Articles Fitness Lifestyle

Apricot for Diabetes – A Research-based Guide

13 total views

Making specific dietary changes helps manage diabetes better. Researchers have noticed that dietary habits that can help prevent and manage diabetes usually contain a lot of whole grains, fruits, vegetables, nuts and legumes.

In addition, consuming a diet high in fibre, protein, and healthy fats, such as the Mediterranean diet, can improve blood sugar control and reduce the risk of developing diabetes.

Apricots are a fruit with a sweet and slightly tart flavour. They are a good source of vitamins, minerals, fibre and fat. Some evidence suggests that dried fruits like apricots have a lower GI. As a result,  they help manage blood sugar levels in people with diabetes.

Diabetes – The Global Health Concern

Globally, diabetes is the seventh leading cause of death, with millions of deaths annually resulting from high blood sugar levels. The International Diabetes Federation (IDF) estimates that 6.7 million people die from diabetes yearly, equating to one death every five seconds. 

The World Health Organization (WHO) reported that 422 million adults were living with diabetes in 2014, and this number is projected to increase to 642 million by 2040. In the United States, it is estimated that 9% of the population, or roughly 30 million people, are living with diabetes.

Data shows that, in 2019, estimates revealed that 77 million people in India had diabetes, which is predicted to climb to 134 million by 2045. But, sadly, 57% of these people do not realise they have the condition.

Thus, it is important to take care of our lifestyle and dietary choices to prevent and manage diabetes better. Fruits, including the dried ones such as apricot are a potent source of fibre that helps regular the condition better.

Apricots have a low glycemic index. However, could they still have an impact on blood sugar levels? This article contains the answers to this question. Read on to find out. 

Nutritional Facts about Apricots

As per USDA, one hundred grams of dried apricots contain the following nutrients.

  • Energy: 241 kCal
  • Protein: 3.39g
  • Carbohydrate: 62.6g
  • Sugar: 53.4g
  • Total lipid (fat): 0.51g
  • Fibre: 7.3g
  • Potassium: 1160 mg
  • Beta-carotene: 2160 µg
  • Selenium: 2.2 µg
  • Cholesterol: 0 mg

Apricot for Diabetes – An Overview

Apricots are a fruit native to Armenia and have been grown in many parts of the world for centuries.

They are small, orange-coloured fruits that are similar in size and shape to plums. Apricots are a good source of vitamins and minerals, including vitamins A and C, potassium, and beta-carotene. 

Apricots are also low in calories and high in fibre. It helps slow sugar absorption in the bloodstream and improve blood sugar control. One medium-sized apricot contains about 1 gram of fibre.

It makes them a good choice for people with diabetes who must carefully manage their blood sugar levels. Diabetics may benefit from including apricots as part of a healthy, balanced meal plan. 

What Does Research Say?

Apricots contain pectin. Pectin is a fibre that according to this study slows down sugar absorption in the bloodstream. In addition, apricots are a good source of antioxidants. Therefore, it can help reduce inflammation in the body and thus lower the risk of chronic diseases such as diabetes. 

One example of an antioxidant that may be helpful for people with diabetes is flavonoids. Research shows that flavonoids are a group of polyphenol antioxidants.

These can improve insulin sensitivity and lower blood sugar levels in people with diabetes. Other studies found that people who consume a diet rich in flavonoids have a lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes. 

Apricots also contain vitamins C and E and minerals such as zinc and selenium. Research shows that vitamin C may help improve insulin sensitivity in people with diabetes. Vitamin E may also help lower the risk of complications, particularly in people with type 2 diabetes.

The HealthifyMe Note

Eating apricots in moderation is generally safe for people with diabetes. Apricots are a good source of fibre, vitamins, and minerals and contain a small amount of carbohydrates. However, it is essential to remember that all carbohydrates, including those found in apricots, can affect blood sugar levels. Therefore, monitoring your blood sugar levels, and connecting with your healthcare provider to discuss any diet modification is essential..

Glycemic Index of Apricots

One of the main benefits of apricots for people with diabetes is their low glycemic index (GI). Apricots have a GI value of around 35. Studies show foods with a low GI value get absorbed more slowly. Therefore, it can help regulate blood sugar levels preventing any sudden spikes. 

The glycemic index (GI) of apricots can vary depending on several factors. Like the specific variety, how ripe it is, and how it gets prepared. However, apricots have a low to moderate GI. 

Here is the average glycemic index of some common apricot varieties:

  • Fresh Apricots: GI of 31-40 (low to moderate)
  • Dried Apricots: GI of 40-60 (low to moderate)

Dried apricots tend to have a higher GI due to their higher sugar content and lower water content as they are dehydrated.

It is also important to note that the glycemic index is just one factor to consider when it comes to the impact of food on blood sugar levels.

The total amount of carbohydrates, fibre, and other nutrients in food also plays a role in how it impacts blood sugar levels and overall health.

Apricots Benefits for Diabetes

Some of the possible benefits of apricots for people with diabetes include:

Nutrients

Apricots are a good source of essential nutrients, including fibre, vitamins A and C, potassium, and iron. These nutrients are vital for overall health and can help manage diabetes.

High in Fibre

Apricots are a good source of fibre. It can help slow down the absorption of sugar in the bloodstream. As a result, it helps improve blood sugar control.

High in Antioxidants

Apricots are rich in antioxidants, which can help protect against oxidative stress and inflammation. However, it is associated with an increased risk of diabetes complications.

Low in Calories

Apricots are low in calories, which benefits people with diabetes who need to manage their weight.

It is important to note that apricots have potential health benefits for people with diabetes. However, managing blood sugar levels through a healthy diet, regular physical activity, and, if needed, medication is still essential.

Ways to Incorporate Apricots into Diabetic-friendly Diet

Apricots can be a healthy and tasty addition to a diabetic-friendly diet. However, it is always essential to consult with a healthcare professional or a registered dietitian to determine the right amount of apricots and other fruits to include in your diet.

If you have diabetes, the HealthifyMe app can be  your best option. It provides a CGM to track your blood sugar levels, and personalised nutrition recommendations based on your specific needs and goals. In addition, it can help you make healthy choices that are appropriate for your condition.

HealthifyPro Tips to Incorporate Apricots into a Diabetes Diet

  • Eat Apricots Fresh: Fresh apricots are a great source of fibre and nutrients. They can be eaten as a snack or added to salads, oatmeal, or yoghurt.
  • Use Dried Apricots: Dried apricots are a convenient and portable snack. Just be aware that they are higher in sugar and calories than fresh apricots, so it is important to watch portion sizes.
  • Try Apricot Puree: You can make your apricot puree by blending fresh or canned apricots. So, you can use it as a spread on toast or as a topping for pancakes or waffles.
  • Add Apricots to Recipes: You can use apricots in various recipes, such as apricot chicken or apricot bars. Just be sure to keep an eye on the total carbohydrate content of the recipe.

Diabetes-friendly Recipes for People with Diabetes

Here are a few diabetic-friendly recipes you may enjoy:

Baked Apricot Oatmeal

Combine oats, diced apricots, almond milk, an egg, and cinnamon in a baking dish. Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 25-30 minutes or until the top is golden brown.

Grilled Apricot and Chicken Salad

Grill chicken breasts and sliced apricots until the chicken cooks through and the apricots are tender. Arrange the chicken and apricots on top of a bed of greens. Finally, drizzle with olive oil, lemon juice, and Dijon mustard.

Apricot Chia Pudding

Mix chia seeds, diced apricots, and unsweetened almond milk. Let the mixture sit in the fridge for at least an hour, or overnight, to allow the chia seeds to absorb the liquid and thicken the pudding. Serve the pudding chilled, topped with a sprinkle of chopped nuts or shredded coconut.

Apricot for Diabetes – Potential Side Effects

Apricots are generally well-tolerated and do not cause allergies or side effects in most people. However, if you have diabetes, it is crucial to be mindful of the impact of apricots on your blood sugar levels.

Also, apricots are a good source of fibre and nutrients but contain natural sugars. So they can affect blood sugar levels if eaten in large amounts or on an empty stomach. 

Eating apricots in moderation and in combination with other foods to help slow the release of sugar into the bloodstream is a good idea.

If you have diabetes, monitoring your blood sugar levels is essential. Also, carefully track your carbohydrate intake to ensure your blood sugar stays within a healthy range. 

Conclusion

Apricots can be a good choice for people with diabetes. They are a low glycemic index (GI) food, which means that they do not cause a rapid increase in blood sugar levels when consumed.

In addition, apricots are a good source of fibre. It can help regulate blood sugar levels and improve overall blood glucose control. However, it is crucial for people with diabetes to monitor their fruit intake and be mindful of portion sizes, as fruit still contains natural sugars. It is always a good idea to consult a healthcare professional before making any changes to your diet.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q. Can diabetic patients eat apricot?

A. Yes, apricots are a healthy choice for people with diabetes. They are a good source of fibre, vitamins, and minerals and have a low glycemic index. It means they do not cause a rapid increase in blood sugar levels. However, it is still important to watch portion sizes and monitor blood sugar levels after eating apricots or any other fruit.

Q. Does apricot increase blood sugar?

A. Apricots may help control blood sugar levels because they have a low glycemic index and are a good source of fibre. However, it is essential to note that no single food can control blood sugar levels. If prescribed, a balanced diet, regular physical activity, and medications are necessary for managing diabetes.

Q. How many dried apricots can a diabetic have?

A. There is no specific recommendation for how many apricots a person with diabetes should eat daily. However, it is important to incorporate  a variety of fruits into the diet while being mindful of portion sizes. One serving of fruit is typically about 1 cup of fresh fruit or 1/2 cup of dried fruit.

Q. Who should not eat apricots?

A. There is no specific group of people who should not eat apricots. Apricots are a healthy and nutritious food that most people can enjoy as part of a balanced diet. However, if you have an allergy to apricots or their ingredients, you should avoid eating them. It is always a good idea to check with your doctor or a medical professional if you have any concerns about including specific foods in your diet.

Q. What happens if we eat apricots daily?

A. Eating apricots daily can be a healthy choice, as apricots are a good source of nutrients, including fibre, vitamin A, and potassium. However, it is essential to remember that consuming too much of a good thing is an unhealthy option.. In addition, it is crucial to remember that no single food can provide all the nutrients your body needs to stay healthy. So it is vital to eat a varied diet that includes various foods. Additionally, pay attention to portion sizes. Overeating any food, even a healthy one, can lead to weight gain and other health problems.

The Supporting Sources

1. Ley SH, Hamdy O, Mohan V, Hu FB. Prevention and management of type 2 diabetes: dietary components and nutritional strategies. Lancet. 2014 Jun 7;383(9933):1999-2007. doi: 10.1016/S0140-6736(14)60613-9. PMID: 24910231; PMCID: PMC4751088.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4751088/

2. Viguiliouk E, Jenkins AL, Blanco Mejia S, Sievenpiper JL, Kendall CWC. Effect of dried fruit on postprandial glycemia: a randomised acute-feeding trial. Nutr Diabetes. 2018 Dec 11;8(1):59. doi: 10.1038/s41387-018-0066-5. PMID: 30531821; PMCID: PMC6288147.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6288147/

3. 10th Edition of the IDF Diabetes Atlas 2021, The International Diabetes Federation (IDF)

https://diabetesatlas.org/

4. Diabetes, World Health Organisation

https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/diabetes

5. Pradeepa R, Mohan V. Epidemiology of type 2 diabetes in India. Indian J Ophthalmol. 2021 Nov;69(11):2932-2938. doi: 10.4103/ijo.IJO_1627_21. PMID: 34708726; PMCID: PMC8725109.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8725109/

6. Viguiliouk E, Jenkins AL, Blanco Mejia S, Sievenpiper JL, Kendall CWC. Effect of dried fruit on postprandial glycemia: a randomised acute-feeding trial. Nutr Diabetes. 2018 Dec 11;8(1):59. doi: 10.1038/s41387-018-0066-5. PMID: 30531821; PMCID: PMC6288147.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6288147/

7. US DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE

https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/173941/nutrients

8. Flourie B, Vidon N, Florent CH, Bernier JJ. Effect of pectin on jejunal glucose absorption and unstirred layer thickness in normal man. Gut. 1984 Sep;25(9):936-41. doi: 10.1136/gut.25.9.936. PMID: 6432635; PMCID: PMC1432502.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1432502/

9. Kim Y, Keogh JB, Clifton PM. Polyphenols and Glycemic Control. Nutrients. 2016 Jan 5;8(1):17. doi: 10.3390/nu8010017. PMID: 26742071; PMCID: PMC4728631.

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/26742071/

10. Al-Ishaq RK, Abotaleb M, Kubatka P, Kajo K, Büsselberg D. Flavonoids and Their Anti-Diabetic Effects: Cellular Mechanisms and Effects to Improve Blood Sugar Levels. Biomolecules. 2019 Sep 1;9(9):430. doi: 10.3390/biom9090430. PMID: 31480505; PMCID: PMC6769509.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6769509/#:~:text=Flavonoids%20are%20furtherly%20classified%20into,prevent%20diabetes%20and%20its%20complications.

11. Study of the Effects of Vitamin C on Patients With Type 2 Diabetes, National Institutes of Health Clinical Center (CC)

https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT00001870

12. What is the glycaemic index (GI)? National Health Service 

https://www.nhs.uk/common-health-questions/food-and-diet/what-is-the-glycaemic-index-gi/

Download Healthifyme APP

Share this Post

About Us

What started as a mission to share what's happening in the fitness and nutrition world today has grown into your daily go-to for your active lifestyle news.