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Diabetes and Fruit

by Kathy
(Florida)

Kathy's Question...

I have recently been diagnosed with Type II diabetes. Does this mean I can’t ever eat fruit again? We have so many homegrown fruits here in Florida, and I would hate to have to give it up. Also, where do nuts fit into the diabetic diet?

Suzy Answers...

Thank you for your excellent question, Kathy, and I am sorry to hear about your diagnosis. The good news is that your diabetes can be managed with proper diet and exercise.

Diabetes Diet

As far as your question about fruit, I have good news for you! You can still enjoy those wonderful fruits that are so abundant in your state. The key for you will be portion size. I’m sure you know about the diabetic exchange system, which allows you to plan and control your intake of carbs. Well, you will find that fruits and fruit juices are included in that list.

You will need to be careful not to overdo, but a small Florida orange or a half of a grapefruit will still fit perfectly into your diabetic food plan. In this way you can enjoy the sweet delicious flavor of these fruits and also benefit from the vitamins, minerals and other nutrients they provide.

It is also a good idea to balance the simple carbs in the fruit with some protein and fat. That’s where nuts come into the picture. In the Diabetic Exchange System, nuts are part of the fat group and since they are very nutrient dense, a few go a long way, but you can certainly enjoy them in small amounts as part of a healthy diabetic life style.

If you need more specific information about the diabetic exchange system, you can go to the American Diabetes Association website at http://www.diabetes.org .

Best wishes on your new lifestyle, Kathy! I am pulling for you!

Eat and be healthy with my warmest regards,

Suzy Staywell




COMMENTS

Importance of diet in managing diabetes
by: Marie

My sister has Type II diabetes and she was told by a healthcare person that "she can eat anything she wants" as long as she counts carbs.

I was a little surprised by this, because I thought she would need to concentrate on eating healthy foods that aren't loaded with sugar. Fruit has sugar, I know, but I was thinking of desserts and soda and things like that. I think she should be avoiding those kinds of things altogether.

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