Pineapple is a sweet fruit that many diabetics shy away from. And that too, due to its assumed effect on blood glucose. Yet, is it something that diabetics need to avoid like a plague. Or, the question comes, can diabetics have it safely. And that too, without any ill effects on health? Pineapple affects the level of blood glucose more than other fruits. Yet, a diabetic may still add it into a healthy meal plan. Fruit comprises carbs, and thus may elevate blood sugar levels. Yet, the ADA say that diabetics take advantage of adding fruit in their diets. Fruits are a vital source of nutrients. These are vitamins, minerals, and dietary fiber.
Diabetes and Pineapple
Most fruits have low GI scores. This means that they affect the glucose levels less than other foods. These scores tend to be low. As, the fruit consists of fructose and fiber. This helps the body digest carbs more slowly. This leads to more stable blood glucose levels over time. Pineapples, yet, have a medium GI score. This means that they might exert higher effect on blood sugar than other fruits.
General GI classes are as follows:
- High-GI foods have scores of 70 or above.
- Medium-GI foods have scores between 56 and 69.
- Low-GI foods have scores under 55.
- Raw pineapple has a score of 66. This makes it a medium-GI food.
Consume pineapple in moderation. Also, pair it with protein or healthful fat. These fats can be nuts, seeds, nut butter, or avocado. This limits the fruit’s effects on blood glucose levels.
Other medium-GI fruits can be:
- dried fruits like dates, raisins
- sweetened cranberries.
Like other foods, the GI of pineapple may differ. This depends upon what individual eats with it. Coupling of fibrous carbs with proteins and healthful fats is also possible. It deters overeating, help them feel full for longer. Also, reduces any spike in blood glucose.
Other factors that impact the GI of pineapple such as:
- ripeness. A riper fruit has a higher GI score.
- preparation. As fruit juice has a higher score than raw fruit.
- whether it is canned or raw. As canned pineapple with extra sugar has a greater score.
Pineapple is a good source of manganese and vitamin C. Also, it contains fiber, vitamin A, and B vitamins, and bromelain. This compound has many reported health benefits. These factors make pineapple a healthy inclusion to a diabetes-friendly diet.
The Myth About Fruit and Diabetes
Usually speaking, it is a myth that diabetics must avoid fruit. Fruit is a healthy food source of nutrients. These are vitamins, minerals, and fiber. If a person is diabetic, he or she can have fruit. However, one must limit his or her intake since it would comprise carbs. Carbohydrates are the macronutrients having an effect on the blood glucose. The amount may differ from one fruit to the next fruit. This fruit has “less sweetness” and more carbs than sweeter ones.
How Pineapple Compares
Pineapple is a fat-free food containing fiber and vitamins. Fiber is significant for diabetics. As, it helps to:
- reduce the levels of blood glucose
- reduce cholesterol
- regulate bowels.
One-cup serving of pineapple contains 2.2 grams of fiber and 78 calories. By contrast, unsweetened pineapple juice has a lower GI ranking. This is due to the removal of solid carbs. Tinned fruit in juice contains similar GI ranking as fresh pineapple. Tinned pineapple in syrup is a “no-no” for diabetics. Here is how pineapple ranks among other fresh fruits on the GI scale:
- Watermelon: 76
- Pineapple: 59
- Banana: 51
- Mango: 51
- Grapes: 49
- Orange: 43
- Strawberries: 40
- Apple: 36
- Pears: 33
- Grapefruit: 25
- Cherries: 22
How to Enjoy Pineapple Safely
While the higher GI ranking might propose that pineapples are not for diabetics. There are many ways to have them safely if a person is diabetic. Even in smaller amounts, pineapple might perhaps satisfy a sweet tooth. This can be more than apple or grapefruit. Also, it does not make a person feel deprived in case of a sudden craving. If any person loves pineapple, stick to one portion. Also, pair it with a protein including Greek yogurt or low-fat cottage cheese. Or, a person may add it to a chicken stirfry for a little pop of sweetness. A person can add pineapple as part of a meal like grill pork and pineapple. In such cases, it is important to eat the protein first. There is some evidence that doing so helps in slowing down the rise in blood glucose.
When it comes to making smart dietary choices, limit is always vital. Take time to go through the food labels. And, understand how certain foods might or might not affect the health. By doing so, a person can avoid fluctuations in the glucose levels. And, achieve a better diabetes control plan over the long term.
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