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Are Papayas Safe for Diabetics to Eat?

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Although fruits are synonymous with healthy food, there are many types of fruits that are high in natural sugar. If diabetics consume it, it can actually make the condition worse. Perhaps you must be wondering that can diabetic patients eat papaya? Just read the full article below.

Can diabetics eat papaya?

Diabetes is a condition characterized by high levels of sugar in the blood due to the body not being able to produce enough insulin, or not being able to use it as it should. Insulin is a hormone that helps control blood sugar and helps it enter the body's cells.

Food intake is very influential on blood sugar levels. For people with diabetes, the wrong type and amount of intake can cause spikes in blood sugar and worsen the condition.

Are Papayas Safe for Diabetics to Eat?

So, can diabetics eat papaya? The answer is yes, as long as it's the right portion. There are several reasons why papaya is safe for diabetes if consumed in the right amount, namely:

1. Papaya sugar content. Papaya contains 11 grams of sugar in 1 serving ( cup ). This amount is good for diabetics to limit sugar intake and keep blood sugar stable.

2. Papaya glycemic index. Papaya has a glycemic index (GI) value of 60 which is classified as a food with a moderate GI level, namely 50-69. The glycemic index is a value that indicates how quickly a food can raise blood sugar levels after consumption. Foods with a moderate GI generally will not raise blood sugar levels quickly.

3. The content of flavonoids in papaya. Some studies also state the benefits of papaya for diabetes. Papaya is known to contain natural antioxidants in the form of flavonoids. Research in the journal Nutrition & Metabolism states that the flavonoid content in food has an antidiabetic effect that helps control blood sugar levels.

Papaya contains vitamins A, B1, B3, B5, C, E, K, folate, calcium, magnesium, potassium, copper, lutein, pantothenic acid, and fiber which is good for diabetics.

Although safe, in general, diabetics are encouraged to choose foods with a low glycemic index (20–49) to help control blood sugar levels. Consumption of foods with a moderate GI, such as papaya for diabetes is allowed, as long as it is in a certain amount.

How to safely eat papaya for diabetics

The right type and amount of food can help people with diabetes control blood sugar levels. Listed below are some diabetes dietary recommendations:

  • Consult a doctor or nutritionist regarding the daily calorie count according to your condition
  • Choose complex carbohydrates with high fiber content
  • Choose lean protein, such as chicken breast, shellfish, fish, and eggs
  • Choose low-fat milk
  • Include vegetables, whole grains, and legumes in your diet
  • Choose fruits with low or medium glycemic index levels
  • Avoid instant or processed foods that contain trans fats
  • Eat in small portions and often

Consumption of papaya for diabetics can actually be at any time. However, it is better to eat papaya at breakfast. The reason, the antioxidant content in papaya helps protect the body from free radicals.

In addition, the high fiber content in papaya can also help suppress hunger and make you full longer, thus helping to lower blood sugar levels.

Alternative fruit for diabetics

If you have doubts about eating papaya, further consult the right amount of intake to your doctor or nutritionist. As an alternative, here are fruit alternatives for diabetics who have low glycemic index levels:

  • Apple
  • Strawberry
  • Raspberry
  • Blueberries
  • Blackberry
  • Cranberries
  • pomelo
  • Siamese orange
  • Pear
  • Apricot
  • Plums

Although it has a low GI level, it does not mean that diabetics are free to eat the fruit. Consumption of fruit with a balanced amount still needs to be done, do not overdo it.

So, can diabetics eat papaya? The answer may be in moderate amounts, accompanied by a balanced nutritional intake and a healthy lifestyle such as regular exercise. Do not forget, that the consumption of drugs may be recommended by doctors for some diabetics. 

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