The best fruits for diabetics type 2 are the ones that are high in fiber and low in calories. These fruits can help reduce the symptoms of this disease and improve overall health. The best fruits for a diabetic should be enjoyed by everyone, but those with diabetes type 2 or insulin resistance are even more receptive. Not only do fruits help to regulate blood sugar levels, but there is a bunch of vitamins as well as fibre in fruits.
5 Best Fruits for a Diabetes-Friendly Diet
Unwanted fruit? No, not if you choose wisely. These favorites are suitable for your diabetes diet plan because they are low in carbs and have a low glycemic index.
Look no further than the produce drawer in your refrigerator or the fruit bowl on your kitchen table when you’re looking for a treat that won’t raise your blood sugar above a healthy level.
Unbelievably, the idea that fruit is dangerous when you need to check your A1C is a common diabetes myth that has been repeatedly disproven. Even higher intakes of fresh fruit were linked to a lower chance of developing diabetes as well as fewer problems for those who already had the disease, according to a study that appeared in PLoS One in April 2017. A study published in the October 2021 Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism suggests that those who consume a diet high in whole fruits may be less likely to initially develop type 2 diabetes.
According to the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and the American Diabetes Association (ADA), numerous fruit varieties are rich in fiber, a potent food that can control blood sugar levels and lower your chance of developing type 2 diabetes.
According to the Mayo Clinic, fiber, which is also present in whole grains and some of the best veggies for diabetes, can improve your health by encouraging feelings of fullness and reducing cravings and overeating. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, maintaining a healthy weight helps with diabetes control and supports insulin sensitivity (CDC).
What then is the best way to choose fruits for diabetes? Fruit juice in particular might be harmful for diabetics. For instance, prior studies revealed that while consuming fruit juice was actually connected with a higher risk of developing diabetes, consuming whole fruits was related with a lower risk.
According to the ADA, whole fruits like berries, citrus, apricots, and yes, even apples, can be a nutritious way to sate your sweet appetite while supplying vital vitamins and minerals.
However, you must be wise about counting carbohydrates and keeping track of what you eat, just like with any other meal in your diabetes diet. Portion size is important: One serving of fruit shouldn’t include more than 15 grams (g) of carbohydrates, according to the Mayo Clinic.
According to the Cleveland Clinic, fruit should be eaten whole and in its natural state. Fruit in syrups and other processed fruits with added sugar should be avoided because they have a propensity to raise blood sugar levels. Keep to the freezer aisle and the vegetable department in your grocery shop. According to the ADA, most whole fruits are an excellent choice whether you’re using the glycemic index (GI) or glycemic load to guide your dietary choices because they typically rate low on these lists.
The glycemic index, according to Harvard Health Publishing, is a scale used to estimate how rapidly a food can elevate your blood sugar levels. According to the University of Sydney, glycemic load provides a more exact sense of how a particular portion size may affect blood sugar by taking into consideration both the glycemic index and the amount of carbohydrates in each serving. Glycemic load is useful in the case of fruit because greater amounts can in fact raise blood sugar levels.
With this knowledge, you can consume fresh, whole fruit and maintain healthy blood sugar levels, reducing your risk of developing diabetes complications like neuropathy or nerve damage, kidney disease, eye problems like glaucoma, cataracts, and diabetic retinopathy, as well as potentially fatal conditions like heart disease and stroke.
The next time you have a sweet tooth, try one of these naturally sweet and juicy goodies from Mother Nature. You can either slice some up at home and add them to your breakfast bowl, or you can keep it easy and just throw a piece in your bag for when you’re on the road.
Diabetes Diet Tips for The Carb Avoider
Berries Are a Refreshing Treat With Disease-Fighting Antioxidants
Whether you enjoy strawberries, blueberries, or any other berry, you are free to indulge, according to experts. They are a diabetes superfood, according to the ADA, since they are loaded with fiber and antioxidants. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, a cup of fresh blueberries includes 84 calories and 21 grams (g) of carbs (USDA). Try berries in a parfait, alternating layers of fruit with plain nonfat yogurt, if you can resist the impulse to just pop them into your mouth. It makes a terrific dessert or breakfast for people with diabetes.
Tart Cherries Tackle Inflammation
According to the USDA, a cup of tart cherries with pits contains 52 calories and 12.6 g of carbohydrates. And because of their antioxidants, which have been demonstrated to combat heart disease, cancer, and other disorders, according to a review from the March 2018 Nutrients, these fruits may be especially effective against inflammation. You can get tart cherries fresh, canned, frozen, or dried.
However, Cleveland Clinic advises consumers to read the labels carefully because many canned fruits include added sugar, which can cause blood sugar levels to rise. According to the ADA, dried cherries without added sugar are a healthy alternative. However, you shouldn’t eat them until you’re full because dried fruit is less satisfying than whole fruit but higher in calories and carbs (think 2 tablespoons).
Sweet, Juicy Peaches Pack Electrolyte-Boosting Potassium
You can incorporate fresh, fragrant peaches as a summertime treat in your diabetes-friendly diet. The USDA estimates that a medium peach has 59 calories and 14 grams of carbs. Additionally, it has 285 mg of potassium and 10 mg of vitamin C, making it a rich source of both nutrients. It also contains 285 mg of potassium.
According to the Mayo Clinic, vitamin C helps your body do everything from create blood vessels and cartilage to speed up the healing process. In contrast, potassium functions as an electrolyte and aids in maintaining proper fluid levels in our cells, according to Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.
Peaches are delicious on their own, but you may also want to add some to some unsweetened iced tea. Make a quick smoothie with peach slices pureed with low-fat buttermilk, crushed ice, and a dash of cinnamon or ginger if you want a simple diabetes-friendly snack.
Apricots Are Scrumptious, Fiber-Rich Little Bites
A delicious staple of the summer, apricots are a great addition to any diabetes diet plan. According to the USDA, an apricot only has 17 calories and 4 g of carbs. Four of the little fresh fruits make up an excellent supply of vitamin A, providing 134 micrograms (mcg) of your daily requirement. According to the National Institutes of Health, vitamin A has a number of nutritional purposes including being crucial for your vision and immune system (NIH).
With 3 g for that same set of four, these delicious gems are also a good source of fiber. Toss some diced fresh apricots in a salad or add them to hot or cold cereal.
Apples Offer a Quick, Fibrous, Vitamin C–Filled Snack
Perhaps an apple a day keeps the doctor away. If you’re on the road, throw one in your bag or purse. According to the USDA, a medium-sized apple has 95 calories and 25 grams of carbohydrates, making it an excellent fruit option. Enjoy half if you’re aiming for less than 15 g of carbohydrates per serve.
Apples are rich in fiber (approximately 4 g per medium fruit, making them a healthy source), and one medium apple has 8.37 mg of vitamin C. Don’t peel your apples, though; the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health advises against doing so because the produce’s skin contains a significant amount of fiber and antioxidants that protect the heart.
The 10 Best Fruits To Eat If You Have Diabetes, According To A Registered Dietitian
If you have diabetes, you’ve probably received kind advise from someone to keep particular fruits off-limits. This is because fruits include carbs, which digest more quickly than fats and proteins and have a greater impact on blood sugar levels. But here’s some even friendlier advice: Fruits don’t necessarily have to be allowed in your diet.
According to Eleana Kaidanian, a licensed dietician and the head of Long Island Nutritionist, a private online business with headquarters in New York, eating fruit as a diabetic comes down to two main considerations. All items, including fruits, are technically permissible and can be included in a healthy, balanced diet when portion control and food quality are taken into account, according to the expert.
Particularly fruits are brimming with vital nutrients that your body requires for everything from battling inflammation to lowering your risk of developing other chronic illnesses like cancer. Fruit pulp and peel that can be eaten are both excellent sources of fiber. Fruits can also help you meet your hydration goals if you struggle to drink enough water (guilty).
It is preferable for diabetics to eat the fruit whole, without any alterations. Therefore, no dehydrating, no juicing, little baking, etc. In spite of the fact that there are no additives listed on the ingredient list of certain organic applesauce, Kaidanian advises diabetics to choose a fresh apple instead.
Fruit is typically flash-frozen as soon as it is picked, so both fresh and frozen are equally as excellent. According to Kaidanian, this indicates that its nutritious profile endures for a very long time. (That apple in the back of your refrigerator for weeks may still be edible, but some of its nutrients have been gone.)
Dried fruit can be consumed on occasion, and that is also acceptable. You only need to make sure it’s free of additives and preservatives, and you’ll want to eat it less frequently and in smaller portions.
Speaking about portion control, Kaidanian advises that one tiny fruit, such as a small apple, banana, or orange, is an accurate measurement of one single serving. One serving, if you can cut the fruit up or measure it, is equal to half a cup. Kaidanian generally suggests two portions of fruit each day.
However, certain fruits are better for diabetics than others since they have a lower glycemic index. Here are the fruits that Kaidanian believes are the greatest for diabetics in case you’re intrigued about some of them.
Fruits with edible skins and peels, like pears, are great sources of fiber. Fiber can help with blood sugar management and regulation and can leave you feeling satisfied, Kaidanian points out.
Per serving: 102 calories, 0.2 g fat (0 g saturated), 27 g carbs, 17 g sugar, 2 mg sodium, 6 g fiber, 0.6 g protein
There are many types of apples that have various benefits. Some might offer more hydration; others might have a better texture.
In general, though, there are no apples that are better or worse for a diabetic. “Apples that you would find in the supermarket or are widely available are fine. Just try to choose smaller ones,” Kaidanian says.
Per serving: 95 calories, 0.3 g fat (0.1 g saturated), 25 g carbs, 19 g sugar, 2 mg sodium, 4.4 g fiber, 0.5 g protein
Like pears and apples, peaches have an edible skin that provides fiber. Another benefit is that they’re convenient (not to mention delicious).
“They’re very grab and go. You don’t have to cut them and peel them,” Kaidanian says about apples, pears, and peaches. “You just wash it and then take it with you, and you can bite right into it. So that makes it very user-friendly, and that’s important.”
Per serving: 68 calories, 0.4 g fat (0 g saturated), 17 g carbs, 15 g sugar, 0 mg sodium, 2.6 g fiber, 1.6 g protein
Apricots are extremely high in antioxidants that neutralize free radicals, or harmful compounds that damage your cells, in turn lowering your oxidative stress. Oxidative stress has been linked to several chronic conditions, including heart disease and diabetes.
Similar to apples, pears, and peaches, Kaidanian says apricots also have a skin that provides fiber and can help manage blood sugar levels.
Per serving: 79 calories, 0.6 g fat (0 g saturated), 18 g carbs, 15 g sugar, 2 mg sodium, 3.3 g fiber, 2.3 g protein
A good generalization is that fruits are healthier for you if they are more colorful. And that applies to everyone; it’s not only for diabetics.
Berries are excellent for diabetics because they are often smaller and eaten whole. They’re beneficial since it’s simple to exercise portion control and because they have a low glycemic index, according to Kaidanian. “Berries often have a higher volume per serving of carbohydrates than other fruits. For instance, half of a medium banana counts as one serving of carbohydrates. But depending on the variety of fruit, most portions of berries call for a cup or a cup and a half to provide for more volume in your serving while still maintaining within the limits of your daily carbohydrate allotment.”
Per serving: 85 calories, 0.5 g fat (0 g saturated), 21 g carbs, 15 g sugar, 1 mg sodium, 3.6 g fiber, 1.1 g protein
Cherries have potent antioxidant levels that can be used to fight inflammation, Kaidanian says. Similar to berries, cherries are low on the glycemic index, which means you can incorporate more of them into your diet. It goes back to that convenience factor, as well. Cherries are eaten intact with all of their nutritious fiber.
Per serving: 77 calories, 0.5 g fat (0.1 g saturated), 19 g carbs, 13 g sugar, 5 mg sodium, 2.5 g fiber, 1.6 g protein
Citrus fruits are known for their vitamin C, which boosts immunity and helps heal wounds. The pulp provides extra fiber, and the segments (the slices) help with portion control.
Oranges also provide a lot of hydration, which is a benefit to eating all types of fruit. “They give you edible hydration to help you meet your daily fluid requirements beyond just water to not only satisfy your thirst, but also provide electrolytes,” Kaidanian says. Electrolytes can help regulate blood pressure and aid in muscle function.
Per serving: 45 calories, 0.1 g fat (0 g saturated), 11 g carbs, 9 g sugar, 0 mg sodium, 2.3 g fiber, 0.9 g protein
Like oranges, grapefruits are also a good source of hydration and vitamin C. What’s tricky about the grapefruit though, Kaidanian says, is maintaining good portion control.
Unlike with the orange, it’s going to be more difficult to find ones on the smaller end. In this case, half of a medium-sized grapefruit is sufficient, she says.
Per serving: 52 calories, 0.2 g fat (0 g saturated), 13 g carbs, 8 g sugar, 0 mg sodium, 2 g fiber, 0.9 g protein
Kiwis offer some of the same nutritional benefits as berries, and the same convenience as an apple or peach. Like berries, kiwis have seeds that remain intact, providing that necessary fiber for blood sugar regulation.
If you’ve gone through life peeling your kiwis, you don’t have to do that. “The kiwi also has a thin skin. Most people in our society, in our Western culture, do peel it. But if you [wash] it, it’s edible,” Kaidanian says.
Per serving: 42 calories, 0.4 g fat (0 g saturated), 10 g carbs, 6 g sugar, 2 mg sodium, 2.1 g fiber, 0.8 g protein
Grapes are beneficial because they provide you with a robust nutritional profile, Kaidanian says. They’re high in copper, which helps with energy production, and they also have a good amount of vitamin K. That promotes blood clotting (aka helps heal wounds) and aids in maintaining healthy bones.
Grapes come with skin and seeds, as well. By now, you should know what that I’m going to say—yup, they come with intact fiber.
Per serving: 62 calories, 0.3 g fat (0.1 g saturated), 16 g carbs, 15 g sugar, 2 mg sodium, 0.8 g fiber, 0.6 g protein
The Best Fruits For Type 2 Diabetes: Managing Type 2 Diabetes With Diet
It’s a popular myth that people with type 2 diabetes shouldn’t consume fruits. This is widely considered to be true since fruits are known to contain sucrose, a compound that combines the two sugars that cause blood sugar levels to rise, glucose and fructose.
According to the American Diabetes Association (ADA), this myth has been dispelled, and those with type 2 diabetes can still eat fruits. They advise including fruits in your meals as a source of carbs. In fact, a 2017 study1 demonstrates how increasing fruit consumption reduces the incidence of type 2 diabetes.
Fruits are a fantastic source of fiber, vitamins, and minerals for your general health. The presence of fiber helps control blood sugar levels and reduces the incidence of type 2 diabetes. While the majority of fruits have significant nutritional content, not all fruit-based dishes are thought to be the healthiest choices for diabetics.
For instance, added sugar is present in processed fruits, which can raise blood sugar levels. Fresh fruits or those packed in their own juice are advised by the ADA since they are considerably healthier and more nourishing.
Fruits and glycemic index
If you have type 2 diabetes, it’s crucial to be picky about the fruits you consume. By looking at their glycemic index (GI) readings, you may confirm that.
Using a scale of 1 to 100, GI categorizes how quickly carbs in food raise blood sugar levels. The sooner a food raises your blood sugar levels, the better the score.
Fruits offer a high number of nutrients that can help persons with diabetes over the long run, in addition to their low glycemic index.
The following fruits, which have a medium or low GI, are the best for a type 2 diabetic diet.
Apples can indeed keep the doctor away and diabetes at bay. Even though there are 2500 varieties of apples, there are no bad ones. These are delicious and highly nutritious fruits with several health benefits since they contain high levels of:
- Several antioxidants
- Vitamin C
You must eat the apple skin if you want to reap the full benefits of the fruit’s nutrients, as the skin contains the majority of the fruit’s nutritional worth.
Apples are also high in water content, which makes them surprisingly filling. Additionally, they have 25 grams of carbohydrates, which quickly cause blood sugar levels to rise. Nevertheless, 4.8 grams of the 27 grams of carbohydrates are fibers, which slow down the digestion and absorption of carbohydrates and lessen the likelihood that they may raise your blood sugar levels.
Apples actually have a low glycemic index.
Polyphenols found in apples reduce the incidence of type 2 diabetes and other disorders. These medications help you use insulin more effectively, which allows your body to absorb more sugar and energy.
Apple consumption on a regular basis may lessen insulin resistance, resulting in low blood sugar.
They contain the flavonoid anthocyanin, which is what gives apples their red color and has antioxidant effects. Type 2 diabetes can be prevented and treated with the help of anthocyanin.
Berries are fleshy fruits that are rich in vitamins, fiber, minerals, and antioxidants that boost memory and reduce inflammation. Berries also rank lower on GI, making them a good choice for people with type 2 diabetes.
Research² on commonly consumed blueberries has found that they have positive effects on people with diabetes. They contain high levels of phytochemicals that help increase insulin in the body.
Current evidence³ supports that consuming 250 grams of raspberries (red) can significantly lower the risk of post-meal insulin and blood sugar levels in people with prediabetes. People who consume more raspberries have less risk of developing diabetes.
Avocados contain about 20 different types of vitamins and minerals. In 201 grams of avocado, you will get the following
- Vitamin C—22% of the daily value (DV)
- Vitamin K—28% of the DV
- Folate—41% of the DV
- Potassium—485 mg
- Fiber—14 grams
- Carbs—17 grams
- Fats—30 grams
Avocados are a good option for patients with type 2 diabetes because of their high fiber content and low carbohydrate load. The digestion and absorption of carbohydrates in the blood are slowed down by fiber. Consuming avocado alongside other foods can dramatically reduce the likelihood of blood sugar rises.
You should think about calorie consumption before adding avocados. A single serving of avocado can have up to 300 calories, depending on size.
Avocados can still be eaten if you are watching your calorie intake to lose weight or maintain your weight. The ADA recommends including avocados in your diet if you have type 2 diabetes since they contain healthful fats.
Monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFAs), the name for these beneficial fats, are known to increase good cholesterol and decrease bad cholesterol. According to research, excellent cholesterol reduces the risk of heart disease and stroke, which diabetics are twice as likely to develop. In actuality, heart disease and stroke are the two leading causes of death among diabetics.
Pears contain the following types of nutrients that help control type 2 diabetes:
- Potassium — 206 mg
- Fiber (small )— 4.6 grams
- Vitamin C — 7.65 grams
- Carbohydrates — 27 grams
Due to their high fiber content, pears have a GI that ranges from 20 to 49. A small pear has 4.6 grams of fiber, which is roughly 20% of the recommended daily allowance.
According to studies, consuming pears and other foods high in anthocyanin reduced the risk of type 2 diabetes in persons at risk for the condition. Pears also include flavonoids, vitamins C and K, and copper, all of which fight inflammation and reduce the risk of complications from type 2 diabetes.
For the most health benefits, pears should be eaten whole rather than juiced, especially for individuals who are at risk of developing diabetes.
Kiwi contains various nutrients, minerals, antioxidants, and vitamins K, C, and E. Vitamin C is known to improve immunity, lower the risk of high blood pressure, and control diabetes.
Kiwi fruits also have a lower GI and high fiber content, which significantly slows down the rate of absorption and digestion of sugar in the bloodstream. The high fiber content helps eliminate bad cholesterol, reducing the risk of cardiovascular diseases.
Peaches are a warm-weather treat that you need to include in your diet if you have diabetes. You can consume the fruit on its own or twist it whichever way you like.
According to USDA, a medium peach contains:
- Calories — 59 kcal
- Vitamin C — 10 mg
- Potassium — 285 mg
- Carbohydrates — 14 grams
Peaches are a great fruit to include in your meal plans because of the low levels of carbohydrates. In addition, its high levels of potassium help lower the risk of diabetes and control the disease for those who have it.
Research⁴ shows that peaches contain bioactive compounds and antioxidants, which are known to inhibit enzymes that cause type 2 diabetes.
Apricots have a GI of 34, which makes them among the best fruits to consume if you have type 2 diabetes. Apricots are high in:
- Vitamin A
- Vitamin C
Citrus fruits like oranges, lemons, and grapefruits contain a GI of between 40 to 43, making them safe for people with type 2 diabetes. They are high in:
- Vitamin C
All the combined nutrients can nourish your body and keep diseases that can increase the risk of spiking blood glucose levels at bay. In addition, the natural sugar in citrus fruits makes them safe for satisfying your sweet tooth.
Citrus fruits also contain substances that help in glycemic control and fight chronic illnesses such as diabetes. Plant-based compounds aid in antioxidant functions, which counter oxidative stress.
A 2015 study⁵ shows that citrus fruits are linked to weight loss because of their low-calorie content. If you have type 2 diabetes, losing weight can help you go into diabetes remission.
Pineapples contain a medium GI of 59; a large percentage of the fruit is water, so a 120-gram serving has a low glycemic load of 6. The low GI and high fiber content make pineapples safe for people with type 2 diabetes.
Pineapples also contain a bromelain-proteolytic enzyme, which promotes good health and lowers the risk of diabetes.
Pineapples are high in the following nutrients:
- Vitamins C, B12, and A
Papaya is considered a medium GI fruit, which means it contains organic sugar and must be consumed in moderation. The fruit has a high amount of dietary fibers, which help slow down glucose uptake in the bloodstream.
Papayas have flavonoids and high levels of antioxidants, which inhibit oxidative stress. Oxidative stress facilitates the development of complications related to diabetes. That said, papaya can cause spikes in blood glucose levels if consumed in excess.
Plums are fat-free fruits that contain various nutrients. One plum has:
- Calories — 67 kcal
- Iron — 0.78 mg
- Potassium — 228 mg
- Protein — 0.8 gram
- Fiber — 2 grams
- Carbohydrates — 18 grams
- Vitamin C
Even though plums are low in calories, you need to watch out for the number of carbs you consume each day. Whether you are eating one plum or a handful, you need to include them as part of the carbs in your meal plan.
The soluble fiber in plums helps control diabetes by emptying the stomach at slow rates. Plums also contain flavonoids, which reduce insulin resistance.
Despite how sweet they are, dates are considered among fruits with low GI, making them safe for people with type 2 diabetes.
You can comfortably eat up to 10 dates without causing a spike in your blood sugar level. However, dates have a high amount of calories, so if you are watching your weight, eat them in moderation.
Dates also contain:
- Calories — 66.5 kcal
- Fiber — 1.61 grams
- Sugar — 16 grams
- Carbohydrates — 18 grams
When combined, all these nutrients work together to help prevent insulin resistance.
Furthermore, dates contain magnesium, which helps in controlling diabetes. Studies⁶ have indicated that patients with type 2 diabetes have low amounts of magnesium. In other words, consuming high amounts of magnesium may prevent the risk of developing type 2 diabetes.