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Is Guava Good for Diabetes? Benefits, Nutrition and Sugar Content
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Is Guava Good for Diabetes? Benefits, Nutrition and Sugar Content

HR_author_photo_Edibel
Written by Edibel Quintero, RD | Medically reviewed by Medically reviewed by Rosmy Barrios, MD check
Published on October 10, 2022
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6 min

Guavas are tropical fruits many people love for their unique and fruity flavors. However, many with diabetes wonder if they should eat guava.

is guava good for diabetes
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It is well known that fruits, such as guava, contain at least some amount of sugar. Therefore, many individuals with diabetes wonder if they can consume guava and how the sugar it has will affect them. 

In this article, we will dive into the benefits of eating guava for diabetes, the impact of eating guava on controlling blood sugar levels, and more. Read on to learn more!

Is Guava Good for Diabetes?

Guava is good for diabetes because it is high in fiber, which slows down the digestion and absorption of sugars in the fruit. Therefore, guava has a low glycemic index.

Is Guava Good for Diabetes Type 2?

Similarly, guava is beneficial for type 2 diabetes since it is high in fiber, vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients. Furthermore, a 100g portion of guava, or around two-thirds cup, has slightly more than 14 grams of carbs, comparable to one carbohydrate serving for carbohydrate counting.

Therefore, guava can be good for type 2 diabetes because it is a carbohydrate choice that is also rich in nutrients. 

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5 Benefits of Guava for Diabetes

Let’s dive into the top five health benefits of eating ripe guava for someone with diabetes. Read on to learn more! 

#1 Rich in fiber 

A 100g serving of guava contains 5.4g of dietary fiber. Fiber intake supports a healthy digestive system and regular bowel movements. According to the Mayo Clinic, dietary fiber is also essential to help regulate blood sugar levels. 

Fiber in the diet, especially soluble fiber, slows down how quickly sugars in the foods we eat are absorbed and digested. This improves and stabilizes the blood sugar level. 

Fiber also supports healthy weight loss because you feel full more quickly and tend to eat less when compared to when you may consume foods low in fiber. 

The Mayo Clinic recommends that men and women aged 50 and younger consume 38 grams and 25 grams of dietary fiber each day, respectively. In contrast, men and women aged 51 and older should consume 30 grams and 21 grams, respectively. 

#2 Low in calories

A 100g serving of guava only contains a mere 68 calories. Yet, because of the fiber content, water, and other nutrients it has, a 100g amount can be pretty filling!

Due to the low-calorie content, eating guava can help support weight loss, which is often a primary goal for an individual with diabetes. 

#3 Good source of potassium

Along with the nutrients mentioned thus far, guava also contains potassium. Potassium is a mineral that acts as an electrolyte in the body and helps maintain fluid balance. 

According to the University of Central Florida Health, when an individual with diabetes has high blood sugar levels, potassium moves into the area around the cells, which can cause high potassium levels. 

Then, insulin is released from the pancreas, letting blood glucose into the cells, but potassium also follows. This action can cause low potassium levels. More research is being conducted to examine the relationship between a diet high in potassium and diabetes. 

Other foods high in dietary potassium are bananas and potatoes, amongst others. 

#4 Antioxidants, such as beta carotene and lycopene 

Guava is rich in antioxidants such as beta-carotene, vitamin C, and lycopene. Antioxidants help fight the harmful effects of free radicals in the body. More specifically, antioxidants help reduce inflammation and oxidative stress, which play a role in diabetes. 

#5 Rich in vitamin C

As mentioned above, guava is a tropical fruit rich in vitamin C or ascorbic acid. Vitamin C is an essential vitamin that supports a healthy immune system and promotes healthy wound healing. 

While vitamin C provides the fruit with antioxidant functions, it also has potential benefits for blood glucose levels for individuals with diabetes. 

In the Indian Journal of Medical Research, participants who received vitamin C experienced lower blood glucose levels compared to a placebo control comparison. Additionally, the participants had a decreased risk of diabetes-related complications, such as metabolic disorders or atherosclerosis. 

Therefore, a diet rich in vitamin C is important, especially for those with chronic diseases, such as diabetes. 

Nutritional Value of Guava

Now that we have discussed the significant health benefits of consuming guava for diabetes, including calorie, fiber, vitamin, and mineral content, let’s talk more about the nutritional value of guava. 

According to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), there are only 9g of sugar in a 100g serving of guava, which is about two-thirds of a cup. Additionally, there is less than a gram of total fat in a serving of 100g of ripe guava. 

Guava even has a small amount of protein. According to CDC, if you have diabetes, consuming protein can help you prevent muscle loss, slows down digestion and absorption of the sugar it contains (just like dietary fiber), and can help you reach or maintain a healthy body weight. 

Pairing a food high in protein with a carbohydrate source is essential to help prevent blood sugar spikes and manage blood sugar levels. In fact, it is recommended to consume a protein source with every carbohydrate food you eat.

For example, pair your guava with some roasted almonds to add both protein, healthy unsaturated fatty acids, and even more vitamins and minerals to your snack. 

Guava glycemic index

The glycemic index of guava is between 12 and 24, according to the Defeat Diabetes Organization. This value is considered a very low glycemic index, especially for fruit. 

According to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, the glycemic index is a measurement of how quickly a portion of food or beverage causes blood sugar levels to rise. In other words, a food with a low glycemic index has sugars that are digested and absorbed much slower than a high glycemic food. 

For someone with diabetes, it is especially important to consume low GI foods to prevent quick spikes in their blood glucose. 

The low glycemic index of guava is due to the presence of dietary fiber. Pairing your guava with a protein and healthy fat source will also help slow down the digestion and absorption of the sugar in the fruit. 

FAQs

Does guava raise blood sugar?

Yes, guava contains sugar and, therefore, raises blood sugar. However, guava has a low glycemic index, so it raises blood sugar very slowly instead of spiking it very quickly.

How much sugar is in guava?

A 100g serving of guava contains just under 9g of sugar. For reference, 100g of guava is about two-thirds of a cup of fruit.

A Word From a Nutritionist

Guava is a nutrient-dense fruit (as opposed to an energy-dense food), meaning it has a lot of nutrients, such as vitamins, minerals, and fiber, compared to its volume. As a result, it is very low in calories as well.

If you are someone with diabetes, guava can be safely and healthily incorporated into your diet as long as you consider the number of carbohydrates.

While your guava contains fiber and even a bit of protein, to manage blood sugar levels, pair your guava with some protein and healthy fats such as cheese or nuts to help with lowering blood sugar and preventing quick spikes. Guava and a protein and fat source are perfect for a filling and satisfying snack.

If you want to incorporate your guava into a meal, add it atop a green salad with a protein source or perhaps include it as a side dish to a grilled chicken breast.

Conclusion

In conclusion, guava is good for diabetes because it is rich in fiber, potassium, vitamin C, antioxidants, and more. 

It is beneficial to weight loss because it is filling, rich in fiber, and high in water. This is good because people with diabetes often strive to lose weight or maintain their current weight. 

Finally, guava has a low glycemic index and is slow to raise blood sugar levels. 

Since serving size is essential for carbohydrate counting in diabetes, stick with a serving of guava and pair it with a protein source for the perfect meal or snack. 

Incorporate guava and other fruits into your diabetes diet.

HR_author_photo_Edibel
Written by
Edibel Quintero is a medical doctor who graduated in 2013 from the University of Zulia and has been working in her profession since then. She specializes in obesity and nutrition, physical rehabilitation, sports massage and post-operative rehabilitation. Edibel’s goal is to help people live healthier lives by educating them about food, exercise, mental wellness and other lifestyle choices that can improve their quality of life.
Medically reviewed by Rosmy Barrios, MD
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