Diabetes is a disease which appears when in the blood the glucose level is high for a long time. Glucose can be brought to the organism by food, it is found in honey, sugar, and certain fruits. Generally the glucose is used by the body as an energy source.
The level of glucose in blood in kept under control by insulin, a substance produced by the pancreas. By stimulating the cells to use glucose the insulin lowers the level of glucose in blood. Insulin is released by the pancreas mostly after eating is done and the level of glucose in blood is increased. In patients who suffer of diabetes mellitus insulin can not reduce the increased level of glucose in blood any more and so the glucose will continue to be stocked in the blood and after some time it will be found in the urine too.
Diabetes is classified in two: type 1 and type 2. Type 1 is known to occur during childhood and was named as insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus. The pancreas is not able to produce the insulin any more as the cells responsible to this process have been destroyed by the body. These patients require insulin injections permanently.
Diabetes type 2, also known as non-insulin dependent diabetes mellitus occurs mostly during adulthood. In this case the insulin is not produced in sufficient quantities or it is not effective on the body cells.
There is another type of diabetes called the gestational diabetes which sometimes occurs in women who are pregnant. This type of diabetes does not last forever; it ends after pregnancy is done.
The symptoms of diabetes will be seen if the high level of glucose in blood is kept like this for a long time. As glucose will be found in urine too, the patient will feel thirsty and dehydrated. Other symptoms of diabetes are: tiredness, weight loss, problems with vision, itchy skin and frequent minor infections.
Not treated for long time diabetes can cause serious complications like: retinopathy which can lead to blindness; nephropathy or kidney failure; nerve damage, leading to tingling, numbness and weakness in the hands and feet, and atherosclerosis.
Diabetes is a disease which lasts the whole life and can not be cured. Patient suffering of diabetes type 1 will permanently need insulin support.
Symptoms can be managed with adequate treatment. At first the doctor will recommend the patient to exercise daily and to keep a diet. Also, monitoring regularly the level of glucose in blood is essential for further treatment measures. If weight is being reduced type 2 diabetes can be managed quite easily along with keeping a diet and exercising. If these methods do not give the needed results oral medication will be prescribed and even insulin injections in the worse cases.
Fruits For Diabetes
A person suffering from diabetes should abstain from eating foods that are rich in cholesterol and fats. The food should be light, non-greasy and easy to digest with lots of fibre content.
Most fruits fit correctly in this category, and are known for their various beneficial effects on a patient suffering from diabetes. They are low on fats and highly rich in nutrients and vitamins and have a positive effect on the unusual rise in the blood glucose levels.
However, one should avoid fruit juices and fruit concentrates, because they contain lot of sugar and many fruits are required to make one glass of juice. Moreover, fruit juices do not provide a person with the dietary fibre.
« Choose whole fruits more often than juices. They have more fibre.
« Choose fruits and fruit juices without added sweeteners or syrups.
« Eat lots of citrus fruit such as oranges, sweet lime, grapefruit, or olives.
You can choose from any of the fruits available in the market. Each one has some benefit or the other.
Although diabetics can have any fruit, but they should preferably avoid mango, custard apple, grapes, chikoo, bananas as they have a high sugar content. There are three fruits in particular that are especially beneficial for diabetic patients – apple, grapefruit and jambul (jamun).
One the most popular fruit, apples have a high pectin content and are very beneficial to diabetic patients. Pectin is found in the rind and in the pulp, and acts as a detoxifier of the body by supplying an excessive amount of galacturonic acid. This helps remove harmful waste from the bloodstream and can lower a diabetic’s insulin requirements by up to or even more than 35%. Besides being rich in pectin, apples are also rich in Vitamin B1. Vitamin B1 prevents the damage of the brain cells that can occur due to diabetic acidosis.
Grapefruit – a citrus fruit with a typical, refreshing flavour has several medicinal properties that helps one fight diabetes – can bring down the blood glucose level within a time span of just three days. However, just a diet of grapefruit is not enough. One needs to take more of vegetables and fruits rather than a diet rich in fats.
Nutritionists recommend that anyone suffering from high blood sugar levels should be consuming at least three servings of grapefruit every day. Grapefruit can also be used as a preventative measure against high blood sugar levels, especially when used in conjunction with a low fat, low-sugar, low-starch diet. Diabetic patients should experience a change in less than three months.
Rose apple or jambul –
The elements present in jambul have a strong positive effect on pancreas. It prevents the conversion of starch into bad sugar, thus controlling the blood sugar levels. The seeds of this fruit can be dried, powdered and then taken with water. Apart from controlling diabetes, it also relieves thirst and prevents excessive urination.
In addition to the fruit, the bark of the jambul tree is also used to treat diabetes. The bark itself is dried out entirely, then burned into a white-colored ash which is then taken. In Ayurveda, a diabetic patient is given about two grams of this ash in the morning on an empty stomach and two grams each in the afternoon and in the evening – an hour after meals.
The question is not whether or not you should eat fruit but rather how much and what kinds of fruit you should be eating.
People with diabetes are encouraged to eat at least five portions of fruit and vegetables every day. Spreading the fruit you eat through the day will avoid a sudden rise in blood glucose levels. Although some fruits have a lower glycemic index, the important thing is to increase the variety of different fruits that one eats. Eating more fruit and vegetables also helps to improve the overall balance of the diet. Fruit is the perfect snack.
However, one needs to be careful about the fruits chosen to eat, how often you eat them and when you eat them. It is advisable to choose fruits that rank low on the glycemic index. Fruits high on the index are bananas, mango, chikoo, custard apple, dates, pineapple.
How fast a fruit will raise your blood sugar also depends on considerations as whether you eat the fruit after a high-calorie meal or drink it as a glass of fruit juice on an empty stomach.
It is also important to pay attention to the size of the fruit you eat – choose a small or medium-sized portion over a large one (or eat only half of the large one).
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Symptoms of Diabetes
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Studies on Diabetes
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