Apples are a famous, sweet, and crunchy food that may appease your appetite and provide the body with the nutrients required to function. They are delicious and healthy foods to add to your diet regardless of whether you have diabetes.
This amazing furit will indeed slightly impact your blood sugar because they contain carbs in the form of sugar. However, since an apple has a low glycemic index, it distributes sugar into your circulation gradually, avoiding unnatural spikes in blood glucose levels.
There existed a misconception that apples raise blood sugar levels due to their sugar content. However, blood glucose tracking has helped burst such myths.
Glucose monitoring is especially vital for people who suffer from diseases such as blood pressure and diabetes. However, the age-old way of monitoring glucose levels requires a glucometer that demands finger pricking to extract a drop of blood and check the blood sugar levels. But, technology and innovation are changing how healthcare works now.
A wearable device called BIOS can be an excellent way to track your blood glucose in real-time. With a device attached to your body, usually your arms, you can continuously and promptly measure your blood glucose levels.
The sensor in the device monitors your blood glucose levels in real-time and helps you know the impact of a food or beverage or exercise on your blood glucose levels. For example, you may monitor your blood glucose levels from the first mouthful to the final sip of water.
Monitoring the glucose level can help with decisions about what to eat and how to exercise. So, the device can tell you the impact of an apple on your blood glucose levels. It can also help you determine the quantity of consumption and the correct time to eat it.
Debunking Myths Regarding Fruits and Diabetes
Fruits are abundant in phytochemicals, antioxidants, and fibre, all of which have numerous positive health benefits. Unfortunately, research reveals that despite the widely acknowledged health advantages of eating fresh fruit, people with diabetes do not generally consider fruits safe, given their high sugar content.
Contrary to this belief, studies have proven that increasing fruit consumption is helpful for the primary and secondary prevention of several chronic diseases, including type 2 diabetes.
The common myth of fruits being bad for diabetes comes from the generalisation that all fruits are problematic due to their sugar content. However, when making such an assumption, you must consider the fruit’s glycemic index or load. It represents the quality and quantity of carbohydrates in a fruit which can vary substantially for different fruits.
Research shows a strong correlation between increased whole fruit consumption and a lower risk of type 2 diabetes, especially in the case of blueberries, grapes, and apples.
It is due to the low glycemic index of these fruits and their highly digestive fibre, antioxidants, nutritional, and diabetes-fighting phytochemical contents.
The HealthifyMe Note
It is vital to refrain from believing in myths that say fruits are unhealthy for blood sugar regulation and can lead to a spike. On the contrary, fruits are an excellent source for regulating blood sugar without causing significant damage. Furthermore, they are a healthy source of glucose and can help stabilise the body’s blood glucose levels.
Nutritional Value of Apples
It contain vitamins, dietary fibre, antioxidants, and other minerals. With diabetes, it’s essential to keep track of macronutrients like carbs and micronutrients (vitamins and minerals) since they affect your blood sugar. Therefore, it is vital to know what apples’ nutritional content is and why they are considered diabetes-friendly. As per the USDA, around 100 grams of raw apples with skin contain:
- Calories: 52 kcal
- Protein: 0.26 g
- Sugars: 10.4 g
- Carbohydrates: 13.8 g
- Fibre: 2.4 g
- Fat: 0.17 g
- Potassium: 107 mg
- Phosphorus: 11 mg
- Calcium: 6 mg
- Magnesium: 5 mg
Apples are a rich source of phytochemicals. According to research, the nutrient consumption of apples leads to a reduced risk of diabetes because various phytochemicals are present in apples.
For example, apples contain potent antioxidants, quercetin, catechin, phloridzin, and chlorogenic acid. The phytochemical content of apples varies significantly amongst apple types, and modest changes in phytochemicals occur as the fruit ripens and matures. Nevertheless, these phytochemicals are essential in the fight against diabetes.
Apples and Glycemic Index
Regulating blood sugar levels is vital in preventing diabetes. The glycemic index categorises foods that include carbohydrates into groups based on how likely are they to cause blood sugar spikes.
Compared to foods with a lower Glycemic Index value, foods with a high Glycemic Index are likely to cause a more significant spike in your blood sugar levels. Since apple has a low glycemic index, several studies support apple consumption for people with diabetes.
Apples have a low glycemic index owing to two reasons. First, apples contain polyphenols, plant-based substances known to guard against type 2 diabetes.
As per research, polyphenols slow down the bloodstream’s absorption of sugar, reducing sharp spikes in blood sugar. Second, fructose, which has little impact on blood sugar, makes up most of the sugar in apples. Hence, many prefer swapping table sugar for fruit-derived sugar such as fructose to reduce blood glucose.
Health Benefits of Apple
Apples are a nutritious superfood for everyone, not just people with diabetes. They aid in preventing and treating several illnesses, including diabetes because they contain various nutrients. Here are some of the excellent health benefits of apples that make them a healthy addition to your diet.
Apples are full of several nutrients. As per the USDA, around 100 grams of raw apples are a rich source of several essential vitamins, minerals and micronutrients.
Apples are a great source of vitamins and minerals. The fruit contains vitamins E, B1 and B6. Vitamin E is vital for growth and development, vitamin B6 is crucial for protein metabolism, and vitamin E functions as a fat-soluble antioxidant. Apples are also abundant in antioxidants called polyphenols. These shield your cells from free radicals, protecting them on a cellular and molecular level.
Lowers the Risk of Diabetes
Apple consumption is not only safe for people suffering from diabetes but it can even prevent the disease. Apple consumption lowers your risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
According to a research review, eating apples and pears was linked to an 18% lower incidence of type 2 diabetes. In addition, a weekly dose of one could lower the risk by 3%. This favourable impact may be due to their high antioxidant (polyphenols quercetin and phloridzin). The anti-inflammatory properties of quercetin may lessen insulin resistance, a significant risk factor for the development of diabetes. Phloridzin may also reduce sugar absorption in the intestines, resulting in lower blood sugar levels and a decreased chance of developing diabetes.
Aids Weight Loss
Recent studies have proven that a diet rich in fibre aids weight loss. A high-fibre diet keeps the stomach full for longer, significantly reducing overeating. A diet filled with protein also keeps cravings at bay, and apples contain a reasonable amount of fibre and protein, making them suitable for weight loss.
Apple consumption lowers the risk of heart disease because apples contain soluble fibre, which can lower blood cholesterol levels. In addition, some polyphenols such as flavonoid epicatechin may reduce blood pressure.
Studies also show that high flavonoid consumption lowers the risk of stroke. Additionally, flavonoids reduce plaque formation in your arteries and lower blood pressure, LDL cholesterol oxidation and atherosclerosis. As a result, it can help prevent heart disease.
Promotes Gut Health
Apples contain pectin, a form of fibre that serves as a prebiotic. It nourishes the beneficial bacteria in your stomach, known as the gut microbiota. Your gut microbiota contributes significantly to your general health due to its role in various health and disease prevention processes.
Better health frequently depends on a healthy gut. Pectin enters your colon intact because dietary fibre is hard to digest, which helps the growth of beneficial bacteria. In addition, it enhances explicitly the proportion of Firmicutes to Bacteriodetes, the two major bacterial species in your gut.
The antioxidants in apples protect against specific malignancies, such as the digestive system, breast, and lung tumours. In addition, according to one study, eating more apples was associated with a lower chance of cancer mortality. Apples’ ability to combat cancer is also due to their high fibre content.
Can help fix Asthma
The antioxidant properties of apples help shield your lungs from oxidative damage. Oxidative damage can occur due to an abundance of dangerous chemicals known as free radicals. Your body may react by becoming inflammatory and allergic as a result.
The anti-inflammatory, antioxidant quercetin, abundant in apple skin, can help protect your immune system and lessen inflammation. That makes apples useful against reactions in the later stages of bronchial asthma. Similarly, additional elements present in apples, such as proanthocyanidins, may lessen or stop allergic asthma airway inflammation.
Healthy Ways to Eat Apples
- You can eat apples as fresh fruit or chop an apple into slices and toss them into a salad with vegetables and nuts.
- You can also eat apples as a dessert by eating sliced apples with a scoop of your favourite nut butter.
Quantity and Timing are Important
Make sure to stick to one medium-sized apple since larger portions will have a higher glycemic load. You’ll also want to space your daily fruit intake to stabilise blood sugar levels.
Moreover, avoid pre-packaged apple sauce and dried apples and consume fresh, whole apples. Processed fruit can have lower fibre and higher sugar content.
Eat Apples With the Skin
Try to consume the apple with its skin because research shows that the apple skin contains most of the fibre, minerals and antioxidants. Its removal will lower the overall nutrition benefits you would reap by eating an apple.
Consume Fresh Fruit Instead of Drinking Apple Juice
As per studies, fruit juice can cause a higher risk of diabetes than fresh fruit consumption. Fruit juices contain a higher sugar concentration and less fibre than fresh fruits.
As a result, it can cause a higher spike in blood sugar. Therefore, it is best to eat apples rather than drink apple juice to reap the maximum benefits.
The HealthifyMe Note
Apples have many health benefits apart from just blood sugar regulation. For example, apples help prevent asthma, and cancer, and aids weight loss. Eating the correct quantity at the right time is very important. One of the best ways to consume apples is by eating them raw with the skin.
Precautions and Safety Measures
After eating apples, some people may experience an allergic reaction. Anyone suffering from hives, puffiness, or breathing issues must consult a doctor immediately.
Life-threatening conditions could arise if this develops into anaphylaxis. As a result, checking to see if you have an apple allergy before including them in your diet is essential.
Monitoring Blood Glucose Levels
To know how apples impact you, always check your blood glucose after eating them. Maintaining a healthy body requires monitoring your blood sugar levels and understanding how various foods affect you. If you are dealing with diabetes, it is also wise to speak with your doctor before adding new items to your diet.
Apples are a fantastic option for managing type 2 diabetes and preserving healthy blood sugar levels. The majority advise a diet rich in fresh fruits and vegetables of nutritional guidelines for diabetics.
Since apples don’t raise your blood sugar levels quickly, they are one of the safer fruit options for those with diabetes. In addition, they are rich in nutrients, such as vitamins and minerals that support blood sugar regulation.
Apples are also an excellent food option for people with diabetes due to the inclusion of fructose, which makes them low GI foods, as well as polyphenols and fibre, which slow down the digestion of carbohydrates and lower blood glucose levels.
However, before introducing apples into your diet, you must ensure that you aren’t allergic to them and that you also monitor the effect it has on your blood glucose level.