Bad Fruits For Diabetics


There are certain bad fruits for diabetics. They should never be consumed at any time or in any quantity by a diabetic. Fruits are food that is full of vitamins, minerals, and other good nutrients. There is a variety of fruits available in the market and each fruit has some excellent benefits when it is consumed. But some fruits are not recommended for diabetics because they have harmful effects on the body. As a diabetic patient, you should be cautious while consuming fruits as some of them don’t suit your body.

Diabetes becomes more and more common. However, to keep healthy and have a long, happy life it is very important to regularly go for medical examination and know the results of your tests. In the article, you will find out which fruits are better to be avoided by diabetics and there is a bonus for you which foods do not harm your sugar level.

Related Post: Which Fruits Have Calcium In Them

Table of Contents

Can You Eat Fruit With Diabetes? What Are The Best And Worst Options?

Eating fruit can be a delicious way to satisfy hunger and meet daily nutritional needs. However, most fruits contain sugar. This has raised questions about whether fruits are suitable for people who have diabetes.

The American Diabetes Association reports that any fruit is fine for a person with diabetes, so long as that person is not allergic to that type of fruit.

Studies such as one from 2017  have found that a higher fruit intake is significantly associated with a lower risk of type 2 diabetes.

However, not all fruits are equally healthy. Fresh or frozen fruits, or fruits packed in their juice, are better than processed fruits straight from a can or jar, such as applesauce and canned fruit. This is because fruits in cans, jars, or plastic cups may contain added sugar. And added sugar can cause a person’s blood sugar to spike.

This article recommends which fruits to eat and avoid for a person with diabetes. It also explores the relationship between fruit and blood sugar.

Related Post: Which Fruits Have The Lowest Sugar Content

List Of Fruits For Diabetes

fruits for diabetes on heart shaped platter

Fruits And The Glycemic Index

For a person with diabetes, one way to select safe and suitable fruits and other high-carbohydrate foods are to check their values on the glycemic index (GI).

The GI is a rating of foods on a scale from 1 to 100. The score indicates how quickly the food may raise blood sugar levels. The body absorbs high GI foods faster than medium or low GI foods, for example.

Foods with a lower GI score are better for helping to control blood sugar levels.

The following table shows low and medium GI fruits:

Low GI fruitsMedium GI fruits
GI score20–4950–69
underripe bananas

Fruits To Avoid

A person with diabetes should not avoid fruit in general, since it is an important part of a balanced diet. Some research shows, for example, that eating fruit may help prevent diabetes.

However, a person with diabetes can make smart choices about which fruits they eat.

High Sugar Fruits

Although fruits that score highly on the GI are safe for people with diabetes, a person should monitor their intake. Most fruits do not score highly, but those that do include:

  • very ripe bananas
  • dried dates
  • watermelons
  • pineapples

High Carb Fruits

Some people with diabetes follow a low-carb diet to reduce the impact of carbohydrates on their blood sugar levels.

It is worth noting that high-carb fruits still may have fewer carbohydrates than other, less nutrient-dense snacks. For example, one large banana contains about 30 grams (g) of carbohydrates, while a chocolate muffin contains around 55 g.

A person should, therefore, focus on limiting their intake of other high-carb foods before cutting out fruits.

Related Post: Fruits For Diabetics Type 2

How Much Fruit Should I Eat?

Most guidelines recommend that adults and children eat 5 servings of fruits and vegetables each day. This is still true for people with diabetes.

Other guidelines recommend making sure that half of the plate at each meal contains fruits, vegetables, or both.

For a person with diabetes, half of each meal should be nonstarchy vegetables, rather than fruit. The remaining half should be sources of protein and high fiber starches, such as beans or whole grains. Many experts also recommend including healthy fat in each meal to encourage a feeling of fullness and enhance the absorption of antioxidants and vitamins.

One serving is a medium-sized fruit, or a serving the size of a baseball. The serving size of smaller fruits, such as berries, is 1 cup.

For processed fruits, such as applesauce and fruit juice, the serving size is half a cup. And for dried fruits such as raisins and cherries, it is 2 tablespoons.

As with vegetables, focusing on the variety can be a great way to absorb the right nutrients and enjoy a range of flavors.


Benefits For Diabetes

Eating enough fiber plays an important role in managing diabetes.

A diet high in soluble fiber can slow the absorption of sugar and control blood sugar levels. Many fruits are high in fiber, especially when a person eats the skin or pulp. The high fiber and water contents of many fruits make them filling.

Diets that contain enough fruits and vegetables can reduce the risk of obesity, heart attack, and stroke. Obesity has links to type 2 diabetes.

Because fruits are high in fiber and nutrients, they are a good choice when a person is planning meals. But consider limiting the number of processed fruits on the menu, such as applesauce and fruit juices, because these have had their fiber removed.

Other Health Benefits Of Fruit

People with diabetes should have a balanced diet that provides enough energy and helps them maintain a healthy weight. Some fruits, such as watermelon, are high in sugar but can be part of a healthy diet in moderate amounts.

Opting for fruit can also prevent a person with a sweet tooth from reaching for candy and other foods with low nutritional value. Most fruits are high in nutrients and low in fat and sodium. Fruits also often contain nutrients that other foods do not.

Bananas contain potassium and tryptophan, an important amino acid. Citrus fruits, such as oranges and grapefruits, are rich in vitamins A and C, which are powerful antioxidants.

Dietary Tips

To reach the recommended 5 servings of fruits and vegetables per day, aim to have fruits and vegetables throughout the day.

Here are a few ideas to help with menu planning:

Citrus Fruits

Citrus fruits are versatile and easy to add to meals. Add lemon and lime to seafood, sauces, or glasses of iced tea. People can make their fruit water by adding citrus slices to a pitcher of water and letting it sit overnight.


Berries are tasty raw. A person might also make a compote to spoon into oatmeal or meat dishes.

Put whole, fresh or frozen berries into a saucepan with a tablespoon or two of water. Cook this on medium or low heat until the berries have broken down into a thick sauce. One serving is half a cup.


Apples are a popular fruit. They are delicious raw for a snack or dessert. When cooked, apples have a deeper flavor, making them a favorite in desserts spiced with cinnamon or ginger.

A person could try marinating apples in a small amount of honey and spices, then grilling them. To finish, roll the apples in crushed walnuts or pecans. While this dessert contains some honey, it is a healthier alternative to many apple-based baked goods.


Avocados are high in fat, but they contain monounsaturated fat, the type that is beneficial for the body.

A person can slice them or mash them and mix them in herbs and vegetables to make a dip, such as guacamole. A person might also add lime or lemon for a citrus boost.

11 Foods And Drinks To Avoid With Diabetes

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Diabetes is a chronic disease that has reached epidemic proportions among adults and children worldwide.

Uncontrolled diabetes has many serious consequences, including heart disease, kidney disease, blindness, and other complications.

Prediabetes has also been linked to these conditions.

Importantly, eating certain foods can raise your blood sugar and insulin levels and promote inflammation, which may increase your risk of disease.

This article lists 11 foods and drinks that people with diabetes or prediabetes should avoid.

person making lemonade by pouring sugar into a glass filled with water and lemons
Bad Fruits For Diabetics

Why Does Carb Intake Matter For People With Diabetes?

Carbs, protein, and fat are the macronutrients that provide your body with energy.

Among them, carbs have the greatest effect on your blood sugar by far. This is because they’re broken down into sugar, or glucose, and absorbed into your bloodstream.

Carbs include starches, sugar, and fiber. However, fiber isn’t digested and instead absorbed by your body in the same way other carbs are, so it doesn’t raise your blood sugar.

Subtracting fiber from the total carbs in a portion of food will give you its digestible or net carb content. For instance, if a cup of mixed vegetables contains 10 grams of carbs and 4 grams of fiber, its net carb count is 6 grams.

When people with diabetes consume too many carbs at a time, their blood sugar levels can rise to dangerously high levels.

Over time, high levels can damage your body’s nerves and blood vessels, which may set the stage for heart disease, kidney disease, and other serious health conditions.

Maintaining a low carb intake can help prevent blood sugar spikes and greatly reduce the risk of diabetes complications.

Therefore, it’s important to avoid the foods and drinks listed below.

1. Sugar-Sweetened Beverages

Sugary beverages are the worst drink choice for someone with diabetes.

First, they’re very high in carbs, with a 12-ounce (354-mL) can of cola providing 38.5 grams.

The same amount of sweetened iced tea and lemonade each contain almost 45 grams of carbs exclusively from sugar.

In addition, these drinks are loaded with fructose, which is strongly linked to insulin resistance and diabetes. Indeed, studies suggest that consuming sugar-sweetened beverages may increase the risk of diabetes-related conditions like fatty liver disease.

What’s more, the high fructose levels in sugary drinks may lead to metabolic changes that promote belly fat and potentially harmful cholesterol and triglyceride levels.

In separate studies in adults with overweight and obesity, consuming 25% of calories from high fructose beverages on a weight-maintaining diet led to increased insulin resistance and belly fat, lower metabolic rate, and worse heart health markers.

To help control blood sugar levels and prevent disease risk, consume water, club soda, or unsweetened iced tea instead of sugary beverages.


Sodas and sweet drinks are high in carbs, which increase blood sugar. Also, their high fructose content has been linked to insulin resistance and an increased risk of obesity, fatty liver, and other diseases.


2. Trans Fats

Artificial trans fats are extremely unhealthy.

They’re created by adding hydrogen to unsaturated fatty acids to make them more stable.

Trans fats are found in margarine, peanut butter, spreads, creamers, and frozen dinners. Furthermore, food manufacturers often add them to crackers, muffins, and other baked goods to help extend a product’s shelf life.

Although trans fats don’t directly raise blood sugar levels, they’ve been linked to increased inflammation, insulin resistance, and belly fat, as well as lower levels of HDL (good) cholesterol and impaired arterial function.

While more research is needed to gain a clearer understanding of the relationship between trans fats and insulin resistance, the links mentioned above are especially concerning for people with diabetes, as they’re at an increased risk of heart disease.

Artificial trans fats have been outlawed in most countries, and in 2018 the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) banned the use of partially hydrogenated oil — the major source of artificial trans fat in the food supply — in most processed foods.

This doesn’t mean that all foods in the United States are now free of artificial trans fats. Manufacturers aren’t required to list trans fats on the nutrition facts labels if a product contains under 0.5 grams of trans fat per serving.

It’s best to avoid any product that contains the words “partially hydrogenated” in its ingredient list.


Trans fats are unsaturated fats that have been chemically altered to increase their stability. They’ve been linked to inflammation, insulin resistance, increased belly fat, and heart disease.

3. White Bread, Rice, And Pasta

White bread, rice, and pasta are high-carb, processed foods.

Eating bread, bagels, and other refined-flour foods has been shown to significantly increase blood sugar levels in people with type 1 and type 2 diabetes.

This response isn’t exclusive to products made with refined white flour. In one study, gluten-free pasta was also shown to raise blood sugar, with rice-based types having the greatest effect.

Another study found that high-carb foods not only raised blood sugar but also decreased brain function in people with type 2 diabetes and mental deficits.

These processed foods contain little fiber. Fiber helps slow the absorption of sugar into the bloodstream.

In other research, replacing these low fiber foods with high fiber foods was shown to significantly reduce blood sugar levels in people with diabetes. Moreover, people with diabetes experienced reductions in cholesterol.

Increased fiber consumption also improved gut microbiota, which may have led to improved insulin resistance.


White bread, pasta, and rice are high in carbs yet low in fiber. This combination can result in high blood sugar levels. Alternatively, choosing high-fiber, whole foods may help reduce blood sugar response.

4. Fruit-Flavored Yogurt

Plain yogurt can be a good option for people with diabetes. However, fruit-flavored varieties are a very different story.

Flavored yogurts are typically made from nonfat or low-fat milk and loaded with carbs and sugar.

A 1-cup (245-gram) serving of fruit-flavored yogurt may contain almost 31 grams of sugar, meaning nearly 61% of its calories come from sugar.

Many people consider frozen yogurt to be a healthy alternative to ice cream. However, it can contain just as much or even more sugar than ice cream.

Rather than choosing high sugar yogurts that can spike your blood sugar and insulin, opt for plain, whole milk yogurt that contains no sugar and may be beneficial for your appetite, weight control, and gut health.


Fruit-flavored yogurts are usually low in fat but high in sugar, which can lead to higher blood sugar and insulin levels. Plain, whole milk yogurt is a better choice for diabetes control and overall health.

5. Sweetened Breakfast Cereals

Eating cereal can be one of the worst ways to start your day if you have diabetes.

Despite the health claims on their boxes, most cereals are highly processed and contain far more carbs than many people realize.

In addition, they provide very little protein, a nutrient that can help you feel full and satisfied while keeping your blood sugar levels stable during the day.

Even some “healthy” breakfast cereals aren’t good choices for those with diabetes.

For instance, just a 1/2-cup serving (about 56 grams) of granola contains 44 grams of carbs, while Grape Nuts contain 47 grams. What’s more, each provides no more than 7 grams of protein per serving.

To keep blood sugar and hunger under control, skip most cereals and choose a protein-based low-carb breakfast instead.


Many breakfast cereals are high in carbs but low in protein. A high protein, low carb breakfast is the best option for diabetes and appetite control.


6. Flavored Coffee Drinks

Coffee has been linked to several health benefits, including a reduced risk of diabetes.

However, flavored coffee drinks should be viewed as a liquid desserts rather than a healthy beverage.

Studies have shown your brain doesn’t process liquid and solid foods similarly. When you drink calories, you don’t compensate by eating less later, potentially leading to weight gain).

Flavored coffee drinks are also loaded with carbs.

For instance, a 16-ounce (473-mL) Caramel Frappuccino from Starbucks contains 57 grams of carbs, and the same size as the Blonde Vanilla Latte contains 30 grams of carbs.

To keep your blood sugar under control and prevent weight gain, choose plain coffee or espresso with a tablespoon of heavy cream or half-and-half.


Flavored coffee drinks are very high in liquid carbs, which can raise blood sugar levels and fail to satisfy your hunger.

7. Honey, Agave Nectar, And Maple Syrup

People with diabetes often try to minimize their intake of white table sugar, as well as treats like candy, cookies, and pie.

However, other forms of sugar can also cause blood sugar spikes. These include brown sugar and “natural” sugars such as honey, agave nectar, and maple syrup.

Although these sweeteners aren’t highly processed, they contain at least as many carbs as white sugar. Most contain even more.

Below are the carb counts of a 1-tablespoon serving of popular sweeteners:

  • white sugar: 12.6 grams
  • honey: 17.3 grams
  • agave nectar: 16 grams
  • maple syrup: 13.4 grams

In one study, people with prediabetes experienced similar increases in blood sugar, insulin, and inflammatory markers regardless of whether they consumed 1.7 ounces (50 grams) of white sugar or honey.

Your best strategy is to avoid all forms of sugar and use natural low-carb sweeteners instead.


Honey, agave nectar, and maple syrup aren’t as processed as white table sugar, but they may have similar effects on blood sugar, insulin, and inflammatory markers.

8. Dried Fruit

Fruit is a great source of several important vitamins and minerals, including vitamin C and potassium.

When fruit is dried, the process results in a loss of water that leads to even higher concentrations of these nutrients.

Unfortunately, its sugar content becomes more concentrated as well.

One cup (151 grams) of grapes contains 27.3 grams of carbs, including 1.4 grams of fiber. By contrast, 1 cup (145 grams) of raisins contains 115 grams of carbs, 5.4 of which come from fiber

Therefore, raisins contain more than four times as many carbs as grapes do. Other types of dried fruit are similarly higher in carbs than their fresh counterparts.

If you have diabetes, you don’t have to give up fruit altogether. Sticking to low-sugar fruits, such as fresh berries or a small apple, can provide health benefits while keeping your blood sugar in the target range.


Dried fruits become more concentrated in sugar and may contain more than four times as many carbs as fresh fruits do. Avoid dried fruit and choose fruits low in sugar for optimal blood sugar control.

9. Packaged Snack Foods

Pretzels, crackers, and other packaged foods aren’t good snack choices.

They’re typically made with refined flour and provide few nutrients, although they have plenty of fast-digesting carbs that can rapidly raise blood sugar.

Here are the carb counts for a 1-ounce (28-gram) serving of some popular snacks:

  • saltine crackers: 20.7 grams of carbs, including 0.78 grams of fiber
  • pretzels: 22.5 grams of carbs, including 0.95 grams of fiber
  • graham crackers: 21.7 grams of carbs, including 0.95 grams of fiber

Some of these foods may contain even more carbs than stated on their nutrition label. One study found that snack foods provide 7.7% more carbs, on average than the label states

If you get hungry in between meals, it’s better to eat nuts or a few low-carb vegetables with an ounce of cheese.


Packaged snacks are typically highly processed foods made from refined flour, which can quickly raise your blood sugar levels.

10. Fruit juice

Although fruit juice is often considered a healthy beverage, its effects on blood sugar are similar to those of sodas and other sugary drinks.

This goes for unsweetened 100% fruit juice, as well as types that contain added sugar. In some cases, fruit juice is even higher in sugar and carbs than soda.

For example, 8 ounces (250 mL) of soda and apple juice contain 22 and 24 grams of sugar, respectively. An equivalent serving of grape juice provides 35 grams of sugar

Similar to sugar-sweetened beverages, fruit juice is loaded with fructose. Fructose drives insulin resistance, obesity, and heart disease

A much better alternative is to enjoy the water with a wedge of lemon, which provides less than 1 gram of carbs and is virtually calorie-free


Fruit juices contain at least as much sugar as sodas. Their high fructose content can worsen insulin resistance, promote weight gain, and increase the risk of heart disease.

11. French Fries

French fries are a portion of food you may want to steer clear of, especially if you have diabetes.

Potatoes themselves are relatively high in carbs. One medium potato contains 34.8 grams of carbs, 2.4 of which come from fiber.

However, once they’ve been peeled and fried in vegetable oil, potatoes may do more than spike your blood sugar.

Deep-frying foods have been shown to produce high amounts of toxic compounds, such as advanced glycation end products (AGEs) and aldehydes. These compounds may promote inflammation and increase the risk of disease.

If you don’t want to avoid potatoes altogether, eating a small serving of sweet potatoes is your best option.


In addition to being high in carbs that raise blood sugar levels, french fries are fried in unhealthy oils that may promote inflammation and increase the risk of heart disease and cancer.

The Best and Worst Fruits to Eat If You Have Diabetes

Good news for fruit lovers everywhere: eating fresh fruit is associated with a lower risk of diabetes and a lower risk of complications if you already have the disease, according to a recent study published in PLOS Medicine.

If you’ve been steering clear of fruit because of the sugar content, there’s no reason to do so, according to this study. Over seven years, researchers analyzed the diet and health outcomes of more than 500,000 Chinese adults. The researchers found that higher fruit consumption was not associated with higher blood sugar, even for people with diabetes. Adults who consumed fruit more frequently had a lower risk of developing diabetes.

The study only analyzed fresh fruit consumption, not dried fruit or fruit juice, so we turned to a few registered dietitians and certified diabetes educators to clarify the best and worst fruits, appropriate serving sizes, and how many carbohydrates you should get from fruit each day.

First, it’s important to note that “diabetes care is individualized,” says Staci Freeworth, R.D., C.D.E., and professor of nutrition at Bowling Green State University. This is why people with diabetes need to see a certified diabetes educator. These specialists can break down how many carbohydrates you should be eating each day based on your individual needs and health history.

Related Post: Low Fat Diet Plan For Diabetics

Best Fruits to Eat

Bad Fruits For Diabetics

Whether you have diabetes or not, the consensus from dietitians is the same regarding which fruits are best to eat.

“The best fruits for everyone to eat are the ones that create the least influence on blood sugar, often termed ‘low glycemic load,’ even if you don’t have diabetes,” says Daphne Olivier, R.D., C.D.E., founder of My Food Coach. “These include fruits with rich, deep colors such as blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, dark cherries, and kiwi. The rich color is a result of antioxidants-which we know help to neutralize free radicals-but there are also other benefits to antioxidants that we cannot explain.”

Amber Gourley, M.S., R.D., of the Disobedient Dietitian agrees: “As a general rule, I tell my clients to go for darker-colored fruits. Studies show that Americans don’t get enough dark purple and red fruits, and these fruits contain some of the best sources of anti-inflammatory antioxidants.”

Eat More of These Fruits:

  • Blueberries
  • Blackberries
  • Raspberries
  • Dark cherries
  • Kiwi

Worst Fruits to Eat

Bad Fruits For Diabetics

One caveat: no fruit is “the worst.” All fruit delivers fiber and nutrients and can be part of a healthy diet. However, bananas, pineapples, and mangoes get a bad rap for their higher sugar content compared to berries.

Don’t avoid them altogether, though. Instead, the focus should be on decreasing how quickly your blood sugar rises. For example, if you eat a banana by itself, your blood sugar will rise fairly quickly. “But if you pair fruit with foods that have healthy fats in them, such as blueberries with walnuts or apricots with mozzarella cheese, you will decrease the influence of the fruit on your blood sugar,” Olivier says. “These fats slow down the absorption of the glucose from fruit and prevent your blood sugar from spiking as high.” Nuts and nut butter, plain yogurt, cheese, and even avocado will all help blunt your blood sugar response when eating fruit, due to their protein and fat content.

Fresh Fruit Salad

The advice you’ve heard to eat the whole fruit (like the Fresh Fruit Salad, pictured above) instead of drinking fruit juice follows the same reasoning. “The whole fruit has fiber, which is lost in the juice,” Gourley says. Fiber helps slow the absorption of sugar. “It’s also easy to consume far more carbohydrates than necessary when drinking fruit juice,” she says.

The same goes for dried fruit: “Dried fruit is a great snack, but 1/4 cup has 15 grams of carbohydrates, so I suggest using dried fruit on salads or mixed into plain yogurt instead of eating it alone,” Gourley says.

How Much Fruit Is Too Much?

The U.S. Dietary Guidelines recommend that adult men and women consume on average two cups of fruit per day. A one-cup serving would be one piece of fruit, like an apple or peach, or one cup of cut-up fruit.

Olivier says, “In general, having about a handful size of fruit three times daily is appropriate.” Just remember to pair it with protein or fat. “An apple as a snack can raise blood sugar faster than an apple with almond butter,” she says.

Bottom Line

Whether you have diabetes or not, fruit is your friend. Branch out from apples and bananas, and eat a variety of fruits, especially blue, red, and purple fruits like berries, which are high in antioxidants and raise blood sugar the least. Try not to eat fruit alone. Pair it with a healthy fat like nuts or nut butter to slow digestion and the rise of blood sugar. Consume dried fruits and fruit juice in moderation, and if you have diabetes, remember to count the total grams of carbohydrates, not just the grams of sugar.

The #1 Breakfast For Diabetes, According To A Dietitian

Prepping a balanced breakfast that contains fiber-rich carbohydrates, protein, and healthy fats can help combat high morning blood sugar. And, this breakfast is yummy, too.

a jar of overnight oats and chia seeds with raspberries on top

Do you struggle with elevated fasting blood sugar in the mornings? You may be thinking I just fasted all night! I slept for 8 hours without eating! How is my blood sugar elevated? We have a term for this—it’s called the “dawn phenomenon.” If this happens every once in a while, it’s not a big deal, and it likely won’t significantly alter your A1C levels. (A1C is a measure of blood glucose over time.) But if your blood sugar is consistently elevated in the mornings, it’s something to look into.

What Happens To Blood Sugar In The Morning?

Shortly before you wake up, the liver releases glucose into the bloodstream to give you energy. This is the dawn phenomenon, and it’s your body’s way of giving you a boost to start the day.

In a person without diabetes, this is no biggie. Once glucose enters the bloodstream, the pancreas releases insulin to push glucose into cells, where it can be used for energy. However, if you have diabetes, that process doesn’t run so smoothly. That’s because the body doesn’t produce enough insulin (or any insulin at all) to manage that elevated blood sugar. Therefore, when you wake up and test your blood sugar, you may see that your blood sugar is elevated. This is the dawn phenomenon.

Why Is It Important To Have A Healthy Breakfast?

Eating a consistently scheduled, balanced breakfast is especially important for people who have diabetes. The good news is that a balanced breakfast is something that can help keep your blood sugar levels steady in the morning and throughout the day. Traditional breakfast foods—bagels, doughnuts, pastries, pancakes, and French toast—are often high in refined carbohydrates and sugar, which can cause your blood sugar levels to spike. Instead of those foods, aim to consume breakfast with protein, fiber-rich carbohydrates, and healthy fat.

A Dietitian’s Favorite Breakfast For Diabetes

For people with diabetes, my favorite breakfast to recommend is Overnight Chia Oats. This is a type of oatmeal mixed with chia seeds that you consume cold out of the fridge. (And there are so many great recipes for overnight oats.) Not only delicious, but these Overnight Chia Oats are also packed with fiber, healthy fats, and protein. That combination makes them slow-digesting, which is exactly what you want when managing your blood sugar. The best part? You can meal-prep multiple batches at once, so you have them on hand throughout the week, ready to grab and go in the morning. What could be easier?

How To Make Overnight Chia Oats

Ingredients (makes 1 serving)

  • ⅓ cup old-fashioned oats
  • 2 tablespoons chia seeds
  • ¼ cup nonfat plain Greek-style yogurt
  • ¼ cup frozen berries (such as raspberries)
  • ⅔ cup unsweetened almond milk
  • Dash of cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon chopped walnuts (for topping)


Step 1

Combine oats, chia seeds, yogurt, berries, almond milk, and cinnamon in a jar or container with a lid. Shake or stir to combine. Set it in the refrigerator overnight, or for at least 2 hours (and up to 5 days).

Step 2

When ready to eat, remove it from the refrigerator. Top with walnuts. Enjoy!

Nutrition Facts

  • 327 calories
  • 35 g carbohydrate
  • 13 g fiber
  • 15 g protein
  • 16 g fat

Nutrition Perks Of Overnight Chia Oats For Diabetes

All right, let’s break this breakfast down, and get into why it’s such a great choice for people with diabetes—or anyone!

Packed With Protein

The nonfat Greek-style yogurt contributes about 6 grams of protein, the oats have about 3.5 grams, the chia seeds add 3.5 grams, the almond milk adds 1 gram plus the walnut topper provides an extra 1 gram of protein. That’s a total of 15 grams of protein at breakfast! Protein helps blunt the digestion of carbohydrates. Essentially, it creates a little bit of a roadblock for carb digestion, thus helping to make the release of glucose (aka sugar) into the bloodstream a slower, longer process.

Contains Healthy Fats

Just like protein, adding a source of healthy fat to a meal or snack also helps to slow down the digestion of carbs. Overall, balanced and nutrient-dense meals help delay carbohydrate digestion, steadying the release of glucose into the bloodstream. Eating this way improves your ability to manage your blood sugar. In this recipe, the chia seeds and walnuts provide a total of 15 grams of fat. What’s more, the fats in chia seeds and walnuts are omega-3 fatty acids and polyunsaturated fats, which are anti-inflammatory and heart-healthy!

Offers Fiber-Rich Complex Carbohydrates

Oats can sometimes get a bad rap for being high in carbs. And while they do have a significant carb content, they are whole-grain food, meaning they also contain vitamins, minerals, and fiber. When combined with protein and healthy fats, they make for very blood-sugar-friendly breakfast food. In this recipe, the oats contribute about 18 grams of carbs, the chia seeds add 9 grams of fiber-rich carbs and the Greek-style yogurt adds about 2 grams. Berries, such as raspberries, add about 4 more grams, plus the almond milk and walnuts contribute 1 gram each, making the carb total for this breakfast about 35 grams of carbs.

In addition, this recipe is packed with fiber. The oats add about 3 grams, the chia seeds add a whopping 7 grams and the raspberries add an extra 2 grams. That’s a total of about 13 grams of fiber when including small amounts of fiber from the walnuts. This nutrient helps manage your blood sugar, is good for your gastrointestinal system, and is filling, too.

Blood Sugar Management Tips

What you eat isn’t the only thing that impacts your blood sugar. Other factors that matter: are when and how often you eat, portion sizes, and physical activity. Follow these blood-sugar-friendly tips throughout the day:

Eat Often

Eat small, frequent meals and snacks every three to four hours. This prevents blood sugar from dipping too low.

Manage Portion Sizes

Regular eating times also help keep hunger at bay and prevent you from overeating at meals, thus preventing blood sugar from spiking too high.

Stay Active

Physical activity plays a huge role in blood sugar management. After all, our muscles’ preferred source of fuel is glucose. So it makes sense that the more we move, the more glucose they’ll use up. If you’re ever experiencing high blood sugar after a meal, go for a walk. And if able, commit to a consistent exercise routine. The American Diabetes Association recommends 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise per week, which can be spread out into five 30-minute or six 25-minute sessions per week.

Bottom Line

For the best blood-sugar-friendly breakfast, aim for a mix of fiber-rich carbohydrates, like whole grains, plus protein and healthy fats. Eating this type of balanced breakfast, like Overnight Chia Oats, can help you better manage your blood sugar in the morning—and throughout the day.

What Is Bitter Melon And Can It Help You Manage Your Blood Sugar?

If you have diabetes, you may want to add this vegetable into your meal rotation, according to emerging research.

If you aren’t familiar with bitter melon, it’s time to change that. Typically grown in Asia, Africa, and the Caribbean but increasingly available in the U.S., it’s one of those foods that’s technically a fruit but that’s used more like a vegetable, with a crunchy texture and a savory, bitter taste. Also called bitter gourd, it’s known for both its flavor and its impressive nutrient profile.

Recently, there’s been some exciting research suggesting that bitter melon could be helpful for blood sugar management as well. Whether you’re trying to keep your blood sugar stable or just looking to add new fruits and vegetables to your repertoire, here’s what you need to know about bitter melon.

What Is Bitter Melon?

Also known as bitter gourd, “bitter melon is technically a fruit of the gourd family,” says Vandana Sheth, RDN, CDCES, FAND, a Los Angeles-based registered dietitian nutritionist and author of My Indian Table: Quick & Tasty Vegetarian Recipes. This puts it in the same family as other fruits and vegetables like melon, zucchini, cucumbers, and pumpkin.

There are two main varieties of bitter melon, Chinese and Indian. Both are long and round, with green skin, and have pale, whitish flesh like a cucumber. “The Chinese variety is long and light green with bumps, and the Indian variety is narrow and has a rough and spiky rind,” Sheth says.

The fruit is widely used in Asia and the Middle East, and you’ll likely be able to find it at Asian markets and other specialty grocers here in the United States.

What Does Bitter Melon Taste Like?

Unlike most melons, bitter melon has a strong, bitter taste and no sweetness. The fruit gets more bitter as it ripens. Both its green husk and its white insides are edible, and while you can eat bitter melon raw, many people prefer it cooked, because cooking tones down the bitter flavor.

What Are Bitter Melon’s Nutrients?

Here’s the nutrition information for 1 cup of cooked bitter melon:

  • 53 calories
  • 5.5g carbohydrate
  • 2.5g fiber
  • 1g protein
  • 3.5g fat

In addition, bitter melon is an excellent source of vitamin C, with 1 cup providing about half of the recommended dietary allowance. Vitamin C is a nutrient that plays a key role in collagen production (necessary both for wound healing and keeping skin springy) and has antioxidant properties to quell damaging free radicals. There’s also some evidence that vitamin C may be useful for blood sugar and blood pressure management for people who have type 2 diabetes. Bitter melon also provides vitamin A, a fat-soluble vitamin important for immune health.

Then, there are the 2.5 grams of blood-sugar-stabilizing and digestion-friendly fiber in a serving of bitter melon. Overall, “as a high-fiber, low-calorie food with a high level of the antioxidants vitamin A and C, bitter melon can be a great addition to the plate for anyone looking to increase their overall fiber intake to benefit gut health, as well as those looking to add more volume and satiety to their meals,” says Erin Palinski-Wade, RD, CDCES, a New Jersey-based dietitian and author of 2 Day Diabetes Diet.

Does Bitter Melon Help With Blood Sugar Management?

All high-fiber, low-sugar fruits and vegetables can help to keep blood sugar steady because they provide valuable nutrients as well as fiber that slows the absorption of glucose into your bloodstream.

Bitter melon may be particularly good at keeping blood sugar stable. “The key nutrient in bitter melon that may be beneficial for blood sugar management is a chemical called polypeptide-P that acts like insulin,” Sheth says.

So, what does that mean? “Bitter melon appears to contain insulin-like properties that help your cells utilize glucose and transport it around your body, while also helping to promote insulin secretion,” Palinski-Wade says. “Several small studies indicate it may be beneficial at reducing overall blood glucose levels and A1C in individuals with type 2 diabetes.”

For example, in a small randomized controlled trial of 24 patients with type 2 diabetes, published in 2018 in the Journal of Medicinal Food, researchers found that patients who consumed 2,000 mg of bitter melon supplements every day for three months had significant reductions in hemoglobin A1C (a measure of blood sugar over time) compared to those who did not. (Keep in mind that this study looked at supplementation, which may be different than consuming bitter melon in the diet.)

Additionally, a meta-analysis published in 2019 in the Journal of Ethnopharmacology looked at data from 10 existing studies on bitter melon and diabetes management and found that oral bitter melon supplements appear to have a beneficial effect on blood sugar in people who have type 2 diabetes. The authors note that the available evidence, however, is low-quality, and more research is needed.

How To Start Using Bitter Melon

If you’ve never cooked bitter melon and are looking to try it, you could start with Caraili (Sautéed Bitter Melon), a Trinidadian dish that balances its bitter flavor with spice and saltiness. Bitter melon is also used as a soup ingredient, so in colder months you might try this Oxtail and Bitter Melon Soup, which is packed with flavors bitter, sweet and savory.

The Bottom Line

Although more research is needed to determine if and why bitter melon seems to help with blood sugar management, the studies that have been done are promising. Next time you see bitter melon at your market or grocery store, pick some up and get cooking.


Can You Eat White Rice If You Have Diabetes? Here’s What A Dietitian Has to Say

Tonight, you’re eating rice. Instinctively, you may reach for brown rice because you’ve read and heard that white rice is bad for you, especially if you have diabetes. This refined, low-fiber grain is often considered taboo in Western diets for its high starch and low nutritional value. Still, rice makes up 20% of the world’s caloric consumption, with most rice eaten as white rice. More importantly, white rice is the main staple among Asian, Latin American, and some African diets. So, how can white rice be bad for you, particularly when it’s so commonly eaten among different ethnic groups? Can you still eat it even if you have type 2 diabetes? We looked at the research for some answers.

White Rice Nutrition

Here’s the nutrition for 1 cup of cooked enriched long-grain white rice:

  • 205 calories
  • 45g carbohydrates
  • 0.6g fiber
  • 4g protein
  • 0.4g fat

Similarly, here’s the nutrition for 1 cup of cooked enriched short-grain white rice:

  • 242 calories
  • 53g carbohydrates
  • 4g protein
  • 0.4g fat

(*Info for fiber was not available.)

That’s compared to the nutrition for 1 cup of cooked long-grain brown rice:

  • 248 calories
  • 52g carbohydrates
  • 3g fiber
  • 5.5g protein
  • 2g fat

White rice, whether short- or long-grain, is a starch-filled, low-fat grain that provides between 45 and 53 grams of carbohydrates per 1-cup serving. Although it has minimal fiber, it provides some protein, with 4 grams per serving. That said, brown rice offers a good source of fiber, while white rice has very little fiber.

Most white rice sold in the United States is enriched, meaning that it offers some thiamin, niacin, iron, and folic acid. In addition, rice also provides manganese. This trace mineral, naturally present in rice, is essential for making energy, protecting cells, and supporting the immune system, blood clotting, bone production, and reproduction.

Can You Eat White Rice When You Have Diabetes?

Current dietary recommendations suggest eating fewer refined carbohydrates, including white rice, and replacing these foods with high-fiber, low-glycemic-index grains, such as brown rice. Yet a meta-analysis of seven trials, published in PeerJ in 2021, indicated that people with prediabetes or type 2 diabetes who replaced white rice with brown rice did not see an improvement in their fasting blood sugar and hemoglobin A1C (a blood test that provides the three-month average of the blood sugar level). There were benefits to forgoing white: some participants who subbed brown rice for white also lost weight and improved their “good” HDL cholesterol levels.

More research is needed, however. Other studies show a link between white rice and diabetes. A perspective paper in Diabetes Care, for instance, recommends reducing white rice in your diet in favor of filling your plate with a variety of whole grains, fruits, vegetables, legumes, and nuts to decrease the risk of type 2 diabetes.

So, the short answer is—yes, you may be able to eat white rice when you have diabetes. If you’re thinking about making it part of your meal, there are several factors to consider when it comes to blood sugar management, including the following:

1. The Type Of White Rice You’re Eating

White rice comes in various varieties, differing in grain structure and the ratio of the starch present. These variations influence how quickly rice is broken down and digested in the body, resulting in a higher or lower glycemic index. Generally speaking, white rice is a moderate glycemic index food.

With so many different rice varieties, you may wonder which type of white rice you should choose more often. This will depend on your personal preference and how the rice is served.

For instance, long-grain white rice varieties, such as basmati and jasmine, pair well with mixed dishes. Despite containing 8 grams fewer carbohydrates per serving than short-grain white rice (like sushi rice), basmati and jasmine rice are unsuitable for making sushi. These rice varieties do not absorb as much moisture, and thus will not stick together as sushi rice does. Sushi pieces that use these two rice types will fall apart.

You may be surprised to learn that parboiled white rice (aka converted rice) has a lower glycemic index than polished white rice, where the bran and germ are removed during processing. Before parboiled white rice has its bran removed, it is soaked in water, then treated with heat and steamed, followed by a drying process. The parboiling process forces the nutrients in the bran into the germ and endosperm of the grain, not only retaining the nutritional value but also causing the starch to become more tightly packed, leading to harder kernels.

2. How The Rice Was Cooked

How you cook white rice may also affect the number of carbohydrates your body absorbs, and therefore may change your blood sugar response to the grain. Rice naturally contains resistant starches, a type of starch that does not get digested and absorbed in the small intestine. Research has found that rice that has been cooked, cooled, and refrigerated before use, such as rice used in fried rice recipes or eaten as leftovers, contains more resistant starches than freshly cooked rice, such as boiled rice, rice made in a broth, and rice made in a rice cooker. This is due to changes in the structure of the starch molecules that affect the starch’s digestibility and reduce its glycemic index.

3. What Portion Size You’re Eating

Even if you choose lower-glycemic-index rice, it’s important to remember that the amount of rice (along with other carbohydrate-containing foods) you’re eating matters. Overeating carbohydrates has been linked to poorly managed diabetes and the increased risk of type 2 diabetes. The American Diabetes Association recommends following the Diabetes Plate Method way of eating, where you use a 9-inch plate and fill at least half the plate with vegetables, one-quarter with lean proteins, and one-quarter with carbohydrate foods. Setting up your plate like this is an easy (and visual) way of keeping your portions of carbohydrates, including those from white rice, in check.

Related Post: Atkins Diet Plan For Diabetics

4. Whether Your Diet Is balanced

A 2018 study from Japan published in Nutrition noted that while white rice is a mainstay in the Japanese diet, total diet quality also plays a role in determining blood sugar levels. A diet that included white rice, fruit, low-carbohydrate vegetables, and dairy products was not linked to increasing one’s glycemic load, which is the number of total carbohydrates absorbed, a factor that plays a role in blood sugar response.

Most importantly, not all studies have proven that eating white rice increases the risk of diabetes, despite the consensus that eating whole grains may reduce the risk. And the presence (or lack thereof) of white rice in your diet doesn’t determine whether your diet is healthy and balanced overall. The types of foods included, whether the foods are part of one’s culture, their nutritional qualities, and the amount of sodium and saturated fats are some factors to account for when assessing if your diet is health-promoting for you.

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