Whether they’re in a smoothie, a pastry, or any other recipe they can be added to, berries are a delicious, and nutritious fruit choice. There are many benefits to eating berries, including weight loss, as berries are high in fiber and phytonutrients. These act as “antioxidants in the body,” especially blueberries, according to Lisa Richards, a nutritionist with The Candida Diet. Richards added that strawberries in particular are packed with vitamin C, which helps to improve the immune system.
While there are many upsides to consuming berries, there is also one major side effect that eaters, especially with diabetes, should be aware of when choosing the delicious fruit for a snack. When you eat too many berries, the fruit can result in abnormally lower blood glucose.
Here’s what you need to know about berries and blood sugar levels, and for even more healthy eating tips, be sure to check out our list of The 7 Healthiest Foods to Eat Right Now.
Personal trainer Ben Rose, a co-founder of Trainer Academy, said that berries might not “be good news for diabetics.”
In addition to potentially lowering blood glucose to an abnormal level, “Berries also have a vital effect in reducing blood sugar and increasing insulin sensitivity,” says Rose. “They reduce the blood glucose spike after a carb-rich meal by blocking the function of some digestive enzymes, They can even slow protein digestion.”
Lowered blood glucose, or blood sugar, can lead to a feeling of shakiness, confusion, and increased heartbeat. And even in some cases, seizures, when the blood glucose levels get too low.
How can you fix this?
An easy fix is to moderate your berry intake. Instead of over-indulging and messing with your blood glucose, follow the proper serving sizes for this sweet fruit. A typical serving size of berries is about one cup.
If you think you have low blood sugar, a simple solution is to take in 15 grams of carbohydrates to raise your blood sugar, according to the American Diabetes Association.
Rose also recommends speaking with a doctor, especially for diabetes patients, to consult whether you should consume berries and what a personalized recommended serving size would be.
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