Is Papaya Good for Diabetics?

What is Diabetes?

Diabetes is an autoimmune condition in which the beta-pancreatic cells are unable to make enough insulin or when the body is not able to use insulin the way it should.

Insulin is a hormone, with the help of which glucose enters the body’s cells. If the body is not able to make insulin properly, the glucose gets accumulated in the blood.

Blood sugar can be managed in many ways such as with medications, exercise, and a healthy diet.

Fruits are also a part of a healthy diet, but, certain fruits may contain natural sugar also in high amounts. This is not good for those with diabetes.

Is Papaya Good For Diabetics?

Let us have a look at it:

Papaya and Diabetes

Fruits have natural sweetness, which makes people think whether consuming them is good for diabetics or not.

Fruits are a part of a healthy diet and it is fine to eat them in moderation.

One freshly cut papaya contains 67 calories including:(1)

  • 2.67 grams of dietary fiber, which is 10% of the daily value
  • 286 milligrams of potassium, which is 6.08% of the daily value
  • 95.6 milligrams of vitamin C, which is 106.2% of the daily value
  • 33 milligram of magnesium, which is 8 percent of the daily value
  • 31 milligram of calcium which is 3.1% of the daily value

Sugar in Papaya

According to the U.S Department of Agriculture (USDA), one cup of papaya contains 11 grams of sugar.(1) People should limit the intake of added sugars to keep the sugar levels controlled and manage weight.

The American Heart Association recommends people limit their sugar intake and consume not more than half of their daily discretionary calories.(2)

Women should not consume more than 100 calories a day and men not consume more than 150 calories.

Glycemic Index of Papaya

Glycemic index is the value assigned to different foods that indicates how fast it can increase the blood sugar level. This helps people with diabetes to keep their blood sugar levels under the target range.

Low glycemic index foods have a score of 20-49, moderate glycemic index have a score of 50-69, and high glycemic index foods have a score of 70-100.

Papaya has a glycemic index score of 60, which means it does not raise the blood sugar level quickly.

Papaya is a good choice for people with diabetes as it has a medium-range glycemic index. It may help lower blood sugar as well.

Reports say papaya has a hypoglycaemic effect on the body.(2) It has flavonoids, a natural antioxidant that may help lower blood sugar levels.

Despite having a sweet taste due to the natural sugar in it, it is high in fiber and low in sugar that makes it a healthy snack for those suffering from diabetes.

Alternatives to Papaya

Papaya has a medium glycemic index. There are a few alternatives to papaya that have similar nutrients but fall in the low glycemic index range. These include:

Moderation is a key to keep the sugar levels under control, therefore, eat just a piece or two of fruits per day.

Fruits such as watermelon, ripe bananas, pineapples, and dried dates have a high glycemic index and can spike blood sugar levels and hence should be avoided.

Diabetes is a chronic condition but the blood sugar levels can be controlled with proper treatment, diet, a change in lifestyle. Fruits are a part of a healthy diet and even though papaya and a few other fruits fit in a diabetic diet plan, it is important to be mindful of the glycemic index of a particular food before consuming it. It is important to choose fruit with a low or moderate glycemic index before consuming it.

Limit the fruit intake to one or two servings of fruits per day and consult a doctor if having trouble managing blood sugar.

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