Nutrition

Is Pineapple Good For People With Diabetes? - Sugar.Fit

Reviewed by

Shifa Fathima

As diabetes is a chronic condition, it needs to be managed constantly. Thus, it is important to follow a healthy diet and lifestyle. Fruits are an essential part of a healthy diet, but they also consist of natural sugar. Being a sweet fruit, we have often seen diabetic patients avoid pineapple. It is because many don’t know the answer to ‘is pineapple good for diabetics’? People presume that it will affect their blood sugar, so they avoid it altogether. But, the real question is whether it must be avoided at all costs or can it be consumed safely? Well, fruits can be beneficial for people with diabetes. So, can diabetics eat pineapple? While this fruit can have an impact on your blood sugar when compared with other fruits, it is still possible to incorporate it into the meal plan of a diabetic person. Let’s find out how.

Pineapple and diabetes

Pineapple is a fruit that is free from fats and is rich in vitamins and fibres. For diabetic people, fibres are important. Why? They help in lowering blood sugar levels, reducing cholesterol and regulating bowels.Moreover, the glycemic index (GI) ranking of pineapple is medium (56 to 69). But, when we compare it with other fruits, it has a high GI ranking. For instance, it has a higher GI than those of orange, banana, apple, grapes, strawberries, mango, etc. So, it brings us back to the question of can a diabetic patient eat pineapple?

Unsweetened pineapple juice has a low GI ranking as there aren’t any solid carbohydrates in it. By comparing tinned pineapple in juice with a fresh one, we see that the GI ranking is almost the same. Thus, diabetic patients must avoid tinned pineapple in juice. Thus, you see that a diabetic patient can eat pineapple safely. There’s no need to be scared of the high GI ranking of the fruit. Diabetic patients can still eat it safely. Even a small amount of fruit can satisfy the sweet tooth of diabetics, sometimes even more than apples or grapes. 

The healthiest way a diabetic patient can eat pineapple is in raw or frozen form. Pineapple that has been processed or canned will usually include added sugar, mostly when it is in the form of syrup. If you cannot find any option other than canned pineapple, opt for one that is canned in water instead of syrup. Similarly, instead of pineapple juice or dried pineapple, you must always opt for raw or frozen pineapple. The juice or dried ones usually include sugar that can result in the rise of your blood sugar levels.

Most importantly, eat pineapples in moderation to not harm your blood glucose level. It is recommended to pair the fruit with proteins (Greek yoghurt) or healthful fats. Eat the protein first and then the fruit. This will reduce your meal’s total GI value and slow down blood sugar rise. You can also have it as a dessert after you eat foods that are low in GI like beans, brown rice, whole-grain pasta or bread, lean proteins, barley, etc. You can simply have it in a raw form or even grill it to eat it with your main meal.

Nutritional value

Pineapple is a nutritious fruit that contains calories, carbohydrates, fibres, etc. In a single cup of fresh pineapple chunks, the nutritional value will be:

•  Calories- 82 grams

•  Carbohydrates- 22 grams

•  Fibres- 2.3 grams

•  Proteins- 0.89 grams

•  Fats- 0.20 grams

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GI Monitoring

A common myth that has been around for ages is that diabetic people must avoid fruits. Well, fruits are considered to be a healthy food source containing vitamins, antioxidants, fibres, potassium, minerals, etc. Diabetic people can eat fruit, but it must be within a limited intake.

Fruits contain carbohydrates that are macronutrients known for having a major effect on blood sugar. While some fruits are sweeter than others, similarly, some have less carbs than others. To measure these values, we use GI. GI is used for ranking the speed at which your blood sugar level will rise when you consume carbohydrate-based foods. Glucose has a score of 100, whereas water scores 0.

The factors that contribute to the GI score are:

·  sugar and starch content

·  the amount and type of processing

·  fibre content

·  cooking method

·  ripeness

·  the range of fruit or specific canned or other product

As a result, foods with a high GI score (70 and above) can raise sugar levels rapidly in comparison with foods with a low GI score (55 and below). Thus, you see, it is more about how much fruit you’re consuming within your diet rather than can diabetics eat pineapple or not? 

Bottomline

All in all, whenever diabetic patient eats or drinks pineapple juice, they must ensure that the sugar intake for the day is within limits. Moreover, it is also important to take care of the carbohydrate consumption and the GI of your whole meal. To avoid excess intake, one can make a note of their consumption. It is because consuming pineapple in excess can lead to a rise in blood sugar levels. Thus, it may harm diabetic people. Do not eat more than 100 gm of pineapple per day, and try to avoid syrups or pineapple juices. It is advised to have a pineapple between meals. You can eat it as a healthy snack but do not eat it on an empty stomach. It may result in acidity. Thus, have it after meals. 

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