Pineapple is a versatile and delicious fruit that is enjoyed by people all over the world. While they contain natural sugars, this does not mean that diabetics should avoid them completely. Instead, diabetics need to be smart about how much pineapple they consume and pair it with other foods to balance blood sugar levels.
So, can pineapple be part of a healthy diabetic diet? Let’s find out.
Should you avoid pineapple if you have diabetes?
There is a common myth that people with diabetes should not eat fruits because they contain natural sugar.
Fruit is part of a balanced, nutritious diet, even if you have diabetes. Like many other whole foods, fruit provides your body with fiber, vitamins, and minerals. However, depriving your body of these essential nutrients can reduce your intake of much-needed antioxidants, potassium, and bioflavonoids.
Two to three servings of fruit per day are considered beneficial for health, and this also applies to diabetics. However, remember that moderation is always the key to eating fruit while you have diabetes.
The glycemic index of a fruit measures the number of carbohydrates in the fruit. The index ranks how fast food can raise your blood sugar level. A high index indicates that the fruit decays quickly, which leads to a rise in blood sugar. You can still eat high glycemic index foods by balancing them with low glycemic foods and by exercising. This means that you can enjoy some fresh pineapple as long as you carefully monitor your carbohydrate intake for the rest of the day. Additionally, exercise can help offset the effects of sugar in pineapple. Therefore, as long as you eat pineapple in moderation, it should not cause any significant harm to diabetics.
For people with diabetes, fruits with a low glycemic index are generally the best choices compared to those with a high glycemic index. Since pineapple ranks higher on the glycemic index, you need to consider how much pineapple you eat and the foods you pair it with. Watch your portion size, especially with fruits rich in sugar like pineapple.
Eating pineapple when suffering from diabetes: what to avoid
While there are different ways to consume pineapple, canned pineapple soaked in sugar syrup is a sure thing for diabetics. Avoid canned fruits, even if they seem convenient and inexpensive. Whether it’s a heavy or light syrup, pineapple glazed with syrup can cause your blood sugar to spike for longer.
If you love pineapple and want to enjoy it without compromising your health, pair it with low-glycemic index foods, like Greek yogurt or low-fat paneer, which also provide extra protein. You can add it to a fried chicken dish for a delicious flavour.
You can choose fresh or prepackaged pineapple. Just make sure it has no added sugars. If you are craving dried pineapple or some pineapple juice, you must remember that the sugar content of these foods will be higher than you expect, even in a small serving. Many store-bought pineapple juices and smoothies add extra sugars and empty calories, so avoid this. Even one full glass of homemade pineapple juice with sugar is not always the best option for diabetics.
Consuming frozen pineapple can sometimes affect your blood sugar levels less than the other types of pineapple mentioned above because their sugar content is lower. Monitor your blood sugar levels if you include pineapple in your diet. If you notice a noticeable change in your blood sugar, see a healthcare professional before taking it again. Then, of course, you can completely eliminate it from your diet.
The point we want to make further here is that pineapple is fine in moderation. There is no point in consuming copious amounts of pineapple every day when you know that it has a relatively high GI rating and normal sugar content. But the truth is that despite its sugar content, pineapple still has many benefits that can reach your body without consuming too much of it. So stick to a moderate – or even a few – servings of pineapple if you include it in your diet. You can also try eating pineapple with foods rich in fiber, protein, healthy fats, and foods with low GI scores. But, of course, always consult a doctor or dietitian when determining the appropriate serving size for managing diabetes and blood sugar.
Leave a Comment