Health

Do Apples Affect Diabetes and Blood Sugar Levels?

We may have experienced this during school days, one of our health-conscious teachers would’ve said, “Have an apple a day and keep the doctor away.” How many of us have pondered over this old saying? The million-dollar question is- is apple good for diabetes? Now the time has come; we look at this quote through scientific lenses.

Do you want to know if eating apples can provide us with health benefits, or is it just a marketing gimmick? Can diabetes eat apples? How many apples can a diabetic eat per day?

If you have any questions related to apples and diabetes, we have the answers for you. Have a look at the health benefits of apples one by one.

What have scientific studies found about how apples affect your blood sugar?

Apples contain nutrition that affects our blood sugar levels. Eating apples provides us with carbs, vitamin C, and fiber.

If you have one medium-sized apple, you can get 27 grams of carbs, and 4.8 percent of these carbs are fiber. You can also find 104 calories and 9 milligrams of vitamin C in apples. Eating an apple makes one feel pleasantly satiated because it has fiber and water in apples.

Your body needs fiber because it slows down the digestion and absorption of carbs, preventing sudden blood sugar spikes. In addition, as per some studies, many types of fiber can improve blood sugar management.

NOTE/TIP:

The best way to gain all the nutrition of an apple is not to peel its skin. Instead, it would be best to eat an apple with its skin to get nutrition. A study states that the most of an apple’s nutrient value is available in its skin.

Is Apples good for diabetes

We have learned that apples contain sugar. However, most of the sugar in apples is fructose. American Diabetes Association found in a study that if you consume fructose, it has a lesser effect on blood sugar levels. Hence, eating a whole apple with the skin is better for your health.

Apples ensure the sugar enters the bloodstream gradually and doesn’t increase blood sugar levels.

Apart from fiber, apples also have plant compounds called polyphenols that lower blood sugar levels and slow down the digestion of carbs.

NOTE/TIP:

Did you know that apples have a low glycemic index (GI) and glycemic load (GL) scales? So this is another reason for you to eat apples to ensure a minimal rise in your blood sugar levels.

Do Apples Affect Blood Sugar Levels
is apple juice good for diabetics

Is apple good for diabetes and reducing insulin resistance?

We have discussed various benefits of apples based on scientific studies. Now is the time to answer the million-dollar question, can diabetic patients eat apples?

We need to understand first how many types of diabetes are there. A person can be diagnosed with three types of diabetes: gestational diabetes, type 1, and non-insulin-dependent or type 2 diabetes.

Children and young adults have type 1 diabetes as it is an autoimmune disorder. If a person has this type of diabetes, the pancreas refuses to produce enough insulin in the body or the hormone that carries sugar from the blood to cells.

This is the reason why people with diabetes have to take insulin regularly.

Multiple studies have found that they can lower insulin resistance if you eat apples, helping your body lower blood sugar levels.

As already mentioned previously, it happens because of polyphenols found in apples’ skin. It stimulates your pancreas to release insulin and strengthens your cells to take in sugar.

can diabetic patient eat apple

Antioxidants in apple lower the risk of developing diabetes

You can find many studies that have found that apples can be eaten in diabetes as they reduce the risk of diabetes.

For instance, a review conducted in 2019 found that eating apples and pears can prevent type 2 diabetes and the risk of cardiovascular problems.

In 2013, three cohort studies observed if a person has a greater consumption of fruits such as apples, blueberries, and grapes. This is because these fruits can lower the risk of type 2 diabetes. However, one can’t acquire this result by consuming the juice of these fruits.

Why do several studies suggest apples might prevent diabetes? The answer is antioxidants found in apples.

Our body needs antioxidants to prevent harmful chemical reactions. So when you have enough antioxidants in your body, you can hardly fall ill as these antioxidants safeguard your body from chronic diseases.

Let us glance over three antioxidants found in apples.

  • The first one is quercetin which slows down carb digestion and helps prevent blood sugar spikes.
  • Second is chlorogenic acid which can help our body absorb sugar more effectively.
  • The third is phlorizin which can lower blood sugar levels and slow down sugar absorption in our bodies.

It is crucial to note that sample sizes were small in studies conducted on phlorizin. Therefore, it needs to be validated by other studies.

Just for your information, red apples and Honeycrisp have the highest concentrations of beneficial antioxidants.

can we eat apple in diabetes

Is Apple good for diabetes and diet

As you can see- apples are great for people with diabetes. But how can you include them in your diet?

American Diabetes Association, one among many dietary guidelines, even recommends a diet that contains fruits and vegetables.

Fruits and vegetables have nutrients like fiber, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Several studies have confirmed a diet that has fruits and vegetables can lower risks of diseases like cancer and heart disease.

Undoubtedly, apples are less likely to spike your blood sugar levels. You can monitor and test your blood sugar whenever you eat an apple. It may help you understand if eating apples are showing promising results or not.

Is apple cider vinegar good for diabetes?

There is no wonder apple cider vinegar has shot to fame these days. Many people use apple cider vinegar for diabetes.

Apple cider vinegar, aka ACV, is a type of vinegar consisting of the fermentation of cider apples. When apples are crushed and squeezed, you get their juice extracts. You can read our blog to find out various uses, internal health benefits, and external health benefits.

Uses of Apple Cider Vinegar

  • Best all-purpose cleaner
  • Can rinse vegetables and fruits
  • Can be used for rinsing your hair
  • Organic toner for your face
  • Turn away insects like flies
  • Can kill weeds in the garden
  • Removes warts

Internal health benefits of ACV

  • Control your weight
  • Rich in potassium and enzymes
  • Promote digestion and ph balance
  • Empowers immunity system
  • Soothes dry throat

External health benefits of ACV

  • The natural acetic acid in ACV kills bacteria
  • Lower blood sugar levels
  • Clean your acne
  • Remove stains on your teeth
  • Deodorizer smelly feet
  • Delay aging and other degenerative disorders
  • Stop hiccups
  • Clear stuffy nose
  • Detoxification
  • Treats sunburns
  • Helps with heartburn and indigestion
is apple good for diabetic patient

Is Apple good for diabetes and health ?

5 health benefits of apple

Apples for diabetes are pretty compelling,- but they come with a host of other health benefits too. So here are some of them:

Apples can lower blood pressure and high cholesterol

Based on research conducted by the University of Illinois, apples have soluble fiber that prevents cholesterol growth in the lining of blood vessel walls. This lowers restricted blood flow in your arteries due to plaque buildup and chances of heart disease.

A study also found that you may decrease cardiovascular disease risk if you have a higher intake of soluble fiber.

Research states that by eating apples (or pears) on a regular basis, you can lower stroke risk by 52%. Another study published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that you can lower your LDL cholesterol and triglyceride levels if you consume two apples per day.

Apples can help with digestion

Harvard Health Publishing states that both soluble and insoluble fibers are essential for digestion. Apples contain both fibers. Soluble fiber slows down digestion making you feel full as it also slows the digestion of glucose. This helps control your blood sugar levels. On the other hand, insoluble fiber can aid consumed food move through your system and help with constipation.

Apples can provide a healthy immune system

Apples may support a healthy immune system because they have immune-boosting vitamin C. As per a study published in 2017, vitamin C can build the immune system by fortifying the epithelial barrier against pathogens. It also safeguards against environmental oxidative stress like pollution or radiation.

Apples are diabetes-friendly

A study conducted on people with type 2 diabetes discovered that regularly consuming soluble fiber can help reduce insulin resistance, improve blood sugar and triglyceride levels.

Apples may prevent cancer

As per a 2016 Public Health Nutrition, if you eat apples regularly, you can reduce the risk of developing specific cancers, such as breast cancer, esophageal, colorectal, and oral cavity.

If we consider the above-proven health benefits, it won’t be an exaggeration to declare that the apple is a superfood.

Here are some tips on how to get the best of an apple.

Eat it whole to get all of the health benefits since many nutrients are in its skin.

Avoid apple juice because it won’t give you the same benefits as the whole fruit. In addition, apple juice is high in sugar and doesn’t have fiber.

Conclusion

Without an inkling of a doubt, we can say adding apples to diabetic’ meal charts is the best thing to do. All you have to do is, be conscious of the quality and size of an apple.

If apples are non-organically grown, don’t panic. Non-organic produce is not as harmful as people say they are. Unless your organic produce is fresh- it may do more harm than good, and be lacking in nutrients.
In short- having a non-organically grown apple is much preferable than not eating it at all because you have an organic-only rule.
You can read our blog which explains the organic vs non-organic issue in detail.

Now, you have enough evidence that apples can lower the risk of diabetes, reduce your insulin resistance, or affect your blood sugar levels. They also come with many other health benefits.

FAQs

  1. I love apples, but I'm diabetic, so is apple good for diabetes?

    We understand the life of a person with diabetes is riddled with rules. But, the good news is, eating fruits and vegetables is quite helpful for people with diabetes. In particular, apples are highly nutritious, satisfying, and healthful.
    Apples have a minor effect on your blood sugar and insulin levels. So, people with diabetes can consume apples for sure. Apples have high fiber. So, if you have four apples a day, it would not increase your blood sugar a great deal.

  2. Among all types of apples, which kinds of apples for diabetes are the best?

    Apples contain 80 to 90 calories and are low on the glycemic index, making them one of the best fruits for diabetes and blood sugar levels.
    The Harvard Gazette states that apples are beneficial for reducing the risk of type 2 diabetes. Among various types of apples, you can go for tart green apples like Granny Smith. These apples are low in sugar, so they're an excellent choice for people with diabetes.

  3. Can diabetes eat apples? Will eating apples help lower blood sugar?

    Studies have identified that people who eat apples regularly can probably reduce insulin resistance. When your insulin resistance is declined, it should lower your blood sugar levels. The reason behind this, the polyphenols found in apples—primarily in apple skin—stimulate your pancreas to release insulin. This process helps your cells take in sugar and maintain your blood sugar levels.

  4. Is apple cider vinegar for diabetes effective as per scientific research?

    You will find multiple research studies that point out the effectiveness of including apple cider vinegar in your diet. ACV or apple cider vinegar may lower blood sugar levels and improve your insulin sensitivity. It can also help people feel full for a longer time. For example, a study conducted in 2018 reported that apple cider vinegar resulted in a small or significant reduction in HbA1c results after 8 to 12 weeks.

  5. Is apple cider vinegar good for diabetes? Can it prevent diabetes?

    Apple cider vinegar can significantly reduce a person's post-meal blood glucose if one consumes it before. Therefore, if you regularly consume apple cider vinegar, it could be an excellent option to prevent the risk of developing diabetes.
    In fact, vinegar, commonly used for home cooking and homeopathic medicines, has been linked to weight loss. However, keep in mind if you are already on diabetes drugs or insulin. These medications decrease your blood sugar level. So, adding ACV to your diet might make your blood sugar too low.
    Kindly go through our blog to learn more about the dosage of apple cider vinegar.

I am the founder of Vitsupp and have a bachelors in engineering. My family suffers from every lifestyle disease you can think of. Heart disease, obesity, high blood pressure, diabetes, hypothyroidism . . you name it and some one in my family has it. Trying to save myself and my family from our genetic disposition, I learnt much about nutrition, exercise and lifestyle diseases. Certificate in "Diabetes – The Essential Facts" by University of Copenhagen

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