What fruit can you eat if you have diabetes?

Credit: Unsplash+

Living with diabetes often means being careful about what you eat, and a common question is, “Can I eat fruit?” Given the sweetness of fruits, people with diabetes might be cautious.

However, fruits can be a healthy part of a diabetes-friendly diet when chosen wisely and eaten in moderation.

The Sugar in Fruit: A Double-Edged Sword

Fruits contain natural sugars, but they also have vitamins, minerals, and fiber, which are essential for a balanced diet.

The fiber in fruit is particularly helpful for managing diabetes because it slows the absorption of sugar into the bloodstream, reducing blood sugar spikes. However, not all fruits are the same in a diabetes-friendly diet.

Fruits to Favor

Low glycemic index (GI) fruits are the best choice for people with diabetes. The GI measures how quickly foods raise blood sugar levels.

Foods with a low GI (55 or less) have a slower, smaller impact on blood glucose, making them ideal for diabetes management. Examples of low GI fruits include:

  • Cherries
  • Berries (such as strawberries, blueberries, and raspberries)
  • Apples
  • Pears
  • Oranges
  • Plums

These fruits can be enjoyed with less impact on blood sugar levels, especially when portion sizes are controlled. The high fiber content in these fruits also aids digestion and further moderates blood sugar spikes.

Fruits to Approach with Caution

Some fruits have a higher GI and can cause quicker, higher spikes in blood sugar levels. These include:

  • Watermelon
  • Pineapple
  • Mangoes

These fruits are not off-limits but should be eaten in smaller portions and less frequently. Pairing them with a source of protein or healthy fat can also help slow sugar absorption and mitigate blood sugar spikes.

Portion Control: Key to Enjoyment

Portion control is crucial when it comes to fruit consumption for people with diabetes. Even low GI fruits can raise blood sugar levels if eaten in large quantities.

A general guideline is to consume about 15 grams of carbohydrates worth of fruit per serving. For example, a small apple or a half-cup of fresh berries constitutes a single serving.

The Whole Fruit Advantage

Choosing whole fruits instead of fruit juices or dried fruits is advisable. Whole fruits contain more fiber and have a lower GI, making them a healthier choice for blood sugar management.

Juices and dried fruits are more concentrated sources of sugar and can lead to quicker, higher spikes in blood sugar levels.


Fruits can and should be part of a diabetes-friendly diet, but like all aspects of diabetes management, it’s about balance and informed choices.

By favoring low GI fruits, watching portion sizes, and opting for whole fruits over juices or dried fruits, people with diabetes can enjoy the sweet benefits of fruits without compromising their health.

As always, individual responses to foods can vary, so monitoring blood sugar levels and consulting with a healthcare provider for personalized advice is essential. With the right approach, fruits can be a delicious and nutritious component of managing diabetes.

If you care about diabetes, please read studies about Vitamin D and type 2 diabetes, and to people with diabetes, some fruits are better than others.

For more information about diabetes, please see recent studies that low calorie diets may help reverse diabetes, and 5 vitamins that may prevent complication in diabetes.

Copyright © 2024 Knowridge Science Report. All rights reserved.