Kumquats can be the perfect winter fruit for diabetics

Kumquats are a healthy, high in fiber fruit that diabetics can enjoy during the winter months.

A plate of kumquats. | Photo by Flickr user Ana Campos
A plate of kumquats. | Photo by Flickr user Ana Campos

When you have diabetes or pre-diabetes, most likely you are focusing on adding more fruits and vegetables to your daily diet. According to the American Diabetes Association’s, Create Your Plate meal plan, you need to add a serving of fruit, a serving of dairy or both. Fruits can be high in sugar and therefore need to be eating in balance with your blood sugar management. Kumquats can be a safe, nutritious food to add to your diabetic meal plan.

What is a kumquat?

Kumquats, sometimes called “Winter Citrus,” are a sweet and juicy fruit. Unlike some other fruit, you can eat a kumquat’s rind, center and even the seeds if you want. Grown in the southern United States, kumquats are quickly transported to grocery stores around the country at peak freshness. Seek out firm and bright orange kumquats when you’re at the grocery store.

Why try kumquats?

In season from November through March, kumquats are generally among the most affordable, fresh and available fruit during winter months. Plus, Kumquats are great for you thanks to low sugar content and roughly 63 calories in each small kumquat. Additionally, this winter citrus fruit is loaded with fiber, which is essential for type 1 and type 2 diabetics. Paired with the fact that kumquats have low sodium, only 0.1 grams of fat and zero cholesterol, there’s no reason to skip out on the fruit this winter.

Staying on the path to eating healthy can become a little boring. We do know that eating healthy includes fruits, vegetables and whole grains. How many of us step outside of our comfort zones and buy something new? Finding fresh produce during the winter months that are ‘in-season’ is also a challenge. Don’t overlook the power and usefulness of this little fruit.

For more MSU Extension kumquat topics read, Gifts from the Garden. For more articles on healthy living and chronic disease visit Michigan State University Extension.

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