Fruits are often left to ripen so as to achieve optimal taste and sweetness. So it’s only logical to ask, does sugar level increase from the unripe to the ripe stages of a fruit? The answer is, yes. The good news? There is no need to completely avoid fruit even when dealing with a diabetic diet.
Ripe fruit contain higher sugar loads
The increase of a fruit’s sugar level is all part of the ripening process while the fruit has yet to be harvested. What’s important to note here is that the increase in sugar levels is related to the fruit still being on the tree or vine, which means that while some fruits continue to ripen after being picked, its sugar levels off the vine don’t necessarily increase or may even decline in some cases.
What is its purpose?
Scientifically speaking, a fruit’s sugar content increases as it ripens to attract creatures that could potentially spread its seeds–like humans, insects, birds, and rodents etc.
Now that you understand the ripening process of a fruit, it shouldn’t mean that you should start picking and eating them unripe. Eating immature fruits only means that you are not reaping its full nutritional benefits–basically “unripe” does not mean “low sugar”; it only means “bitter” and “undesirable”.
Role in Diabetes
This part may sound a little complicated and requires a little bit of work, but as a diabetic, it is important to talk to your doctor about how you can best calculate the glycemic load of certain food. Don’t be overwhelmed! Glycemic load only talks about the measurement of the correlation between a certain food item’s glycemic index (sugar) and its carbohydrate amount. The Harvard School of Public Health uses watermelon as an example, whereas it contain a high glycemic index but at the same times has a low carbohydrate level, making this sweet fruit safe for a diabetic diet.