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Couple of Questions for Folks who watch their Blood Glucose: Sweetener and Fruit

Hi All,

As you know, my H's best friend (next to the dog and moi) is his meter. i have a couple of questions before I invest any supermarket moola.

First, one on sweeteners. I've read that agave syrup and the new(ish) monkfruit sweetener tout themselves as having a lower glycemic index than sugar. I know "natural-is-better" is generally not the rule when it comes to diabetics and sweeteners, but I wanted to know if either product was worth a glance for using in say, cheesecake that I'd make for the spring holidays.

Secondly--my H misses fruit terribly. He was a pack-an-apple, or a pear, in the lunch box guy. Can any of you give me ideas as to what to pack that might be a sub? I do nice dill pickles, olives, etc, but those are more savory, of course. Cherry tomatoes? Bell pepper strips? I am so out of ideas. Blah. I think the winter deadened my creativity.

Thank you!

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  1. I don't know anything about your first question, but tomatoes and bell peppers are good. My favorite low glycemic index 'fruit' is a good cucumber. I have been known to sprinkle a bit of sweetener and salt on cuke slices, and it's like having watermelon. :)

    Berries and grapefruit are also pretty good for diabetics. Just watch quantity--I don't know about your husband, but I can put away an embarrassment of berries without thinking about it...

    1 Reply
    1. re: scoyart

      I haven't tried grapefruit with him, yet; anything larger than some clementine segments has been all he's ventured, citrus-wise.

      Good tip on the cukes; wouldn't have thought to sweeten!

    2. From what I understand about agave nectar, it's almost entirely fructose (something like 90% at the high end), which makes it basically even worse for you than HFCS. I don't know how it translates to a blood glucose monitor, but I steer clear of it. It also has a noticeable, cloying flavor that I really dislike. I don't know anything about monkfruit or sweeteners made from it.

      As for fruit, how does he react to berries? They're a lot lower carb than some other fruits. I don't eat much fruit at all anymore, but I find that bell peppers are nice for a touch of sweetness when I am craving something. Rhubarb is also great - I like it stewed and sweetened with Splenda, then added to Greek yogurt or pureed into a smoothie.

      4 Replies
      1. re: biondanonima

        I use rhubarb a lot, baked with xanthan gum thickener, some lemon, cinnamon, chopped nuts and sweetener, and a touch of salt. Almond meal and chopped nut crumble topping with butter. Really satisfying.

        1. re: biondanonima

          Haven't tried blackberries (thanks mcf--we will), but from best to less good among what we've tried, it'd run raspberries, strawberries, blueberries.

          In the olden days, he would eat strawberry rhubarb pie with joy...I think he'd take to it disguised in yogurt or (especially) in the crumble mcf describes.

          Blah...ixnay on the agave...

          1. re: pinehurst

            I love the crumble warm, with heavy cream. Gilding the lily and all...

            1. re: mcf

              I think he'll love it.

        2. Agave has low GI but high impact in promoting insulin resistance, due to its metabolic pathway and raising of triglycerides.

          I avoid it almost entirely. I haven't tried monkfruit, I think it has some of those healthy pre biotics that give me gut probs.

          Grapefruit doesn't work for me, but blackberries do, best. The trick, if you can find them in season, is not to get the excessively bred to be sweet and enormous ones. But even those are better for most folks than other fruits. Strawberries, too. Maybe a bg friendly portion of a tart apple variety, always eaten with cheese or some kind of protein? Jicama sticks?

          2 Replies
          1. re: mcf

            For me if I eat fruits with protein I am ok, in small quantities. Apple and cheese, canteloupesand cottage cheese., grapefruit and almonds.

            Agave not good for me, coco palm sugar better in small quantities .

            1. re: magiesmom

              Yes, in very (very) small quantities he can do a couple of granny smith slices with nut butter. But fruit is not "health" food for him, as y'all know. :-)

          2. I find no discernible difference between agave nectar, honey or regular ole granulated sugar and I test often and have a continuous glucose monitor.

            Blueberries are my bg's friendliest fruit. :)

            1. Frozen blackberries and rasberries are great- as they defrost they make their own "sauce"! They are great with some greek yogurt and almond slices