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Philippine Fruits for Diabetics

Practically all fruits may be permitted in a diabetic diet. What a caregiver or nurse must take in consideration is the amount of carbohydrates in the service size of the fruit because different fruits contain different carbohydrates.

It is a common misconception that the consumption of fruits must be restricted for diabetic patients because its carbohydrates are easily broken down to sugar, resulting to increases in blood sugar. However, studies showed that dietary fiber in fruits slows down its digestion which in turn result to a more regulated or gradual release of glucose or sugar. The measure of the effect of carbohydrates on blood sugar is termed as glycemic index. The lower the glycemic index of a fruit, the more ideal it is for the diabetic patient as well as to people on a weight loss program.

The lower glycemic index of a fruit basically means the longer it takes time for the stomach to break down the carbohydrates to sugar and the more it helps a diabetic person regulate one’s blood sugar level. Moreover, the gradual sugar level in the blood also regulates the need for insulin released in the pancreas. This depresses the appetite of the person which means one is not incited to eat, which is again beneficial for diabetic patients as well as people that are trying the lose weight. This is exactly the reason why fibrous fruits are healthful and helpful for both diabetics and obese patients.

Among the most common Philippine fruits with lower GI is watermelon or pakwan. Other Philippine fruits with a low GI are melon (cantaloupe), langka (jackfruit), peras (pears), mangga (mango), papaya (papaya), mansanas (apple). On the other hand, pinya(pineapple) and saging (banana) are medium GI fruits, which are nevertheless permissible for consumption. Again, what is important is the serving for these foods. Other common Philippine fibrous fruits with low GI are santol, bayabas (guava), sampalok (tamarind) and citrus fruits (kalamansi, suha and dalanghita). Other sources of dietary fibers are wheat bread, and vegetables. Fibrous fruits in general not only help in regulating blood sugar levels but also facilitate the elimination of waste.

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