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If I have diabetes, can I eat fruit?

Yes, if you have diabetes—either type 1 or type 2—you can definitely eat fruit. However, depending on the degree of difficulty you are experiencing in controlling your blood sugar, you may need to work out the exact amounts and timing with your healthcare provider. The basic rules that apply to eating fruit, however, are essentially the same for all individuals who need to pay special attention to their blood sugar regulation. Here are those basic rules:

  • No fruit can be eaten in large amounts if blood sugar control is an issue. "Large amounts" might even mean one single whole fruit if the fruit is large in size.
  • Dried fruits and fruit juices are sometimes impossible to include on diabetic diets because of their sugar concentrations.
  • Skins of fruits containing fiber and other phytonutrients are usually helpful to eat when blood sugar regulation is an issue owing to the benefits of these nutrients.
  • In general, about 10 grams of sugar from a fruit serving can serve as a safe upper limit. One half of a small-to-medium sized apple contains approximately this amount of sugar. So does one-half cup of fresh blueberries. The in-depth nutritional profile of each of the fruits featured in The World's Healthiest Foods book will tell you how much sugar the fruit has. This profile is located at the end of each of the individual fruit chapters.
  • If you're consuming fresh fruit as a snack, adding a small amount of a food with a more balanced mixture of protein and fat will help fulfill your appetite and satiety.

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