Diabetes and Fruit: 13 Favorites and Their Calories, Carbs, and Vitamins
Strawberries are an all-time favorite! With a GI score of 41, strawberries are a low GI food that’s full of flavor.
- Serving Size: 8 medium strawberries or 5.3 ounces.
- Nutrition: 50 calories and 11 grams of carbohydrate in a serving.
- Perks: A serving of strawberries has more vitamin C than an orange, and strawberries, like most berries, are considered a superfood because of their antioxidants. Because of their high water content and because about a quarter of their carbohydrates come from fiber, strawberries are delicious and filling!
- Fun Fact: The average strawberry has about 200 seeds on its skin.
No summer barbecue is complete without watermelon—preferably with a seed-spitting contest!
- Serving Size: One serving is 2 cups of diced watermelon, or 10 ounces—quite generous!
- Nutrition: A serving of watermelon has 80 calories and 21 grams of carbohydrate.
- Perks: Because watermelon is high in water (hence the name), it has very few calories for the nutrients you get. Eating watermelon or drinking the juice may help lower blood pressure, reduce muscle soreness, and improve insulin sensitivity. Watermelons also have a high amount of lycopene, an antioxidant that reduces inflammation.
- Fun Fact: Don’t worry—you won’t grow a watermelon plant in your stomach if you swallow a seed. Seeds are actually a good source of magnesium and zinc. So no need to spit!
Pineapple makes people think of tropical locations and exotic beaches, and the extra work required to slice one up is completely worth it!
- Serving Size: The FDA says a serving of pineapple is two slices 3 inches in diameter and 3/4 inches thick, or 4 ounces.
- Nutrition: There are 50 calories and 15 grams of carbohydrate in a serving.
- Perks: One cup of pineapple supplies 130 percent of your daily vitamin C needs. It’s also a good source of beta-carotene, which may protect against prostate cancer.
- Fun Fact: One pineapple takes nearly 3 years to fully mature.
8. Sweet Cherries
Cherries are so pretty that it’s no wonder we use “cherry” to describe something in prime condition. But the pretty stone fruits are good for you too!
- Serving Size: One cup, or about 21 cherries.
- Nutrition: A cup of cherries contains about 87 calories and 22 grams of carbohydrate.
- Perks: Besides their deliciousness, cherries provide a good source of flavonoids, melatonin (the hormone that helps control circadian rhythm), and vitamins A and C. In general, the darker the cherry the higher the concentration of flavonoids (which are important antioxidants).
- Fun Fact: They may have killed the 12th president of the United States. Zachary Taylor died four days after eating a glass of milk and a bowl of cherries. He developed severe stomach pain after his snack, and some experts believe he may have contracted Salmonella from either the cherries or the milk.
Apples are unofficially the official fruit of teachers and everyone’s favorite after school snack (especially if served with peanut butter)!
- Serving Size: One large apple or 8 ounces.
- Nutrition: One serving has 130 calories and 34 grams of carbohydrate (so maybe a half an apple would be a better choice if you’re counting carbs).
- Perks: Apples are definite winners when it comes to fiber content: one large apples contains 20 percent of your recommended daily amount. Apples are an especially good choice for people with diabetes because most of the sugar is fructose, which has less of an effect on blood sugar than sucrose or glucose, and the high fiber content in apples helps slow sugar absorption and stabalize blood sugar.
- Fun Fact: Of the 2,500 varieties of apples grown in the United States, only the crabapple is native to North America.