7 of the Best Fruits for Diabetics (Based On Sugar and Nutrients)
Fruits are the perfect snack.
They are loaded with nutrients and fiber, relatively low in calories, and easy to bring to work.
However, they do contain naturally occurring sugars, sometimes in large amounts. This can be a concern for those who struggle to manage their blood sugars.
This article takes a science-based look at the most suitable fruits for diabetics.
BlueberriesBlueberries are quite low in sugar, with 10 grams per 100 grams of fruit (1).
But that sugar is also accompanied by 2 grams of fiber. This is important because when sugar and fiber are eaten together, blood sugar levels don’t spike as quickly (2, 3).
It’s the reason 10 grams of sugar from fresh fruits will not have the same effect on blood sugar levels as 10 grams of sugar from a candy bar.
In addition, blueberries provide loads of other beneficial nutrients and antioxidants that protect our cells from damage.
Interestingly, a study on over 187,000 people tracked over two decades found those who ate the most blueberries had more than a 25% lower risk of getting diabetes than those who ate the fewest (4).
Blueberries are great for a snack, and you can even enjoy them in salads. Although they can be particularly expensive, know that frozen blueberries are still nutritious and often much more affordable
strawberriesStrawberries contain even less sugar than blueberries, with only 5 grams per 100 grams of fruit (5).
This makes them a great choice for diabetics.
They also provide fiber, manganese, folate, and a lot of vitamin C. In fact, 100 grams of strawberries (5-6 large strawberries) provides 98% of our daily vitamin C requirements.
Strawberries are a great addition to breakfast foods like oats or yogurt, but they are also delicious on their own.
blackberriesBlackberries stand out as not only the best berry, but perhaps the best fruit for diabetics.
Per 100 grams of fruit, they contain only 5 grams of sugar and an impressive 5 grams of fiber (6).
High fiber diets help with glucose (sugar) metabolism, and can improve insulin sensitivity too (7).
More fiber also improves other health issues related to type 2 diabetes, such as high LDL cholesterol and weight management (8, 9).
Blackberries are slightly tarter than the other berries, but are typically eaten in the same way.
grapesGrapes contain 16 grams of sugar per 100 grams of fruit, which is more than other in this list (10).
However, research has found that those who ate the most grapes had 12% less chance of developing type 2 diabetes than those who ate the fewest (4).
Of course this is only observational research (does not prove cause and effect), but many scientists genuinely believe there is something special about grapes.
It may have something to do with the polyphenols in grapes, which have been shown to have positive effects on blood sugar levels (11, 12).
Grapes make an easy snack, but are not low in sugar. So they should definitely be eaten in place of, rather than in addition to, another less-healthy snack.
For example, replacing a flavoured yogurt or bag of chips would be a healthy step up.