Often people think that they cannot eat fruit if they have diabetes as most of the fruits are full of sugar.
The same confusion arises for keto dieters also. A lot of diabetics choose a keto diet plan to keep their blood sugar levels checked.
However, they also avoid keto fruits like other diabetics. But are there any good keto fruits for diabetes?
The low GI(glycemic index) fruits which fall under foods high in fiber low in carbs list are considered the best keto fruits for diabetes. Moreover, these low carb fruits are low in sugar also which is another added benefit for controlling blood sugar levels.
Before going into more detail let’s check what is diabetes and what is the relationship between sugar, fiber, GI, and diabetes.
So, What Is Diabetes?
Diabetes is a disease that occurs when you have an abnormal amount of sugar in your blood. It is also known as diabetes mellitus.
Actually, diabetes is a condition when the pancreas is unable to produce insulin. Because of this insulin shortage, your body is unable to pass the food glucose or sugar from the blood to cells.
As a result, an excessive amount of glucose stays in the blood and this condition is commonly known as diabetes.
Majorly two types of diabetes aka type 1 and type 2 diabetes are observed. Moreover, another type of diabetes is observed in pregnant women. Which is called gestational diabetes.
Type 1 diabetes is occurred due to immune system auto reaction. In this case, the body attacks the insulin-making cells and destroys them.
For type 2 diabetes your body uses a few amounts of insulin for blood sugar control. It normally occurs because of unhealthy eating and less activity or exercise.
Gestational diabetes is observed in pregnant women during baby birth. It goes away after the child’s birth.
Also, there is another condition where blood sugar level is high but not that high to consider as type 2 diabetes. This is known as prediabetes.
How GI, Sugar, Fiber & Low Carb Intake Affects Diabetes?
Low Carb: Low carb is the heart of the keto diet. No fruit, vegetable, meat, nuts, or other organic foods are considered as keto that does not fulfill low in carbs component.
Without eating low carb foods you will not observe any of the ketosis symptoms. This low carb formula plays an important role in diabetic control.
Studies have shown that low carb intake may be able to reduce weight and improve glycemic control in patients with type 2 diabetes (1).
GI: What is GI? GI or glycemic index is a formula that tells how much blood glucose can be increased by each food that contains carbohydrates.
It is measured from a level of 0 to 100. Foods that have a low GI are considered good for diabetes. Studies have shown that low GI diets are useful for glycemic control in prediabetes and diabetes (2).
Sugar: Sugar’s main components are glucose, fructose, and sucrose. Among these glucose is absorbed in our blood quickly and it is notorious for a fast blood sugar rise which is not good for a diabetic.
Fructose absorption takes time and it does not increase rapid blood sugar levels like glucose. However, the absorption of sucrose is different and it breaks into glucose and fructose during the absorption process.
Fiber: Fiber is an anti-diabetic nutrient. It’s because fiber helps to slow down the absorption of sugar and may lower blood sugar levels.
Moreover, studies have shown that dietary fiber can provide the following benefits (3)
- Dietary fiber may prevent type 2 diabetes
- Fasting blood glucose concentration reduction
- Dietary fiber can reduce HbA1c percentage for type 2 diabetics
So, to conquer diabetes we need to fix our aim at low carb keto fruits that are low in GI, fiber, and glucose also.
Other Nutrients Which Aids in Diabetes Control
The best keto fruits for diabetes also contain a moderate amount of magnesium. Moreover, the majority of these fruits are a rich source of potassium.
Both of these two macrominerals have beneficial effects on diabetes like the four most important factors i.e high fiber, low carb, low GI value, and low sugar.
Magnesium and potassium are two important nutrients that aid in diabetes control. According to studies magnesium intake may be inversely associated with insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes occurrence (4).
On the other hand, increasing potassium intake may also prevent the development of diabetes (5).
What Are The Best Keto Fruits for Diabetes?
Keto friendly fruits are low in carbs but it does not mean that they are good for diabetes. For example, watermelon is a keto fruit but it has a high GI level of 72. However, watermelon is low in glucose it contains only 1.58 grams of glucose against 100 g serving size.
So, is it ok to eat watermelon if I have diabetes? Yes, although watermelon is high in GI it is low in glucose so you can eat a limited amount of watermelon.
You can take the following best keto fruits for diabetes. These low carb fruits are considered according to GI value, glucose component of sugar, and fiber.
Also, these fruits are a good source of potassium and contain a little to moderate amount of magnesium. These six factors make them the best keto fruits for diabetics.
Top Keto Fruits for Diabetes
Avocado: Keto approved avocado has a GI value of 15 and is considered among the top keto fruits for diabetes. This diabetic-friendly good keto fruit contains 8.53 grams of carbohydrate, 6.7 grams of fiber, 0.66 grams of total sugar including 0.37 grams of glucose. Avocadoes also contain 29 mg of magnesium and 485 mg of potassium (6).
Lemon: With a GI value of 20 ketogenic lemons are a great fruit choice for diabetics. Lemons have a little amount of glucose against 2.5 grams of sugar. It also contains and 2.8 grams of dietary fiber and 9.32 grams of carbohydrate. It also contains 8 mg of magnesium and 138 mg of potassium (7).
Peach: Keto friendly peaches have a GI value of 42 and are one of the most favorite among the best keto fruits for diabetes. This keto fruit with 9.54 grams of carbohydrate, 1.5 grams of fiber, 9 mg of magnesium, 190 mg of potassium, and 1.95 grams of glucose(total sugar of 8.39 grams) is a perfect fruit for diabetes (8).
Cantaloupe: Although cantaloupe has a high GI of 65 it is low in glucose and diabetics can eat a moderate amount of this keto fruit. It contains 8.16 grams of carbohydrate, 0.9 grams of dietary fiber, 12 mg of magnesium, 267 mg of potassium, and 1.54 grams of glucose against 7.86 grams of sugar (9).
Plums: The GI value of plum is 40. Keto plum fruits contain 1.4 grams of fiber and a little bit higher or 5.07 grams of glucose from total sugars of 9.92 grams (10). This low in carbs keto fruit also provides 11.4 grams of carbohydrates, 7 mg of magnesium, and 157 mg of potassium. It can be one of the best keto fruits for diabetes if your intake is low.
Tomatoes: Tomatoes have a low GI of 15. Green tomatoes have 5.1 grams of carbohydrate, 1.1 grams of fiber, and a tiny amount of glucose from 4 grams of sugar (11). It also contains 10 mg of magnesium and 204 mg of potassium. Tomatoes can be a great addition to your diabetes-friendly keto fruit list.
Strawberries: Strawberries are keto friendly fruits and they can be useful for diabetics keto friendly fruits. This fruit has a moderate GI of 41. Strawberries provide 7.68 grams of carbohydrates, 2 grams of fiber, and 4.89 grams of sugar (12). This keto diet fruit contains 1.99 grams of glucose from sugar. Strawberries also provide 13 mg of magnesium and 153 mg of potassium.
Blueberries: The low carbs of blueberries make it one of the best fruit on keto and a moderate option for diabetics. It has a little bit higher GI of 53. Blueberries provide 14.5 grams of carbohydrate, 2.4 grams of dietary fiber, 6 mg o magnesium, 77 mg of potassium, and 4.88 grams of glucose from 9.96 grams of sugar (13).
Blackberries: Nutrient-dense blackberries can be one of the top keto fruits for diabetes. Ketogenic blackberries have a lower GI value of 25. This fruit contains 9.61 grams of carbohydrates, 5.3 grams of dietary fiber, and 4.88 grams of sugar including 2.31 grams of glucose. Blackberries also provide 20 mg of magnesium and 162 mg of potassium from the same serving size (14).
Watermelon: Keto-friendly watermelon has the highest GI value of 72 among these diabetic-friendly fruits. This keto fruit provides 7.55 grams of carbohydrates, 0.4 grams of fiber, and 1.58 grams of glucose against 6.2 grams of sugar. Watermelon also contains 10 mg of magnesium and 112 mg of potassium (15).
Note: all of the nutrient values are calculated against 100 grams of serving size.
How Many Keto Fruits Should I Eat for Diabetes Control?
Although all of these good keto fruits are beneficial for diabetes you should not eat more than 100 grams of any fruit per day to control diabetes.
Fruits like avocado, tomato, berries are good keto fruits for diabetes. But a massive intake of these low GI and low glucose foods can cause overnutrition which affects the blood sugar level and may create problems for a diabetic patient.
What Is The Best Time to Eat Keto Fruits for Diabetics?
Morning time is the best to eat keto fruits for diabetics. However, you should consume only either half an hour before or after 45 minutes of your meal for best results.
Maintaining a gap of 30 minutes between food intake is great for digestion especially for diabetics. It will help you to prevent a sudden rise in blood sugar.
Keto friendly fruits are low in carbs and a good source of fiber. However, all of these fruits are not diabetic-friendly. A few keto fruits that have a low GI, are loaded with dietary fiber, and potassium, contains less glucose, and have a moderate amount of magnesium are the best keto fruits for diabetes.
Because of these advantages, these keto fruits help to reduce the blood sugar level which is beneficial for diabetics. Moreover, these low carb keto fruits have benefits over prediabetes also.