Is Papaya Good for Diabetes?

Medically Reviewed By: Dr. Damanjit Duggal, MD, MBBS March 30, 2022

Fruits are a healthy alternative as a balanced meal and a snack. It comprises several vital nutrients like fibre. Few fruits contain a high sugar content, resulting in high sugars. Read this blog to know “Is Papaya Good for Diabetes?”

Is Papaya Good for Diabetes?

Individuals consume medicine to regulate their glucose levels, yet others manage their levels. This is possible with the help of a healthy diet and exercise. Even though fruit constitutes an important part of a healthy diet, few fruits are rich in natural sugars. Hence, consuming excess is harmful to blood glucose levels. Now here the question comes, can diabetics eat papaya? The good news for people with diabetes is that papaya works wonders for them in moderation.

About Papaya

Papaya is a rare exotic fruit that packs countless health benefits. This tropical plant is indigenous to Mexico and South America. Papaya is cultivated in California, Florida, Texas, India, Sri Lanka, etc. Papaya comes in two types, red and yellow papaya. It has greenish-orange fruits. Papaya has a soft, juicy, and succulent nature. It contains less sugar. People eat this fruit in raw form. People also add papaya to smoothies, salads, or enjoy it as kebabs, halwa, or curry.

Papaya is an exceptional food option due to essential nutrients like:

  • vitamins A, B, C and E
  • minerals like potassium, folate, copper, magnesium
  • antioxidants like lycopene
  • lutein, pantothenic acid.

Also Read: Best glucometer machine in India

Papaya and Diabetes

Papaya is naturally sweet in nature. Since having sugar impacts glucose levels, few individuals may believe that fruits are off-limits. Papaya (in moderation) can be a part of a diabetic-friendly diet.

Grams of sugar

1 cup of fresh papaya consists of 11 grams of sugar, as per the USDA. Papaya is appropriate for diabetics to restrict their consumption of added sugars. This aids in weight management and keeping the glucose levels in the target range.

The AHA suggests that all individuals restrict added sugars they take into below ½ of their daily flexible calories. For many females that means below 100 calories daily, or 6 tablespoons of sugar. For males, that’s roughly 150 calories daily, or 9 teaspoons of sugar.

Summary

Papaya is beneficial for type 2 diabetic patients. This is as a result of its moderate glucose content. This sweet fruit contains rich flavonoids and antioxidants. Both these constituents aid in keeping the glucose level in check naturally.

Glycemic Index of Papaya

The GI indicates how fast a particular food product increases the level of glucose. This might be useful for diabetics who are aiming to keep their glucose levels within target limits. Papaya has a GI value of 60. As a result, it does not increase blood glucose too rapidly. Scores are as follows:

  • Low glycemic index foods: between 20 to 49
  • Moderate GI foods: between 50 to 69
  • High GI foods: between 70 to 100.

How Much Papaya is Good for a Diabetic Daily Meal? 

Nutritionists recommend a modest serving of papaya. This aids in controlling sudden increases in blood glucose levels. They also recommend diabetics restrict the daily consumption of papaya to 1 cup daily. The fruit contains fewer calories and a moderate number of organic sugars. As a result, people should not take papaya in excessive amounts.

Papaya contains a huge reserve of dietary fibres. This assists in delaying the uptake of glucose in the system. And, thus helps in mitigating diabetes signs. People must have papaya as a mid-day or evening snack. Also, doctors suggest people with diabetes avoid this fruit at night.

Summary

Papaya leaves help in lowering blood sugar levels. The antioxidants present in papaya leaf juice guard the pancreatic beta cells against damage. This, consequently, maintains the blood sugars within a healthy limit.

Potential Health Benefits of Papaya

Papaya is not only a good option for diabetics due to its medium GI. Consuming this fruit may also reduce a person’s blood glucose. Papaya exerts a hypoglycemic effect on a person’s body. Papaya comprises flavonoids. These are natural antioxidants that control blood sugars.

Due to the high fibre and water content of papaya, it avoids constipation. Also, due to both these properties, papaya is a digestive aid. The fruit also comprises an enzyme known as papain. It also aids in digestive health. Also, papain constitutes powerful skin-healing beneficial effects. In topical and mashed form, papaya helps to support wound healing. Also, it helps to prevent infection of burn regions.

Papaya is known as the “fruit of angels”. It helps in:

  • treating diabetes, heart issues, indigestion, joint pain, dengue, and cancer.
  • Papaya contains antioxidants such as lycopene. Thus, it aids in preventing the oxidation of cholesterol, as a result avoiding heart blockages.

Also Read: List of Drugs That Raise Blood Sugar: Identify Your Medicines Now

Nutritional Facts of Papaya

As per the USDA, 1 small fresh papaya contains around 67 calories. Also, it contains:

  • 3.0 g of dietary fibre
  • 96 mg of vitamin C
  • 30 mg of calcium
  • 290 mg of potassium
  • 35 mg of magnesium

Summary

Flavonoids in papaya aid in lowering the levels of blood sugars. People must have papaya in moderation. This is because over-intake may result in spikes in sugar levels and stomach issues, also.

Substitutes to Consuming Papaya

There are several fruits that may alternate with papaya. They fall within a lower limit. These can be:

  • apples
  • blackberries
  • blueberries
  • strawberries
  • grapefruit
  • cranberries
  • pears
  • plums
  • raspberries
  • apricots

Moderation is very important. Thus, a person must try to have only 1 or 2 pieces of fruit daily. Fruits high on the GI values may involve:

  • ripe bananas
  • dates in dried form
  • pineapples
  • watermelon

These fruits may result in increases in blood glucose levels.

Also Read: Normal sugar level in human body

Ways to Have Papaya for People With Diabetes

  • Consume ripe papaya as a fruit.
  • Toss up a fruit salad using ripe papaya, pineapple, and mango.
  • Prepare fruit juice with ripe papaya.
  • Also, include frozen ripe papaya cubes to smoothies.

When to Have This Tropical Fruit for Diabetes

Papaya contains a medium glycemic index. Thus, it is best to have it at mid-day or mid-afternoon. It is good not to have papaya at night although its glucose level is moderate.

Risks of Having Papaya in Excess When You Are Diabetics

Appealing as it might be, evade over-consumption of papayas. The perfect serving for people with diabetes is 1 cup every day. Papaya in excess increases glucose levels. As this fruit has a laxative effect, its excess may cause diarrhoea too.

Summary

Diabetics can consume papaya as ripe fruit, or in fruit salads. They can also squeeze the fruit into a juice or smoothies. This helps in giving them a whole plethora of vital nutrients from the fruit along with managing diabetes.

Tips For Having a Healthy Meal

A healthy diet aids in proper blood sugar control. And, this may lower the risk of diabetes complications. These may involve heart problems, kidney damage, and nerve damage. A diabetes diet contains a healthy and balanced meal plan. In addition to diabetics, prediabetics also benefit from healthy eating.

Most advisable food items for a healthy diet involve carbs such as:

  • fruits
  • veggies
  • whole grains
  • low-fat dairy
  • legumes

Several healthy carbs contain fiber, consuming these foods also aids in controlling blood glucose. Although papaya might fit into a healthy diet, remember the GI of specific fruits before having them. Select those containing a low or moderate GI to prevent blood glucose spikes.

A healthy meal contains lean protein including:

  • eggs
  • fish
  • chicken
  • shellfish
  • turkey
  • pork
  • lean beef

In addition, a person must consume healthy fats. These include nuts, olive oil, and avocados. Foods that diabetics must avoid include trans-fat products. These are stick margarine and processed snacks. Also, it is vital to restrict sodium consumption to below 2,300 mg a day. Other tips for having a healthy diet may involve consuming smaller meals during the day rather than 3 large meals.

Also Read: Riomet OD 500 MG SR Tablet: Uses, Side Effects, Composition and Substitutes

When to Discuss With a Dietitian?

Unregulated glucose levels may cause serious diabetes complications. Thus, it is better to consume the diabetes drugs as per instructions. Also, diabetics must have a healthy diet and do enough exercise. Regular 30 minutes of physical activity weekly aids in keeping the blood sugar within a healthy limit.

If a person is having a balanced diet, exercising, and consuming medicine, but his or her glucose levels remain high, discuss with a doctor. A doctor may refer the person to a dietitian or an expert. These experts may aid in managing diabetes in a better way.

Summary

Diabetes is a chronic medical problem. However, with appropriate treatment, it is likely to maintain proper glucose control. Fruit is an important part of a diabetic’s diet. And, papaya might even exert a strong hypoglycemic effect on a person’s body. However, moderation is important. People must restrict their fruit consumption to 1 or 2 servings daily. And, discuss with a doctor if a person has any difficulty in managing his or her blood sugar.

FAQs:

Should a person have papaya daily?

People can have papaya in the form of chaat or juice. Every person must add this superfruit in their diet to obtain most of its benefits. Fruits are highly nourishing and having a bowl full daily helps in keeping a person active and immunized to diseases.

Does papaya cause side effects?

Side effects of the fruit may be nausea and vomiting. The unripe form is perhaps unsafe. Unripe fruit comprises papaya latex, comprising an enzyme known as papain. Consuming huge quantities of papain may harm the esophagus.

Is papaya high in sugar?

Papaya is a favourite tropical fruit. A person may enjoy papaya without having a lot of sugar. ½ of a small papaya comprises 6 grams of sugar. Small sized papaya is a decent size, hence ½ of the fruit is a plenty serving.

When should a person stop having papaya?

People must avoid unripe and semi-ripe papaya during pregnancy. As, it may result in uterine contractions because of its laxative activities. It is good to not have papaya during the early phases of pregnancy except it is completely ripe.

References:

  1. https://www.healthline.com/health/diabetes/is-papaya-good-for-diabetes
  2. https://www.netmeds.com/health-library/post/is-papaya-good-for-diabetes
  3. https://www.diabetesincontrol.com/can-papaya-reduce-risk-of-diabetes/

Last Updated on by Dr. Damanjit Duggal 

Disclaimer

The information included at this site is for educational purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for medical treatment by a healthcare professional. Because of unique individual needs, the reader should consult their physician to determine the appropriateness of the information for the reader’s situation.

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