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Saturday, November 25, 2006

Fruits and Vegetables to Avoid and to Enjoy in Diabetes

Avoid fruits? You must be crazy!

Doctors and nutrition specialists never tire of telling everyone, especially people with diabetes, and the obese at risk of developing diabetes, to cut back on red meats, fats, dairy products, and everything else that tastes so good! However, we are encouraged to eat fruits and vegetables, so what is all this about avoiding some of them?

There are three kinds of fruits and vegetables, which we should avoid or consume only in moderation, whether or not we have diabetes:

a. Ones high in sugar: mangoes and tables grapes are prime culprits!

b. Anything with heavy metal, microbial, or chemical pesticide contamination. Washing anything consumed thoroughly with clean water and hands should take care of surface microbes, but sourcing fruits and vegetables from professionally managed farms, is the only way to avoid metals and pesticide residues.

c. Fruits and vegetables with large numbers of small seeds can block the route from each kidney to the bladder, if you eat them in large numbers, though purees and seedless varieties are fine.

Melons and citrus fruits which you can peel and eat are the only ingredients of common diets for diabetes prevention and management, which are safe in terms of all the 3 parameters mentioned above. It is not common to use systemic pesticides in large quantities of them, and deposits of contact fungicides used close to harvest can always be washed off with water. Metals are unlikely to reach pulp even if plants are grown in contaminated soil.

Most vegetables are gown under intensive pesticide covers, and tubers could have metal traces. Most pesticides are heat labile, so boiling makes sense, even if you lose some nutrients in the process. Farms far away from industrial zones are unlikely to have metal contaminants in soil.

It would be wonderful if food processors would offer fruits and vegetables labeled with guarantees against harmful residues, but we are a long way from that utopia as yet, so we have to be health literate and fend for ourselves!


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