The top fruits for diabetic patients are helpful in managing overall blood sugar as well as help reduce the risk of several other life-threatening diseases. Diabetics need to control their sugar levels by maintaining a healthy diet, regular exercise, and healthy blood pressure. Many fruits are a great source of nutrition and often recommended by dietitians to keep us healthy. Fruits are essential to our good health and nutritional needs. In particular, strawberries, apples, grapes, berries, blackberries, pineapples, oranges, mangos and papaya are some of the fruits that have been proven to have excellent benefits to diabetics.
10 Fruits That Are Good to Eat if You Have Diabetes
You can eat these low- and medium-glycemic selections for 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.
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
Also full of healthy fiber, pears are a great choice for a crunchy snack. In fact, one study suggests that eating whole Bartlett and Starkrimson pears may even help manage type-2 diabetes.
1 serving = 1 small pear
Filled with antioxidants, fiber, and vitamin C, strawberries are a bright and tasty choice. Slice them up and serve on top of oatmeal, yogurt, or mixed with spinach and walnuts for a sweet and savory salad.
1 serving = 1 cup berries
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When picking a banana from the bunch, go for one that’s still slightly on the greener side, says Khan, who points out that the as the banana ripens, its sugar content increases.
1 serving = 1/2 banana
Because of their antioxidant content, all berries are a great choice for diabetics, but tart and juicy blackberries have more than double the fiber content of their more popular cousin, the strawberry.
1 serving = 1 cup berries
Nothing can beat the sweet and juicy flavor of a peach in season. 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
This fuzzy little fruit is rich in vitamin C and relatively low in sugar— slice it up for a welcome tang on your cottage cheese or yogurt.
1 serving = 1.5 kiwis
Yes, even super-sweet oranges have their place in a healthy diet when you have diabetes, says Khan. The 3 g of fiber and 51 mg of vitamin C in one medium orange help lower your risk of chronic disease.
1 serving = 1 medium orange
While you’ll want to skip the sugar-soaked maraschino ones that get plopped on top of ice cream, plump and juicy fresh cherries are loaded with antioxidants, which can help regulate blood sugar, making them a great choice.
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
Best Fruits for a Diabetic Diet
In our nation, Type 2 Diabetes and obesity are serious issues. Nutritional intervention is required to stop this epidemic. Fruit is often thought to raise blood sugar levels, which makes diabetics think they should avoid eating it. However, not all fruits are created equal. In fact, studies have shown that certain fruits can help people lose weight while also lowering their risk of developing Type 2 Diabetes. Everything is based on a concept known as the glycemic index.”
What Is The Glycemic Index?
The glycemic index (GI) gauges how rapidly a specific item raises blood glucose levels, often known as blood sugar. The GI scale ranges from 0 to 100, with 100 being the fastest rate of blood sugar increase and 0 representing the slowest. The highest GI, which is assigned to pure glucose, is 100. The GI scale only measures carbs, therefore those with more fiber or fat receive a lower grade.
Good Fruits for a Diabetic Diet
Eating a low-GI diet can help diabetics keep a handle on their blood sugar. Foods with a rating of 55 or below are considered low-GI. Low-GI fruits include:
- Cherries – GI score: 20
- Grapefruit – GI score: 25
- Dried apricots – GI score: 32
- Pears – GI score: 38
- Apples – GI score: 39
- Oranges – GI score: 40
- Plums – GI score: 40
- Strawberries – GI score: 41
- Peaches – GI score: 42
- Grapes – GI score: 53
Bad Fruits for a Diabetic Diet
On the other hand, fruits with a high GI score should be limited in a diabetic diet. These fruits include:
- Watermelon – GI score: 72
- Pineapple – GI score: 66
- Cantaloupe – GI score: 65
- Raisins – GI score: 64
- Papaya – GI score: 60
If you do want to indulge in a high-GI fruit, be sure to combine it with another food that is high in fiber. Fiber helps slow the absorption of sugar, reducing spikes in blood sugar levels.
The 10 Best Fruits To Eat If You Have Diabetes
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
Here’s a good rule of thumb: The more colorful the fruits are, the better they are for you. And that isn’t just for diabetics; it’s a good guideline for everyone.
Because berries tend to be smaller and are eaten intact, they’re great for people with diabetes. “They’re also good because it’s easy to practice portion control, and because they’re low on the glycemic index,” Kaidanian says. “One carb serving of berries typically has more volume than other fruits. For instance, one carb serving of a banana is half a medium banana. [But] most berries allot for a cup or a cup and a half depending on the type of berry to allow more volume in your portion, while still staying within range of your carbohydrate allowance.”
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
Vitamin C, which helps to heal wounds and promote immunity, is a well-known component of citrus fruits. The segments (the slices) aid with portion control, while the pulp adds additional fiber.
Oranges are a great source of water, which is a benefit of eating all fruit. In addition to providing electrolytes, they supply you with ingestible hydration to assist you achieve your daily fluid requirements beyond simply water, according to Kaidanian. Electrolytes can support proper muscular function and blood pressure regulation.
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
Grapefruits are a good source of water and vitamin C, just like oranges. But according to Kaidanian, the grapefruit presents a challenge in terms of portion control.
It will be more challenging to locate ones on the smaller end than with the orange. She claims that in this situation, half of a medium-sized grapefruit will do.
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 share some of the same health advantages as berries and are just as convenient as apples and peaches. Kiwis, like berries, have seeds that are still whole, offering the essential fiber for controlling blood sugar.
You don’t need to peel your kiwis if you’ve done it your entire life. The skin of the kiwi is also thin. In contemporary civilization and Western culture, most individuals do peel it. However, if you [wash] it, it becomes edible, claims Kaidanian.
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
According to Kaidanian, grapes are advantageous since they offer you a strong nutritional profile. They contain a lot of copper, which aids in generating energy, and a lot of vitamin K. That encourages blood clotting, which aids in bone health and the healing of wounds.
Grapes also have seeds and skin on them. You should be aware by this point that I’m going to say 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