Is Grapefruit Good for Diabetics? – Overview
The role of grapefruit in diabetes is controversial. Some studies have shown that the fruit can help lower glucose levels and cholesterol, while others have shown no benefit.
But what are the facts? Does eating grapefruit regularly have any effect on diabetes?
Grapefruit is one of the most popular fruits in the world. It’s low in calories, high in nutrients, and has a sweet and tangy flavor that goes well with almost any meal.
If you wonder if grapefruit is suitable for diabetics, this article is for you. Read on to find out more.
What is Grapefruit?
Tropical in origin, grapefruits are members of the citrus family. The grapefruit tree can grow up to 20 feet tall and live for more than 40 years.
The grapefruit is a large berry that grows outside a thick white rind. The pulp is pink or yellow, depending on the variety.
Grapefruit is acidic, making it an excellent food for people with diabetes to eat because it helps lower glucose levels.
The fruit is not just suitable for diabetics; grapefruit is also great for weight loss because it is deficient in calories. If you need to eat something that will fill you up without adding a lot of extra calories, eat some grapefruit.
The best part about grapefruits is that they can be eaten either raw or cooked. They taste great, added to salads or eaten plain with your favorite breakfast cereal or yogurt for breakfast or as an afternoon snack.
Grapefruits make a tangy addition to any meal.
How Does Grapefruit Help with Diabetes?
If you have diabetes and are asking yourself if grapefruit can help manage the condition, you’re not alone.
Treating diabetes involves making sure that your blood sugar is healthy. High blood sugar can lead to serious health problems, so keeping it under control is essential.
While many people focus on their carbohydrate intake, not enough attention is devoted to understanding how the foods you eat affect your blood sugar levels.
The good news is that controlling your blood sugar levels may be as simple as eating grapefruit. Grapefruit contains a natural chemical called naringenin, which has been found to slow down the breakdown of sugars in the body.
This means that for people with diabetes, their blood sugar levels after eating grapefruit will be lower than people who don’t eat grapefruit.
Benefits of Grapefruit for Diabetics
There are several critical benefits of grapefruit for people with diabetes.
First, grapefruit is a natural source of vitamin C, an essential nutrient for all people with diabetes.
Vitamin C helps to promote healing from wounds and cuts, and it also has antioxidant properties that can help reduce the number of free radicals in the body.
This, in turn, helps to prevent oxidative stress that can lead to various health problems, including heart disease and cancer.
The second significant benefit of grapefruit for people with diabetes is that it has phytochemicals such as limonene, naringenin, and naringin which can help to lower blood sugar levels.
The phytochemicals are also known to help lower cholesterol levels.
The third significant benefit of grapefruit is the fiber content found in the fruit, which is essential for a healthy digestive tract.
Fiber promotes healthy digestion by helping to move waste through the digestive tract at a faster rate. It also helps to reduce constipation which can cause issues such as hemorrhoids and colitis.
Drinking fresh juice made from grapefruit can also lower blood sugar levels and help people with diabetes manage their condition more easily.
A study published in the journal Diabetes Care found that drinking a glass of fresh grapefruit juice lowered blood sugar levels by 10 percent, compared to drinking plain water or a placebo drink.
Drinking the juice every day for one month helped participants lower their daily doses of medication needed to treat type 2 diabetes.
Grapefruit can also improve insulin sensitivity because it is high in vitamin C, which helps improve insulin sensitivity.
Insulin sensitivity is the ability of your body to absorb glucose and convert it into energy. By improving this function, you are at a lower risk of developing Type 2 diabetes.
Also, according to researchers at the University of Michigan, consuming grapefruit can help individuals reduce their need for insulin injections by up to 30 percent.
How to Consume Grapefruit for Diabetes
You can eat grapefruit daily as a part of your diabetes diet. The fruit is loaded with vitamin C, which helps ward off infections that can cause complications from diabetes.
Grapefruit is also low in calories, so it doesn’t contribute to weight gain and obesity. Eating the fruit daily may help lower cholesterol levels.
Here are some of the ways you can consume it for diabetes.
Consume it fresh
A significant benefit of having grapefruit is that it can help your appetite and cravings because it is high in fiber.
If you feel hungry during the day, try eating grapefruit as a snack instead of unhealthy alternatives like candy or cookies. This could potentially reduce your need for insulin injections later on in life.
For Type 1 diabetes, eat half a grapefruit 30 minutes before each meal and one hour after breakfast.
For Type 2 diabetes, eat half a grapefruit before each meal and have another half an hour after your meal.
Make sure to eat fresh and ripe fruits without any added sugar.
Dos and Don’ts of Consuming Grapefruit for Diabetes
These are the dos and don’ts of consuming grapefruit for diabetes.
- Drink half a glass of freshly squeezed juice twice daily with your meals.
- Eat one whole grapefruit daily in the morning hours.
- Blend a whole grapefruit with water, ice, and honey to make a healthy smoothie that you can drink with breakfast or as a snack anytime. Use this as an alternative to sweetened fruit juices.
- Consume more than one grapefruit per day if you take insulin or an anti-diabetic medicine because it may cause hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) in some individuals.
Treating diabetes with grapefruit can help your body respond better to insulin and adjust its production of that hormone.
The result is a lower blood sugar level that can make managing diabetes easier without any of the side effects associated with some medications.