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10 Fruits For Health

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By Johanna Hicks, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension, Family & Community Health Agent, Hopkins County, [email protected]

With summer upon us, many individuals turn to cool, refreshing fruits to satisfy taste buds. Those with diabetes can benefit from the vitamins and minerals provided by fruits but must be mindful of the carbohydrate counts. Fruits have several health benefits, including reducing the risk of obesity, heart attack, and stroke.

However, all fruits contain sugar, and this can be challenging for those living with type 1 or type 2 diabetes. Understanding the carb content will help individuals enjoy the healthy and delicious food without spiking blood sugar. Keep in mind that fresh fruit and frozen fruit are always better choices than fruit in a can or jar because of potential added sugars in those products. Dried fruits also contain extra sugar.

Allison Caggia with Diabetes Daily provides a list of 10 fruits that are lower in carbs while still providing fiber which can help keep you feeling fuller longer, promote good digestion, and help overall blood sugar management. These fruits have 10 grams net carbs or less:

  • Tomatoes: the tomato is a fruit and perhaps one of the most versatile to work with. They can be eaten over a salad, served with fresh mozzarella and a drizzle of balsamic vinegar, roasted to bring out the flavor, or turned into a sauce to add to a favorite protein. Tomatoes contain a plethora of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants and only contain 4.8 grams of net carbs for an average-sized tomato.
  • Avocados: This is a great choice that is full of healthy fats and antioxidants, while containing only 1.7 grams of net carbs per 3.5 ounces. Avocados are high in fiber and contain potassium, Vitamin K, Vitamin C, and folate. Adding avocado to a salad is a flavorful way to get some good nutrients without spiking blood sugar, or turn it into guacamole to serve with your favorite crunchy dipping veggies.
  • Strawberries: A favorite for many, this fruit contains 8 net grams of carbs per cup. Strawberries are high in vitamins, fiber, and antioxidants, along with other health benefits. This versatile fruit can be used to make smoothies, toss them on your favorite leafy green summer salad, or dice them into Greek yogurt.
  • Lemons and limes: While people don’t actually eat whole lemons and limes, either is a great addition to water. Both contain only 7 net carbs per serving, so use them generously in your water and to season meals as well. And the are a great source of Vitamin C.
  • Blackberries: Of all the really fruity fruits, blackberries contain the lowest amount of carbs – only 8 net carbs per cup. Blueberries, by contrast, contain 17 net carbs per cup. Blackberries are packed with vitamins and high in fiber, making them a great choice.
  • Kiwi: Kiwis are actually berries, and like most other berries, they have minimal sugar, containing 8 net carbs per kiwi. They are packed with vitamins and antioxidants, and high in fiber, which helps aid digestion.
  • Plums: This fruit only contains 7.5 net carbs per averages-sized plum. They have been found to reduce blood sugar thanks to a hormone, adiponectin. The fiber may also help avoid a quick spike in blood glucose levels.
  • Rhubarb: Coming in at only 1 gram of net carbs per cup, this super fruit is packed with vitamins and antioxidants, along with numerous health benefits, such as aiding collagen production and fighting inflammation. Most recipes use a lot of sugar to take an edge off rhubarb’s sour and bitter flavor, but a zero-carb sweetener could easily be used instead.
  • Watermelon: With only 8 grams per 3.5 ounces, watermelon is deliciously refreshing. Not just high in vitamins and antioxidants, watermelon also contain lycopene which has been found to lower blood pressure among many other health benefits.
  • Cantaloupe: Like watermelon, cantaloupe only contains 8 grams of carbs per 3.5 ounces. It is full of vitamin A, C, and potassium. Try this succulent fruit alone or add it to water for a little flavor.

Closing Thought

Our greatest fear should not be of failure but of succeeding at things in life that don’t really matter.

– Francis Chan

Contact Johanna Hicks, B.S., M.Ed., Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Family & Community Health Agent at the Hopkins County office at P.O. Box 518 or 1200-B West Houston St., Sulphur Springs, TX 75483; 903-885-3443; or [email protected].

Author: Faith Huffman

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