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What fruits and vegetables should a diabetic eat?

Wednesday, 05 March 2003
Answered by: Anju Virmani
Consultant Diabetologist &
Sunderlal Hospital
New Delhi
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Q. Which fruits and vegetables can a type-2 non-insulin diabetic take? My sugar level after meals is 185 mg/dl. What are the dietary supplements I should take?

A.  1. Fruits and vegetables: Current recommendations for diabetics are to take plenty of fruits and vegetables, as naturally occurring fruit sugar (fructose) is more slowly absorbed than sucrose, and raises the blood glucose to a lesser extent. As far as possible, try to take them unpeeled, to maintain a high fiber content. Very sweet fruits (mango, banana, chikoo, etc) can be taken in small portions, along with a meal to reduce the spike in blood glucose. 2. Dietary supplements: Diabetics need a balanced normal diet, with all food groups and plenty of fruits and vegetables. They should avoid excess fat and protein. They do not normally need any extra supplements, especially if they are taking plenty of brightly colored veggies like carrots, broccoli, spinach, yellow petha, etc, which have high amounts of anti-oxidants. However, they may need age appropriate supplements eg. post-menopausal women must take a calcium- vitamin D supplement; the elderly may benefit from a simple multivitamin tablet, etc.

A.  1. Fruits and vegetables: Current recommendations for diabetics are to take plenty of fruits and vegetables, as naturally occurring fruit sugar (fructose) is more slowly absorbed than sucrose, and raises the blood glucose to a lesser extent. As far as possible, try to take them unpeeled, to maintain a high fiber content. Very sweet fruits (mango, banana, chikoo, etc) can be taken in small portions, along with a meal to reduce the spike in blood glucose. 2. Dietary supplements: Diabetics need a balanced normal diet, with all food groups and plenty of fruits and vegetables. They should avoid excess fat and protein. They do not normally need any extra supplements, especially if they are taking plenty of brightly colored veggies like carrots, broccoli, spinach, yellow petha, etc, which have high amounts of anti-oxidants. However, they may need age appropriate supplements eg. post-menopausal women must take a calcium- vitamin D supplement; the elderly may benefit from a simple multivitamin tablet, etc.

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