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Getting Started with Apricots
Apricots are low sugar fruit options that also double as an ideal addition to your low-carb diet. They can be consumed as an out-of-hand snack, salad for natural sweetness, oatmeal or even adding a slice to yogurt. They are petite drupes that bear a resemblance to plums or peaches. Apricots feature a tangy, soft flesh below the thin outer skin. However, they have a large, inedible pit in the middle.
Apricots are typically orange or yellow, with a slight shade of red on one side. Their popularity is escalated by the numerous health benefits they are associated with as a result of their minerals, vitamins, nutrients and unique organic compounds. Apricots can be consumed directly or dried to be consumed in form of dried fruits. They are also used in the preparation of various jams, juices, jellies and squash.
So, what are these health benefits that make Apricots so popular?
Apricots have a wide range of health benefits which include treating constipation, indigestion, fevers, earaches, anemia, cancer and skin diseases. In addition, apricot oil aids in treating wounds and strained muscles. (1)
On the other hand, the fruits are good for skin care, especially in women. The high levels of antioxidants such as phytonutrients, Vitamin C and Vitamin A are essential and highly recommended for maintaining healthy skin. Such antioxidants slow the aging process by enhancing faster production of cells that replaces worn out and dead skin cells. (2)
How Many Carbs In Apricots
With 6 grams of carbs and 2 grams of fiber, a single Apricot has a net carb count of 4 grams. The low carb content, coupled with the fruit’s sweet and delicate flavor in addition to the rich nutrients, makes apricots a worthwhile addition to your daily diet.
The sweet nature of apricots can be confusing; one may wonder whether they are ideal for a low carb diet due to their moderate sugar content. Well, the answer is yes. Apricots can be included in a low carb diet, however, how much you consume is dependent on your current carb intake, your goals, and where you are in reaching your low carb goals.
Apricots and Weight Loss
Carbs are essential in our diet to provide us with the required energy to fuel an intense workout. However, if consumed in large quantities, you may end up with an undesired flab.
Low carb diets are recommended for individuals seeking to lose weight and keep it in check. If you are following a dietary program aimed at losing weight, apricots are a healthy choice to help lose excess weight. This is because they can fill your stomach and restore the electrolyte balance without adding the calories that eventually increase your body weight.
Diets rich in fruits are recommended to provide the body with the essential nutrients it requires as well as to keep it hydrated. Fruits aid in boosting the immune system, improving blood circulation, and improving digestion, thus promoting overall health.
However, not all fruits serve the same purpose when it comes to losing weight. This is because some fruits are rich in high carbohydrates, hence ideal for high carb diets. Low carb fruits such as apricots have high water content, control the body’s temperature and assist in getting rid of bad cholesterol from the body. Apricots do not tax the body with excess sugar levels, but instead aid in burning excess fat and losing weight.
Apricots and Blood Sugar
If you are on a low-carb diet, or if you are diabetic, you need to be wary of the carb content in your diet. Some fruits are a rich source of carbohydrates unlike others. For instance, one apple can provide you with up to 35 grams of carbohydrates.
All in all, if you are diabetic or on a low carb diet, there is no need to worry as you don’t have to avoid all fruits altogether. Some fruits such as apricots stand out as some of the best low carb fruit choices you can include in your diet. They are a rich source of fiber, Vitamin C, beta-carotene, potassium and iron.
Apricots are perfect for satisfying your sweet tooth without affecting your blood sugar levels. Rich nutrients and the low glycemic index of apricots help them in regulating your blood sugar.
Fresh apricots have a glycemic index of 34, with their dried counterparts having a lower glycemic index of 30. Glycemic Index is a measure of how certain foods affect your blood sugar levels so as to be in a position to better manage your diabetes. Therefore, your blood sugar levels will be affected by both fresh and dried Apricots following a meal . (3)
Therefore, consuming apricots is particularly important if you have problems regulating your blood sugar. The effect of apricots on blood sugar can also be attributed to their fiber content. Dietary fiber slows digestion, which regulates the release of sugar into your bloodstream. This improves your body’s ability to respond to insulin, thus, enhancing sustained control of your blood sugar levels.
Dried VS Raw Apricots
When fruits are dried, they lose most of their water content. However, dried fruits offer more benefits to fresh fruits in that they are easy and convenient to keep and they offer quick boosts of energy. In addition, research suggests that dried fruits have larger amounts of iron and dietary fiber. This Applies to apricots as well.
However, dried fruits are higher in sugar; hence they can negatively impact your dental health if consumed in large amounts. As with all dried fruits, the lack of sufficient water content concentrates not only the flavor but also the sugar, which can lead to carbohydrates overload. Therefore, with dried apricots, it is important to control your portions as compared with fresh apricots.
Overall about Carbs in apricots
In summary, Apricots help in maintaining a low carb diet. It is quite apparent that maintaining a low carb diet has a range of proven health benefits. By curbing the amount of carbohydrates you consume, you are likely to replace them with proteins. Hence, it is unlikely for you to eat too many calories, thus extinguishing the need to count your calorie intake.
By cutting out carbs, you also regulate your sugar and starch intake, which helps to maintain regular levels of insulin. This significantly reduces sugar cravings and avoids sudden energy spikes or crashes.