What Fruits Have Low Glycemic Index


What Fruits Have Low Glycemic Index? The Glycemic index is a ranking scale that describes how much and how fast carbohydrates in food are digested and absorbed into the bloodstream. This is then used by Diabetes specialists to find out which foods are best tolerated by the body. Here is a list of fruits with the lowest Glycemic Index.

Fruits With a Low Glycemic Index – Based on Popularity

Are you looking for the most complete list of fruits with a low GI? The most useful resource you’ll need is right here. We’ve compiled a comprehensive list of the greatest and most well-liked fruits, including lesser-known fruits with low glycemic indexes.

Here is the original list, ordered by glycemic index score. We’ll then go over each one in greater depth.

Fruits with a low glycemic index:

  1. Cherries – 20
  2. Grapefruit – 25
  3. Dried apricots – 32
  4. Pears – 38
  5. Apples – 39
  6. Oranges – 40
  7. Plums – 40 or Prunes (Dried plums) – 29 
  8. Strawberries and other berries – 41
  9. Peaches – 42
  10. Grapes – 53
  11. Guava – 12 
  12. Tamarind – 23
  13. Passion fruit – 30
  14. Soursop – 32 
  15. Carambola/Star Fruit – 36
  16. Avocado – 40+
  17. Dragon Fruit – 48-52
  18. Kiwi – 50
  19. Permissions – 50
  20. Mangoes – 51

That concludes the list, and we’ll go through the additional advantages that each fruit can provide. In order to better understand the situation, let’s first review the glycemic index (GI).

Reference guide for low GI score

20 Fruits With a Low Glycemic Index

Simply put, the GI of foods indicates how quickly produce, which contains carbohydrates, impacts your blood sugar level after consumption.

Lower GI foods require more time to absorb and digest. This delays the rapid impact on blood sugar levels as the conversion of carbs to glucose takes longer.

This implies that your blood sugar levels will increase gradually rather than suddenly or in a harmful way. For many people managing a variety of diseases, such as diabetes, this is a crucial aspect.

The American Diabetes Association (ADA) rates GI scores as follows:

Glycemic ScoreGlycemic level
Low GI55 or lower
Medium56 – 69
High70 and above

Many people are aware of the top ten most popular fruits in the low GI fruit category. However, there are a lot of options for low GI fruits.

Even if some of the fruits on the list below may seem novel or unfashionable, each one has a distinct flavor and advantages that make them all worthwhile to try.

Popular Low GI Fruits (Least to highest GI)

Here’s our top list, and the most comprehensive one available on the net!

1. Cherries

Cherries have a GI score of 20 and are also high in potassium, fiber, and antioxidants, which will give your immune system a boost.

Cherries pack a punch when it comes to flavor and their abundant nutrient content delivers a positive effect on your heart health.

The downside to cherries, like many fruits, is that they have a short growing season.

It can be difficult to purchase fresh cherries all year round unless they’re flown in from abroad.

As an alternative, you can opt for canned tart cherries as a substitute. Canned cherries have a GI score of about 41. This is still well below 55 and is therefore considered a very low GI.

But make sure to use canned cherries that aren’t packed with sugar.

2. Grapefruit

Grapefruit has an amazing GI score of 25 and contains over 100 percent of your recommended daily intake of vitamin C.

This citrus fruit also has a large number of nutrients such as antioxidants, potassium, and fiber.

They’re also good for maintaining healthy heart function and support an effective digestion process. Grapefruits are a good booster for your immunity as well. 

But grapefruit may affect how your prescription drugs work if you take any. So, if you consider eating grapefruit while on prescription medications, check with your doctor first. 

3. Dried apricots

Dried apricots have a GI index of 32. They are high in vitamin A and E. They also have one-fourth of the daily copper requirement.

Dried apricots, and most other dried fruits, for that matter, contain more sugar and have a higher GI than the whole fruit counterpart. So, if you opt for the dried fruit option, then keep your portions small.

The only downside to apricots is that they bruise easily, and it’s hard to find them fresh and keep them that way.

Many get apricots shipped when they are still green to avoid this bruising.

4. Pears

Pears have a GI score of 38 and they are high in fiber as well.

One small pear has about 7 grams of fiber. This is roughly 20% of the daily fiber your body needs. 

It has a rich, sweet, and subtle taste, whether having it fresh or baked. But try having them with the peel intact – it’s the healthiest way to eat pears. They also make a great option for summer salads.

Some believe that the pigments that give pears their color, called “anthocyanins,” can lower your chances of type 2 diabetes.

However, more studies are needed to validate this.

5. Apples

Apples have a glycemic index of 39 and are one of the lowest of the GI fruits. They’re also one of the most common fruits available.

This popularity mainly comes because apples are one of America’s favorite fruits.

It’s a go-to fruit that satisfies any crunch cravings. It provides roughly 20% of your daily fiber intake and is the healthiest with the peel on.

Apples are also believed to reduce the risk for diabetes and cardiovascular diseases. 

They are gut-friendly and so is a great option to feed your healthy gut bacteria as well. While boosting your iron levels and apples do make a crunchy option for fruit salads. 

6. Oranges

Oranges have a GI score of 40 and offer a great boost of vitamin C. There are plenty of orange varieties, so their glycemic index can vary.

In general, the average glycemic index of a medium-size orange is 43. So, it’s safe to say that oranges, in general, have a low glycemic index – well below 55. 

Orange is also a great source of fiber and makes a good pulpy fruit you can munch on. 

If you’re considering having a healthy alternative, then avoid orange juice. Orange juice will have all the calories minus the fiber – as well as other additives, making it far less healthy.

7. Plums or Prunes (Dried plums) 

Plums have a GI score of 40 and are juicy treats rich in antioxidants.

Like apricots, plums also bruise quickly, and you may find it hard to get your hands on fresh plums all year round.

But you can enjoy plums in their dried state which are the “prunes.”

Prunes have a GI score of 29. Specifically, prunes are ideal for those who suffer from constipation as they’re a potent natural laxative.

The fiber content in prunes adds bulk to the stool alongside reducing the cholesterol content.

However, watch out for your portion sizes if you’re opting for prunes instead of plums. As prunes are dried fruits, their water content is removed, making them higher in carbohydrates.

8. Strawberries (including other berries) 

Strawberries have a GI score of 41 and are a great snack or dessert fruit that’s popular around the world.

A cup of strawberries has more vitamin C than an orange. They’re also a good source of fiber and contain micronutrients, such as polyphenols that act as antioxidants.

Strawberries protect your heart in different ways. They can increase HDL (good) cholesterol, lower blood pressure, and help prevent cancer.

They’re also a sodium-free, fat-free, cholesterol-free, low-calorie fruit option. 

And there’s more good news. You don’t have to just stop at strawberries. Blueberries, blackberries, cranberries, raspberries, and just about all berries have a low GI too.

Here is a list of berry varieties that are also fruits with a low glycemic index, ranked low into the 30s and 40s.

  • Goji berries
  • Bilberries
  • Saskatoon berries
  • Acai berries
  • Elderberries
  • Cloudberries
  • Huckleberry
  • Gooseberries
  • Chokeberries 
  • Mulberries
  • Salmonberry
  • Muscadine
  • Buffaloberries

9. Avocado

Avocado ripeness has a significant impact on its real GI score. According to research, avocados are classified as low GI fruits because their average GI score is below 55.

A study discovered that Nigerian avocados have a GI of 40 or higher. Unbelievably, another study discovered that the GI of a raw, peeled avocado is reportedly around zero.

There was only a one point error margin on this score of zero. The conclusion for such a score was supported by the knowledge that avocados have a very low sugar content.

The main sugar found in avocado is D-mannoheptulose. This sugar is believed to help control blood sugar management.

This is a key science behind why the American Diabetes Association encourages diabetes patients to add avocados into their diet.

Avocados can also lower the risk of metabolic syndrome, a factor that can increase the risk of diabetes.

Avocado can also reduce the risk of blood vessel diseases such as heart disease, stroke, and even kidney failure.

10. Peaches

Peaches have a GI of 42 and only have 68 calories. It’s packed with 10 different vitamins, including 6% of daily vitamin A and 15% of daily vitamin C.

One medium peach also contains 2% or more daily value of vitamins E and K. They also have a good amount of minerals, niacin, folate, iron, choline, potassium, magnesium, phosphorus, manganese, zinc, and copper.

Peaches offer a great delicious alternative to a calorie-laden dessert.

Having a complex fiber content, the best way to get most of it is to eat a peach with its skin still on. 

In particular, peach skin contributes much of the 3 grams of fiber found in a large peach.

Diabetes Prevention and the Low-Glycemic Index Eating Plan

How foods with a low glycemic index can prevent and help manage diabetes

Low glycemic breakfast of eggs, avocado and salmon

What is the glycemic index?

The phrase “glycemic index” refers to a scale that assigns a number to foods and drinks depending on how they alter blood sugar (glucose) two hours after consumption. It classifies meals and beverages based on their capacity to increase blood glucose levels when consumed on an empty stomach. Sadly, there isn’t a single, universal database for the glycemic index. For diverse foods and beverages, each provides a unique set of numbers.

The most often used scale places the GI values on a scale from 0 to 100, where 0 indicates that the item contains no sugar and 100 represents pure glucose, which would result in the biggest rise in blood sugar. Low GI foods and beverages are those with a GI of 55 or less, whereas moderate GI foods and beverages have a GI of 55 to 69, and high GI foods and beverages have a GI of 70 or more.

What foods have a high, low or medium GI?

GI scales varies slightly from one another, however they all agree on the categories of foods that have a high GI index. High-fiber foods, such as many vegetables, beans, whole grains, and many fruits, have a low to moderate GI compared to refined grains and foods with a lot of sugar.

Low glycemic foods include:

  • Fruit
  • Vegetables
  • Nuts and legumes
  • Milk and other dairy
  • Beans and lentils
  • Seafood, poultry and meat

Foods with a moderate GI include:

  • Whole wheat and rye bread
  • Brown rice
  • Whole grains and oats
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Corn

High glycemic foods include:

  • White rice
  • White bread and other baked goods made with white flour
  • Sugar-sweetened cereals
  • Pizza
  • Pasta

What occurs in your body when you consume a high GI food vs. foods with a low glycemic index?

When you consume a high GI index food:

  • Your body rapidly breaks down the carbs (starches and sugars) into glucose.
  • The glucose is then quickly absorbed in your small intestine so your cells can use it for energy.
  • This can result in your blood sugar spiking.
  • That then leads to an immediate increase of the hormone insulin.
  • Which then allows the cells of the body to use glucose for energy.

On the other side, the rise in blood sugar and insulin is lessened when you eat or drink something low in glycemic index (GI). To put it another way, foods with a high GI raise blood sugar levels more than foods with a medium GI, which in turn raise blood sugar levels more than foods with a low GI.

Can eating low glycemic index foods help people who have diabetes?

As a result of their reduced insulin sensitivity, or insulin resistance, people with type 2 diabetes no longer have fully responsive cells to insulin. As a result, glucose cannot efficiently enter their cells and builds up in their blood instead. A low-GI diet can enhance insulin sensitivity in persons who already have diabetes.

This indicates that the body’s cells are more adept at utilizing glucose, which prevents blood glucose levels from rising. Additionally, there is proof that a low-GI diet will lower fasting blood sugar and HbA1c, a metric for long-term blood sugar control.

Can glycemic index diets prevent diabetes?

There have been numerous studies looking at the effects of a low glycemic diet, according to Mary Vouyiouklis Kellis MD, an endocrinologist in the Department of Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism at Cleveland Clinic’s Endocrinology & Metabolism Institute.

According to Dr. Vouyiouklis Kellis, “a review of research that followed the individuals over time and looked at GI and type 2 diabetes indicated that there was a protective impact for those eating lower glycemic index meals, plus a positive link between GI and the onset of type 2 diabetes.”

In other words, the chance of acquiring type 2 diabetes increases with increasing glycemic index. According to Dr. Vouyiouklis Kellis, an analysis of the findings from large, long-term studies (Nurses Health Study, Health Professionals Study) revealed that people who consumed diets that were in the top 20% for GI also had a significantly higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes than people who consumed diets in the bottom 20%.

If you have prediabetes or are at risk for diabetes, should you try a low-GI eating plan?

Dr. Vouyiouklis Kellis states, “For those patients with prediabetes or who are at risk for developing diabetes, I tell them to limit refined sugars, which is essentially referring to high glycemic index meals, including white breads, pastas, and white rice. I try to avoid using the phrase “diet” because it can make them feel constrained.

I advocate healthier dietary options including vegetables, whole grains, fruits, healthy sources of oil, and lean proteins when I talk about lifestyle modifications. I also advise them that everyone should lead a healthy lifestyle, not only those with or at risk for diabetes.

What’s the best low glycemic index diet?

In addition to non-starchy veggies like peppers, mushrooms, broccoli, lettuce, green beans, and cauliflower, Dr. Vouyiouklis Kellis advises include nutritious vegetables, fruits, lean proteins, complete grains, and healthy fats in your diet. Berries, cherries, apples, and pears are examples of fruits with a lower GI.

“If someone is investigating this diet, they can use a glycemic index chart that displays the main food groups along with their GI,” says Dr. Vouyiouklis Kellis. When they make decisions about what to buy at the shop and when they type out their grocery list, this may be helpful. For one such GI chart, click on the following link:

Is there a downside to following a low glycemic index eating plan?

The GI has the drawback that a number of factors can influence it, according to Dr. Vouyiouklis Kellis. “The ranking only applies to specific foods. For instance, the GI rating might change when fruit ripens or if food is prepared with fat or a protein.

A banana that is more ripe than another has a higher GI. The GI is impacted by how you metabolize the food. A roasted potato, for instance, has a lower GI than mashed potatoes. Apple juice has a higher GI than an apple whole.

Furthermore, it doesn’t rate foods according to their nutrient content. Even though they may have a low GI, some foods can pack a big caloric punch. Additionally, it can be challenging to observe GI because packaged meals don’t list GI on the label. Do you still want to try it? Prioritize incorporating low GI items into your diet, then reduce your intake of foods with a higher GI score.

glycemic index

Diabetes is a disease that makes it difficult for the body to process blood glucose, often known as blood sugar. Our primary energy source is blood glucose, or sugar concentration, which is obtained from the food we eat. The pancreas produces the hormone insulin, which facilitates the uptake of glucose from food into our cells for use as fuel. Diabetes is brought on by a lack of insulin, its insufficient production, or the body’s improper use of insulin. The glycemic index (GI) describes how rapidly carbohydrates in foods affect our blood sugar levels after consumption.

  • Low GI foods: 55 or below
  • Moderate GI foods: 56 to 69
  • High GI foods: 70 and above

Fruits With Low Glycemic Index 

The blood sugar rises more gradually the lower the GI score, which can aid the body in better regulating post-meal adjustments. The majority of entire fruits have a low to moderate GI. Numerous fruits are also rich in fiber, vitamins, and antioxidants. Several low-GI fruits are listed below that diabetics can eat without worrying about a sharp spike in blood sugar levels afterward:

  1. Cherries: are high in potassium and packed with antioxidants, which will give your immune system a boost. Because cherries are not available fresh all round the year, they can be processed before storing them for a long time. Cherries contain anthocyanins that give the cherries its colour, also boost cells insulin production by 50%.
  2. Pears: are a good source of fiber and provide 20% of our daily recommended fiber intake. Pears can be enjoyed as fresh fruit or gently baked. More interesting is they can also be included in salads for a good twist.
  3. Oranges: are good sources of vitamin C, folate and potassium. There is also plenty of healthy fiber in an orange which takes longest to break down and digest. This enables slow release of sugar into the bloodstream, which would further ensure that your blood glucose levels are stable for a long period of time
  4. Berries: Strawberries are a good source of vitamin C, they help in improving immunity, fight against certain types of cancer and improve metabolism, promoting weight loss. Strawberries give you more vitamin C than an orange when taken in the same quantity. They also have a low glycemic index, hence, it is slowly released in the bloodstream as glucose.
  5. Grapefruits: are citrus-based fruits with a glycemic index of 25. They are packed with a range of vitamins and minerals. They have a bitter to sour taste and can be taken as whole fruit or made into juice. Grape fruit is a very good source of vitamin A and C. It helps improve immunity and helps maintain healthy functioning of the heart and is good for digestion. 
  6. Guava: is a very healthy food choice for diabetics, as it can easily be included in snacks without the fear of sudden raise in blood sugar levels. It is a very good source of fiber which helps relieve constipation, which is a common complaint of many diabetics. Having this fruit regularly can easily lower the chance of developing Type II Diabetes.
  7. Watermelon: is a good source of Potassium. Foods high in potassium improves functioning of vital organs like the heart and kidney. People with diabetes easily observe that their uric acid levels are higher. This can be prevented by including watermelon in their diet which improves kidney functioning and reduces uric acid levels and further damage of the kidneys. Water melons are also a good source of lycopene which prevents nerve damage which is a common complaint of people with diabetes.
  8. Papaya: is a great fruit choice for diabetics as it is available round the year and can be incorporated in the diet very easily. Papayas have a host of nutrients and antioxidants, which when consumed, reduce the risk of heart disease, cancer, lowers BP and also aids good digestion. Papaya is also a good source of fiber and helps lower blood glucose levels and manage diabetes.
  9. Grapes: are a good choice of fruit for diabetes as it helps reduce blood sugar levels easily. They come in many colours and varieties, You can have them easily between meals as snacks and can be included in many dishes for its tangy taste. Grapes are a rich source of a phytochemical called Resveratrol which keeps a check on how the body secretes and uses insulin in response to blood glucose levels.
  10. Avocado: Adding a serving of avocado to your diet may help you lose weight, lower cholesterol, and increase insulin sensitivity. Avocados are low in carbohydrates, which mean they have little effect on blood sugar levels. One half of a small avocado contains about 5.9 grams of carbohydrate and 4.6 grams of fiber. They are also packed with healthy fats which give you a feeling of fullness for a longer time, thereby supporting weight loss and increasing insulin sensitivity. 

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