What fruits should a diabetic not eat?

Updated April 17, 2017

A diabetic can eat many different types of fruits in moderation. Fruit provides vitamins, fibre and good nutrition to the body. When you monitor your blood sugar, it is important to know which fruits are highest in sugar. You can then decide not to eat the high sugar fruit at all or eat only small servings of them. Certain fruits, juices, and dried fruits fall into the category of fruits to avoid in your diet. In general, fruit is good for you. You should watch the amount you eat and choose the ones with the least amount least of sugar.


The glycemic index measures how fast food is converted to glucose in the body. Some fruits are high on the glycemic index and others are low. Food that breaks down quickly and raises blood sugar quickly gets a high rating. Diabetics can eat many different kinds of fruit, and should avoid others. It’s best to choose fruit with a low ranking of 50 or less. The middle range of fruit on the glycemic index is 50 to 70. Many of the fruits in this range are acceptable if eaten in moderation, but diabetics should avoid fruits that rank high on the glycemic index

Fruit Size and Servings

Fruit contains important nutrients to the body. Diabetics cannot produce enough insulin to break down foods that are high in carbohydrates, and this includes some fruits. The size of the fruit is an important consideration. It is better to choose a small apple over a large one. The serving size of fruit juices should be small also. It is better to drink a 118ml glass of juice as opposed to 227gr. Drinking juice with a meal like breakfast or lunch is the best way to avoid sharp rises in blood sugar. Avoid fruit juices with added sugar and corn syrup. When you eat canned fruit, rinse off the syrup by putting the fruit in a colander and running water over it. Moderation in eating fruit is the key.

Fresh Fruits to Avoid

Certain fruits should be avoided or eaten sparingly due to the high sugar content. Fruits like mangos, custard apples, grapes, chickoo, and bananas should be avoided or restricted. One banana is better than eating two with a meal. A half a banana is the recommended amount because it equals 15 grams of carbohydrates. A serving of fruit should be about 15 grams of carbohydrates. Limiting the amount or size of the fruit is the best way for diabetics to consume it Other fruits that have high sugar content are papayas, apricots, kiwi, pineapple, and watermelon. They should be avoided or eaten in small quantities. There are many fruits with low sugar content so avoiding the ones that have a high sugar content is not a real sacrifice.

Dried Fruits and Juices to Avoid

Some dried fruits are acceptable to eat in limited quantities. Good choices include dried cranberries, cherries, raisins, peaches, pears and apricots. Make sure that the brand does not add much sugar and it is a natural or organic processed brand. Dried figs should be avoided as they have too much sugar. Fresh figs are fine in moderation. Dates are another dried fruit high in sugar. It is one of the highest dried fruits on the glycemic scale.

Fruit juices that have sugar or corn syrup added to them should be avoided. Many processed juices contain only a small percentage of real juice. Pineapple juice and grape juices are high in sugar and should be avoided. If you do decide to drink them drink in small quantities like 118ml or less. Orange juice, grapefruit, prune or apple juices are fine in small quantities and the fresher the better. Read labels and avoid added sugar and corn syrup. When drinking processed fruit juices buy the ones with the least amount of added sugar.

Tips For Eating More Fruit

Add half a banana or peach to your morning cereal for breakfast. Keep a Ziploc bag or sealed container full of cut fruit in your refrigerator. Eat it as a snack with low fat yoghurt that contains little sugar. Eat a piece of fruit with your lunch or after work as a snack. Dried fruit makes a great snack. Fruit can be added to salads and snack mixes. Serve fruit for dessert cut up and sprinkled with lemon juice. It can be added to recipes with meat, fish and poultry and served as side dish.

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About the Author

Joan Russell has been a freelance writer for many years. She writes on variety of topics, including food, health, gardening, travel and education. She's written for the Christian Science Monitor, IGA Grocergram, Home Cooking, Atlantic Publishing and Duclinea Media. She has a B.A. in journalism/communications from the University of Bridgeport and an A.S in food service management from Naugatuck Valley Technical Community College.