Lets face it – every one of us gets a craving for something sweet. Whether it is a late night snack or something to munch on after dinner, sweet things are always nearby; ready to sabotage your diet. Instead of denying yourself the snack, learn to appreciate different types of berries. Fruit, especially berries, is a great addition to one’s diet. The only time I would recommend staying away from fruit is for people who are on a mission to lose weight. The most effective weight loss method, in my opinion, is a carb-restricted ketosis diet. Under those dieting conditions, fruit probably provides too many carbs and sugar and should be limited. For everyone else, benefits of fruit and berries far outweigh the rather small spike in blood sugar.
Fruit is usually average on the glycemic index scale, meaning that most types of fruit will not cause a “white bread” like spike in blood sugar when consumed. The range is rather wide, grapefruit being a 25 and watermelon yielding a whopping 72. This is determined by the fructose/glucose content of those fruits. The blood sugar spike of fruit is also lessened by the amount of dietary fiber which slows the digestion of fructose. Eating fruit also provides you with tons of vitamins and anti-oxidants. The glycemic index or the potential blood sugar spike score of berries is low to mid 20’s. Eating berries, especially ones organically grown, will have many health benefits.
Why choose berries and cherries over other fruit? Now that we know that the glycemic index favors the berries, let’s not forget about the antioxidant content. Antioxidants help the body break down and get rid of dangerous build up of cancer-causing free radical molecules. In a study done on 100 foods, cranberries, blueberries and blackberries were among the top finalists as far as fruits go. Daily intake of antioxidants is a sure way to protect yourself against cancer and other diseases.
Lastly, berries have a favorable ratio of glucose to fructose. Studies have shown that fructose is more dangerous as far as fat gain, decreasing insulin sensitivity and increasing cholesterol than glucose. On average, berries have a 1 to 1 ratio of fructose to glucose, whereas apples are at 2.9. This is another reason why it makes more sense to fill up on berries and cherries rather than other types of fruit.
Great taste, low glycemic index score, high antioxidant content and great glucose/fructose ratios all make berries the winning candidate for your mid-afternoon or night time snack. Jam packed with nutrients, they are a sure way to satisfy the craving all while doing wonders for your health!