Last Updated on July 18, 2021 by Dr Sharon Baisil MD
It is a tasty fruit and a seasonal one. Given these factors, we often hoard excess amounts without realizing their effects on our health. As a diabetic patient, it is more common to be drawn to these sweet and juicy fruits. However, it is necessary to control your cravings and indulge in safe and limited dietary practices.
Is Litchi Good for Diabetic Patients?
Well, if you like having litchi, then yes, you don’t have a lot to miss out on. You can have litchis as diabetic patients but in moderate amounts, as they come in the moderate glycemic index category. Litchis are safe and can have several good effects on the diabetic body when had in regulated quantities.
Litchis are fleshy and sweet. These characteristics of the fruit ensure that it has both fibers and carbohydrates. Therefore, it is both helpful and a little risky. This is where portion control comes into play.
Keeping your litchi intake moderate and according to the daily allowed quantities, you can assure that your diabetes is properly controlled.
This fruit is a good source of many vital nourishing vitamins and minerals. These all together make it is a great addition to one’s diabetic diet. In addition, they have a range of health benefits that we will be discussing in the further sections.
The fruit is naturally sweet, and the sugars in this fruit are fructose that does not need exhaustive digestion. Therefore, they do not affect the blood sugars excessively and can be managed when taken in the right quantities.
The fiber found in this fruit also allows the blood sugar levels to be maintained well. In addition, it assists in slow-paced digestion that does not lead to any sudden abnormal fluctuations in the body.
Moreover, the many antioxidants and phytonutrients of this fruit also make it better for our health, serving many organs and functions of our body.
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It is thus clear that litchis must be had in limited quantities by a diabetic patient. We will also discuss these safe quantities as we move ahead.
For the best advice, you can consult your diabetic doctors to suggest the best portions of litchi according to your health standpoints. This way, you can be assured of against any risks.
To know more about litchi and its various benefits, side effects, precautions, etc., keep reading on.
What are the health benefits of litchi?
Litchi is a fruit with plenty of nutritional elements with beneficial compositions. There are several advantages that the body can have from this fruit when you have it in the right way.
Let us have a look at some of the benefits of eating litchi:
- First, Litchi has a good amount of vitamin C that helps boost the body’s overall immunity. It offers protection from many microbial infections and is a good energy source that keeps away fatigue.
- Litchi also has several benefits on the digestive system. It keeps away issues like bloating, flatulence, constipation, gastric pains, indigestion, and ulcers.
- It is a great fruit to keep your body weight under control. The fiber in it helps to manage weight and promotes weight loss.
- It is a good source of minerals like copper and iron that help in improving blood flow. This enhances the overall better functioning of the body due to the efficient supply of oxygen throughout the body. It also helps in detoxifying the blood. The eventual increase of RBCs in the blood also helps with preventing anemia.
- The many antioxidants and flavonoids in litchi have anti-cancer abilities and offer extra protection to the body. These antioxidants are also known to help with keeping the heart healthy and blood pressure stable.
- Eating litchis have also been found to help deal with several ailments such as – influenza, cataracts, herpes virus infections, etc.
- The presence of phosphorus, manganese, copper, iron, magnesium, etc., helps increase the body’s capacity to absorb calcium. All in all, this assists in keeping the bones strong and healthy.
- Eating litchis are also great for your skin. The vitamin C in this fruit helps with keeping the skin young and nourished. Litchi extracts are used in cosmetics and creams to prevent sunburns, aging, blemishes, etc.
How many lychees can a diabetic eat?
Lychees are very popular and liked fruits. So it is very obvious to eat more than limited quantities of these sweet juicy fruits. But this is something you, as a diabetic, must never fall for.
For a diabetic patient, a regular day serving of lychee must be limited to no more than 6 to 7 fruits. This is equivalent to one of any other fruit quantities.
For non-diabetic individuals, this safe limit is said to be ten lychee fruits. It is equivalent to a cup of this fruit. This is, however, for those with normal blood sugar levels.
When you have higher or fluctuating blood sugar levels, you must reduce your intakes and stick to lower than regularly determined quantities. This is the way to induce improve portion controls.
Therefore, make sure that when it comes to having lychees, you do not have more than 6 to 7 lychees in a day, or else it can affect your blood glucose levels.
Here are some more tips that you should follow along with limiting your portions:
- Consume lychees in the mornings with breakfast or as mid-day snacks. This way, the sugars obtained from these fruits can be broken down easily and used while the day.
- Do not consume this fruit after meals or before bedtime. This may increase the risks of sugar spikes in the body.
This is a safely recommended number that must not be overdone. But, at the same time, you can avoid having this fruit daily for even safer options.
It is also advisable to ask your doctors about suggesting a safe quantity. You can also ensure safety by keeping a check on your blood sugar levels after consuming this fruit. If you observe any improper results, immediately consult your doctors.
Does lychee lower blood sugar?
Until now, we discussed that lychees are said to be safe for diabetic patients. They do not affect your blood sugar levels when had in safe and recommended amounts.
Moreover, the fiber in this fruit helps to keep blood sugar levels low. The fiber in the system helps to slow down the body’s metabolism and reduces the pace at which sugar is absorbed and released in the bloodstream.
This helps to keep the blood glucose levels low and our body out of the risks of any high spikes.
The litchi fruit contains sugar, but let us try to determine its safety by learning about its glycemic index.
It is important to know the glycemic index values of your food items to ensure that they are safe for diabetics. In addition, the glycemic rankings help to find out whether a specific food is safe for diabetics or not.
The table below mentions the glycemic categories:
|Glycemic Index categories
|Low (safe and recommended)
|0 to 55
|Moderate (safe when taken in moderate amounts)
|56 to 69
|High (unsafe and affects blood sugar levels)
|70 and above
The glycemic index of litchi is 50. Hence, it falls in the low sugar and diabetic-safe category.
What are the nutrients found in litchi?
We looked at the various benefits of this fruit. Now let us see the composition of this fruit that aids these benefits.
This table shows the nutrition facts for litchi:
|Nutrients available in 100 grams of litchi
– Dietary fiber
What are the Side effects of eating Litchi in Diabetes?
- Too much litchi can increase your blood sugars and worsen diabetic conditions.
- Excess consumption of litchi can also lead to conditions such as internal bleeding.
- In some people, it may give rise to allergic reactions.
- Litchi may cause hormonal dysfunction and imbalance in the body.
- Pregnant women must not have litchis until they arrive at their breastfeeding stages. This is because it may cause infections internally.