Fruits for diabetics is essential for a person who has diabetes because they can provide the glucose present in the body. When you are going to eat any fruit, ensure you know about their effect on your blood sugar level. Some fruits tend to increase your sweetness of the blood, whereas others don’t affect your blood sugar level at all.
10 Fruits That Are Good to Eat if You Have Diabetes
These low and medium glycemic options can be enjoyed with breakfast or as a snack.
Nothing (naturally) tastes sweeter than biting into a ripe peach or adding strawberries to your oatmeal in the morning. However, it can be unclear for diabetics how much of that fruity sweetness they can consume without raising their blood sugar levels. According to dietician Farah Z. Khan, RD, a health and wellness coach, “many of my clients with diabetes are concerned because they’re unsure where fruit fits into the equation.” However, Khan explains, the naturally occurring fructose and glucose in fruit are completely distinct from the added sugars present in treats like ice cream, cookies, and soft drinks. Fruit contains fiber, which slows down the rate at which food is digested, allowing glucose to enter the system more gradually. Fruit also contains essential vitamins and minerals.
Khan advises avoiding dried and canned fruits because they may have additional sugar, and sticking to whole or frozen fruits instead (though if you only have access to canned fruits, you can simply rinse off the syrup, she says). If you want to consume your fruit in liquid form, Khan advises sticking with 100% juice that has no added sugar and considering dilution with water or seltzer. The American Diabetes Association advises limiting high-carbohydrate items, such as fruit, to no more than one-fourth of your plate, or roughly two to three servings per day. Khan advises selecting whatever fruit you enjoy and combining it with additional proteins or good fats as an additional means of preventing blood sugar spikes. Remember that a serving of fruit contains approximately 15 g of carbs.
Here are 10 fruits you can consume if you have diabetes, along with guidelines for a healthy serving size.
Apples are full of fiber (most of it in the peel, so leave it on!), which makes them an excellent choice for snacking. Pair them peanut or almond butter to get some protein in every bite.
1 serving = 1 small apple
Pears are a terrific option for a crunchy snack because they are also packed with good fiber. Eating entire Bartlett and Starkrimson pears may even help manage type-2 diabetes, according to one study.
1 serving = 1 small pear
Strawberries are a pleasant and vibrant option since they are rich in fiber, vitamin C, and antioxidants. Slice them up and put them on top of yogurt, cereal, or a sweet-and-salty salad made with spinach and walnuts.
1 serving = 1 cup berries
Choose a banana from the bunch that is still just a little bit green, advises Khan, noting that the sugar content of a banana rises as it ripens.
1 serving = 1/2 banana
All berries are excellent for diabetics because of their antioxidant content, but tart, juicy blackberries provide more fiber per serving than their more well-known relative, the strawberry.
1 serving = 1 cup berries
Nothing compares to a peach in season for sweetness and juicy flavor. Along with other stone fruits such as plums and nectarines, peaches contain bioactive compounds that one study has found may fight obesity-related diabetes.
1 serving = 1 medium peach
Slice up this fuzzy little fruit for a nice tang over your cottage cheese or yogurt. It is high in vitamin C and has a low sugar content.
1 serving = 1.5 kiwis
When you have diabetes, oranges do really belong in a healthy diet, according to Khan. One medium orange contains 51 mg of vitamin C and 3 g of fiber, which reduce your chance of developing chronic diseases.
1 serving = 1 medium orange
While you should avoid the sugar-soaked maraschino cherries that are typically placed on top of ice cream, fresh cherries that are plump and juicy are an excellent alternative because they are packed with antioxidants that can help control blood sugar.
1 serving = 1 cup cherries
One of the summer’s greatest pleasures is a piece of delicious melon on a hot afternoon. Avoid watermelon, which has a greater glycemic load, and opt for cantaloupe or honeydew instead.
1 serving = 1 cup cubed melon
Nutritionist Shares the Best Fruits to Lower Blood Sugar
Nature’s candy comes wrapped in vibrant colors
On a tropical vacation, is there anything more enjoyable than tucking into a bright fruit platter? or devouring the juicy, sweet peaches of summer? It is not surprising that apples, oranges, and bananas are the three fruits that Americans consume the most. They are delectable. But the truth is that fruit, like all carbs, can cause a blood sugar increase.
Even if it doesn’t imply you should eliminate them entirely from your diet, it might be useful to know how the body processes fruit and which fruits are best for lowering blood sugar. You may rest assured that the fruit bowl in your kitchen or the vegetable drawer in your refrigerator are both excellent sources of stimulating snacks that will help you maintain healthy blood sugar levels. Blood sugar levels can be stabilized by eating some of our favorite snack-worthy fruits (particularly when they’re served with some tangy Greek yogurt or a tablespoon of nut butter!).
- Double-certified Integrative Nutrition Health Coach and Nutrition Consultant
Edie is the founder of nutrition coaching business, Wellness with Edie. With her background and expertise, she specializes in women’s health, including fertility, hormone balance, and postpartum wellness.
Is Fruit Healthy?
Some of you may be thinking after reading that, “Of course fruit is healthy!” Others, however, could only perceive what diet culture sees when they look at a banana: sugar and carbohydrates. Fear of fruit is simply one more illustration of how nutrition messaging affects our capacity to make ideal wholesome and nutritious choices for our bodies. Fruit is actually healthful, despite what the diet culture would have you believe. Mother Nature is an expert at what she does. When we get rid of all the complicated ideas, perplexing research, and our propensity to overthink things, we see that what comes from our natural environment is there to support, satiate, and help us. Those include luscious peaches, ripe watermelon, and juicy grapes. In the end, it’s other types of sugar, such refined cane sugar and artificial sweeteners, that can contribute to chronic disorders like inflammation. The objective is not to restrict or feel deprived, even though not all sugar is made equal. Life is too short not to enjoy it, after all.
Natural Sugars in Fruit—Good or Bad for Your Health?
Point blank: Natural fruits are associated with good health (not bad health). However, as we begin to understand blood sugar and its impact on our bodies, it’s important to recognize how fruit is metabolized. When we eat fruit, we are consuming a wide variety of nutrients, including fiber, antioxidants, and carbohydrates. We’re also consuming natural sugars.
Types of Sugar in Fruit
Fructose and glucose are the two forms of sugar found in fruit. Although the ratios of each differ, most fruits contain roughly equal amounts of fructose and glucose. Fruits typically contain 5–6 grams of fructose, while some only contain 3–4 grams. Fructose can be toxic to the liver if consumed in excess, but I’m talking about massive, significant amounts of fructose. The intestines actually neutralize fructose when you consume 3-6 grams at a time, preventing it from reaching the liver. One medium orange contains around six grams of fructose, to put that into perspective.
Fruit and Fatty Liver Disease
Perhaps you read somewhere along the way that fruit’s sugar causes anything from weight gain to fatty liver disease. A fruit as beneficial as apples, which are filled with vitamin C, might be overshadowed by its sugar level when you’re caught into the recurrent dieting vortex. Although research indicates that consuming a lot of fructose may raise the chance of developing non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, take into account the fructose being tested: Processed versus naturally occuring fructose. High-fructose corn syrup (HFCS, a sweetener produced from corn starch), and table sugar are the main contributors to weight gain, diabetes, and fatty liver disease. Fruit is not a threat. The liver only receives a cascade of fructose when fruit is taken in significant amounts without something to slow blood sugar (such protein and good fats).
How the Body Metabolizes Fruit
Again, fructose only enters the liver when we eat a lot of fruit at once. Most experts concur that your liver will receive very little, if any, fructose if you only eat 1-2 fruits at a time (roughly the size of a tennis ball). Essentially, the intestines partially block the fructose. Another element that modifies how our bodies process fruit? Fiber. Fruit’s fiber delays the absorption of sugar. It can maintain hormone balance and prevent hunger. Natural fruit has fiber to help regulate blood sugar levels, unlike sodas, which frequently contain at least 25 grams of fructose. Additionally, the vitamin C in fruit can aid in balancing fructose’s effects. Flavanols can also aid in squelching it.
Is Dried Fruit Nutritious?
Who doesn’t love a cup of trail mix, filled with chocolate, nuts, and dried fruit? Despite its energizing qualities, dried fruit is rich in fructose and has lost many of its beneficial nutrients in the drying process. Plus, most dried fruits, like cranberries, have added sugar. If you manage to find dried fruits that don’t contain added sugar, they can still drastically spike your blood sugar. When they’re dehydrated, they contain just as much sugar as the whole fruit, but in fewer bites. For example, while a whole apricot has 3-5 grams of sugar, only two tablespoons of dried apricots has the same amount. When possible, pair a small handful of dried fruit with a source of fat (nuts) or protein (string cheese, a hard boiled egg, etc.).
Do Smoothies Spike Blood Sugar?
Depends on the ingredients! Keep in mind that while smoothies are inherently healthy, a fruit-only smoothie can cause a spike in blood sugar. Even if a smoothie is overflowing with healthy foods, it can cause blood sugar levels to spike if the main ingredients are carbohydrates. Instead, opt for a protein-packed and fiber-rich smoothie, like this. Same goes for fruit juices. When you take multiple fruits, blend them to create juice, then remove the fiber, you can get a large dose of fructose. When creating blood sugar-friendly juice, opt for low-sugar fruits and plenty of greens.
What Fruits Can You Eat on a Ketogenic Diet?
If you’re currently trying a ketogenic diet, you’re well-aware of which starchy carbs and fruit can cause a spike in glucose. When it comes to maintaining ketosis, you want to be mindful of which fruits you’re choosing. On a keto diet, most people can enjoy berries, cherries, plums, and kiwis on a regular basis. For example, ½ cup of raspberries contains 3 grams carbs, ½ cup of blackberries contains four grams carbs, and 8-10 strawberries contain six grams carbs.
10 Fruits to Lower Blood Sugar
Speaking of keto-friendly fruits, the fruits that lower blood sugar are many of the same. These fruits are relatively higher in fiber and are universally known as diabetic-friendly fruits. Below is a list of the top 10 fruits to consume when trying to lower blood sugar.
Half a cup of raspberries (60 grams) contains approximately three grams carbs. Raspberries have a mineral called manganese, which is necessary for healthy bones and skin. It also helps regulate blood sugar.
Half a cup of blackberries (70 grams) contains approximately four grams carbs. As with all berries, blackberries deliver a variety of health benefits: Antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals. They’re anti-inflammatory and have anti-microbial properties.
Eight medium-sized strawberries (100 grams) contains approximately six grams carbs. Strawberries are known to increase HDL (good) cholesterol, lower blood pressure, and guard against cancer. Packed with vitamins, fiber, and particularly high levels of antioxidants known as polyphenols, strawberries are a sodium-free, fat-free, cholesterol-free, and low-calorie food.
9 Fruits to Eat If You Have Diabetes
If you live with type 1 or type 2 diabetes, you may be swiping left on fruits like pineapple and grapes. But while they’re not great candidates for an exclusive fruit relationship, a little sampling doesn’t hurt every now and then.
In fact, in moderation and paired with healthy fats or protein, most fruits can be part of a healthy eating plan. All fruit is packed with soluble fiber, vitamins, and minerals you’ll want to load up on.
So, instead of ruling out certain types of fruit, just keep track of their carbohydrate content and where they rank in terms of glycemic index (GI) and glycemic load (GL) and adjust your portion sizes accordingly.
What is the glycemic index?
Glycemic load takes into account both the GI and the grams of carbohydrates in each serving. Foods that have both a low GI and a low GL are better for controlling blood sugar levels.
Some experts recommend using glycemic load as a better predictor of the effect a food will have on blood sugar levels.
Fruits with a high GI raise blood sugar more than those with a low GI.
Foods that have both a low GI and a low GL are better for controlling blood sugar levels.
Eat these: The 9 best fruits for type 1 and type 2 diabetes
The fruits on the following list will save your diet. You’ll want to celebrate their greatness by hoisting them in the air… or just by eating them regularly. Each of them has a GI of no more than 55 and a GL of no more than 10 per serving.
Apples provide healthy fiber, which is important for, you know, staying regular. They’re tasty on their own or with a tablespoon of all-natural peanut butter.
Bananas are an inexpensive and delicious way to get some potassium and vitamin C.
Be sure to eat your bananas as soon as they’re ripe (or even while they’re still a little green). The longer they sit and the browner they get, the sweeter they become. True story — according to a 1992 study, this raises the sugar content and the GI.
Remember that half a medium banana is the recommended serving size.
Pre-PEAR yourself! Pears are loaded with antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals. And red-skinned pears contain carotenoids, which are thought to reduce the risk of certain cancers and eye disease. What’s not to love?
4. Prunes (pitted)
In addition to possibly being your grandma’s favorite fruit, prunes are one of the lowest-GI fruits. Plus, they’re a natural remedy for constipation and are rich in antioxidants. Generally, two to three prunes is considered a serving.
Sweet, sweet berries are actually very low on the GI index. Eating 1 cup of strawberries can also protect your heart, increase your HDL (good) cholesterol level, and decrease your LDL (bad) cholesterol level.
Limit these medium-GI fruits
These fruits are OK to eat in smaller portions. Reach for them less often than the low-GI fruits listed above. They have a GI of 56 to 69 and a GL under 11.
Fresh apricots might not be your usual go-to fruit, but they have a certain zing you can’t get anywhere else. Enjoy them on their own or try grilling them and eating them with a protein like chicken.
One cup of grapes is a healthy way to get some fiber, vitamin C, and vitamin K. They’re also easy to enjoy right out of the bag (just wash them first!) and a great addition to your packed lunch.
Kiwi is an excellent source of vitamins E and K, folate, and potassium. Try slicing up a small kiwi to enjoy with some protein-rich Greek yogurt for breakfast.
Time-saving tip: You don’t need to peel kiwis to eat them. Their skin is edible. Just make sure to wash them before you dig in.
Pineapple is a delicious source of bromelain (an anti-inflammatory), and it’s also rich in vitamin C. Try pairing it with a protein like cottage cheese.