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Apple Benefits for Diabetic Patients

An apple a day keeps the doctor away – we all heard this ancient proverb and the great nutrition profile of an apple proves that there’s some truth in it. However, while apple is great for snacking instead of some unhealthy popcorn or fries, we know it’s loaded with carbs and sugar. So even if it’s a healthier option for regular adults, can we say the same for people with uncontrolled blood sugar and diabetes? Can apple be recommended for the people who are already diabetic? Can diabetic people consume apples up to a certain limit safely, or should they avoid this nutritious fruit completely? Today we will try to find the answers to these questions in this article, so stay tuned with us till the end.

Apple’s nutritional composition

Before we come to whether the apple is a good snack for diabetics, let’s have a glance into what kind of micronutrients an apple provides us –

A medium-sized apple weighs 182 grams on average, and it packs following nutrients –

● 155 grams of water
● 0.47 grams of protein
● 0.31 grams of fat
● Total 25 grams of carb, out of which, sugar covers around 19 grams
● 4.4 grams of dietary fiber
● 11 mg of calcium
● 0.22 mg of iron
● 9.00 mg of magnesium
● 20 mg of phosphorus
● 195 mg of potassium
● 0.07 mg of zinc
● Only 2 mg of sodium
● 8.4 mg of vitamin C
● 5 mcg of folate among other B vitamins
● The trace amount of vitamin A, E, and vitamin K
● Approximately 95 calories of energy you get from an apple.

Glycemic index of apple: Glycemic index or GI is a numerical value, between 0 to 100, which is assigned to various foods on the basis of how fast or slowly they can increase one’s blood sugar level. Higher the glycemic level, the quicker the blood glucose level rises; hence people with diabetes should avoid foods with a high glycemic index.

The GI of water is the lowest (0) and glucose has the highest (100) GI score. Cornflakes, a popular snack, comes with a GI score 81, which makes it a poor choice for people with high blood sugar. But on the other hand, apple’s glycemic index is only 36, which is on the lower side, and that makes it an ideal food for diabetic people. But you may wonder why an apple has such a low GI score with a whopping 19 grams of sugar for a medium-sized one – let’s find out.

Why apple is an ideal fruit for diabetic people despite its high sugar content?

Although an apple has a generous amount of sugar, it’s not the kind of sugar that’s most harmful to us. It’s the processed and chemically refined sugar (the kind we buy from supermarkets and it comes added in biscuits, cookies, chocolates, and other such packaged foods as well) which has the most damaging effect on our physical system and therefore a strict no-no for a diabetic person.

Apple’s sugar is different than the artificially processed sugar – it is called fructose, and it occurs naturally in fruits. Researchers found that while being another form of glucose, fructose has a less detrimental effect on our body as it releases less sugar in the blood compared to glucose and sucrose.

Moreover, an apple comes with 4 grams of fiber, which prevents insulin spike by slowing down sugar absorption in the body after a meal. It is also known that nutrients like protein and healthy fat in our food aid in a slower sugar spike, and an apple has 0.47 and 0.31 grams of protein and fat respectively.

Conclusion: It’s an urban myth that people shouldn’t eat apple due to its high volume of simple carb; in fact, the apple is equally good for both healthy and diabetic people. Having said that, you must consult your physician to know your apple intake limit. Yes, it has a low GI score and its fructose is not as bad as the glucose itself; still, it comes packed with lots of carbs and that’s why if you’re a diabetic person, you need to consume apples in moderation.