This stigma on fruits had always remained in my practice until I attended a convention which featured updates on managing diabetes, around July of 2013. In that convention, my old beliefs were being challenged. One of the speakers showed a study about two groups of diabetic patients who were tested on the effect of fruit in their blood sugar. The study had both groups of diabetic patients visit an experienced dietitian two times. First visit was during the start of the study and the second visit was at the end of the study. The major difference in the interventions given to the two groups was in the amount of fruits that they were allowed to eat in a day. The first group was allowed to eat AT LEAST two pieces of fresh fruit per day (high-fruit group), and the second group was allowed AT MOST two pieces of fresh fruit per day only (low-fruit group). A piece of fruit in this case equated to one that contained 10 grams of carbohydrates per piece. Written information of which to serve as the patients' guide were thus given for the purpose of standardization in the methods of the study.
The results were myth-breaking... Both groups lowered their weight and waist circumferences with no significant differences between the two groups. The amazing part was that both groups also lowered their HBa1c levels at a similar rate despite the absence of fruit restriction in the first group. So, this meant that even if you are a diabetic, you don't have to limit your fruit intake to only two pieces of fruit a day anymore! This is very liberating. I began to feel excitement, so I took some notes on the said study and researched it myself. I read the published paper and applied it to my patients and the results have been amazing. Since then, I don't give fruit restrictions to my diabetic patients anymore. They are now happy and free from the prison of fruit control.
Mark Joseph Ong, RND
Clinical Nutritionist Dietitian
DIETWISE NUTRITION CONSULTANCY