It may be hard to manage diabetes while ensuring that you get your share of all food groups, especially fruits. The sweet nature of fruits could keep you wondering about how you can eat them and still keep your blood sugar levels under control. Worry not, there are low sugar fruits that you can eat without compromising your health with diabetes.
Here is how eating the right kind and right portion of fruits can help you regulate your blood sugar levels. Read to find more.
Does Eating Fruits Impact Your Blood Sugar Levels?
You may have heard that eating fruits can raise your blood glucose levels due to the presence of sugar in fruits. However, it is important to note that fruits contain two types of sugar: fructose and glucose.
Most fruits contain about half fructose and half glucose. Only glucose raises blood sugar levels and needs to be metabolised by insulin. Fructose does not influence blood sugar levels to a large extent and is broken down by the liver.
Fruits are an important part of a balanced diet, and everyone, including diabetics, should make fruits a part of their diet. Fruits contain vitamins, minerals, fibre, phytochemicals, and water. A diet that contains fruits can reduce the risk of obesity, which is a direct risk factor for Type 2 Diabetes.
Fibre, especially, plays an important role in managing diabetes. A diet high in soluble fibre can slow down the absorption of sugar from food and help control your blood sugar levels.
Thus, those with diabetes can safely consume fruits. However, fruits have carbohydrates and sugars, and thus, they will raise your blood sugar levels. Hence, it is important to keep the portion size of fruits in mind. Further, the glycemic index (GI) of the fruit also has to be noted.
The glycemic index is a score assigned to a carbohydrate-containing food, according to how much it increases blood sugar levels. The index ranges from 1 to 100 and is divided as follows:
- 55 or less: Low GI foods
- Between 56 and 69: Medium GI foods
- 70 or higher: High GI foods
Most fruits have a low-to-medium GI score and thus can be eaten by diabetics even in larger portions. Fruits such as very ripe bananas, dates, mangoes, and pineapples are higher on the GI scale and can be eaten by diabetics in smaller portion sizes.
Now, let’s have a look at low-sugar fruits that diabetics can make a part of their daily diet.
Low Sugar Fruits for Diabetics
We have listed out 8 low sugar fruits for diabetics. These include:
Avocados have a low sugar content and low GI score of around 40. 1 raw avocado contains about 1g of sugar.
Being low in carbohydrates and rich in healthy fats, avocados keep you full for longer and do not cause a sudden spike in your blood sugar levels.
Eating half to one avocado in a day is a safe choice for diabetics. You can consume it as a spread instead of butter on your toast or add sliced avocado to your healthy salads or smoothies.
Apples are low in GI (score 39) and high in fibre, vitamin C, and antioxidants. They contain sugar mostly in the form of fructose, which, when consumed in whole fruit, has a very little effect on your blood sugar levels. One medium apple contains 19 g of naturally occurring sugar.
Being a diabetic, you can eat a medium-sized apple (with the skin on) every day. It is best to eat it fresh and in slices as juicing an apple reduces its fibre content and concentrates the sugar content.
When consumed in moderate amounts, oranges are a healthy snacking option for diabetics. One medium orange contains about 14 g of sugar. Also, oranges are a great source of fibre and vitamin C and have a low GI score of 52.
You can eat 2-3 medium-sized oranges in a day if you are diabetic. Again, try to eat the whole fruit and avoid juicing it.
With a GI score of 25 and a high vitamin C content, grapefruits are a perfect addition to a diabetic’s diet. Half of a medium-sized grapefruit contains about 11 g of sugar.
Eating half a grapefruit in a day as part of a balanced diet is a healthy choice for diabetics. However, grapefruit may interact with various medications. Thus, diabetics should consult their doctor before eating grapefruit.
A medium-sized peach contains about 13 g of sugar and has a GI score of 42. Peaches are packed with fibre and 10 different vitamins, including vitamins A and C.
One peach in a day is the recommended serving size if you are a diabetic.
With a sugar content of 6 g in 1 medium-sized kiwi, and a glycemic index ranging from 50 to 55, a kiwi is also a great fruit for diabetics. Kiwis also contain fibre, potassium, and antioxidants.
Limit your intake to 1-2 kiwis in a day if you are diabetic.
A single guava contains about 5 g of sugar. Guavas range in a GI score between 12 to 24. Being a rich source of dietary fibre, vitamin C, vitamin A, iron, potassium, and calcium, it is a great fruit for diabetics.
You can eat 1 guava a day by itself, or add it into smoothies, salads, juices, and salsas.
Berries such as strawberries, raspberries, and blackberries can be perfect for diabetics due to their multiple nutritional benefits and low sugar content.
One cup of raw strawberries has about 7 g of sugar and is loaded with vitamin C. One cup of raspberries has about 5 g of sugar and lots of fibre. Lastly, one cup of blackberries has about 7 g of sugar and is high in antioxidants and fibre. All these berries have GI scores below 40. Enjoy the berries as they are, or add them to fruit salads, smoothies, or breakfast bowls.
Don’t Have Time To Read?
- Fruits are an important part of a balanced diet, and everyone, including diabetics, should make fruits a part of their diet. Fruits contain vitamins, minerals, fibre, phytochemicals, and water.
- A diet that contains fruits can reduce the risk of obesity, which is a direct risk factor for Type 2 Diabetes.
- The portion size and glycemic index (GI) of the fruit should be considered before consumption.
- Most fruits have a low-to-medium GI score and thus can be eaten by diabetics even in larger portions. Fruits such as very ripe bananas, mangoes, and pineapples are higher on the GI scale and can be eaten by diabetics in smaller portion sizes.
- Low-sugar fruits that diabetics can include in their daily diet include avocados, apples, peaches, kiwis, berries, guavas, grapefruit, and oranges.
- Use the Phable Care App to consult India’s leading diabetologists, order medicines, book lab tests, integrate blood sugar monitoring and other devices to get real-time remote care from the comfort of your home. Also, check out our Diabetes Management program which provides 360º care. Let’s treat diabetes together.
Apples, avocados, oranges, grapefruit, guava, berries, kiwis, and peaches are a few low sugar fruits, which makes them ideal for consumption by individuals with diabetes.
Yes, bananas are high in sugar. One medium-sized banana contains about 14 g of sugar. Overly ripe bananas have higher sugar content.
Yes, pineapples are fairly high in sugar content. A cup of pineapple chunks contains about 16 g of sugar. Pineapple is also a high-GI food. Thus, if you have diabetes, eat pineapple in moderation and as part of a healthy, balanced diet.
All fruits are healthy and nutritious. They are a great source of fibre, antioxidants, and essential vitamins and minerals. They form an important food group in a balanced diet and can reduce the risk of developing heart disease, cancer, and diabetes. Fruits can contain low or high amounts of sugar, and can be low, medium, or high on the GI scale.
No, watermelon is not high in sugar. A cup of diced up watermelon has under 10 grams of sugar. It is rich in fibre and almost 90% of it is made up of water. Because of its high water content, it has a low glycemic load, which means it will have only a slight effect on a person’s blood sugar levels after consumption.