Which Fruits Have Low Glycemic Index


Which Fruits Have Low Glycemic Index? Low-glycemic index diets have been proven to be effective in the fight against the increasingly common disease called diabetes. The glycemic index is often confused with the glycemic load, which is actually a more accurate representation of the true effects of various foods on a person who has diabetes. This article will discuss the differences between both indices, their meaning and application in the real world.

10 Low Glycemic Fruits for Diabetes

Diabetes mellitus, sometimes known as diabetes, is a condition that interferes with the control of blood glucose (sugar) levels.

The hormone insulin, which aids in maintaining blood sugar levels in a healthy range, is produced by an organ called the pancreas.

Diabetes is characterized by either inadequate insulin production by the pancreas or poor insulin sensitivity by the body. Blood sugar levels rise when insulin isn’t working properly, which might cause health issues if left untreated.

Diabetes is spreading across the globe. In the United States, 30.3 million people, or 9.4% of the population, had diabetes as of 2015. Unfortunately, more than 1 in 4 diabetics are unaware of their condition. Diabetes problems are more likely to occur if undetected and untreated.

Many people also have prediabetes, a condition where blood sugars are slightly elevated but not high enough to be considered diabetes. Having prediabetes is a major risk factor for eventually developing type 2 diabetes. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) estimates that up to 30% of people with prediabetes will develop type 2 diabetes within five years of their prediabetes diagnosis.

Healthy lifestyle practices are one method to support normal blood sugar levels. One of the most crucial components of treating both diabetes and prediabetes is putting a strong emphasis on eating nutrient-dense foods that are healthy for blood sugar.

It is beneficial for overall health, can help support healthy energy levels, and can help boost the feeling of satiety, which can help decrease hunger and cravings, to include blood sugar-friendly foods in meals and snacks.

Learn which 10 low-glycemic fruits you should include in your diabetes diet.

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Fruit and diabetes

Fruit is often vilified for its sugar content. This, therefore, can make people with diabetes wary of including fruit in their diet. This is an unfortunate misconception since many fruits are incredibly nutrient-rich and a healthy part of a balanced diet.

A diet including fruit, has been shown to have many potential health benefits, including a reduced risk of type 2 diabetes, along with a reduction of many other chronic diseases. One study even sought out to see if restricting fruit in people with existing diabetes would improve blood sugar or any other health outcomes, which it did not.

Fruits with higher sugar content than others will drastically raise blood sugar levels. People with diabetes can make better meal decisions to support more stable blood sugar levels by knowing which fruits are less likely to increase their blood sugar levels. This article provides a list of 10 delectable low-glycemic fruits you may include in your diet.

What is the glycemic index (GI)?

The glycemic index (GI) is a number between 0 and 100 that is used to determine how much a food will elevate blood sugar levels. A food’s glycemic index (GI) is often categorized as low (55 or less), medium (56-69), or high (70+) depending on the number.

Blood sugar levels are raised more gradually with foods that have a lower glycemic index. The glycemic index of 100 corresponds to pure glucose on this scale.

It has been suggested that using the glycemic index will help people with diabetes choose a healthy dietary regimen. People with diabetes may discover that by concentrating on foods that don’t dramatically boost blood sugar levels, their blood sugar levels are more stable.

The glycemic load is a different phrase used in relation to the glycemic index. The amount of food consumed and its carbohydrate content are both taken into account by the glycemic load. [GI value carbohydrate per serving]/100 is the formula to calculate glycemic load. Foods are deemed to have a low glycemic load if their glycemic index is less than 10. And individuals with a glycemic load of more than 10 are regarded as having a high glycemic load. For instance, popcorn has a high GI of 72 but only 11 grams of carbohydrates per 1.5 cups, hence its glycemic load is 8 ([72 x 11]/100)=7.92, rounded to 8).

Here are some foods and their glycemic indices as samples (source: Harvard Health).

Which factors affect a food’s glycemic index rating?

The glycemic index of a food is affected by a variety of variables, including:

Physical form

Generally speaking, a food’s GI tends to be higher the more processed it is. Processing can eliminate fiber. And as a result, the food raises blood sugar faster than it would have if the fiber had been conserved, like by remaining in complete form. For instance, steel-cut oats have a GI of 55, compared to 79 for quick oatmeal.

Food combinations

Based on the average GI of all the foods in a meal, the glycemic index is altered. The average glycemic index is reduced when a food with a high glycemic index is consumed alongside a food with a lower glycemic index. For instance, pairing rice, a food with a higher GI, with beans or other legumes, a food with a lower GI, lowers the overall glycemic index of the meal.

Cooking time

The glycemic index of a food tends to increase with cooking time. This is due to the fact that cooking denatures the food’s starches and may reduce its fiber content. This accelerates the process of it becoming blood sugar. One way to lower the glycemic index is to eat pasta “al dente” (shorter cooking time), as opposed to cooking it to the point where it is very soft.


Acidity-rich foods have lower glycemic indices. White bread has a higher GI than sourdough bread, which uses an acidic substance in the leavening process.

Physical entrapment

The body takes some time to break down the high-fiber plant barrier surrounding meals like whole grains, beans, and legumes, which slows digestion and reduces the glycemic index.

Protein & fat

Protein and fat don’t have a significant impact on blood glucose levels. Adding protein and fat to a meal with a higher glycemic index food will lower the overall GI, which can help reduce the rise in blood sugar. This strategy is often recommended for people with diabetes to promote stable blood sugars. For example, eating a slice of cheese along with an apple will help decrease the glycemic index compared to having just an apple.

Soluble fiber

Soluble fiber absorbs water and creates a gel-like texture in the digestive system, thus increasing viscosity and prolonging digestive time. When foods take longer to digest and absorb, the slower they raise blood sugar.

10 Low Glycemic Index Fruits for Diabetes

1) Apples

Apples have a glycemic index of 39, making them a good low-GI fruit for people with diabetes. Fresh apples with the skin are ideal since they are higher in fiber than more processed forms of apples, such as apple sauce. 

Apples are rich in fiber, with around 4.5 grams in a medium apple. Its high fiber content lowers the net carbohydrate content, which is the total carbohydrates minus dietary fiber. The resulting “net carbs” is the amount that should be counted because it affects blood sugar. 

Fiber is subtracted from total carbohydrates because it doesn’t raise blood sugar since it can’t be digested. Therefore, choosing higher-fiber foods will result in lower net carbohydrate totals, which is one strategy for promoting optimal blood sugar levels. On the other hand, apple juice doesn’t contain any fiber, making it higher in net carbs.

Apples are rich in phytochemicals, which help to fight against inflammation and cell damage. Apple consumption links with a reduced risk of diseases like heart disease, diabetes, and certain cancers.

2) Cherries

Cherries have a glycemic index of 20, making them a healthy and delicious choice for people with diabetes. Cherries are rich in nutrients while being low in calories. Cherry consumption links with decreased inflammation, reduced muscle soreness from exercise as well as lower blood pressure. They are rich in phytochemicals, making them good cancer-fighting food.

3) Grapefruit

The GI score of grapefruit is 25 while packing a hefty dose of vitamin C along with it as a citrus fruit. Consumption of grapefruit links with higher intakes of vitamin C, magnesium, potassium, dietary fiber, and improved diet quality. Potassium is an important nutrient for people with diabetes because it can help promote healthy blood pressure, thus improving heart health.

4) Dried apricots

While dried fruits aren’t usually recommended for people with diabetes, a small portion of apricots is considered low glycemic with a score of 32, making their GI lower than white bread. Dried apricots are a convenient portable snack, offering natural sugars to promote energy levels while exercising. They are also a good source of flavonoids, a type of antioxidant helping to prevent cell damage.

5) Pears

Pears have a GI of 38. Fresh pears are ideal, as canned pears are usually higher in GI and can have added sugars in the canning syrup.

Pears are an excellent source of fiber, which can help promote satiety, promote more stable blood sugar levels, and even help reduce bad cholesterol levels. They are also a good source of potassium, which, along with fiber, are nutrients many people don’t consume enough of in the typical Western diet.

6) Oranges

Another citrus fruit rich in vitamin C, oranges have a GI of 40, making them low glycemic index. One small orange contains around 45 calories, 11 grams of carbohydrate, and only around 9 grams of net carbs, making them a good fruit choice for people with diabetes.

Oranges are rich in antioxidants, which help protect cells against damage. Cell damage can cause certain types of cancer and other diseases. This is why eating a diet rich in plant-based foods such as oranges can help with disease prevention.

7) Plums

Plums have a GI of 40 but a glycemic load of only 2. One fresh plum contains 30 calories and 7 grams of net carbs. On the other hand, one prune (a dried plum) contains around 23 calories and about 5.5 grams of net carbs. It’s easier to eat more dried fruit because the volume is lower. So caution should be taken when consuming dried fruit.

Plums have antioxidant and anti-allergenic properties. Plum consumption relates to improved cognitive function, improved bone health indicators, as well as improved cardiovascular markers.

8) Peaches

 Peaches have a GI of 42 and a glycemic load of 5. One medium peach contains around 60 calories and 12 grams of net carbs. Peaches are a good source of vitamin C and also contain vitamin A.

9) Strawberries

Strawberries have a glycemic index of 41 but a low glycemic load of 3. They are an excellent source of vitamin C, a powerful antioxidant. Strawberries contain antioxidants and other compounds known to help fight inflammation and cell damage. 

10) Raspberries

Raspberries have a GI of 32. One cup of raspberries contains an impressive 8 grams of dietary fiber, making the net carbohydrate total around 7 grams. The recommended amount of fiber to consume daily is around 30 grams. So eating just one cup of raspberries provides almost ⅓ of the daily fiber recommendation!

Raspberries have polyphenols, which are micronutrients in plant-based foods. Polyphenols contain antioxidants and are beneficial to health. Consuming these low glycemic fruits links with improved metabolic health. This includes a reduced risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

Low Glycemic Index Foods

A recent study from The Cochrane Collaboration, a non-profit organization that conducts independent health research, found that people who followed diets that included complex carbohydrate foods like lentils, sweet potatoes, and apples lost slightly more weight in five weeks than those who followed low-fat or other types of diets. Because they have a low glycemic index (GI), these foods are less likely to raise your blood sugar levels and make you feel hungry.

Low Glycemic Index Foods (55 or less)
Skim milk
Plain Yogurt
Soy beverage
Sweet potato
Oat bran bread
Converted or Parboiled rice
Pumpernickel bread
Al dente (firm) pasta
Lentils/kidney/baked beans
Chick peas

Medium Glycemic Index Foods (56-69)
New potatoes
Split pea or green pea soup
Brown rice
Basmati rice
Shredded wheat cereal
Whole wheat bread
Rye bread

High Glycemic Index Foods
Dried dates
Instant mashed potatoes
Baked white potato
Instant rice
Corn Flakes
Rice Krispies
Bagel, white
Soda crackers
French fries

What Is Glycemic Index & List Of Foods With Their GI

Glycemic index (GI) is a value given to foods depending on how quickly or slowly they increase blood glucose levels. Foods with lower GI digest slowly and do not increase blood glucose levels rapidly, which is not the case with high-GI foods.

Wondering why your diet plan is not yielding desirable results? Well, chances are that you have not made the best food choices. Knowing all about GI helps you determine which foods suit your diet and which do not.

In this article, we have classified foods based on GI (low, medium, or high) and discussed which foods are ideal for you. Keep reading to learn more!

What Is Glycemic Index?

Glycemic index is a value assigned to foods based on how slowly or quickly they increase they increase the blood glucose (sugar) levels.

Glucose is given a value of 100. If the test food is assigned a value below 100, that food is expected to impact your blood sugar lesser than glucose. If the test food is assigned a value over 100, that food is expected impact your blood sugar more than glucose.

Low GI foods tend to aid weight loss while high GI foods help with energy recovery after exercise or offset hypoglycemia (low blood glucose levels)

But, hold on! How does that even make sense? Is it just another fancy number game?

Why Should Glycemic Index Matter?

Because foods with a low glycemic index (GI) tend to release blood sugar gradually and evenly, it would be important. Blood glucose is quickly released from foods with a high glycemic index.

A technique for evaluating illness prevention and therapy is the glycemic index classification of foods.

especially those involving glycemic management, such as diabetes.

Low GI diets help with weight management by lowering CRP levels, enhancing serum lipid profiles, and improving blood sugar levels.

High-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels are also linked to such foods (HDL-C). They can lower your risk of diabetes and cardiovascular disease by being a part of your diet.

So, how do we determine the glycemic index of the foods we consume on a daily basis, if it is so important?

Don’t worry! We have listed categories of ingredients with low and high glycemic indices in the sections below.

When examining the charts, keep the following in mind:

Now, take a close look at the groups below and see which ones can you include in your regimen

Note: The GI values of a few items are in terms of average ± standard error of mean (SEM.

1. Fruits And Fruit Products

Apple, raw36 ± 2
Pear, raw38
Apple juice41 ± 2
Dates, raw42 ± 4
Orange, raw43 ± 3
Peaches, canned43 ± 5
Strawberry jam/jelly49 ± 3
Orange juice50 ± 2
Banana, raw51 ± 3
Mango, raw51 ± 5
Grapes, raw59
Pineapple, raw59 ± 8
Watermelon, raw76 ± 4

2. Vegetables

Carrots, boiled39 ± 4
Vegetable soup48 ± 5
Green peas51
Taro, boiled53 ± 2
Plantain/green banana55 ± 6
Potato, french fries63 ± 5
Sweet potato, boiled63 ± 6
Pumpkin, boiled64 ± 7
Potato, boiled78 ± 4
Instant mashed potato87 ± 3

3. High-Carbohydrate Foods

Barley28 ± 2
Corn tortilla46 ± 4
Spaghetti, wholemeal48 ± 5
Spaghetti, white49 ± 2
Chapati52 ± 4
Sweet corn52 ± 5
Specialty grain bread53 ± 2
Rice noodles53 ± 7
Udon noodles55 ± 7
Couscous65 ± 4
Quick-cooking Basmati rice, white67
Brown rice, boiled68 ± 4
White rice, boiled73 ± 4
Whole wheat/wholemeal bread74 ± 2
White wheat bread75 ± 2

4. Breakfast Cereals

Porridge, rolled oats55 ± 2
Muesli57 ± 2
Millet porridge67 ± 5
Wheat flake biscuits69 ± 2
Rice porridge/congee78 ± 9
Cornflakes81 ± 6

5. Dairy Products

Soy milk34 ± 4
Milk, skim37 ± 4
Milk, full fat39 ± 3
Yogurt, fruit41 ± 2
Ice cream51 ± 3
Rice milk86 ± 7

6. Legumes

Soya beans16 ± 1
Kidney beans24 ± 4
Cashews, salted27
Chickpeas28 ± 9
Black beans30
Lentils32 ± 5
Black-eye peas33
Baked beans40

7. Snacks

M-&-M peanuts33
Chocolate40 ± 3
Corn chips, plain, salted42
Potato chips51
Soft drink/soda59 ± 3
Popcorn65 ± 5
Pretzels, baked83
Rice crackers/crisps87 ± 2

Isn’t that a long enough list to set an entire week’s diet plan?

I already have a few recipes with the low and medium GI foods in my mind. I’m sure you would have some as well!

Before you rush to your kitchen with those creative recipes, take a step back and think.

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