Diabetes is a condition in which your blood sugar may go too high because of a deficiency of the hormone insulin or an inability of the body to utilise insulin efficiently. This leads to detrimental complications on other body systems if left untreated. Diet is critical in the management of diabetes. Fruits and nuts are excellent snacks for individuals with diabetes. Dry fruits, as the name suggests, are nuts or fruits that have been dried out. Drying them increases their sugar content and shelf life. So, are dry fruits good for diabetes? This article will explain more about dry fruits for diabetes.
How Can Dry Fruits Help Diabetic Patients?
People with diabetes can consume dry fruits. This part of the article will explain the benefits of dry fruits for diabetes. Dry fruits like almonds, raisins and pistachio are rich sources of vitamins, minerals and fibre. Fibre helps improve digestion and prevent constipation (which is a common complaint in people with diabetes). Dry fruits are also the best sources of antioxidants. According to an article in the journal “Nutrients” (2017), antioxidants help individuals with diabetes by protecting their cells from inflammation and reducing resistance to insulin. Antioxidants also help diabetes patients deal with anxiety and depression.
According to the Journal of Medicine and Life (2016), depression is a common morbidity in individuals with diabetes. Therefore, the antioxidants in dry fruits may help with depression related to diabetes. Dry fruits like cashews, almonds, walnuts, and dates are cardioprotective. Almonds help increase haemoglobin, thus treating anaemia.
Almonds and walnuts, among other dry fruits, help manage cholesterol by decreasing bad cholesterol. As heart complications are common in diabetes, these dry fruits can benefit individuals with diabetes.
Dry Fruits List for Diabetics
Among the dry fruits, the following list of dry fruits for individuals with diabetes to eat is noteworthy.
- Almonds: They are believed to protect the heart due to their effect on lowering cholesterol. Almonds also help in controlling blood sugar.
- Raisins: They are a rich source of fibre and antioxidants, both beneficial to diabetes.
- Walnuts: Walnuts have been shown to improve good cholesterol levels, which promotes heart health, an essential requirement in diabetes.
- Cashews: Cashews reduce the risk of cardiac diseases as they improve cholesterol levels, reduce blood pressure and improve blood sugar levels.
- Dates: Dates are rich in energy, healthy fats and fibre, which help improve cholesterol levels and blood sugar.
- Peanuts: Peanuts are rich in fibre and protein, which help in weight and diabetes control.
- Pistachios-They are rich in antioxidants and fibre, which, according to the journal Nutrition Today (2016), help reduce cardiac ailments in individuals with diabetes.
Common Dry Fruit Items for Diabetics
Among the best dry fruits for diabetes mentioned above, some healthy dry fruit items are mentioned as follows:
- Trail mixes: These mixes are made from a variety of nuts and seeds and serve as a great snack. They provide protein and fibre and are a great boost to satiate your hunger.
- Homemade energy bars: Unlike store-bought energy bars, homemade ones contain less sugar. They can be made with natural honey as a sweetener and mixed with dry fruits. Furthermore, they are rich in protein and are an excellent source for relieving hunger pangs.
- Use as salad dressing and desserts: As dry fruits contain natural sugar, they make a zesty addition to desserts and as dressings for salads.
Fruits for Diabetes Patients
Fresh fruits for diabetic patients are also beneficial. However, when choosing fruits for diabetes, selecting those with a low glycemic index is essential. The glycemic index (GI) is a system that rates the carbohydrate content of each food and shows how quickly it will raise your blood sugar after consuming it. Fruits for diabetes should be with a low GI range, like plums, apples, pears, raspberries, strawberries, blackberries, blueberries, cranberries and tangerines. If these fruits are consumed in moderation, they will yield a low to medium rise in your blood sugar levels. However, when choosing fruits for diabetes patients, you must be aware of fruits with a high GI, like pineapple, bananas, and watermelon, which can lead to a spike in your blood sugar levels.
Dry fruits are good for diabetes if eaten in moderation and can serve as a great snack. Dry fruits like almonds, raisins, walnuts, cashews, dates and pistachios are cardio-protective and reduce cholesterol levels. These fry fruits also contain antioxidants that help tissue repair in diabetes, thus making them beneficial as a snack in diabetes.