Is Pineapple Good for Diabetes?
Diabetes is a common problem in which the patient suffers a high blood sugar level. There are different types of diabetes – Type 1 Diabetes, Type 2 Diabetes and a condition called Gestational Diabetes, which occurs in some women during pregnancy. If you have diabetes, your body either does not make the required amount of insulin or the body cells doesn’t respond to the secreted insulin (can’t use the insulin) that the body secretes or sometimes both the problems are present.
It is a long term disease that has a lot to do with the food that you consume. This is because the sugar level in the blood is directly dependent on the amount of sugar (in the form of glucose) that is supplied to the body through food. Hence, a diabetes diet must be determined carefully and wisely. Pineapple is one such fruit which has a lot of controversy as to whether it is safe or not for diabetics.
Is Pineapple Good for Diabetes?
A diabetes diet simply means eating the healthy foods (low Trans Fats, less carbohydrate) in moderate amounts, without skipping the usual or regular mealtimes. It must be rich in naturally occurring nutrients as well as, have low amounts of calories and fat, making the diet plan healthy. In this, the key elements are fruits, vegetables and whole grains.
Fruits play one of the most important roles in planning a healthy and balanced diet for a diabetes patient. They are an excellent source of various sorts of vitamins and minerals that help in keeping the blood sugar level in check. One such mineral present in many fruits is potassium, which helps in reducing blood pressure.
A common fruit pineapple is often regarded as an unhealthy fruit in diabetes diet, because of its high carbohydrate content that makes the fruit sweet. Since the body breaks the carbohydrate into sugar, the blood sugar level is rapidly increased, causing risk for diabetic patients. However, pineapple should not be removed from the diabetes diet completely just because of its high carbohydrate content. Rather, omitting other carbohydrate sources, if pineapple is included in the diabetes diet, would impart better health benefits to the patient.
- Vitamin C:
Pineapple is a rich source of Vitamin C. Vitamin C protects the heart and reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease and stroke. Hence, including fruits that are rich in Vitamin C in the diabetes diet is a wise decision, as the diabetes patients are always at a risk of developing heart diseases.
- Fiber Content in Pineapple is Good for Diabetes:
The fiber content of a pineapple, on the other hand, helps reducing the blood sugar level, cholesterol level and regulates bowels.
While pineapple is rich in Vitamin C and fiber, as well as manganese, there is no saturated fat or cholesterol present in it. Hence, including small portions of fresh pineapple (not the store bought heavy or light pineapple juice or pineapple syrup), is good for diabetes.
- Bromelain in Pineapple is Good for Diabetes:
Another important nutritional compound, rather an enzyme that is abundantly found in the pineapple juice as well as in the pineapple stem is Bromelain. This compound has medicinal properties that can reduce inflammation as well as swelling. Hence, this is an added benefit that consumers can access by adding pineapple to their regular diet.
How Much Pineapple Should Be Good for Diabetes?
The amount or portion of pineapple consumed is very important for diabetics and must be checked. The idea is to omit or control other carbohydrate intakes and replace it with a small portion of pineapple either as a dessert or as a snack. 3/4th cup of fresh pineapple or ½ a cup of canned pineapple contains 15 grams of carbohydrate, which is the recommended measure of carbohydrate intake from a singular fruit serving for a diabetes patient. This helps in keeping the blood sugar level as it is, without increasing it further.
Nutritional Breakdown of Pineapples:
1 cup of fresh pineapple contains:
- 22 grams of total carbohydrate (2.3 grams of fiber and 16 grams of sugar)
- 82 calories
- 1 gram of protein
- 2 mg of sodium
- 0 grams of cholesterol
- 0 grams of fat
On the other hand, the nutritional components that can be availed from 1 cup of fresh pineapple include:
- 131 % of vitamin C
- 2% of calcium
- 2% of vitamin A
- 2% of iron.
What must be kept in mind is that you eat the right kind of fruit, especially pineapple, and eat them in small, appropriate portions. However, here it must also be mentioned that there are certain fruits that are more useful in controlling diabetes or fruits that do not increase the blood sugar levels as quickly as the other fruits. It is always advised that those fruits are chosen over the others.
Eating pineapple in diabetes is a good choice as long as it is taken in moderation. You should balance consumption of pineapple with other foods. If pineapple is introduced into the diet for the first time since diagnosis, then it is essential to monitor blood sugar levels.
If pineapple causes the blood sugar levels to go too high or low, a doctor can help in determining whether pineapple is suitable for that patient or not. A healthy-eating plan can help you to keep your blood glucose level under control. It can also prevent the complications that are induced by diabetes.