One myth that many new diabetics embrace is the idea that fruits are off-limits. While it’s true that fruits are higher in natural sugar than most vegetables, fruits are also a good source of fiber, which helps to moderate the rise in blood sugar that occurs after a meal. On the other hand, some fruits are naturally low in sugar and may be a better choice, since you can eat more of them. What are the best diabetic-friendly fruits?
Fruits for Diabetics: It’s Total Carbs That Count
What counts are the total grams of carbohydrates you take in, so no fruit is truly off- limits. If you choose to eat fruits higher in carbohydrates such as bananas and grapes, you can eat less than if you select fruits low in sugar, such as strawberries, raspberries, or blackberries.
The goal is to choose a quantity of fruit that adds up to around fifteen grams of carbohydrates. If you choose bananas, you’ll only be able to eat about half of a banana to get those fifteen grams, but if you opt for strawberries, you can enjoy a little over a cup. It’s likely you’ll feel more satisfied after eating a full cup of strawberries than you will munching on half of a banana. It’s best to completely avoid fruit juice and dried fruit, since they’re a more concentrated source of sugar, and you’ll get less “bang for your buck”, so to speak.
Are There Better Fruits for Diabetics?
The best diabetic-friendly fruits are ones that you can eat enough of to feel satisfied, yet not exceed the recommended fifteen carbohydrate grams for a serving of fruit. Some fruits for diabetes that’ll give you more in a single serving are strawberries, blackberries, blueberries, raspberries, grapefruit, lemons, limes, peaches, and apricots. Apples, papayas, and melons have moderate amounts of natural sugar. For example, a medium apple has 21 grams of carbohydrates, so you can eat three-quarters of it for a full fruit serving.
Fruits for Diabetics to Eat Less Of
Fruits you’ll need to eat less of because they’re higher in sugar, include bananas, kiwi, cherries, grapes, mangos, pears, oranges, pineapple, pomegranate, prunes, and all dried fruits. The best way to enjoy these fruits is by mixing small quantities into another food that contains protein or fiber, such as yogurt or high-fiber cereal. This will help to moderate their blood sugar raising effects, while allowing you to be satisfied with a smaller quantity.
Diabetic-Friendly Fruits: The Bottom Line?
No fruit is truly off-limits, even with diabetes, although dried fruit and fruit juice are best used as a treat – rather than a dietary staple. The key is to choose a portion size that supplies no more than fifteen grams of carbohydrates. You can find charts showing the carb content of each fruit online, which will help you make better choices.
Mayo Clinic website. “Diabetes Diet: Should I Avoid Fruits?”
World’s Healthiest Foods website.