Pineapple good for diabetics


Pineapple is one of the most widely planted tropical fruits in the world. Going by the botanical name Ananas comosus, pineapple is a flowering plant that is part of the wider Bromeliaceae family. Other bromeliads are mostly used for fibers or indigenous ceremonies, pineapple being the only species that produces widely consumed delicious fruit.

Wild pineapples are endemic to the tropical forests between Brazil and Paraguay, but Indigenous cultures of South and Central America have been cultivating pineapple in some form for several hundreds, if not thousands, of years. During the 16th century, Spanish conquistadors helped spread the seeds of pineapple around the world, and pineapple plantations started popping up in the Philippines, Hawaii, India and Eastern Africa. Eventually China, South Africa and parts of Europe began planting pineapple in the 17th century, while Hawaii expanded its pineapple industry, and remains a major producer of US pineapples to this day.

Pineapple is a great source of vitamin C and manganese, and a decent source of B vitamins, vitamin A and fiber. It is fairly high in sugars (carbohydrates), with a glycemic index of 59, but due to pineapples being on average 86% water, their glycemic load as a whole fruit for a standard 120 gram serving size is 6, which is low. Due to its fiber content and low glycemic load, whole fresh pineapple is safe and recommendable for diabetics and those at risk of developing diabetes to eat. A protein digesting enzyme found in the fruit and stem of pineapples, known as “bromelain,” has also been shown to promote heart health and exhibits anticancer and antidiabetic properties.

Costa Rica, Brazil and the Philippines are currently the world’s largest pineapple cultivators, but there is wide global distribution of farms in tropical climates planting this delicious fruit, in a number of different cultivars. There are four main cultivars of pineapple, with a fair amount of variety within each one: Smooth Cayenne, Red Spanish, Queen, and Abacaxi.

Unfortunately, a large and growing percentage of pineapples come from industrial monocultures with heavy pesticide use and significant environmental consequences. This once wild fruit that was cultivated naturally by Indigenous tribes now has fallen victim to global supply chains and demand for cheap products that do not factor in their wide ranging external costs.

Pineapples, of course, can still be grown sustainably, so make an effort to buy locally grown and organic produce that come from diverse farms, whenever possible. Shopping for pineapples at your neighborhood farmers market or produce stand is a mindful and accessible choice.

Glycemic Index of Pineapple: 59 = Medium. Glycemic Load: 6 = low.

Resources and Further Reading

For more information about pineapple and its history:

Some purported health benefits of pineapples:

A protein digesting enzyme found in the fruit and stem of pineapples, known as Bromelain, has also been shown to promote heart health and exhibits anticancer and antidiabetic properties:

Can you eat pineapple if you have type 2 diabetes?

Can you eat pineapple if you have type 2 diabetes?&nbsp | &nbspPhoto Credit:&nbspThinkstock

Key Highlights

  • Pineapple is a good source of vitamins, minerals, and fibre, which is especially good for diabetics
  • But fruits such as pineapple can cause blood sugar to spike, if not eaten in moderation
  • Here’s how to eat pineapple safely if you are living with diabetes

New Delhi: For people with diabetes, keeping blood sugar levels within a healthy range is extremely important. Treatment along with healthy lifestyle changes, which may include limiting carb intake, can help control blood sugar as well as prevent complications of diabetes. Diet plays a major role in maintaining blood sugar levels and body weight. Fruits and vegetables are loaded with vitamins, minerals, nutrients and essential antioxidants that are beneficial to your health. But, they also contain carbohydrates that can affect blood sugar. For instance, fruits such as pineapples are an excellent source of nutrients but they can cause blood sugar to spike, if not eaten in moderation.

Pineapple is a good source of vitamins, minerals, and fibre, which is especially good for diabetics. Studies show that a fibre-rich food can help lower blood sugar, reduce cholesterol, regulate bowels, and aid weight management by inducing satiety and decreasing absorption of macronutrients. Eating a diet rich in fibre has been shown to reduce belly fat that accumulates around waistlines and puts you at an increased risk of several chronic health issues. However, pineapple also has a relatively high glycemic index ranking compared to other fruits, so moderation is the key here as with other foods. Read – Type 2 diabetes diet: Include low-calorie carrots in your diabetes meal plan to lower blood sugar naturally

Meanwhile, an analysis from the Institute of Obesity, Nutrition, and Exercise at the University of Sydney, found that fresh whole pineapple has a GI ranking of 59, placing it at the lower end of the moderate range. But the GI ranking of unsweetened pineapple juice is far lower because of the removal of solid carbohydrates. This means fresh or frozen pineapple generally contains a lower amount of carbs per serving.

How to eat pineapple safely with diabetes

It is suggested to combine pineapple with foods that have a low or medium glycemic index score to avoid spikes in blood sugar. Pairing pineapple with a protein, such as low-fat cottage cheese or Greek yogurt, is a healthy option.

Other good food options to pair with pineapple include:

  • Legumes
  • Whole wheat bread
  • Barley
  • Converted rice
  • Rolled or steel cut oatmeal


The Bottom Line

If you love pineapple and considering including the fruit in your meal, try to stick to one portion and have it with good food or protein. It’s all about making smart dietary choices, which means balancing your food intake. Doing this will help you lose and maintain weight, avoid fluctuations in blood sugar, improve diabetes control, lead a healthier life over the long-term.

Disclaimer: Tips and suggestions mentioned in the article are for general information purpose only and should not be construed as professional medical advice. Always consult your doctor or a dietician before starting any fitness programme or making any changes to your diet.

Type II Diabetes: 6 Fruits to Help Control Your Blood Sugar

Controlling your diabetes could be as easy as losing weight. There are many things that you can do to control you blood sugar and increasing your intake of certain fruits is one of them. Natural sugar is easier to break down than processed or man-made sugar. This is why adding fruit, a great source for natural sugar, to your diet in moderation could prevent your body from building an insulin intolerance.

Here are our favorite fruits to add to your diet if you are looking to naturally control your blood sugar, or decrease the amount of insulin that you use each day.

1. Avocado

Avocado is thought by many to be a vegetable. On the contrary, it is actually a fruit. This fruit is high in monounsaturated fats which are one of the healthy fats that you should ingest on a regular basis. These fruits also improve heart health. They have a very low percentage of low-quality carbohydrates and can improve the sensitivity you have to your insulin. This means that simply snacking on avocado, eating guacamole, or adding it to a sandwich could decrease the amount of insulin that you have to take.

2. Grapefruits

Grapefruits are a great source of chromium. Recent studies have shown chromium to significantly lower blood sugar levels. A grapefruit with breakfast can help break down the dietary sugars that are in your cereal as well. It also contains a very low amount of carbohydrates but most of these carbohydrates are considered healthy fiber so they won’t cause a serious increase in blood sugar.

3. Pineapples

Pineapple does not prevent blood sugar spikes. However, it has a low glycemic index, which means that it raises your blood sugar slower and does not cause rapid spikes. This means that when your blood sugar starts low, it can bring you back to a safe level in a better fashion than other fruits. It also makes a great midday snack for a diabetic who is trying to keep highs and lows under control.

4. Kiwi

Kiwi, much like pineapple, have a low glycemic index. It is also full of fiber that is easy to digest and is easily turned into energy, rather than sugar build up or fat. While most fruits cause a small spike before regulating, this fruit has sugars that are easy to break down. When eaten with meals, kiwi can help your body process the insulin you receive, and level out your blood sugars much easier than if you did not ingest it at all.

5. Cherries

Cherries have a glycemic index of 20, and in many cases, less than this because they vary by size and type. They are slightly acidic, so they help break down their own sugars. This is great if your body is beginning to build an insulin resistance or if your doctor is considering increasing your insulin dosage.

6. Apples

Apples may contain more sugar than most fruits, but they can help cleanse the digestive system. Apples also contain antioxidants and help boost the immune system, which can help combat infection. This process is typically hindered in diabetics. Any infection in the body can increase blood sugar levels so having an apple on occasion will help decrease your risk of infection based blood sugar spikes.

Fruit is a great way to manage your blood sugar and can be a great way of preventing infection that leads to blood sugar spikes. Ask your doctor whether adding fruit to your diet is an option to decrease your blood sugar.

Enjoyed this article? Try reading these as well . . .
Type II Diabetes: Is the Enemy Really Sugar?
4 Surprising Ways to Keep Diabetes at Bay
Salmon: The Superfood Recipe for Shaking the Blood Sugar Blues

Diabetic? The 7 Worst (and 10 Best) Fruits You Can Eat

Are you diabetic? Think carefully about which fruits you eat. |

Whether you just got diagnosed with diabetes or have been dealing with it for years, figuring out your diet can get complicated quickly. You can easily find out which kinds of food can help prevent diabetes. But if you already have diabetes, there are more rules and restrictions you need to know. Need an example? We all think fresh fruits and veggies are safe and healthy. But if you have diabetes, some fruits are safer to eat than others.

The Cleveland Clinic names berries one of the best foods for diabetics because they have a low glycemic index. The glycemic index measures how much a carbohydrate-containing food raises your blood glucose. But a separate measurement, called the glycemic load, does a better job of telling you a food’s real impact on your blood sugar. A glycemic load of 10 or below is low, and 20 or above is high. Watermelon, for instance, has a high glycemic index, at 80. But a serving of watermelon has few carbohydrates — just 6 grams — so its glycemic load is just 5. So some foods that are high on the glycemic index can have a low glycemic load.

Confused yet? We’ve done the hard work for you and found out which fruits nutritionists say are the worst (and the best) for people with diabetes. You might never look at fruit salad the same way again.

1. Dates: worst

Dates |

According to the international table of glycemic index and glycemic load index values, published by the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, dried dates have a high glycemic load of 42. Livestrong notes with super-sweet fruits, such as dates and raisins, “portion control is crucial.” The publication adds, “In general, people with diabetes should aim for fruit servings that don’t exceed 15 grams of carbohydrates. For that reason, you can usually eat more juicy fresh fruit than concentrated sweet treats like dates and raisins, which are higher in calories and carbs.”

2. Raisins: worst

Grapes and raisins |

Raisins have a high glycemic load of 28. Livestrong explains, “Because they have naturally concentrated sugars and a low water content, raisins and dates are much higher in sugar, calories and carbohydrates than most other fruits, especially the juicier varieties. Compared to the 15 to 20 percent water content of dates and raisins, fresh berries and watermelon are 85 to 90 percent water.”

3. Sultanas: worst

A bowl of oatmeal with sultanas and other dried fruit |

Sultanas have a high glycemic load of 25. Not familiar with sultanas? They’re dried grapes that are golden in color. But they aren’t any healthier than standard raisins for people with diabetes. Livestrong notes raisins, golden and otherwise, might not impact your blood sugar as much as other sources of carbohydrates. But that’s only true if you eat a single serving of sultanas. Because they’re small, it’s easy to eat more than a single serving. So keep an eye on the label, and make sure to be conscious of your portion size.

4. Bananas: worst

Bunch of bananas in a basket |

Another factor, beyond glycemic load, to consider when you’re in the produce aisle? The amount of carbohydrates in a specific fruit. Both the amount and type of carbs in a food can affect your blood sugar. And according to the American Diabetes Association, the total amount of carbohydrates in a food often acts as a stronger predictor of blood glucose response than the glycemic index of that food. Livestrong lists some high-carb fruits you might want to avoid. At the top of the list? Bananas. One cup of banana slices contains 30 net grams of carbohydrates.

5. Mango: worst

Mango |

Livestrong also reports a cup of mango chunks contains 22 net grams of carbohydrates. SF Gate reports that with fruits like mangoes, you need to be careful about the amount you eat. As the publication explains, “A large serving of mango or any other fruit will raise your blood sugar levels more substantially than a small serving.” Plus, fructose accounts for about 30% of the sugar in mangoes. “Since fructose is metabolized by your liver, too much of it can raise your triglyceride levels,” SF Gate says.

6. Pineapple: worst

Cutting a pineapple |

According to Livestrong, a cup of pineapple chunks packs 19 net grams of carbohydrates. Livestrong reports that though pineapple “can be a nutritious food since it provides significant amounts of vitamin C, thiamine, and manganese, people with diabetes may want to limit their pineapple consumption due to its high carbohydrate content and glycemic index.”

7. Breadfruit: worst

Breadfruit |

Livestrong notes the South Pacific breadfruit contains almost 60 grams of net carbohydrates per cup. Breadfruit originates in the South Pacific. The protein-rich fruit recently made headlines as a promising crop to feed hungry populations in tropical parts of the world. It’s related to jackfruit but is one of the worst choices of fruit for people with diabetes. The problem is breadfruit is rich in starch, which is converted to sugar when the fruit becomes very ripe.

1. Apricots: best

Bowl filled with apricots |

Fortunately, the list of the worst fruits for people with diabetes isn’t that long, and we’re already on to the best fruits. Apricots have a low glycemic load of just 5. Everyday Health notes that four fresh apricots equal one serving. Together, they’ll provide you with more than 50% of your daily vitamin A requirement. Plus, apricots offer plenty of fiber. Just make sure you buy your apricots fresh, not canned.

2. Apples: best

Red apples |

Apples have a low glycemic load of just 4. They’re also a great source of fiber. And they contain lots of vitamin C. Plus, if you eat the skins — you definitely should — they’ll also give you lots of antioxidants. Authority Nutrition explains apples also contain large amounts of water. That in combination with the fiber they contain makes them surprisingly filling. Fiber slows down the digestion and absorption of carbs, which means they won’t cause a spike in your blood sugar as quickly as they would otherwise.

3. Cherries

A bowl of cherries |

Cherries have a low glycemic load of just 3. Everyday Health notes not only do cherries have a low glycemic index, but they also offer other health benefits. They contain lots of antioxidants, which means they can fight inflammation. Cherries might also help prevent heart disease, cancer, and other serious illnesses. Your grocery store probably offers cherries fresh, canned, frozen, or dried. But you should always read the label because many canned and dried fruits contain added sugar.

4. Grapefruit

Halved grapefruit |

Grapefruits have a low glycemic load of just 3. That alone makes them a great choice of fruit if you have diabetes. But you might get some other benefits by regularly eating a grapefruit. Time reports according to a recent study, grapefruit juice “might be just as effective as the type 2 diabetes drug, metformin, at lowering blood glucose.” You might have to drink as much as 4 cups of grapefruit juice a day to get the results seen in the study. But even if you don’t consume nearly that much, grapefruit or grapefruit juice still can make a healthy addition to your diet.

5. Kiwi

Kiwi |

Want a tropical fruit? Then, reach for a kiwi. Kiwi have a low glycemic load of just 5. They routinely make the list of low-carb, diabetes-friendly fruits. Kiwi also make a good source of potassium, fiber, and vitamin C. Even though you might think they’re an uncommon tropical fruit, grocery stores actually offer them year-round. And once you’ve bought them, they’ll actually last in the refrigerator for up to three weeks — a lot longer than many other kinds of fruit.

6. Oranges

Oranges |

Citrus, including oranges, can be very healthy choices for people with diabetes. Oranges have a low glycemic load of only 3. Oranges and other types of citrus are famously a great source of vitamin C. They also contain folate and potassium. Livestrong reports oranges also contain large amounts of fiber, which can help your digestive health. Plus, oranges make a good choice of fruit whether you’re using a carbohydrate-counting system or using the glycemic index or glycemic load of foods. And according to Livestrong, the fiber in oranges “helps modulate blood sugar by slowing absorption into the bloodstream.”

7. Peaches

Fresh peaches |

Peaches have a low glycemic load of just 4. Everyday Health notes peaches make a smart addition to a diabetes-friendly diet because they contain vitamin A, vitamin C, and potassium. They’re also rich in fiber. You can eat your peaches raw, add them to your smoothies, or even opt to grill them. But with peaches and other fruits available in a can, remember the healthiest form of fruit for someone with diabetes will be fresh, not canned.

8. Pears

Pears |

Another diabetes-friendly fruit? Pears. They have a low glycemic load of only 4. This delicious fruit also acts as a great source of fiber. And as Everyday Health notes, pears are one of the few kinds of fruit that actually improves in taste and texture after it’s been picked. You can store pears at room temperature until they’re ripe. (After that, you can just stick them in the refrigerator.) Plus, they make an excellent source of fiber and vitamin K.

9. Strawberries

Cut strawberries |

Strawberries have a low glycemic load of just 1. Everyday Health counts berries — including both strawberries and blueberries — as one of the best fruits for a diabetes-friendly diet. And for good reason. As the publication notes, “According to the ADA, berries are a diabetes superfood because they’re packed with antioxidants, vitamins, and fiber, plus they’re low-GI.”

10. Watermelon

Slices of watermelon |

Watermelon has a low glycemic load of just 4. Healthline reports watermelon is a great source of numerous vitamins and minerals, including vitamin A, vitamin C, potassium, magnesium, vitamin B-6, fiber, iron, and calcium. The publication also notes because watermelon is high in fiber, it promotes good digestive health. Plus, eating a moderate amount of watermelon can “curb your craving for something sweet” and “can also keep you feeling full longer.”

Don’t Fear Fruit for Type 2 Diabetes

Sugar has become public enemy number one in the health world, and experts from all corners are rightly encouraging Americans to eat less of it. Unfortunately, deliciously sweet fruit, which is naturally high in sugar relative to other whole foods, sometimes gets lumped in with cookies, cake, and ice cream as a food to limit, especially on fad diet plans. And many people with type 2 diabetes shy away from fruit — especially the highest-sugar varieties like pineapple and mango — in an effort to improve their blood sugar numbers. But refreshing, colorful, vitamin-bearing fruit is a far cry from candy, and cutting it out of your diet is likely to work against you.

In a new study published today, Harvard researchers reported that consuming three servings of whole fruit per week, particularly blueberries, grapes and raisins, apples, and pears, was shown to reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes by as much as 26 percent. Furthermore, fruits’ glycemic index (GI) score, a rating that indicates how quickly foods raise blood sugar, did not play a significant role in determining individual fruits’ effects on diabetes risk. “Moderate” and “high” GI fruits — categories that include watermelon and pineapple as well as many dried fruits — were just as worthy as low-GI choices.

All Fruits Are Superfruits

Fruit does contain sugar, but it’s a fraction of the amount found in candy bars and desserts. A serving of fruit has about 15 grams of sugar — a third of the amount found in a bakery cupcake, for example. And, importantly, that moderate dose of sugar comes packaged with a most impressive cast of supporting characters. The skins, seeds, and flesh of whole fruit are a terrific source of fiber, which plays interference, helping to slow down the body’s absorption of sugar. And pretty pink watermelon, ruby raspberries, deeply purple plums, sunset-hued peaches, and the entire rainbow spectrum of fruit is loaded with antioxidants and other phytonutrients that do far more than provide natural food coloring. These potent ingredients help to fight inflammation, protect delicate blood vessels from harm, and shield the body from damaging oxidative processes.

While this study specifically looked at the role of fruit in diabetes prevention, the health benefits of nature’s sweetest nutrient powerhouses extend to people who already have type 2 diabetes. Of course, fruit should be consumed in moderation as part of a balanced diet that includes plenty of nutrient-rich veggies, along with lean protein, heart-healthy fats, and high-quality starches like whole grains. But fruit should be treated as an everyday superfood, not an indulgence. In fact, a bowl of juicy pineapple chunks or banana with a smear of almond butter and sprinkle of cinnamon can be a perfect lower-sugar, just-sweet-enough ending to a wholesome meal.

Juice Doesn’t Provide Same Health Perks

Let’s not confuse whole fruit with fruit juice, however. In the new Harvard study, the protective benefits of fruit did not extend to fruit juice. In fact, drinking fruit juice was shown to increase type 2 diabetes risk. Unlike whole fruit, juice — even 100% varieties — lacks fiber, that critical partner that helps to blunt the rise in blood sugar and boost heart health. It’s also more concentrated in sugar. For the same amount of sugar found in an 8-ounce glass of 100% grape juice, you could snack your way through 50 grapes. Replacing your morning glass of OJ with an orange — or a glass of apple juice with a crisp apple — is a simple change you can make to enhance your health and reduce your sugar intake, while still enjoying your favorite fruits.

This week, my kitchen is stocked with black grapes, watermelon, pineapple (my husband grew up in Hawaii and is a PRO at carving whole pineapple), and fresh, local Jersey peaches from my town’s farm stand. What’s your current fruit fix?

Is there anything good for diabetes you can buy in a bottle and drink? If not, what can you drink that’s healthy?


Beverages to avoid

First off, do not drink bottled fruit juice. Health author Joy Bauer rated fruit juice the number one worst food for diabetes. Most bottled juice is not 100% juice and has additional sugar added. But according to Bauer, “Fruit juices, even 100% fruit juices, are chock-full of fruit sugar and cause a sharp spike in blood sugar.”

Juice has a very high glycemic index, which means the sugar gets into your blood very fast. According to, unsweetened orange juice has a glycemic index between 66 and 76, higher than most chocolate cake. People with diabetes do not have enough insulin to keep up with such a fast surge of sugar.

The American Diabetes Association (ADA) agrees. “Avoid sugary drinks like regular soda, fruit punch, fruit drinks, energy drinks, sports drinks, or sweet tea. They can provide several hundred calories in just one serving.

ADA advises tea, coffee, water, or milk instead. They do say that less than 4 ounces of juice at a meal might be manageable for some people with diabetes.

There are other problems with juice besides the sugar. Compared to whole fruits and vegetables, juice has almost no fiber. Bottled juice is usually stored in massive oxygen-depleted holding tanks for up to a year before it is packaged. Then lost flavor iss restored with “flavor packs.”

Recent studies, however, have shown that juice does have some benefits. It helps prevent cancer and heart disease as well as whole fruits. It has more nutritional benefits than sodas, even if the sugar spike is just as bad.

Dietitian Amy Campbell says vegetable juices such as V8 are healthier can be drunk in larger amounts than the sweeter juices. But there’s no good reason to buy bottled fruit juice. It’s expensive, it’s not healthy, and it’s environmentally damaging.

What about diet drinks?

If sugar in your juice or soda is the problem, wouldn’t diet drinks fix that? ADA says diet drinks are better, but others say not much better. Studies have shown that, in mice, artificial sweeteners can lead to a spike in insulin. The sweet taste fools the body into producing insulin that’s not needed.

The researchers said the insulin spike was not high enough to put someone into a hypoglycemic (low blood sugar) state, but extra insulin is never good for you. It causes insulin resistance and makes you fat.

A Canadian study from 2016 found that the artificial sweetener aspartame changes gut bacteria in unhealthy ways. Aspartame use was associated with greater glucose intolerance in obese people, which could increase the chance of diabetes.

There are also diabetic nutritional drinks. Some people swear by these, but I have doubts. They’re expensive and they have additives. A few are low-carb, but you have to read labels carefully. Most aren’t.

If, like many people with diabetes, you have digestive problems such as gastroparesis, these drinks might help you. Otherwise, drinks should be liquid and food should be food.

Bottle as bad as the juice

Plastic bottles leach a chemical called bisphenol A (BPA) into the juice. Bisphenol A has been found to worsen diabetes.

Plastic bottles are also a huge trash problem. They are theoretically recyclable, but most of them are not recycled. They pollute water, killing marine life, while creating an ugly litter problem on land. Bottled water has been called an “environmental disaster” for this reason. (The exception is if you live somewhere without safe water to drink. Millions of people throughout the world drink bottled water, juice, or soda because local water is too polluted, as is happening in Flint, Michigan.)

Glass bottles are more recyclable, more reusable, and less toxic than plastic. They are also more expensive, heavier, and breakable, so they are less attractive for many people.

So what do you drink?

As noted above, the ADA lists only water, tea, coffee, milk, and diet soda as drinkable with diabetes. But what about homemade juice like your grandmother used to make (or was that your great-grandmother?) Health writer Tammy Dray reports that homemade juices are usually far healthier than packaged or bottled juices. They have no extra sugar or other additives.

Making your own juice allows you to get the flavors you want, since you decide what fruits to put in. You can keep all the fiber by including skins and rinds in the juice. You’ll get all the natural vitamins. There may still be more sugar than you want, but you can fix that by diluting it more.

You can make juice in a blender, but it will come out less juicy than if you use a juicer. But juicing by hand, like Grandma used to do, is way too much work for most modern people.

Whether you’re carrying homemade juice or water, buy a washable metal bottle to carry it. No plastic chemicals, no throwaway damage to the environment.

Want to learn more about beverages for diabetes? Read “What’s to Drink” and “Best Beverages for Staying Hydrated.”

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