Let’s Chat About Fruit & It’s Impact On Blood Sugar
Ever wondered how fruit impacts your blood sugar levels? Let me break this down for you.
First off, I want to let you know that I love fruit, it’s nature’s candy! But, I do think we should consume it with moderation. Especially when wanting to balance blood sugar levels, have more balanced hormones and better weight management.
Fruit can be a wonderful source of vitamins, minerals & antioxidants. Berries are my favourite fruit which pack the most bang for your buck when it comes to health promoting benefits of fruit, they are also a great lower GI fruit option.
However, it’s important to be mindful that fruit can cause aggressive glucose spikes, particularly when eaten on an empty stomach. When eaten alone (for example first thing in the morning or before any meal) fruit sugars are quickly broken down and sent into the bloodstream. This is what can cause a quick and rapid glucose spike. High glucose spikes are quickly followed by drops in blood sugar, this is what can cause hunger 30-90 minutes later and lead to afternoon fatigue and food cravings.
High spikes in glucose triggers a lot of insulin to be released into your bloodstream. If you’re wanting to lose weight or balance hormones, you do not want to cause a surge of insulin. High levels of insulin prevents your bodies ability to break down fat, it also triggers inflammation and contrubies to hormonal havoc.
The sugar that fruit contains is fructose. Fructose is different from glucose because it gets metabolized in the liver. Eating a low GI fruit that’s high in fibre like berries our bodies can handle. For example, 1 cup of fibre rich raspberries has 3 grams of fructose, once digested 3 grams of raspberries end up in your bloodstream and is shuttled to your liver.
However, eating too much fructose in one sitting without adequate fibre, protein & fat to slow down the release of sugars into the bloodstream is very hard on the liver, it creates inflammation & elevated triglycerides.
Some fruits which contribute to the biggest glucose spikes are banana, mango & grapes.
If you’re wanting to balance hormones or have better weight management start to become aware of how much fruit you eat and how you eat it. I have a rule which is no naked fruit. So, dress it up with protein and/or some fat. Smear nut butter onto an apple, enjoy fruit with unflavoured greek or coconut yoghurt, a handful of nuts, or even a boiled egg or sliced cheese.
Also, when enjoying fruit, make sure it’s in a balanced serving size, a small handful (½ cup) is one serving. Enjoying two servings per day is often what I recommened when wanting better weight management or more stable blood sugar levels, and replacing any other servings of fruit you might have had during the day with some fibre frich vegetables or some extra protein.