Can a diabetic eat banana, lychee and watermelon? (Query)

If you have uncontrolled diabetes, then bananas, watermelon, lychees, mangoes, custard apple and chickoo are a no-no.

I am a 45-year-old diabetic with controlled diabetes. I often go for blood check-ups as well. I practice portion control and also exercise daily. I eat a seasonal fruit every day and like banana and watermelon the most. My friend said that diabetics should stay away from fruits like bananas, lychee and watermelon. Is it true? If yes, what fruits should I eat? Please help.

The query is answered by Dr Neha Sanwalka, nutritionist and dietician.

Most people believe that banana is a strict no-no for people with diabetes, which is half-true. If you have uncontrolled diabetes for months, then most nutritionist advise not to include banana in your diet. However, if your blood sugar is under control, then depending upon your diet and blood glucose level, intake of 50 100 gms of banana per day is recommended. So if you are a diabetic and your blood glucose is within control, then consult your nutritionist to know the right quantity of fruit you should eat. Moreover, it is also dependant on the use of hypoglycemic medications and how much insulin you are taking to keep your blood glucose in control. Read more about fruits that are good for people with diabetes.

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The same rule applies to other commonly available fruits like lychee, custard apple (sitaphal), mango and chickoo. Hence, portion control is the key when it comes to fruits with a high glycemic index like a banana. But other fruits like apple, jamun and pear are commonly allowed fruits, which should be taken in moderation. When it comes to watermelon, which is known to have high Glycemic Index but a low glycemic load, consult your dietician before eating it. Also, read about other unhealthy diet habits that diabetics assume are healthy.

Most fruits contain only carbohydrates (and not any other macronutrients) along with vitamins and minerals. And hence, it forms a source of energy, which should be eaten in moderation. Also, never take fruits after meals. This is because, by doing so you not only exceed your capacity to eat for the meals but tend to overeat and also load up glucose, which can lead to fluctuation in your blood glucose level. Hence, the best time to eat fruits, whether a diabetic or healthy individual is to eat in the morning or evening. It should always be a part of in-between meals and not after meals.Here is a sample diet plan diabetics can use for better blood sugar control.

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