People with diabetes may want to include guava in their breakfast routine.
The tropical fruit not only tastes great, but it can help diabetics manage their blood sugar levels and control their disease.
“For diabetics, their main problem is their ability to stabilize sugar and metabolize sugar,” said Dr. Clifford Medina, chief of general medicine at Mount Sinai Medical Center in Miami Beach. “So people with diabetes need to be careful with the food they eat.”
Medina says guava is considered a “healthy food” for diabetics. Here, then, are five reasons why guava can be good for you as a diabetic:
▪ Low glycemic index food: One of the main reasons diabetics should be reaching for guava is that it ranks low on the glycemic index. This is the system used to gauge how a food will affect blood sugar.
“Foods with a lower glycemic index are unlikely to cause high spikes in blood sugar after eating them,” Medina said.
Low glycemic index foods are also digested slowly, which means you’re more likely to stay full longer.
▪ Great snack: Medina said the fruit is a perfect addition to a meal, or a snack, especially in the morning.
“I could see people eating it as part of their breakfast, or a snack between breakfast and lunch,” he said. “If you wanted a healthy snack between lunch and dinner, you could use it as that as well.”
But, Medina said eating guava alone should not be used as a meal replacement.
▪ Great source of fiber: Foods rich in fiber, like guava, help keep you feeling full longer. People with type 2 diabetes can take advantage of the way high fiber foods can improve blood sugar levels, helping to maintain a healthy weight.
“The benefit to fiber is that it keeps you full during the day,” Medina said.
Having a high fiber food like guava will make you less likely to feel hungry later, and thus curb snacking.
“In general, foods that are high in fiber are very good, and have been associated with cardiovascular benefits for patients,” Medina said.
▪ Best in pure form: Sorry, guava pastries don’t count as a healthy way to get your guava fix. And juices and other processed forms of the fruit don’t cut it either.
Eating guava as a whole food will help ensure you’re getting all of the health benefits.
▪ Easy access: There are a ton of reasons why living in South Florida is great, and access to guava is one of them.
“Guava is a fruit that is widely available in tropical and subtropical regions,” Medina said. “You have better access to guava here in Florida because of our proximity to the tropics.”
Since it’s a grocery store staple in South Florida, yearlong access to the fruit is not a problem.
While guava is considered healthy for people with diabetes, it’s not the only fruit that falls into this category. Medina said other low glycemic index foods such as blackberries, raspberries, apples and plums are all considered good choices for diabetics.
Medina encourages his patients with diabetes to have a variety of food in their diets and to speak to their doctor or a nutritionist to make sure they’re eating the right foods.