Diabetes is a health condition which is long-lasting and occurs when your blood sugar is too high. It affects how your body gets energy from food. Your body fractionates most of the food you consume into sugar and releases it into your blood.
When your blood glucose level increases, it signals your pancreas to release insulin. Insulin is the hormone responsible for letting the blood sugar enter your body’s cells for being used in the form of energy. If you have diabetes, your body isn’t capable of making enough insulin or can’t utilize it as well as it should. Therefore, leading to an increase in the blood sugar level in your bloodstream due to a lack of cells which respond to insulin or the hormone itself. With time, it can lead to serious health problems like vision loss, heart problems, and kidney conditions.
A diabetic patient should be given treatment according to their type. So let’s learn about them.
Types of Diabetes
There are three main types of diabetes, as follows:
Type 1 Diabetes
It occurs due to an autoimmune reaction (where the body attacks itself). As a result, it stops your body from making insulin. Type 1 diabetes isn’t that common compared to its counterparts. However, symptoms of type 1 diabetes often develop quickly. It’s usually seen in children, teens, and young adults and is also known as insulin-dependent diabetes since insulin must be taken daily!
Type 2 Diabetes
It is also called diabetes mellitus or adult-onset diabetes since usually diagnosed in adults. It is the most commonly seen type of diabetes and develops over many years. In this case, the body doesn’t utilise insulin properly, leading to abnormal blood sugar levels. Unfortunately, the symptoms aren’t noticeable in the early stage so getting regular blood sugar tests is essential.
It is seen in pregnant women who have never had diabetes before. If you have gestational diabetes, your baby could also be at higher risk for health problems. Gestational diabetes mostly goes away after the birth of the baby. However, it does increase your risk for type 2 diabetes later in life. In addition, your baby is more likely to have obesity as a child or teen and develop type 2 diabetes later in life.
Is papaya good for diabetes?
Diabetes comes with it a plethora of restrictions and complications. Fruits have natural sugar in them and are considered healthy for diabetic patients. However, not all fruits are diabetes-friendly. So let’s find out is papaya good for diabetics patients:
Sugar in Papaya
Papaya contains a mix of glucose and fructose; both sugars make up about half of the sugar content in papaya. These are simple sugars that get quickly digested by the body and provide you with energy. A medium-sized papaya (approximately 275 grams) contains about 21.58 grams of sugar and a cup of sliced papaya will provide you 11 grams of sugar.
High Fiber Content
Foods rich in dietary fiber play a significant role in lowering blood cholesterol and managing your weight. For example, medium-sized papaya contains about 4.7 grams of dietary fiber.
Glycemic Index of Papaya
The glycemic index measures an increase in your blood sugar levels after food intake. For example, papaya has an average glycemic index of 60—the fiber in papaya help in keeping it from being a high glycemic index food.
Papaya contains natural antioxidants, making it an excellent choice for people with diabetes. In addition, a diet consisting of papaya can obstruct future cell damage for a better and longer life span. A cup of freshly sliced papaya has around 11 grams of sugar, and its low glycemic index doesn’t lead to a sudden spike in blood sugar levels. So you can include papaya as a part of your healthy diet.
Papaya Calories and Nutritional Info:
A medium-sized papaya (approximately 230 grams) contains
- Calories – 98.9
- Protein – 1.08 g
- Carbohydrates – 24.8 g
- Dietary Fiber – 3.91 g
- Fat – 0.598 g
- Vitamin C – 140 mg
- Vitamin A – 108 µg
- Folate (Vitamin B9) – 85.1 µg
- Iron – 0.575 mg
- Magnesium – 48.3 mg
- Calcium – 46 mg
How can you Include Papaya in Your Daily Diet?
You can add unripen or ripe papayas to your diet, depending on how you want to enjoy them. For example, green/unripe papayas can be used in cooking some dishes and chutneys or raw in certain styles of salads. You can consume them in papaya salsa, papaya smoothie, papaya relish, papaya salads or simply in fruit bowls.
A Classic Raw Papaya Salad Recipe:
- 1/2 Raw papaya (soaked)
- 3 Small Green Chillies
- 4 Garlic Cloves
- 3 tablespoons Jaggery
- 3 tablespoons of soy sauce
- 4-5 Tbsp. Lemon Juice
- 3-4 beans (chopped)
- 1 Medium Tomato (chopped)
- 2 Tbsp Unsalted Peanuts (roasted)
- Use a hand pestle or a mixer to grind garlic, and add chillies to beat it again.
- Add jaggery along with lemon juice and soy sauce.
- Grind the mixture and make them into a paste.
- Add the roasted peanuts and keep beating them to get a thickened preparation.
- Add chopped tomato and keep stirring the mix while you add the long beans and braise the mixture slightly.
- Add Papaya next and stir the mixture till they are all blended well.
- Garnish it with lightly roasted peanuts to give the right crunch and texture. The dish is ready to serve!
If you buy unripen papayas and want to wait until they are ripe, store them at room temperature to ripen before consuming them. Papayas with red and orange skin are riper and have the characteristic flavor and texture. You can slice it open, scoop the seeds, and eat the orange interior. However, the seeds taste bitter, and most people do not eat them.
When to consume Papaya for diabetes?
First, you must be careful to eat it as a mid-day or mid-afternoon snack in a limited quantity and not overindulge in it so that the blood sugar levels remain controlled.
Fruits that you can consume guilt-free even if you have diabetes:
Pomegranates contain an ample amount of antioxidant combinations among all other fruits. As a result, these red gems can protect you from chronic diseases and free radicals.
The proverb “An apple a day keeps the doctor away” is famous for a reason. Apples have proven to be beneficial for reducing the risk of type 2 diabetes.
Whether jams, vinegar, oils, or wines, grapes reign supreme. It plays a role in regulating the blood sugar level by managing the secretion and utilisation of insulin. In addition, grapes contain a flavonoid, which has high antioxidant properties.
Berries contain anthocyanins, another type of flavonoid which is not only responsible for its rich pigmentation but is also known to lower the risk of diabetes.
Watermelons have high potassium content, which helps keep your blood uric acid levels on the lower side, thus making it one of the best fruits for proper kidney functioning. This prevents kidney damage, especially if you have diabetes.
Citrus fruits slow down glucose uptake and inhibit glucose transport through the intestines and liver when it comes to glucose metabolism. In addition, the flavonols and phenolic acid in oranges have shown tremendous protective abilities in people with diabetes.
These red berries have a low- glycemic index; therefore, it’s slowly released into the bloodstream as glucose. It also has the cancer-fighting ability, improves immunity and increases metabolism, which helps you lose weight.
Guavas are rich in dietary fiber that helps ease constipation (a common diabetic problem) and have a low glycemic index. As a result, it can help lower the risk of developing type-2 diabetes.
Guidelines that can help keep Diabetes in check:
People with diabetes are prone to many ailments, including heart or nerve conditions caused by irregular blood sugar levels. There is no cure for diabetes yet, but losing weight, eating healthy food, and being active can help. What to eat and what not to can be tricky when it comes to a Diabetic diet. While adding fresh fruits and veggies to the daily diet is suggested. Do seek medical advice before adding anything to your diet if you are a Diabetic.
Also Check: 01 Week Indian Diet Chart for Diabetic Patients
Type 2 diabetes can be controlled or prevented with healthy lifestyle changes, such as:
Eat Non-Starch Vegetables
There are two main categories of vegetables—starchy and non-starchy. Non-starchy vegetables are the type of food group where you don’t have to restrict yourself from eating even though being a diabetic. Commonly available non-starchy vegetables are red spinach, baby corn, beans, broccoli, carrots, mushrooms, cauliflower, cucumber etc.
Losing around 5% of your total body weight can have real benefits for a person with type 2 diabetes.5 Regular exercise or physical activity can help in your weight loss journey along with a low-calorie and low-carb diet.
Choose Healthier Fats
Heart-healthy fats are lower in saturated fat and cholesterol. Also, portion size can make a difference between healthy and unhealthy fat. Healthy fat options you can consider are nuts, olive oil, salad dressing oil, peanut butter, avocado oil etc.
The easiest way to manage your blood sugar is by tweaking your diet, exercising and checking your sugar levels regularly. Therefore dietary modifications and treatment are fundamental to successfully treating either type of diabetes.
1. What should a diabetic person keep in mind while eating fruits?
Always eat fruits that are seasonal and have a low glycemic index. It’s advised to have fruits in between meals or as a snack rather than as your main meal. You can eat fruits with a high glycemic index but make sure to eat in moderation. Do not eat cooked fruits; always eat raw fruits to reap the benefits.
2. What are the tips to enhance fruit consumption for a diabetic?
You can sprinkle cinnamon or grind whole flax seeds and sprinkle them over fresh fruit; both are very useful in balancing blood sugar levels. You can also eat fruits with some nuts to balance the glycemic load. However, never consume fruit in juice form as it’s robbed of all the fibre and would spike blood sugar levels.
3. How common is diabetes in India?
The fact that India holds home to 62 million diabetics is alarming, and the number is estimated to rise to 100 million by 2030.3 One of the main factors contributing to the increase in type-2 diabetes is obesity. In most cases, restoring normal blood sugar levels is associated with achieving an ideal body weight.
4. Is overconsumption of Papaya harmful?
Overeating anything is harmful; the same goes for Papaya. It can cause skin darkening (medically known as carotenemia) and various other respiratory problems, including blocked breathing, wheezing, nasal congestion etc. So stick to a moderate quantity of the radiant fruit.
5. Can Papaya leaves be used for Diabetes?
Various health benefits of Papaya have gained immense popularity in the last few years. Papaya leaf extract contains antioxidants and has blood sugar-lowering effects. They are often used to treat illness and promote health, prepared in teas, extracts, juices and tablets. Papaya leaf juice is becoming the most used household remedy for increasing the platelet count. In addition, it is rich in enzymes like papain and chymopapain, which help digestion and prevent bloating and other digestive disorders.
Written by Dr. Manavi Raj
Dr. Manavi is a healthcare professional with a Bachelor of Dental Surgery from Rajiv Gandhi University of Health Sciences, Bangalore. She has a diverse history of working in healthcare, writing and social media marketing. Outside of work, she enjoys dabbling with paints and loves the outdoors.
Reviewed by Dr. Gauri Ghatnekar
Dr Gauri is an alumnus of Baba Farid University of Health Sciences, Faridkot. After completing her BDS, she pursued a PG Diploma in Emergency Medical Services from SIHS, Pune. She discovered her love for writing while learning to simplify complex medical information for her friends. Beyond the screen, she is an avid reader and an adventure junkie.