Whether you just got diagnosed with diabetes or have been dealing with it for years, figuring out your diet can get complicated quickly. You can easily find out which kinds of food can help prevent diabetes. But if you already have diabetes, there are more rules and restrictions you need to know. Need an example? We all think fresh fruits and veggies are safe and healthy. But if you have diabetes, some fruits are safer to eat than others.
The Cleveland Clinic names berries one of the best foods for diabetics because they have a low glycemic index. The glycemic index measures how much a carbohydrate-containing food raises your blood glucose. But a separate measurement, called the glycemic load, does a better job of telling you a food’s real impact on your blood sugar. A glycemic load of 10 or below is low, and 20 or above is high. Watermelon, for instance, has a high glycemic index, at 80. But a serving of watermelon has few carbohydrates — just 6 grams — so its glycemic load is just 5. So some foods that are high on the glycemic index can have a low glycemic load.
Confused yet? We’ve done the hard work for you and found out which fruits nutritionists say are the worst (and the best) for people with diabetes. You might never look at fruit salad the same way again.
1. Dates: worst
According to the international table of glycemic index and glycemic load index values, published by the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, dried dates have a high glycemic load of 42. Livestrong notes with super-sweet fruits, such as dates and raisins, “portion control is crucial.” The publication adds, “In general, people with diabetes should aim for fruit servings that don’t exceed 15 grams of carbohydrates. For that reason, you can usually eat more juicy fresh fruit than concentrated sweet treats like dates and raisins, which are higher in calories and carbs.”