I got a question about pomegranates In my forum at www.Diabetic-Diet-Secrets.com. The answer I gave was not so much in support or against that fruit but rather about how I look at foods to determine if I will add it to my diet. I thought it might be a good discussion for here.
The first thing I look at is the Glycemic index for a food. I do that with the data base at http://www.glycemicindex.com/
The GI is a bit high at 67 for a 240 ml portion which is 40 grams of carbohydrate for a glycemic load of 26.8
Then I look at the nutrition break down of the food.
This is the nutrition breakdown for a raw pomegranate.
serving size: 1 fruit
Calories per serving:
calories 104.72;Calories from fat 0.3
Total Fat 0.3
Saturated Fat 0.0
Trans Fat 0.00 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0.10 g
Monounsaturated fat 0.07 g
Cholesterol 0.00 mg
Sodium 4.62 mg
Potassium 398.86 mg
Total Carbohydrate 26.44 g
Net Carbohydrate 25.52 g
Dietary fiber 0.92 g
Sugars 25.52 g
Protien 1.46 g
Vitamin A 166.32 Vitamin C 9.39 mg
Calcium 4.62 mg Iron 0.46 mg
Actual values are used in this label instead of % of DRV
Total Protien 5.05%
Total Carbohydrate 91.35%
Total Fat 3.59%
This one is fairly high in potassium and it has a good amount of antioxidants. Pomegranate does rank well with these antioxidants.
Pomegranate may inhibit the chronic inflammation linked with a variety of health problems such as heart disease and arthritis, according to a study conducted by researchers from Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, and published in the Journal of Inflammation.
"Consumption of pomegranate fruit extract may be of value in inhibiting inflammatory stimuli-induced cartilage breakdown and production of inflammatory mediators in arthritis," the researchers wrote.
Pomegranate is known to be high in antioxidants, including punicalagins and punicalins, and antioxidants are known to help reduce inflammation in the body.
While short-term inflammation is often a normal and healthy immune response, chronic inflammation is associated with a variety of health problems including arthritis, heart disease, osteoporosis, Type 2 diabetes and dementia. It is also associated with a variety of effects of aging, such as cognitive decline.
After looking at the data one has to form an opinion. There are some rather positive things for the pomegranate but also some cautions.
Pomegranate did not make my super foods list for diabetics for a couple of reasons. The PCF ratio is one of them. The protein, carbohydrate fat ratio for pomegranate is 5% protein, 91% carbohydrate and 4% fat. That to me is a concern. My PCF targets for each meal or snack I eat is 20-50-30. Then I look at the carbs. Of the 26.54 grams of carbs in a pomegranate (154.6 grams or 5.5 ounces) 25.61 grams are sugars. Then I look at what are those sugars. The highest sugar content is glucose (7.73 grams) followed by fructose at 7.26 grams and .62 grams of sucrose. This obviously does not account for all the sugars in a pomegranate, but enough for me to form an opinion. Glucose is very high glycemic. (Quick to raise blood glucose.) That is probably why pomegranate does not rank among the low glycemic foods.
A final test for a diabetic is to test blood sugars before eating a pomegranate. Eat the fruit then test blood glucose levels again at an interval of 15 minutes, 30 minutes, 1 hour, 2 hours and 4 hours after eating it. If you see a quick spike followed by a fall below your normal then don’t add that food to your diet. If on the other hand you see a gentle rise and fall over the 4 hour period and you return to your pre meal test then it is a good food for you. If you decide to test the pomegranate I would be interested in your results.
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