04 April 2009

Bananas on your cereal. Strawberry shortcake. Lip-smacking apple slices dipped in peanut butter. With treats as sweet as these, why do we grumble and groan when the doctor reminds us to eat more fruit? It's a gold mine for the vitamins and minerals your body needs including vitamin C, which helps prevent the damage that high blood sugar does to cells and arteries.

1. Squeeze more citrus fruit. Oranges, lemons, limes, and grapefruit are rich in vitamin C and good sources of fiber, for example one large orange contains 4 grams. Lemon and lime juice are perfect for salad dressings and vinaigrette dressings or added to the dry ingredients of breads and cakes. Acidic foods like lemon blunt the effect of meals on your blood sugar. So, you can buy a few extra lemons and plan to add the juice to everything from tuna sandwiches to pasta dishes.

2. More apples please! Apples are loaded with soluble fiber, which slows the digestion of food and thus the entry of glucose into the bloodstream. One group of researchers discovered that women who ate at least one apple a day were 28% less likely to develop diabetes than those who ate none. Apples are also rich in flavonoids, antioxidants that help prevent heart disease, especially the spple’s skin.

3. Put a cantaloupe in your cart. These melons are real standouts in the vitamin C department. And despite their sweetness, melons don't contain a lot of sugar, so forget anything you've heard about banning them from your diet. Cut it into chunks and scatter them in some sugar-free flavored gelatin, then chill. A cup of melon contains more than your recommended daily allowance of vitamin A, essential protection against some of diabetes' major complications, such as kidney and retina problems.

4. eat as many berries as you can eat in a week. Fructose, the natural sugar found in most fruits, is sweeter than sucrose, so it takes much less with fewer calories to get that sweet taste. And fructose is friendlier to blood sugar, causing a much slower rise than sucrose does. Berries are chock-full of fiber, not to mention anthocyanins, healthful plant compounds that scientists believe may help lower blood sugar by boosting insulin production.

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