the type of sugar still matters. Sugar from a candy bar is far different from sugar from a banana, even if it’s the same amount of sugar and calories. Sugar from the carbohydrates in white rice is much different from sugar and carbohydrates found in wild or black rice. Sugar from a banana is a bit different from sugar from blueberries, even if it has the same amount of sugar and calories.
This is because the sugar in some of these hits the blood stream much quicker which causes the insulin levels to spike quickly. Then the sugar levels drop quickly which leads to a damaging yo-yo effect. In other cases, the sugar is surrounded by fiber, minerals, and antioxidants which help slow down the absorption of sugar and gives your body more to work with than JUST the sugar itself.
So CAN the person with Diabetes eat Fruit?
Yes and no.
When I’m working with a person to help regulate their blood sugar so that their body can control or HEAL from Diabetes, we usually limit the amount of sugars they eat. This also includes simple carbohydrates as those turn into sugar pretty quickly. Their fruit intake is usually limited to Blueberries
and occasional Blackberries and Raspberries. Once their blood sugars are under control AND they know how much a food raises their blood sugar levels (they do quite a bit of self testing to understand just how their foods affect them) THEN we can begin to reintroduce and test other foods.
By doing this trial and error, you become knowledgeable about how the body is working and what is affecting the body negatively vs. positively. There is no guess work anymore because we KNOW what is happening.
If a person’s blood sugar is uncontrolled and high, they have high A1c levels, are having hypoglycemic episodes, are not exercising, and / or they are experiencing side effects of elevated blood sugar then fruit is limited. Once this is under control, fruit can be strategically reintroduced and monitored for effect.
ASK DR. TURSHÁ
If you have any questions about diabetes, let me know! I’d love to answer your questions and help empower you to better health.