Healthy Fruits for Diabetes and Their Glycemic Index


For most individuals with diabetes, monitoring their blood glucose levels regularly is crucial in managing the condition and preventing further complications. Knowing accurate results can help you adjust your plan to keep the condition in check.

The Glycemic Index is one of the most effective tools for monitoring glucose levels in the blood. It measures the spike in blood glucose after having it. The GI of any fruit ranges between 0 and 100, where 0 means no glucose spike, whereas 100 represents a significant sugar spike.

The three fruit groups, based on their GI scores, are:

  • The low GI fruits with a glycemic index of less than 55.
  • The medium GI fruits with glycemic index ranging between 56 and 69.
  • The high GI fruits with a glycemic index measuring more than 70.

So, people with diabetes should consider consuming more medium and low GI fruits such as papaya with glycemic index 42.

Luckily, most common fruits fall in the medium to low GI range, which means people with diabetes can enjoy them without worrying about their health. 

Common Fruits and their Glycemic Index

Some commonly consumed fruits and their GI values are as follows:

Fruits Glycemic Index
Papaya 42
Apple 36
Dragon fruit 48-52
Mango 51
Orange 43
Kiwi 50
Raw pineapple 59
Peach 40
Grapes 59
Pear 43
Ripe banana 62
Watermelon 72

Low Glycemic Index Fruits: Best for People with Diabetes

Fruits that should be right on top of the list for every individual with diabetes are as follows:

  • Kiwi

Also called Chinese gooseberry, kiwi contains magnesium, vitamin B6, vitamin C, antioxidants and calcium. The high potassium content of this fruit lowers blood pressure. Vitamin K accelerates wound healing, and its high fiber improves bowel movements.

Is Kiwi Good For Diabetes?

With a GI of 50, kiwi falls into the low GI fruit group and is undoubtedly good for diabetes. Kiwi does not cause instant blood glucose spikes if consumed moderately, and its skin contains the inositol compound and insoluble fibers that make the body insulin sensitive.

Therefore, fruit can cure diabetes effectively. In addition, this fruit’s low water weight and calorie content make it ideal for weight management and loss, something very crucial for people with diabetes. So, is kiwi good for diabetes? Probably you have got an answer!

  • Papaya

Originating in South Mexico, papaya is a household fruit across the world. Internally, it is bright orange-yellow, while its peel is of greenish-yellow colour. Filled with fiber, antioxidants and vitamins A, C and E, papaya helps prevent bad cholesterol, relieves constipation, and improves digestion.

Is Papaya Good for Diabetes?

The Papaya glycemic index is 42, and papaya has different nutrients that support the health of people with diabetes. It contains minerals such as magnesium, lycopene, copper and potassium, pantothenic acid, lutein and folate, making it the best fruit for individuals with diabetes, but only when consumed in the correct quantity.

  • Apple

Abundantly available in central Asia, apple is a part of several cuisines worldwide. The polyphenol found in apples fights off several diseases. The fruit also contains soluble fibers and flavonoids that make it anti-inflammatory and a useful antioxidant.

Is Apple Good for Diabetes?

With a GI lower than papaya glycemic index, an apple is a super fruit for people with diabetes. Its GI value is as low as 36 and contains very little sugar, making it a healthy choice for individuals with diabetes. The polyphenols in apples prevent the damage of insulin-producing beta cells. Filled with fiber, this low-calorie fruit also aids weight loss.

  • Oranges

Oranges, the most popular citrus fruits, are known for their tangy flavour. In addition, they are filled with nutritional benefits for people with bad cholesterol and heart diseases. Oranges also help prevent anemia, as their citric acid content enables the cells to absorb iron more efficiently.

Are Oranges Good for Diabetes?

Orange is the go-to fruit for people with diabetes because of its high nutrient and fiber content. The GI of oranges ranges between 31 and 51, indicating that its consumption does not affect blood glucose levels.

Finding the Right Balance Is Important

The above illustration shows that including these low GI fruits in your diabetes-friendly diet is vital. But experts suggest having all kinds of fruits, but in moderation. For example, you can have a small banana or a slice of mango if you have diabetes, but only once or twice a week. And most importantly, visit diabetes specialists before including any fruit in your diet. They are the best people to tell you which fruit to eat and how much, seeing your blood glucose reports.


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