Proper diet planning is essential for individuals with diabetes, including careful consideration of the types of fruit they consume. While fruits can be a valuable source of minerals and vitamins, those with diabetes must exercise caution when selecting their fruit choices. In this article, we will take you through the best fruits for diabetics and offer value-packed advice on how to make wise fruit selections.

Fruits contain carbohydrates and a natural form of sugar called fructose. Many people with diabetes are unsure whether they should include fruits in their diet due to their natural sugar content. As a result, some diabetic people stop eating fruits altogether, while others continue eating them, thinking they are harmless and healthy.

This article explores the association of fruits with diabetes and their effects on your health. Diabetic friendly fruits can be included in your daily diet for a balanced meal for diabetics. Before we explore some fruits that are good for diabetes and highlight their power-packed nutrients, let’s discuss a bit about the glycemic index (GI), which is a rating system of the increase in the level of blood glucose.

Fruits and Their Glycemic Index

Glycemic index (GI) is a metric that compares the increase in blood glucose (a type of sugar) produced by eating a specific carbohydrate to eating a standard amount of food. Fruits with a high glycemic index release glucose quickly, causing blood glucose levels to increase rapidly, and these are generally not considered safe fruits for diabetics.

Fruits’ sugar-to-starch ratio varies as they mature, and their sugar content and glycemic index increase as they ripen. Fruits good for diabetes should generally have a lower glycemic index. Let’s learn more about what kinds of fruits one should select if they are diabetic.

Fruits for Diabetic Patients and Their Benefits

Diabetic patients can eat different varieties of fruits with low carbohydrates and a low glycemic index that are considered as fruits good for diabetes. High-fiber fruits like cherries, grapefruits, apples, pears, strawberries, etc., have a low glycemic index. Let’s look at the benefits of the best fruits for diabetic patients.

Here are some fruits good for diabetes and their associated benefits:

  • Kiwi: This small, fuzzy fruit is a great source of vitamin C, high in fiber, and has a low glycemic index. These properties can help regulate blood sugar levels and improve digestive health.
  • Apple: Apples are an excellent source of satiety due to their high fiber content. They also have a low glycemic index, making them a safe choice for diabetics. Additionally, apples contain polyphenols that promote the maintenance and regeneration of beta cells, which are responsible for insulin production.
  • Oranges: Oranges are a citrus fruit that have a low glycemic index, making them an excellent choice for those with diabetes. They are also high in vitamin C, fiber, and potassium, which can help regulate blood sugar levels and improve heart health.
  • Plum: Plums are rich in fiber and produce adiponectin, a hormone that helps lower blood glucose levels. They also contain polyphenols, which have antioxidant properties and may help protect against the development of complications associated with diabetes.

The glycemic index of fruits has been classified into three groups according to Recommended Dietary Allowance, 2020 (RDA, 2020), foods with GI values between 56 and 69 are classified as intermediate, those with GI values between 70 and 85 are high, and those with GI values below 55 are low.

Given below are some of the best fruits for diabetic patients with low GI, as mentioned in RDA, 2020.

Low GI Medium GI High GI
Apple Pineapple Bananas
Grapefruit Papaya Watermelons
Kiwi Canned apricots Dried cranberries, juice
Plums Figs dried Processed strawberries
Pears Cranberry Canned and frozen fruits

Above mentioned fruits with a low GI index can be considered among the best fruits for diabetics. They are healthy, nutrient loaded and will not contribute to increasing your blood sugar level to a great extent. Low GI fruits are often also called diabetic friendly fruits.

Fruits to Limit in Diet

A well-balanced diet for diabetics must include fruits, but certain fruits, such as pineapples, watermelons, and bananas, should be limited due to their high sugar content and high GI. As long as we keep tabs on our diets and lead a healthy lifestyle, diabetes can be effectively controlled. It's crucial for individuals with diabetes to steer clear of fruits with a high glycemic index to ensure stable blood sugar levels. However, it’s important that you first consult with your doctor and follow their advice before making any major changes in your diet to meet your individual needs.

The above-mentioned fruits, such as watermelons and pineapple, have low carbohydrates, but they have a high glycemic index and should be included wisely.

The following is a collection of fruits to limit, along with their forms:

  • Fruits high in sugars/carbs: Simple carbohydrates and sugars found in high sugar foods are easily digested and cause the body to produce sugar. These include pineapple, bananas and papaya etc that are not ideal for diabetic people.
  • Dried fruit: Fruits that have been desiccated or dehydrated frequently have high sugar content, making them inappropriate for people with diabetes. For example- raisins, apricots, dried cranberries, figs, etc.
  • Packaged fruits: Fruits that are canned and frozen fruits often have extra sugar and artificial flavours as well as fewer nutrients. These packaged fruits should be limited as they contain a lot of sugar.
  • Fruit Juices: Most packaged fruit juices contain sugar in large quantities and it is best if diabetics limit their consumption.

Some of the best fruits for diabetics that are seasonally available are advantageous and greatly lower a person’s risk of developing diabetes. People with diabetes should limit the aforementioned groups of fruits for their health. Lastly, one should be mindful while eating fruits with meals as it raises blood sugar levels. For optimal health, always make sure to include fruits in a balanced ratio.


There are a number of misconceptions regarding fruits and diabetes, with many people believing that those living with diabetes should avoid consuming fruits altogether. However, this is not entirely true. In fact, incorporating certain fruits into your diet can have a positive impact on your overall health. These fruits are considered diabetic friendly fruits and fruits for diabetics.

If you have diabetes and enjoy fruits, there are a variety of options that you can safely consume. However, it is important to control your portion sizes and make sure that they are incorporated into your diet in a healthy manner and in accordance with your healthcare professional’s advice. Fill your plate with low GI, healthy fruits to keep the risk of having diabetes to a minimum. You may also include options like oats and apple date smoothie and plum crumble in your diet.