Sure, diabetics can eat a pomegranate!
Pomegranates are a fun-to-eat fruit that has more benefits for diabetics than you might think. Yes, there is about 14 grams of sugar per 100 grams of fruit but researchers have found that this fact is misleading.
The sugar molecule in pomegranates is reduced as it is bound to antioxidants, which offsets the issue of “eating too much sugar” by a long shot.
The antioxidants in pomegranates have been found to actually reduce the risk of atherosclerosis in the arteries and enhances the function of insulin-producing beta cells in the pancreas.
Diabetics are already at a high risk of atherosclerosis because of their uncontrolled blood sugars, which leads to an increased risk of diseases like heart attacks, strokes, and other problems with blood circulation.
So, you do get some sugar with pomegranates but, because it’s bound to an antioxidant, you actually benefit from eating it. It also has 7 grams of fiber per serving, about one-third of the vitamin C you need every day, and 3 grams of protein per serving.
What makes a “Good” Fruit for Diabetes?
Most of the time, the best fruits for diabetes are those that are low in sugar and have a lower Glycemic Index ranking.
Pomegranates are the exception because, even though they are super-sweet, the sugar has an antioxidant molecule attached to it so that the LDL-cholesterol in your body can’t become easily oxidized.
Oxidized LDL-cholesterol is the main cause of atherosclerosis of your arteries (and the diseases that go with it).
Another thing that makes a fruit good for you is the fiber content. The fruits with the most fiber are best for a couple of reasons.
First, fiber helps your bowels keep moving and help you avoid getting constipated.
Fiber also binds to the sugar in your gut so it doesn’t flood your bloodstream all at once.
This slow absorption of sugar is best for diabetics who don’t want or need to have their sugars bounce up and down so much.
Foods with slow absorption rates in the gut are said to have a low “glycemic index”.
The benefit of fiber in your fruit essentially disappears if you forego the fruit and just drink fruit juice.
Juice from even the best fruits just is not at all good for you if it lacks the fiber. Fruit juice has a much higher glycemic index than the same amount of whole fruit.
You also want to make sure that the fruit you eat has other helpful nutrients for your body.
Many fruits are called superfoods because they have a lot of vitamins and antioxidants in them.
Antioxidants and vitamins help to get rid of inflammation in your body. Inflammation is a big problem for diabetics, so the more you can get into your system, the less inflamed your body will be, and the healthier you can become.
8 SuperFruits Good for Diabetics
There are some fruits that are simply better for diabetics than others. As you think about the characteristics of a “good” diabetic fruit, you’ll see why these super fruits are especially good for you if you are a diabetic:
Berries of all kinds are great for diabetes, including blueberries, raspberries, and strawberries.
These are loaded with antioxidants, fiber, and vitamins. There is enough fiber in them to make them have a lower glycemic index than you’d think.
About ¾ cup of berries has only about 60 calories in it and 16 grams of carbs. Berries are a good example of why foods with a lot of color in them usually mean they have high antioxidant content.
They are one of the low glycemic index fruits. A cup of tart cherries has about 19 grams of carbs and 75 calories.
Cherries are also loaded with antioxidants to fight inflammation in your system. Inflammation can lead to disorders like atherosclerosis and cancer.
Stick with fresh tart cherries. The dried cherries might taste good but there is a lot of sugar and calories in a very small amount of dried fruit of any kind.
This is too much to offset the fruit’s advantage.
If the season is right for fresh peaches, you should get them and consume them frequently as part of a diabetic diet.
They are high in fiber, potassium, vitamin A, and vitamin C.
Potassium alone is known to reduce blood pressure and you can’t go wrong with so many vitamins.
Peaches are rich in pulp, the pulp means there is fiber in it, which keeps the sugar in your gut for a longer period of time.
These are best eaten when in the season because their nutrient content is highest then.
One apricot contains just 17 calories in it and only 4 grams of carbs.
You can eat four of these to make a single serving. When you do this, you’ll get half of the vitamin A you need each day and a lot of fiber as well.
The low carb/high fiber combination is just perfect for diabetics.
Apples have about 70-80 calories per piece of fruit and 21 grams of carbohydrates, but the extra fiber makes up for the surplus carbs.
They are digested very slowly so you won’t see a sugar spike after eating a apple.
Apples are also high in vitamin C. The peels are just as good (if not better) than the fruit pulp because of their high antioxidant content.
You’ve heard about oranges and vitamin C, right?
There is enough vitamin C in one orange to cover your needs for the whole day! It also has enough pulp to make it a low Glycemic index fruit.
One medium orange is just 65 calories and 15 grams of carbohydrates.
Oranges are especially high in folic acid and potassium—both of which might help lower your blood pressure.
Grapefruit is just as good as oranges so eat those too!
Kiwis are small but packed with nutrients, including potassium, vitamin C, and fiber.
A Big kiwi fruit is just 55 calories and 13 grams of carbs.
These are good year-round and can be eaten when other fruits aren’t available fresh in your area.
These are a great seasonal fruit best eaten when ripe and juicy.
They are very high in vitamin K, which is good for blood clotting.
Buy them a little bit unripe and allow them to ripen on the counter until they are perfect and juicy.
These fruits are high in fiber too so they are low glycemic index fruits.
The fruit is definitely not the enemy when it comes to diabetes.
Their bright color and high fiber content mean that most of them are high in antioxidants and help prevent sugar-spikes after meals.
Pomegranates are especially high in antioxidants so even the juice is good for you.
In general, though, stick to the whole fruit so you get the benefits of the fiber in the fruit as well as the loads of vitamins and antioxidants that fruit provides.