Fruits provide us with the best source of vitamins, phytochemicals, and fiber – all important components of a healthy diet. Although fruits contain natural sugars, diabetics should not forego their benefits, but should choose fruits wisely, based on the glycemic index (GI), a measure of how fast carbohydrate foods (including fruit) are converted in the body to blood glucose. Diabetics should focus on fruits that are low on the GI (below 55) since these release sugars more slowly into the blood stream. Some good choices are:
- An average-sized apple (GI score: 38)
- Cherries (22)
- Grapefruit (25)
- One average-sized orange (44)
- One average-sized pear (38)
- One plum (39)
Intermediate-GI fruits include banana (55); cantaloupe (65); mango (55); papaya (58); and pineapple (66). High-GI fruits include dried dates (103) and canned fruit cocktail (79).