Grapefruit And Diabetes
Our body works in perfect tandem to give us the happiest, healthy, and peaceful life we have ever wished for. However, a slight issue in such a delicate balance of functioning of our body parts can give us nightmares. Diabetes is one such issue which makes us think about the most basic aspect of our life – what we can eat and what can we not eat. The question of whether the consumption of grapefruit and diabetes is a safe combination arises out of the same anxiety. But before answering the question - “Is it safe for diabetics to eat grapefruit?” we need to understand what diabetes is.
What Is Diabetes?
In literal terms, diabetes is a malfunction of our blood and certain body parts whereby the blood sugar or glucose levels increase tremendously. Our body produces a hormone called insulin which helps this glucose in the blood to enter the cells of our body. This glucose which enters the cells provides energy to the cell and to the entire body. However, in the physical condition where a human being suffers from Type 1 Diabetes, his or her body is unable to make insulin which raises the blood glucose levels. In such a condition, people have usually prescribed insulin which can either be injected in the blood or can be orally taken through certain medications. This basically necessitates the discussion around which food should be consumed and which ones should be avoided. Let us now discuss whether Grapefruit be consumed by people with Diabetes? and the benefits of grapefruit and diabetes
Benefits Of Grapefruit
Grapefruit is a citrus fruit majorly found in the tropical areas. This fruit is both sweet and sour in taste, making it an interesting combination. This particular fruit is rich in antioxidants, various nutrients and most of all have good fiber content. Thus grapefruit can be called one of the healthy fruits. Consumption of this fruit is known to have a positive impact on weight loss programs while reducing the risk of diseases related to the heart. Some of the benefits of Grapefruits and diabetes include:
- It is packed with nutrition including various minerals and vitamins while being low in calories
- It is a rich source of powerful antioxidants such as Vitamin C, Lycopene, Beta Carotene, and Flavanones which strengthen the immune system of the body and reduce the risk of various diseases
- It helps in controlling appetite while having high fiber content to take care of the bowel system
- It helps in losing weight by controlling appetite
- It is known for good water content which meets the water requirement of the body apart from promoting fullness and thus reducing calorie intake
- It helps in improving heart health by reducing the risk of problems such as cholesterol and high blood pressure
- It also helps in reducing the risk of kidney stones
Research also suggests that Grapefruit helps in preventing insulin resistance and thus reduces the risk of diabetes, especially Type 2 Diabetes. It would, thus, be interesting to understand whether grapefruit is advisable for consumption by people who already have diabetes, given its sugar content.
Grapefruit And Diabetes
Grapefruit, though has immense benefits for human health, should be avoided by people suffering from diabetes because of its interactions with medicines prescribed for diabetes, controlling blood pressure, depression, and/or blood cholesterol levels. Such medications include Immunosuppressants, Benzodiazepines, certain statins, calcium channel blockers, Indinavir, and Carbamazepine.
However, it is advisable to check with your doctor prior to deciding whether to include grapefruit in the diet or not.
While people who are not undergoing any such medication can take grapefruit, it is better to limit the quantity of consumption, as with other fruits, since the sugar content in the fruit would increase the levels of blood sugar if quantity is not controlled.
- Carbohydrate in a small (whole) and large (half) grapefruit is equal to the carbohydrate content of a small apple, a pear, or two kiwis.
- The Glycemic index of grapefruit is 25, thus making it safer than carbohydrates such as potatoes, bread, and white rice.
- Grapefruit provides significant amounts of Vitamin A
Do’s And Don’ts With Grapefruit For Diabetics
- Do not include grapefruit juice in your diet since it does not contain fiber while the carbohydrate per cup (approximately 24 grams per cup) of juice would be high. Instead, take the fruit as a whole (15 grams of carbohydrate per serving approximately).
- If you are on medications that interact with grapefruit (mentioned above), you should rather try to consume other citrus fruits such as oranges, clementines, and tangerines or other fruits such as plums, strawberries, kiwis, raspberries, and blueberries.
The takeaway of this discussion is that grapefruit is a healthy fruit alternative even for people suffering from diabetes, provided they are not prescribed medicines for blood pressure, cholesterol or depression, among others. Else Grapefruit and Diabetes make a healthy combination indeed.