Fruits that are good for diabetics (and bad): Find the entire list here

A fruit’s glycemic index (GI) and glycemic load (GL) can help you choose which fruit to eat. Fruits with low GL and GI are safe for diabetics.

Believe it or not, the notion that fruit is not safe when you need to watch your sugar levels is a popular diabetes myth that has been debunked again and again. A study published in 2017 even found that high amounts of fresh fruit were associated with a lower diabetes risk, as well as fewer complications for people who already had diabetes. Meanwhile, people who eat a diet rich in whole fruits may be less likely to develop type 2 diabetes in the first place, according to a study in the October 2021 Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism. However, regardless of how healthy something is, diabetics still need to control their diet to ensure that their sugar levels don’t spike up. Since fruits are high in carbohydrates and fructose, which is basically a sugar found naturally in fruits, it is very important that they take into account which fruits they are consuming and in what quantity.


List of fruits that are good for diabetics

A fruit’s glycemic index (GI) and glycemic load (GL) can help you choose which fruit to eat.

For example, a fruit with a GI score of 55 or less has a low GI, 56-59 has a moderate GI, and 60 and above have a high GI. Similarly, for GL, foods with ten or less are considered low GL, 11-19 is considered moderate GL, and 20 and above is high GL.

Berries: Whether you love blueberries, strawberries, or any other berry, experts have given you the all-clear to indulge. According to the ADA, they’re a diabetes superfood because they’re packed with antioxidants and fiber. One cup of fresh blueberries has 84 calories and 21 grams (g) of carbohydrates, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). If you can resist the urge to just pop them into your mouth, try berries in a parfait, alternating layers of fruit with plain nonfat yogurt — it makes a great dessert or breakfast for diabetes.

Cherries: One cup of tart cherries with pits has 52 calories and 12.6 g of carbs, per the USDA. And these fruits may be especially good against inflammation, thanks to their antioxidants, which were shown to fight heart disease, cancer, and other diseases, in review from the March 2018 Nutrients. Tart cherries can be purchased fresh, canned, frozen, or dried. But since many canned fruits contain added sugar, which can spike your blood sugar, be sure to check the labels. Dried cherries without added sugar are a healthy option, per the ADA, but don’t eat them until you’re full — you’ll find dried fruit is less filling than whole fruit but denser in calories and carbs, so opt for a small portion size (think 2 tablespoons).

Apple: An apple a day really might keep the doctor away. Toss one in your purse or tote bag if you’re on the go; a medium-size apple is a great fruit choice, with 95 calories and 25 g of carbs, notes the USDA. If you’re trying to stay under 15 g of carbohydrates per serving, enjoy half. Apples are loaded with fiber (about 4 g per medium fruit, making them a good source) and have some vitamin C, with one midsize apple providing 8.37 mg. Don’t peel your apples, though — the skins are nutritious, with much of the fiber and heart-protective antioxidants coming from that part of the produce.

Orange: Eat one medium orange and you’ll get nearly all the vitamin C you need in a day (63 mg, making it an excellent source). This mouthwatering choice comes in at 16 g of carbohydrates and 65 calories, per the USDA. One medium orange also contains folate (24 mcg), which helps red blood cells form, and potassium (238 mg), which may normalize blood pressure, per the American Heart Association. And while you’re enjoying this juicy treat, don’t forget other citrus fruits, like grapefruit, which are also great choices for people with diabetes.

Guava: Because guavas are an excellent source of fiber — one medium pear has nearly 5.5 g, per the USDA — they make a wise addition to your diabetes meal plan. Plus, unlike most fruit, they actually improve in texture and flavor after they’re picked. Store your guavas at room temperature until they’re ripe and perfect for eating (they can then be stowed in the refrigerator).
Jamun: Jamun or Indian blackberry is a miracle fruit for diabetes as it has a low glycemic index and is rich in soluble fibers. It also helps to cure diabetic symptoms like excess urination and thirst as well as improve insulin sensitivity. One black plum has 30 calories.

List of fruits to avoid for diabetics

Mango: Mangoes are known as the king of fruits. They have a GI of around 56 but people do tend to consume them in larger amounts than recommended. Therefore, avoiding mangoes is preferable for people with diabetes. If your blood sugar levels are under control, you can have them in amounts recommended by your nutritionist.

Pineapple: Pineapples have high anti-viral and anti-inflammatory properties but because they have a GI value of 56 its best to consume pineapple in limited portions as a part of a healthy and balanced diet.

Watermelon: Watermelon is a favourite fruit for many, especially in the summer as it rich in water and helps to quench thirst. In addition, it is rich in lycopene that helps in lowering the chances of cancer and heart disease. Due to its high GI of about 80, eating more than a piece or 2 at a time isn’t recommended.

Ripe bananas: Bananas contain plenty of carbohydrates and sugars. With a GI of 51, diabetics can have it in moderation. In addition, bananas are rich in micronutrients, vitamins and fibre. Unripe and ripe bananas contain less starch and low GI than overripe ones, so it is best to avoid over-ripened bananas.

Fruit juices, dried fruits like figs and raisins, packaged and canned fruits are best avoided by diabetics as they tend to contain a lot of hidden sugars that can cause a spike in blood sugar levels. Fresh fruits are always a better option.


Also read: Sugarcane for diabetes, good or bad?


NOTE: The information contained in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as health or medical advice. Always consult a physician or other qualified health provider regarding any questions you may have about a medical condition or health objectives.

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