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A diabetic’s guide to fruit

Many people in our diabetes community want to know if they can eat fruit. And if so, how much? We asked dietician and diabetes educator Louise Ferreira to share some tips.

diabetic guide to fruit

All about fruit

Fruits are a great source of many essential vitamins and minerals like potassium, vitamin C and folic acid, as well as fibre. These nutrients are important in disease prevention, good gut health and the maintenance of healthy skin and hair. If you are living with diabetes, you can and you should eat fruit. Here’s how to ensure it doesn’t spike your blood sugar.

The best way to eat fruit (as a diabetic)

Fruit can be eaten fresh, frozen, canned, dried and juiced. It is wise to eat fruit whole and fresh – here’s why:

  • Juice: When squeezing the juice from a fruit, you leave behind a lot of the fibre and special nutrients and create a refined carbohydrate.
  • Dried: Drying fruit makes the portions appear smaller, so you may be tempted to have a helping more than one or two ‘portions’.
  • Canned: Canned fruit is often preserved with extra sugar and should be avoided.

Fruit portion control

In general, most people should be eating 2 to 3 fruit portions per day. (Remember that every person is different, and if fruit spikes your blood sugar every time you eat it, you must listen to your body.) Each fruit portion contains 15g of carbohydrates for those who are counting carbohydrates to calculate insulin doses.

One fruit portion is:

  • 1 small to medium fresh fruit;
  • 125 ml (½ cup) of canned fruit or fruit juice; or
  • ¼ cup of dried fruit.

How to choose fruit portions

Apple, with peel 1 small (120g)
Apricots 4 medium (150g)
Banana1 small (80g)
Cherries 12 (100g)
Figs 2 large (100g)
Fruit salad ½ cup (125ml)
Granadilla 6 large (200g)
Grapefruit 1 medium (230g)
Grapes 15 small (100g)
Guava 2 large (300g)
Kiwi fruit 1 large (110g)
Mango ½ small (½ cup)
Orange 1 medium (180g)
Papaya, cubes 1½ cups (175g)
Peach or nectarine1 medium (180g)
Watermelon 1 slice (250g)
Watermelon, cubes 1 and 1/4 cup
Naartjies2 medium (150g)
Strawberries1 and 3/4 cup (300g)
Pineapple3 thin slices (125g)
Pineapple, cubes3/4 cup (125g)
Prickly pear2 large (180g)
Pear1 small (100g)
Prunes3 small (25g)
Plums2 large (150g)

Photo by Naveed Pervaiz on Unsplash

Published inAsk the DieticianJust Diagnosed

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