Kiwifruit and the Glycemic Index

How Zespri Kiwifruit can fit into a diabetic plan

There are 2 types of diabetes. The first requires insulin and is often referred to as type 1 or Insulin-dependent diabetes. Type 2, non–insulin dependent diabetes, makes up 90% of all diabetics; this type is a lifestyle disease, often, called sugar diabetes.

Today, with the rise of obesity in children, the rate of type 2 diabetes in kids is increasing at an alarming rate. A diet low in saturated fat with well controlled blood glucose levels that incorporates weight control, exercise and fewer refined sugars is recommended. Controlling blood glucose levels with diet, and in some cases medication, is the key.

Including fruit in the diet is part of a healthy lifestyle. Fruit generally has a greater level of fructose, or fruit sugar, that does not require insulin for absorption. Fructose is converted into glucose by the liver. Fruit can readily be included in a diabetic diet and is also low in fat and sodium; and high in fiber, vitamins, and antioxidants.

Kiwifruit has a moderate to low Glycemic Index of 52, per 120-gram serving (one jumbo-sized kiwifruit, retail size 27). This means it does not rapidly raise blood glucose levels. However, overeating any fruit can raise the total carbohydrate content of the overall diet and create a higher than desirable blood glucose level. Eating fruit throughout the day helps to control blood glucose levels and provides a healthy alternative to high-fat or high-sugar snacks. This also assists with weight loss for those with type 2 diabetes who need to reduce body weight to help control their disease.

The fructose and fiber found in kiwifruit are largely responsible for the glycemic ranking. SunGold does contain slightly more carbohydrate and more fructose, which may provide for a slightly lower glycemic index than green, but this has yet to be proven.

Note: Including more fruit in diets of diabetic patients with kidney disease would depend on their unique potassium requirements (these can be high or low) and are often very individua