True Sweets

By Dean L. Jones

The number of diabetics continue to rise, particularly with American teens as studies find that 20% of our youth have pre-diabetes and/or show a higher than normal blood sugar level that is not quite high enough to be classified as diabetes.  Although science appears to be hard at work to find ways to reduce the risk of contracting diabetes (type 1 and type 2) there remains no cure.

In the mean time, providing serving sizes are not too large, fruit has fiber and nutrients that is beneficial with a true taste of sweetness, even for diabetics.  For example, the Cantaloupe (1/3 a melon serving size) is considered a super fruit for its supply of beta-carotene and vitamin-C to meet daily nutrient requirements, and is an excellent source of potassium that acts as an antioxidant to help lower blood pressure.

Strawberries (a cup) provide 100% of the daily requirement of vitamin-C.  Like the cantaloupe, strawberries contain potassium that can help keep blood pressure down, and fiber, which makes you feel full longer while keeping blood sugar levels in check.

Increasing in popularity is a fruit called Clementine (aka Cuties), which are tiny tangerine hybrids that are high in both vitamin-C and folate (serving 2 fruits).  Advertisers target campaigns toward children indubitably because this fruit has been shown to improve blood sugar control in people with type 2 diabetes.

Considered a vegetable or a fruit (depending on whom you ask), there is one thing for sure when you eat tomatoes ( a cup) the body finds it loaded with lycopene, a natural chemical that gives the tomato its bright color.  The best part is it serves as a powerful antioxidant that is associated with lowering bad cholesterol levels and lowering the risk of heart disease.

Avocado is high in fat, but is mostly a polyunsaturated good fat that delivers a variety of anti-inflammatory benefits.  One avocado is loaded with fiber, 36% of the daily requirement of vitamin-K, 30% of the folate, and 20% each of the daily requirements of vitamins-B5, B6, C, and more than twice the potassium of a banana (vitamin-E, niacin, and riboflavin levels deserve honorable mention).  Eaten with other foods, our body is better able to absorb the nutrients, such as alpha- and beta-carotene and lutein, and helps lower the risk for heart disease.

Blackberries (a cup) are a fantastic source of vitamin C, potassium, fiber, and are rich in anthocyanins, which is an antioxidant that protects body tissues from oxidative damage.  Anthocyanin compounds can help raise good cholesterol while lowering bad cholesterol.  Bananas (about 7 inches long) are a great source of potassium and magnesium that helps keep blood pressure under control, plus are a good source of fiber and vitamin C.  By and large, there is a huge amount of health benefits from natural plant life thereby making anyone’s life easy to live SugarAlert!
Since 2007, Dean steadfastly shares his understanding on the dangers of eating processed sugar.