Can Diabetics Eat Fruits?

Flesh kiwi cut ripe orange

Yes, those with diabetes can eat fruits! Fruits will indeed raise our blood sugar levels temporarily, so is important to control and monitor ones blood sugar levels. Moderation is the key.

Fruits is important for a healthy diet.

Some fruits have higher natural sugars than others. This natural sugar is called fructose. Fruits contain fiber, vitamins and minerals  that can contribute to good health.

However, the extent to which fruit can raise blood glucose levels depends on the type of fruit eaten. Here is a list of 10 fruits that diabetics can eat (but not limited to this list):

  1. Kiwi
  2. Guava
  3. Cherries
  4. Peach
  5. Berries
  6. Apple
  7. Pear
  8. Papaya
  9. Orange
  10. Watermelon

The best way to know how different fruits affects blood sugar levels is by measuring it before and after eating the fruit. Choose whole fruits instead of fruit juice. Fruit juice blends bought outside may contain additional hidden sugar.

Further reading:
Will fruit affect my blood glucose levels? (www.diabetes.org.nz)
Diabetes Myths (www.diabetes.org)

Buckwheat Honey Benefits

sweet honey

Buckwheat honey comes from the nectar of the flowers of the common buckwheat plant.

              Flavor: Malty, rich, pungent, strong molasses like earthy flavor

              Color: Dark brown color

Buckwheat honey can be a substitute for molasses in baking or barbecue sauce. Studies have also shown buckwheat honey to be more effective than over-the-counter cough syrup for treating a cough. Buckwheat honey may be an an acquired taste for some people. Its either you like it or you don’t.

Buckwheat honey and dark honeys in general has been found to contain more antioxidant compounds then some lighter honeys. Antioxidants counter the toxic effects of free radicals that can lead to cancer, arthritis and cancer. Polyphenol, the antioxidants that are present in honey are one of the chemicals which give honey its color. Apart from antioxidants, darker honeys also tend to contain more vitamins and minerals.

Honey has been used since ancient times for its health benefits and is used as a sweetener and flavoring for foods and drinks. It is a healthy alternative to table sugar.

Take 1 or 2 teaspoons of buckwheat honey and mix it into your favorite tea!

Here are some buckwheat honey food & drink pairing ideas:

  • With any strong cheese, especially blue cheeses
  • Paired with grapefruit, is an excellent palate cleanser
  • Drizzled over spicy chili
  • As a substitute for maple syrup. Drizzle over crepes, pancakes or waffles
  • When baking  breads or traditional honey cake
  • With greek yogurt
  • In barbecue sauce
  • In hot milk or soy milk
  • In Elderflower tea
  • In Chicory coffee

Some of the health benefits of honey include:

  • Honey contains flavonoids; antioxidants which help reduce the risk of some cancers and heart disease.
  • Honey helps with coughs, especially buckwheat honey.
  • Honey helps the body regulate blood sugar levels. Some honeys have a low hypoglycemic index, so they cause a spike your blood sugar levels.
  • Honey’s anti-bacterial properties are good for the skin, and when combined with other ingredients can also be moisturizing and nourishing. For example, face mask.
  • Honey’s antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties is said help with healing wounds, diabetic foot ulcers, and burns.

Do note that it is not recommended to feed raw honey to young children due to the chance that botulism may be present.

Links to recipes that uses buckwheat honey:

Short Ribs with Beer and Buckwheat Honey
Honey-Tomato Bruschetta with Ricotta
Buckwheat Honey Glazed Lamb Shanks
Buckwheat Honey Roasted Chicken
Buckwheat Honey Ice Cream
Lemon Buckwheat Honey Cake
Smoked Paprika & Buckwheat Honey Chimichurri
Honey Barbecued Chicken Breasts

 

How to distingush natural honey

Related Articles

10 Reasons to Include Buckwheat In Your Diet Plans

bowl of buckwheat seeds

The name buckwheat is misleading because it isn’t related to wheat at all. In fact, buckwheat isn’t a true grain, but rather the fruit of a leafy plant belonging to the same family as sorrel and rhubarb. It is often referred to as a pseudo-cereal, since the grain is used in ways similar to cereal grains. Its name comes from a Dutch word that translates as “beechwheat,” most likely a reference to the plant’s triangular fruits, which resemble beechnuts. Most of us are most familiar with buckwheat flour used to make the pancakes, crepes or noodles (Japanese Soba). Here are 10 reasons why you should give buckwheat a try:

  1. Buckwheat is high in fiber; good for those with constipation.
  2. The protein in buckwheat has all 9 essential amino acids (that the body cannot manufacture), making it closer to being a “complete” protein.
  3. Buckwheat is high in the amino acid lysine, which is used for tissue growth and repair.
  4. Buckwheat is gluten-free so this makes it suitable for those with wheat allergies.
  5. Buckwheat is rich in calcium, iron, vitamin E, and B vitamins, magnesium, manganese, zinc and copper.
  6. The magnesium in buckwheat, helps relaxes blood vessels; helps improve circulation, decrease blood pressure and reduce cholesterol.
  7. Buckwheat helps to stabilize blood sugar levels. Due to the slower breakdown and absorption of the carbohydrates in buckwheat, this helps to raise our blood sugar levels more evenly. This especially good for those suffering with diabetes by helping to control their blood sugar levels.
  8. Buckwheat is low in calories, good in helping to reduce fat accumulation.
  9. Buckwheat contains rutin, a chemical that strengthens capillary walls.
  10. Buckwheat being high in insoluble fiber, can help women avoid gallstones. It is also protective against childhood asthma.

Sources:
www.buckwheat.com.sg
www.whfoods.com

Fiber Diet: Whole Grain or Multi Grain

Most people assume that both whole grain and multi-grain means the same thing. Firstly, let’s look at the definition of these two words.

Whole grain:  Food contains all parts of the grain in the same proportions found in nature. If the grain has been processed (e.g., cracked, crushed, rolled and/or cooked), the food product should give about the same amount of nutrients found in the original grain.

Multi-grain:  Food containing more than one type of grain. The grains may be in whole form, or they may be refined.

When grains go through the refining process they lose almost all of the germ and bran and are left with mostly the endosperm. The endosperm is the least nutritious part of grain.

Anatomy of a grain

Whole grains have minimal processing and provide better fiber and nutrition compared to refined grains. Some examples of whole grains (including the bran, germ and endosperm) include:

  • Brown rice
  • Millet
  • Quinoa
  • Buckwheat

In conclusion, it is important to check the ingredient labels. In some cases you will see that the packaging does not indicate the percentage or amount of the ingredients in the food. Whole grain might not mean 100% whole grain, neither does Multi-grain mean that it can’t be a mixture of 100% whole grains.

Here’s a useful table you can use as a guide the next time you go shopping.

whole grain

Image source

The Soba Noodles Diet

soba noodles photo by @kevinv033

Soba is the Japanese name for buckwheat.  It is a type of thin noodle made from buckwheat flour and wheat flour. Soba noodles can be eaten chilled with a dipping sauce, or in soup.  It contains high amounts of fiber, minerals and vitamins B1 and B2.

In Japan, soba is mostly referring to noodles in general and this has been a staple of the Japanese diet.

Consuming soba noodles can be an alternative for dieting. It is low in calories and high in fiber, which makes it a great choice. Being high in fiber, it keeps you feeling full longer thus helping you to stop overeating and controlling your appetite. A great food to include in your weight loss program.

Combine soba noodles with other foods like vegetables, beans and meat (e.g. salmon) to give a healthy meal with plenty of nutrients for your body!

Soba noodles can be bought from supermarkets, or if not try your local organic stores.

Buckwheat for Weight Loss

Buckwheat is a great choice for weight loss as it is rich in fibre so it makes you fill full quicker and help suppress your appetite.

Incorporating buckwheat into your diet can also help you manage your blood sugar levels, thanks to its glycemic index(GI) of 51 (this means it is low GI !). (Source: http://www.glycemicindex.com)

Keeping your blood sugar levels steady throughout the day is an important factor to your weight loss plan.  How does it work? Well, when we eat, our body converts digestible carbohydrates into blood sugar. Our blood sugar level can affect how hungry and how energetic we feel.  It also determines whether we burn fat or store it.

If you don’t know what the glycemic index (GI) is, i’ll be talking about it in my next post.

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Buckwheat – One of the Superfoods

Here is an informative youtube video talking about buckwheat. Enjoy!