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List of Worst Fruits for Diabetics: What Fruits Should You Limit?

Medically reviewed by Mia Dacumos, MD · Nephrology · Makati Medical Center

Written by Lorraine Bunag, R.N. · Updated Jul 19, 2023

    List of Worst Fruits for Diabetics: What Fruits Should You Limit?

    We all understand how important fruits are in having a healthy, balanced diet. Not only are they rich in fiber and other vitamins and minerals, but they also contain antioxidants that help prevent inflammation and a number of chronic illnesses. But when you’re diabetic, your choice of fruits and their portion sizes can significantly affect your blood sugar levels. In this article, we’ll give you the list of worst fruits for diabetics. 

    Fruits For Diabetics: Things To Consider

    Before we list down the worst fruits for diabetics, let’s just have a little disclaimer: you can eat fruits if you’re diabetic. However, since some fruits have a high carbohydrate content, you need to be really careful with their serving size and what other foods you pair them with.  

    You see, a typical serving of fruit contains about 15 grams of carbohydrates. Regardless of the kind of fruits, if what you eat contains about 15 grams of carbs, the effect on your blood glucose would be the same. 

    In other words, the advantage of eating fruits with lower carb content is that you can eat a larger portion. 

    Another thing to consider is the fruit’s glycemic index, a value that tells us how quickly or slowly a food increases our blood sugar. Basically, the higher the number, the faster it affects the blood sugar levels. 

    List of Worst Fruits for Diabetics

    Below are the fruits you need to be careful with if you’re diabetic:


    Half a cup of diced watermelon only contains about 5.5 grams of carbs, but its glycemic index is 76, which is pretty high. 


    A cup of pineapple chunks approximately contains 22 grams of carbohydrates, but like watermelon, its glycemic index is high, amounting to about 59 or more. 

    Overly Ripe Bananas

    Bananas are great for diabetics; just make sure that they are not overly ripe. Around 100 grams of overripe bananas, according to the US FDA, already contain 20 grams of carbs. Reports also indicate that its glycemic index is somewhere between 70 and 100. 

    Canned or Dried Fruits with Added Sugar

    As much as possible, refrain from consuming canned or dried fruits with added sugar. They tend to raise your blood sugar quickly and leave you less room for more nutritious foods. 

    You can still consume canned or dried fruits as long as labels say they are unsweetened, have no added sugar, or are packed in their own juices. 

    Fruit Juice Drinks

    According to the Center for Disease Control, drinking fruit juice during mealtime increases your blood sugar level faster than eating actual fruit. For this reason, it’s best to limit your fruit juice consumption. 

    You may still drink 100% fruit juice, but experts say they may not be that filling, since you can only have them in small amounts. 

    Additional Tips in Eating Fruits When You’re a Diabetic

    Now that we’ve discussed the list of worst fruits for diabetics, let’s talk about the other ways you can safely eat fruits even when you’re diabetic:

    • A small piece of fruit or ½ cup of frozen and canned fruits typically contain 15 grams of carbs. 
    • If you want to eat more fruits, you need to exchange them with other carbohydrate sources, such as dairy, starches, or grains. However, keep in mind that variety is key to a healthy, balanced diet. 
    • It’s best to pair fruits with non-starchy vegetables, lean protein, and a little portion of starch. 

    Key Takeaways

    The list of worst fruits for diabetics includes watermelon, pineapple, overripe banana, canned and dried fruits with added sugar, and fruit juice drinks. However, no particular fruit is forbidden – you only need to be careful with your portion size and the other foods you pair the fruit with. 

     Learn more about Diabetes here


    Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

    Medically reviewed by

    Mia Dacumos, MD

    Nephrology · Makati Medical Center

    Written by Lorraine Bunag, R.N. · Updated Jul 19, 2023

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