Diabetes patients may wonder whether it is safe to eat oranges or not since it is imperative for them to keep an eye on their blood sugar levels carefully on a regular basis. A healthy diet, proper workout, and prescribed medications are the best methods to control blood sugar levels. There is a myth that people with diabetes should avoid eating fruits including oranges because they contain natural sugars. In reality oranges can be a healthy part of a diabetes friendly diet, if taken in moderation.
Oranges Have Low Glycemic Index
How quickly a food affects blood sugar levels after a meal is measured by its glycemic index. Blood sugar management can be improved by eating foods that have a low GI. The low GI of oranges makes them favourable for diabetic patients. A slow rise in blood sugar level is triggered after the intake of oranges which can provide sustained energy.
Why are oranges healthy?
According to the American Diabetes Association, citrus fruits are considered superfoods for diabetes patients. Oranges are full of fibre, vitamin C, folate and potassium, which would help benefit a healthy diabetic eating plan.The fibre content in oranges is very high. Metabolism of fibre is the lowest and it takes the longest time to digest. This enables release of sugar into the bloodstream at a slower rate ensuring stable blood glucose level.
Eating a whole orange is preferred instead of its juice
Eating raw and whole oranges has more benefits than drinking its juice. Generally juices don’t have enough fibres so, it may increase the blood sugar levels. According to the Journal Diabetes Care, eating citrus fruits could lower the risk of diabetes in women, but drinking the fruit juice may have a negative impact on blood sugar levels of diabetes patients. The glycemic index score of unsweetened orange juice is also around 50, as compared to the GI score of a whole orange, which is 40.
Oranges are Rich in Vitamins and Minerals
A medium-sized orange packs about 91% of the daily value for vitamin C. Vitamin C functions as an antioxidant, molecules that combat oxidative stress in your body. Rise in blood sugar levels can increase oxidative stress, which may cause cellular damage and disease. There is an increased need for vitamin C in diabetes patients to help in reversing oxidative stress. A medium-sized orange also supplies 12% of the daily value for folate. Although results are mixed, studies suggest that this mineral may lower insulin levels and improve insulin resistance, blood sugar management, and symptoms of diabetes-induced eye disease.
Oranges are rich in flavonoid antioxidants, which have several benefits for people with diabetes, including combating inflammation, oxidative stress, and insulin resistance, as well as insulin sensitivity. Oranges contain anthocyanins, a subclass of flavonoids common to red, purple, or blue fruits and vegetables. According to research these compounds may fight oxidative stress, heart disease, and inflammation.
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