Diabetes and Fruit: 13 Favorites and Their Calories, Carbs, and Vitamins
People with diabetes often have a complicated relationship with fruit. First, you hear that you should avoid fruit because of the sugar content. Then you’re given the go-ahead because fruit is (generally) low on the glycemic index.
The American Diabetes Association says that fruit has carbohydrates that you’ll want to account for in your meal plan, but they’re worth the carb-cost because of their vitamins, minerals, and fiber.
Fiber, according to Joslin Diabetes Center, won’t raise your blood sugar levels, and most Americans only get about half of their recommended daily amount. Plus, if you’re trying to cut back on less nutritious forms of sugar, fruit can step in and provide the sweetness you might miss.
Here’s a list of 15 fruits and their benefits and considerations for people with diabetes:
Kiwis are so fun to eat! Slice in half and eat the fruit out of the skin with a spoon for a mini tropical getaway. Here are the kiwi stats:
- Serving size: One whole, delicious kiwi (medium-sized).
- Nutrition: One medium kiwi has about 45 calories and 10 grams of carbohydrate.
- Perks: One medium kiwi also has bout 120 percent of your recommended daily amount of vitamin C. They’re also a good source of potassium, a mineral that can help reduce blood pressure and lower the risk of stroke.
- Fun Fact: Kiwi is actually a shortcut for the full name kiwifruit, and Europeans first called it a Chinese gooseberry. Growers in New Zealand began calling it kiwifruit for export since New Zealanders are called Kiwis, and the name caught on.
Bananas are a runner’s fruit of choice because of their easily digestible energy, but they are one of the starchier fruits and higher on the glycemic index. Here’s how they stack up:
- Serving size: One medium banana or about 4.5 ounces. Many bananas are large, so eating half may be a good bet.
- Nutrition: A medium banana has about 110 calories and 30 grams of carbohydrate (so this may be a great choice for low blood sugar).
- Perks: Bananas are known for their potassium, but they’re also a good source of fiber, magnesium, riboflavin, and biotin (a vitamin necessary for healthy skin, hair, and eyes).
- Fun Fact: A banana’s scientific name, musa sapientum, means “fruit of the wise men.”
Peaches are one of summertime’s essential fruits and a cobbler-maker’s best friend. Here are the peachy facts on the whole fruit (not canned) variety:
- Serving size: One medium peach or 5.3 ounces.
- Nutrition: One serving of peach has about 60 calories and 15 grams of carbohydrate.
- Perks: Peaches are a good source of vitamin A and C as well as potassium and fiber.
- Fun Fact: August in National Peach Month in the United States, and a giant 11 foot by 5-foot peach cobbler is made every year in Georgia.
Hooray for citrus! If you’re a fan of juicy fruit and not afraid of stickiness, grab a highly portable orange the next time you’re off on an adventure!
- Serving Size: One medium orange or 5.5 ounces.
- Nutrition: Your orange serving will provide you with 80 calories and 19 grams of carbohydrate.
- Perks: Looking for vitamin C? One orange will provide 130 percent of your daily recommended amount along with 12 percent of your daily amount of fiber. It’s an efficient fruit, and oranges are also a good source of folic acid, which is essential in processing fats and carbohydrates.
- Fun Fact: About 85 percent of all oranges grown are used for making juice, and orange peels can be used as slug repellant.