Fruit gets a bad rap when it comes to blood sugar control. Sure, many varieties of “nature’s candy” are natural sugar sources, these foods also typically contain nutrients like fiber and important minerals that help support healthy blood glucose levels.
The satisfaction of crunching on a fresh, juicy apple is a sensory experience shared by people from the past to the present. Apples come in thousands of varieties and they are one of the most popular fruits around the world. While apples may not seem like the most exotic or interesting fruit, their nutritional value shouldn’t be underestimated.
Apple Nutrition Facts
One medium-sized apple (200g) provides 104 calories, 0.5g of protein, 27.6g of carbohydrates, and 0.3g of fat. Apples also provide fiber, potassium, and vitamin C. The nutrition information is provided by the USDA.
Vitamin C: 9.2mg
Vitamin A: 6mcg
A medium apple has 27.6 grams of carbohydrates, with 4.8 grams of fiber and almost 21 grams of natural sugar. Apples have a low glycemic index between 34–38.
There is less than 1/2 gram of fat per medium-sized apple.
Apples are low in protein. A medium apple has just a 1/2 gram of protein.
Vitamins and Minerals
Apples are a good source of potassium and beta carotene. They provide some vitamin C, folate, magnesium, and calcium.
A medium, raw apple provides 104 calories. A small apple (165g) provides about 165 calories and a large apple (242g) provides 126 calories. A one-cup serving of apple slices provides about 65 calories.
Biting into a crunchy apple will fuel your body with fiber and a variety of compounds, including quercetin and chlorogenic acid, which may help reduce blood sugar.
Results from a small study evaluating adult women showed that eating apples before a carbohydrate meal helped reduce blood sugars after mealtime.
One medium apple contains over 4 grams of natural fiber and under 20 grams of natural sugar. Pairing apple slices with a source of protein and healthy fat, like nut butter, can offer even more blood glucose control and may make your nosh even more satisfying too.
Pears are a sweet, tasty fruit that’s full of fiber, low in calories, and loaded with antioxidants, including vitamin C. They are native to Europe and West Asia and have been used in anti-inflammatory, diuretic, and anti-hyperglycemic remedies in China for more than 2000 years. And studies show pears have research-backed health benefits, too, such as protection from stroke and some cancers.
Pear Nutrition Facts
One medium-sized pear (178g) provides 101 calories, 0.6g of protein, 27g of carbohydrates, and 0.3g of fat. Pears are an excellent source of fiber, vitamin K, and potassium. The following nutrition information is provided by the USDA.
Vitamin K: 7.8mcg
Pears are a great source of insoluble fiber, containing almost 6 grams (22% of the recommended daily amount) in one medium-size fruit. Fiber is the indigestible part of carbohydrate that helps promote bowel regularity and can reduce “bad” cholesterol.
Pears are high in fructose and other sugars. However, they have a low glycemic index of 38 and a glycemic load of 4.
Pears contain negligible amounts of both saturated and unsaturated fats.
Pears contain very little protein and are not a complete source of all essential amino acids, but they do contain trace amounts of the amino acids leucine, lysine, and glutamic acid.
Vitamins and Minerals
Pears are a good source of vitamin C, with one pear containing approximately 13% of the daily value. One pear also has about 6% of the daily recommended amount of copper and 6% of the daily recommended amount of potassium. The skin of a pear is where a large portion of its fiber resides, as well as a high concentration of nutrients, so it’s best to eat this fruit with the skin on.
Copper is important for the formation of connective tissue in the body as well as healthy brain and nervous system function. Potassium supports muscle function and nervous system communication.
As long as you are eating the skin, eating pears can be a fantastic addition to a blood sugar-friendly diet. A medium-sized pear contains 6 grams of fiber, which equals about 21% of the recommended daily value. Removing the skin of the pear will result in less blood sugar-controlling fiber, as well as fewer micronutrients that help support glucose control, like vitamin C.
Blueberries are the all-purpose berry: They’re reasonably priced, beautifully colored, delicious, and ideal for eating by themselves as a snack or in cereal, smoothies, salads, muffins, or pies. They are known as a superfood because they are highly nutritious, containing lots of powerful antioxidants.
Blueberries are found in most grocery stores, wild or cultivated, either frozen or fresh. They are a low-glycemic source of carbohydrates and packed full of nutrients.
Blueberry Nutrition Facts
One cup of raw blueberries (148g) provides 84 calories, 1g of protein, 21g of carbohydrates, and 0.5g of fat. Blueberries are an excellent source of vitamin C, vitamin K, and manganese. The following nutrition information is provided by the USDA.
Vitamin C: 14.4mg
One cup of raw blueberries contains about 84 calories and 21 grams of carbohydrates. It also yields nearly 4 grams of fiber.
Though a cup of blueberries contains 15 grams of total sugar, its glycemic load, which factors in how much of a particular food will raise blood sugar levels, is below 10, which is considered low.
Blueberries contain just a trace amount of fat and are cholesterol-free.
Blueberries have a minimal amount of protein. You should include other protein sources in your diet to meet your daily needs.
Vitamins and Minerals
Blueberries are a rich source of essential nutrients, including vitamin C, vitamin K, and the mineral manganese, which helps the body process cholesterol and nutrients like carbohydrates and protein. Vitamin K is a key nutrient in blood clotting and healthy bones.
One cup of raw blueberries (148g) provides 84 calories, 91% of which come from carbs, 5% from protein, and 5% from fat.
Blueberries are a beloved fruit that is a great topping for yogurt parfaits and oatmeal dishes. And data shows that eating these berries may help increase insulin sensitivity, ultimately supporting blood glucose control.
Among men with type 2 diabetes specifically, blueberry consumption improved health parameters like glucose and insulin management, based on data published in Current Developments in Nutrition. And recent data shows that, among sedentary individuals, eating blueberries improve glucose management and insulin levels.
Have you ever wondered if a tomato is a fruit or a vegetable? Botanists classify tomatoes as fruit because they develop from the ovary of flowering plants and contain seeds. However, because tomatoes are prepared and served as vegetables, they’re generally thought of as a vegetable from a culinary perspective.
Either way, tomatoes are a delicious and nutritious food that makes a good addition to most healthy eating plans. Tomatoes contain several nutrients and compounds important for health, such as vitamin C, lycopene, potassium, and vitamin K, among others.
Tomato Nutrition Facts
One small (2 2/5″ in diameter) tomato (91g) provides 16 calories, 0.8g of protein, 3.5g of carbohydrates, and 0.2g of fat. Tomatoes are an excellent source of vitamin C, fiber, and vitamin K. The following nutrition information is provided by the USDA.
Vitamin C: 12.5mg
Vitamin K: 7.2mcg
A small tomato (91g) contains 3.5 grams of carbs. Of the carbohydrates, 2.4 grams are from naturally occurring sugars, and 1.1 grams come from fiber. Tomatoes are considered a low glycemic index food.
Like most fruits and vegetables, tomatoes contain very little fat.
There is just under 1 gram of protein in a small, fresh tomato.
Vitamins and Minerals
Tomatoes are a great source of potassium and vitamin C. Several beneficial forms of vitamin A are also present in tomatoes, including lutein, zeaxanthin, and lycopene.
One small tomato (91g) provides 16 calories, 73% of which come from carbs, 18% from protein, and 9% from fat.
Don’t let the presentation of these red beauties fool you. While tomatoes are oftentimes served as a vegetable, because they are grown from a flower and they have seeds they are technically a fruit.
Tomatoes are naturally lower in sugar, with one cup of this fruit containing only 4 grams of this nutrient. Tomatoes also contain lycopene, a carotenoid that has the ability to decrease body glucose and raise insulin levels, although well-designed studies confirming this effect are needed.
As a source of fiber, including tomatoes in dishes may help manage blood sugars as well, thanks to the ability of this nutrient helping slow digestion once consumed. And the potassium naturally found in these summertime fruits may have a positive effect on insulin resistance.
Coconuts are the seed and fruit of the palm tree family. They are found in tropical regions where they are harvested for their white flesh, oil, and juices.
In the United States, fresh whole coconut is considered an exotic food. However, it is getting easier to find whole coconuts or coconut pieces in local markets with its rise in popularity. Shredded coconut is commonly found in grocery stores.
Coconut can be a delicious and nutritious addition to your diet when consumed in moderation. Coconut is high in saturated fat, but provides manganese and fiber.
Coconut Nutrition Facts
One piece of fresh coconut meat measuring 2″ x 2″ x 1/2 (45g) provides 159 calories, 1.5g of protein, 6.8g of carbohydrates, and 15.1g of fat. Coconut is an excellent source of fiber, potassium, manganese, and selenium. The following nutrition information is provided by the USDA.
Coconut Nutrition Facts
Enjoying coconut can add some unique and utterly satisfying flavor to many meals and snacks. And people who are trying to manage their blood sugars will delight in knowing that this tropical fruit is naturally low in sugar, containing only 5 grams per one-cup serving.
Coconut also contains fat and fiber, adding to the list of reasons why this fruit is a-ok when trying to manage blood sugar.
When choosing your coconut, avoid sweetened coconut flakes, which can be high in added sugar after processing. Instead, people should opt for fresh coconut meat, and in appropriate serving sizes. While coconut won’t significantly raise blood sugars, it does contain saturated fat, which is a variety of fat that should be consumed in limited amounts, especially for people who are at risk of developing heart disease.
Some nutrition experts call the avocado a superfood. This flavorful fruit provides health benefits, such as cholesterol and blood sugar management, because it is a good source of fiber. But when you look at avocado nutrition, you might be surprised.
Not only are avocado calories high, but most of the calories come from fat. So should you include this fruit in a healthy, balanced diet? Many people do, but if you’re watching your calorie and fat intake, you may decide to consume avocados in moderation.
Avocado Nutrition Facts
One-half of an avocado (100g) provides 160 calories, 2g of protein, 8.5g of carbohydrates, and 14.7g of fat. Avocados are an excellent nutritional source of magnesium, potassium, vitamin C, vitamin E, and vitamin K. The following nutrition information is for half of an avocado and is provided by the USDA.
Vitamin C: 10mg
Vitamin E: 2.1mg
Vitamin K: 21mcg
As if people need to be convinced to eat avocados, these creamy and satisfying fruits are incredibly low in sugar (1 gram per serving, to be exact), contain healthy blood sugar-supporting healthy fats and fiber, and are a natural source of magnesium, a mineral that promotes insulin sensitivity.
In fact, according to results of a clinical trial, partially replacing complex carbohydrates with monounsaturated fatty acids, like avocados, helps maintain adequate glycemic control, highlighting why including these healthy fats found in avocados is a healthy addition to a blood sugar-friendly diet.
When enjoying your avocados, keep in mind that this fruit is quite caloric, and eating too many calories may contribute to weight gain over time—an outcome that may contribute to blood sugar control challenges. As such, keep your avocado portion intake at a reasonable amount (ideally 1/3 of a medium avocado).