Are Cherries Good for Diabetics

Are Cherries Good for Diabetics ?

Are cherries good for diabetics - If you're one of the 34.2 million people living with diabetes in the United States, you may realize that certain foods should be eaten in moderation or avoided altogether. Because fruit is usually high in sugar, some people think it's best to avoid it. However, are cherries good for diabetics?

The answer is yes, as long as it is enjoyed in moderation and without added sugar. In fact, cherries may even help reduce the risk of diabetes and heart disease!

First, cherries have a lower glycemic index than almost all other fruits, meaning they release sugar slowly. This makes cherries one of the best fruits for diabetics.

The Beneficial Effects of Cherries on Diabetes

It is believed that diabetics should avoid sweet fruits such as cherries because they can cause blood sugar levels to rise. However, this belief is only partially true. Cherries have many roles in diabetes control. Also, read about strawberries for diabetics.

Studies have shown that adding polyphenolic compounds such as anthocyanins to your diet can reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes and improve insulin resistance. Cherries are an excellent source of anthocyanins, making them a great addition to your diabetes management plan. Here are some other properties of cherries that are suitable for diabetics:
  1. Low GI fruits. Cherries are known for their low glycemic index (GI) levels. GI levels indicate how carbohydrate-rich foods affect blood sugar levels. For example, tart cherries have a GI value of 22, classifying them as a "low GI" food. Sweet cherries, on the other hand, have a GI value of 62 and fall into the "medium GI" category. However, this does not mean that you should avoid sweet cherries altogether. Instead, consume in moderation as recommended by a dietitian or physician. These low and medium-glycemic index foods are suitable for diabetics as they prevent blood sugar levels from rising.
  2. Rich in antioxidants. Cherries are a powerful source of antioxidants with anti-diabetic properties. The chemical compound anthocyanins give cherries their deep red color, which increases insulin production and helps regulate blood sugar levels in people with type 2 diabetes. In addition, these antioxidants help prevent diabetes-related health complications.
  3. Cherries are rich in fiber, and just ten cherries provide about 1.4-1.5 grams of fiber, which is about one-tenth of the recommended daily allowance for adults. The fiber in cherries slows down the digestive process and prevents the rapid metabolism of sugar in the body. As a result, blood sugar levels do not rise dramatically, making cherries a safe option for diabetics.

How Many Cherries Can a Diabetic Eat?

While cherries are generally safe for individuals with diabetes to consume, it's crucial to be mindful of portion sizes. Sour cherries, with their low GI levels, can be consumed in larger portions. However, sweet cherries require caution due to their moderate GI score. Canned or maraschino cherries, high in added sugars, should be strictly avoided.

To make an informed choice, it is essential to understand the different types of cherries and their nutritional properties:
  1. Sour Cherries: Calories 50 kcal, Carbohydrates 12.2 g, Fiber 1.6 g, Vitamin C 10 mg. Safe and healthy for diabetics due to low carbohydrate and sugar content.
  2. Sweet Cherries: Calories 63 kcal, Carbohydrates 16 g, Fiber 2.1 g, Vitamin C 7 mg. Suitable for diabetics in controlled portions due to slightly higher carbohydrates.
  3. Canned Cherries: Calories 73 kcal, Carbohydrates 18.8 g, Fiber 1.4 g, Protein 0.71 g, Vitamin C 2 mg. Best avoided by diabetics due to the high carbohydrate content from sugar syrup.
  4. Maraschino Cherries: Calories 165 kcal, Carbohydrates 42 g, Vitamin C 1 mg, Calcium 5% of DV. Strictly avoided by diabetics and non-diabetics due to high sugar content.

You can start by incorporating around 1/3 to 1/2 cups of cherries into your daily diet. Monitor your blood sugar levels before and after consuming cherries to determine the optimal portion size for your body. If your blood sugar levels remain stable, you can consider gradually increasing the portion size. However, if you notice fluctuations in your blood sugar levels, reduce the portion size accordingly.

During the off-season when fresh cherries are unavailable, frozen cherries without added sugars can serve as a suitable substitute. Dried cherries are another option, but due to their higher sugar concentration, portion sizes should be reduced. However, you can safely consume 5-10 dried cherries.

Are cherries good for diabetics? Cherries are an excellent fruit for treating diabetes. Despite concerns about their sweetness, they are safe and recommended for use in diabetic diets. Fresh tart and sweet cherries are rich in anti-diabetic antioxidants, regulate blood sugar and provide important health benefits. By consuming cherries in moderation, as recommended by health professionals, diabetics can enjoy the unique benefits this fruit has to offer.
dr. Sam Elline, SpOG
dr. Sam Elline, SpOG Sam Elline is someone who provides medical services related to pregnancy, childbirth, and women's reproductive health. Please contact via Twitter.