5 Fruits Diabetics Should Stay Away From

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Feb 15, 2016 11:00 AM EST

Diabetes is a debilitating disease that affects 29.1 million Americans or about 9.3% of the population. CDC reports that of this statistic, about 8.1 million Americans or 27.8% of the population remain undiagnosed.

As per Mayo Clinic, diabetes refers to a group of diseases that affect how the body uses blood sugar or glucose. Having diabetes means there's too much glucose in the blood, creating serious health problems for the body. Because of this, one's diet must be regularly and closely monitored to prevent blood sugar spikes and other complications such as neuropathy or nerve damage, cardiovascular disease, kidney damage, etc.

While it is good to maintain a healthy diet composed of fruits and vegetables, there are some foods that are bad for diabetics. Here are some fruits that those with diabetes should be cautious about.

1. Grapefruit. According to Beating Diabetes, grapefruit has been shown to inhibit enzymes that metabolize medications in the intestine, therefore increasing the concentration of these medicines in the blood. This may be toxic. Such medicines that have a reaction towards grapefruit are drugs for lowering cholesterol such as atorvastatin (Lipitor), simvastatin (Zocor), and lovastatin (Mevacor), and those for controlling blood pressure, including amlodipine (Norvasc), nifedipine (Adalat, Procardia), and verapamil (Isoptin, Calan).

2. Dates and figs. While these fruits are a great source of dietary fiber, it should be taken with caution because of its high sugar content. Dates are about 63% sugar, while with figs, 100 grams of it can bring 48 grams of sugar. Be careful as well with dried and glazed figs or dates, as these have added sugar on top of its natural sugar content.

3. Coconut. Paul Kennedy of Beating Diabetes recommends skipping the coconut because it contains 33.5 grams per 100 grams of fat. While it is a great source of iron, phosphorus, and zinc, it's best to consume coconuts in moderation.

4. Canned fruits, jam and jelly, or fruit preserves. According to Newsmax, these foods have too much added sugar that may cause blood spikes and uncontrollable blood sugar levels, so it's best to stay away from processed and canned fruit products.

5. Fruit juices. While some opt to eat their fruits, other people like to juice them or make smoothies out of them. According to FOX News, fruit juices are also high in sugar and calories. Dr. Joel Zonszein, director of the clinical diabetes center at the University Hospital of the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in Bronx, New York recommends eating a piece of low-sugar fruit instead of drinking the juice.

Doria-Medina, a diabetes expert with Healthcare Partners Medical Group in Los Angeles also cautions against fruit smoothies such as those from Jamba Juice, because "They're full of sugar. A large Jamba Juice smoothie is like drinking three cans of soda." She recommends making your own smoothie instead, made of low-sugar fruits like green apple, and tossing in some kale.

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