Can you eat fruit with diabetes?
In this article, we will answer the question “can you eat food with diabetes?” and discuss what are the fruits that are recommended with diabetes and what fruits should be avoided, as well as why it is important to consume fruits even with diabetes.
Can you eat fruit with diabetes?
Yes, you can eat fruits with diabetes.The ingestion of fruits can prevent diabetes and positively affect the health of diabetic patients. However, the benefits of fruit ingestion on diabetes depends on the amount of fruits ingested per day.
According to studies, the recommended amount of fruit that can reduce the risks of developing diabetes is 200 g/day. A higher consumption has no protective effect against diabetes and, in addition, can increase the risks of developing diabetes (1).
The fruit composition also plays an important role in determining if it is recommended or not recommended in the case of diabetes. Fruits that cause a high blood glycemic response after the ingestion are less recommended than fruits that cause a lower postprandial glucose response (2).
How much fruit is recommended for diabetes?
The amount of about 133 g of fresh fruit per day is recommended for patients who already have diabetes, as this amount has been shown to decrease the risk of complications and mortality due to diabetes (1).
For healthy individuals, an amount of 200 g of fruits per day is recommended as a preventive dietary habit. The consumption of higher amounts of fruits every day is related to increased risks of developing diabetes.
Which components in fruits are good for diabetes?
The components in fruits that are good for diabetics and may positively affect the prevention of diabetes and the complications related to this disease are the antioxidants and the fibers (1,3).
Fruits are sources of phytochemicals, such as pigments, vitamins and polyphenols, which act as antioxidants and are able to neutralize the reactive oxygen species (ROS) in the body, which cause oxidative stress and are related to inflammation and higher risks of diseases such as diabetes, heart disease and cancer.
Fibers, especially soluble fibers, can reduce the glycemic response after the meal ingestion.
This is due to the effect of soluble fibers (such as pectin) to bind carbohydrates and reduce the action of enzymatic hydrolysis of the carbohydrates, as it limits their accessibility by the alpha-amylase and other enzymes. As a consequence, carbohydrates are released at a lower rate in the blood (2).
It has been reported that the ingestion of fruits containing fibers is related to lower risks of diabetes.
Which components in fruits are bad for diabetes?
The components in fruits that are bad for diabetics and may increase the risks of developing diabetes and negatively affect diabetes and the complications related to this disease are sugars (1,2).
However, fruits that contain a higher amount of fructose and lower amount of glucose are reported to cause a lower glycemic response. Compared to other sugars, such as glucose and lactose, fructose is absorbed at a slower rate and can increase the glucose levels in the blood to lower levels when compared with glucose.
Therefore, fruits that contain more fructose and less glucose, such as pears and apples, should be preferentially consumed by diabetics.
Are all fruits equal?
No, not all fruits are equal. As mentioned above, the composition of the fruit can affect diabetes differently. Fruits can vary in the ripeness, sugar composition and the glycemic index (1,2,3).
The glycemic index (GI) is used to measure how much specific foods may increase the blood sugar levels. It can take values from 1 to 100, and for a person with diabetes, it is better to consume foods with lower GI scores (4).
Fruits that are too ripe may be easily digested and contain a higher amount of soluble sugars and lower amount of fibers and are not recommended for diabetics (2).
In addition, fruits that contain more fructose are preferable to diabetics than fruits that contain more glucose. Fruits that contain more soluble fibers are also preferable than fruits that contain less soluble fibers (the explanations are given above).
What fruits are recommended for diabetes?
The following fruits are low GI fruits, then they are safe for people with diabetes (2,3):
What fruits are not recommended for diabetes?
The following fruits high GI fruits, then they are safe for people with diabetes (2,3):
Other FAQs about Fruits that you may be interested in.
In this article, we answered the question “can you eat food with diabetes?” and discussed what are the fruits that are recommended with diabetes and what fruits should be avoided, as well as why it is important to consume fruits even with diabetes.
- Park HA. Fruit Intake to Prevent and Control Hypertension and Diabetes. Korean J Fam Med. 2021, 1, 9-16.
- Yusof, Barakatun Nisak Mohd, Ruzita Abd Talib, and Norimah A. Karim. A study of blood glucose response following temperate and tropical fruit ingestion in healthy adults. Malaysian J Nutr, 2005, 11, 47-57.
- Mirmiran P, Bahadoran Z, Azizi F. Functional foods-based diet as a novel dietary approach for management of type 2 diabetes and its complications: A review. World J Diabetes. 2014,5, 3, 267-81.
- Atkinson FS, Foster-Powell K, Brand-Miller JC. International tables of glycemic index and glycemic load values: 2008. Diabetes Care. 2008, 31, 2281-3.