QUESTION

I know fruit is healthy, but I have diabetes and have to watch how much sugar I eat. Fruit has a lot of sugar, doesn’t it? Does that mean I shouldn’t eat it?

ANSWER

Some fruits do, indeed, have a high sugar content, but that doesn’t mean you have to give up this healthy habit. Fruits are low in fat and rich in phytonutrients, vitamins, minerals and fiber—and in moderation (two or three servings daily), they can be safely consumed by people with diabetes. One general way to choose fruits is by using the glycemic index, which measures how a food increases blood sugar (the lower the number, the less likely a food is to spike blood sugar). Choose low-to-mid-GI fruits such as cherries (22), plums (24), grapefruit (25) and bananas (47). A high-GI fruit is anything over 60, such as watermelon (72) and raisins (64), and should be limited. Even with higher-GI fruit, eating it along with other foods also can prevent a spike in blood sugar. Combining fruit with low-GI foods, such as a slice of whole-grain bread or steel cut oats, may prevent the blood sugar spike that comes with eating a high-GI fruit. To find the GI of specific fruits and other foods, go to GlycemicIndex.com. Also helpful: Watch your serving size. One-half cup to one cup of most fruits counts as one serving.