Litchi or lychee, is a pulpy, juicy fruit with a huge fan base, despite its brief spell in the country. The delicious is available in the country on during summers. Their delightful flavourful can be consumed raw, by tossing one in or whisking them smooth ice cream. Aside from their delicious taste, they are a treasure trove of nutrients. Eating litchis can keep you hydrated, because of their high water content. The fruit is also rich in Vitamin C, helping one restore immunity and keeping the skin healthy. It’s also a good source of fibers and incredibly rich in minerals and antioxidants. However, despite its glowing review on health, it may not be for all – especially diabetics.
A diabetic patient has a condition that’s marked by elevated blood sugar levels. This usually happens because of two reason – your body isn’t able to produce enough insulin or the blood sugar levels in your body is too high. Either case, diabetic patients are normally asked to stay away from sweets, desserts or just foods that are high on sugar. According to Bangalore based nutritionist Anju Sood, if your blood glucose is in control, it is safe to consume litchees. She explains that while litchi-like any other fruit has natural sugar content, but the kind of sugar that is found in litchis may not be that unsafe for diabetics. "Fructose is the sugar which is present in the fruit and it is one sugar that does not require insulin for its metabolism," she says.
"It depends upon the severity of the problem. I would recommend eating litchi once in a day because the excessive amount will definitely increase the sugar levels. Even though fructose does not require insulin, it is best to eat it in moderation," she adds.
Consultant Nutritionist Dr. Rupali Datta agrees, "Yes, it is safe for diabetics to eat litchis, but make sure you do that in moderation. Make sure it is done in accordance with the calorific value. Diabetics need to be very careful of their calorie-load. Consult your nutritionist to understand the right quantity of fruit you should be eating."
Now let’s come back to litchis. Litchis have a glycemic index of around 50. Foods with a glycemic index lower than 55 tend to get digested slowly. They enable the slow release of sugar in the bloodstream that prevents blood sugar spike. Litchis are also high on fibre. Consuming fibre may help prevent abrupt blood sugar spikes.
Practicing moderation and balance is very essential to follow a healthy diabetes diet. While it is okay to tuck into litchis once in a while, make sure you do not go overboard