The #1 Best Fruit To Lower Blood Sugar, Say Dietitians
If you're living with diabetes, or have been diagnosed with prediabetes, you know the importance of regulating your body's blood sugar spikes. There are many factors in managing your blood sugar, such as exercising regularly and eating a healthy diet.
But sometimes just trying to "eat healthy" can be a challenge if we aren't sure which foods to include on a daily basis. To help us learn more, we talked with a few dietitians about fruit that can help those living with diabetes.
According to Justine Chan, MHSc, RD, CDE, a registered dietitian and Certified Diabetes Educator, the best fruit to eat to manage your blood sugar levels is blueberries.
"The best fruit for diabetes would have to be blueberries. Blueberries are high in anthocyanins, which give them their distinctive blue color, and have been shown to potentially delay the digestion of carbs and prevent blood sugar spikes."
Recent studies have shown that blueberries have many health benefits, especially those related to diabetes and lowering your blood sugar.
"A randomized controlled trial found that after 8 weeks, blueberries lowered HbA1c, a blood test that measures your average blood sugar over the last 3 months. Participants also had lower triglycerides, a type of fat in your blood, and reduced inflammation," says Chan.
Blueberries are low on the glycemic index
One of the markings of a diabetes-friendly food is where something scores on the glycemic index. This index, ranked one to 100, shows how much a food can cause a blood sugar spike. A food is considered "low glycemic" if it scores between one and 55, and it's considered high if it's above a 70.
According to Chan, "Blueberries are also low on the glycemic index, with a score of 53. This means they will only cause a slow rise in your blood sugar."
Examples of fruits that are higher on the glycemic index are watermelon (at around 76) and cantaloupe (around 68).
Blueberries are high in fiber as well
According to dietitians, fiber can be helpful in managing blood sugar. "Berries like blueberries, blackberries, and raspberries are naturally low in sugar and high in fiber, and fiber helps to stabilize blood sugars," says Amanda Lane, MS, RD, CDCES, founder of Healthful Lane Nutrition.
If you're reaching for a fiber-heavy fruit, some experts recommend pairing it with something else. "Other fruits high in fiber include cantaloupe, apples, and dates, but I also recommend combining fruit with a protein to help with blood sugar spikes," says Morgyn Clair, MS, RDN, author at Fit Healthy Momma.