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Is Pineapple Good for Diabetes? Learn the Truth
Diabetes

Is Pineapple Good for Diabetes? Learn the Truth

HR_author_photo_Edibel
Written by Edibel Quintero, RD | Medically reviewed by Medically reviewed by Rosmy Barrios, MD check
Published on October 19, 2022
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5 min

Many people enjoy eating pineapple because of its numerous health benefits. Is pineapple good for diabetes, though? We explain whether pineapple is good for people with diabetes and how to consume it.

Is pineapple good for diabetes
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Diabetes is a chronic disease that needs to be constantly managed. For people with diabetes to successfully manage their blood sugar levels, they need a healthy diet and lifestyle because their bodies cannot regulate it independently.

Fruits are incredibly nutritious, and you should eat them daily to get various nutrients. In fact, According to the American Diabetes Association (ADA), including fruit in one’s diet has benefits for those who have diabetes. However, not all fruits are suitable for people with diabetes.

If you have diabetes and love to eat fruits, you may wonder which fruits are safe to eat and which you should avoid. Is pineapple safe for diabetes, or should you avoid it?

In this article, our experts will discuss if people with diabetes eat pineapple, how pineapple can affect diabetes, and how to incorporate pineapple into your dietary plan.

Is Pineapple Good for Diabetes?

People with diabetes should consume pineapples in moderation. A diabetic diet should consist of nutrient-dense, low-glycemic foods that have no negative impact on blood glucose levels and can help regulate it naturally.

Pineapple is a natural source of vitamin C and manganese. It provides the body with various nutrients, including fiber, which is excellent for one’s digestive health. However, pineapple has a medium glycemic index score, making it not-so-good for people with diabetes if eaten on its own and in large amounts.

Although pineapple has a medium GI, you can still eat pineapple while managing and controlling your blood sugar levels. Eat it between meals and pair it with protein and healthy fats. This way, pineapple will have a minimal impact on your blood sugar levels.

When it comes to moderation, try to keep your pineapple consumption to 100g a day, and keep in mind that it should be raw or frozen.

Avoid eating processed, cupped, or canned pineapple, as they contain added sugar, especially those in syrup. It is also best to avoid drinking pineapple juice as it has even more sugar than pineapple.

Nutritional Value of Pineapple

Pineapple is a nutrient-dense fruit that is beneficial to your body. It is high in vitamin C, iron, antioxidants, vitamin B12 (thiamine), bioflavonoids, magnesium, and potassium.

It also contains bromelain, which promotes digestion, helps to reduce inflammation, and supports healthy blood circulation, which is very important for those with diabetes.

Here is the nutritional value of pineapple per 100 grams

Total carbsFatsProtein
13.1g0.12g0.54g
CaloriesSugarsFiber
50 9.85g1.4g

Glycemic Index of Pineapple

The glycemic index of pineapple ranges from 51 to 73. The GI score for pineapple might vary significantly based on variables including processing, ripening, and origin. For instance, according to one study, the Malaysian pineapple has a GI score of roughly 82. 

For the ripening factor, unripe pineapple fruit has a lower GI score than ripe fruit, and for processing, pineapple juice has a higher GI score than whole fruit. As a result, you should consider the kind of fruits you choose and eat fruits moderately and safely.

If you have diabetes, consume foods and other fruits with a lower GI score as they help keep your blood sugar stable. 

4 Surprising Benefits of Pineapple for Diabetes

Pineapple is the perfect option if you’re looking for delicious and healthy fruit. It contains lots of vitamins and minerals, which are good for your body if you have diabetes. Here are some of the benefits you can get from eating raw pineapple:

#1 Reduces blood pressure

Pineapple is high in potassium, which lowers blood pressure levels by reducing the effect of sodium on your body. Additionally, potassium can ease tension in the blood vessel wall, further lowering blood pressure.

Pineapple also contains manganese, a mineral that helps your body use insulin more efficiently. Manganese deficiency has been linked with diabetes and high blood sugar levels.

#2 Rich in fiber

Pineapple contains a high amount of fiber, which helps you feel fuller longer after eating it and is also beneficial for your digestive system. Fiber also has been shown to slow the absorption of carbohydrates into your bloodstream, which helps control blood sugar levels.

#3 Improves immune system

The high amount of vitamin C in pineapple may help improve immune function and protect against infection. Vitamin C also boosts the production of antibodies, which help fight off infections and other diseases.

Pineapples are rich in beta-carotene, converted into vitamin A in the body. Vitamin A plays a vital role in maintaining the immune system, helping fight infections, and preventing them from becoming chronic.

#4 Helps to lower cholesterol

Pineapple contains a substance called bromelain, which helps break down fats in the body and prevent them from being stored as fat. It also aids in the breakdown of proteins, which may help to lower cholesterol levels.

Pineapple also contains a substance called beta-sitosterol, which helps lower cholesterol levels. This powerful combination can improve your heart health by reducing cardiovascular disease risk and high blood pressure.

FAQs

Many questions come up during day-to-day life with diabetes. Below are the most frequently asked questions by people.

How much sugar is in pineapple?

The amount of sugar in pineapples varies depending on factors such as place of origin and processing. 100g of raw pineapple contains 10g of sugar, while pineapple chunks of 165g contain 16.3g of sugar.

The body digests the sugar quickly compared to other starch and is, therefore, more likely to cause an increase in blood sugar.

How much pineapple can a person with diabetes have?

People with diabetes should limit their pineapple intake to 1 cup of 100g raw pineapple or 1/2 cup canned pineapple. Canned pineapple contains more sugar and carbs than the whole pineapple.

If you have diabetes, you should avoid pineapple packaged in heavy syrup to prevent extra sugar and help manage and maintain blood glucose levels.

How many carbs are in pineapple chunks?

Pineapple chunks are pineapples that have been canned, diced, frozen, juiced, and then packaged. One cup of pineapple chunks of 165g contains 21.6g of sugar.

100g of canned pineapple chunks drained of juice contain 15.6g of carbohydrates.

A Word From Our MD

Eating pineapple in moderation is good for people with diabetes who want to control their blood glucose levels. It contains essential nutrients such as vitamin B, antioxidants, and manganese that boost your overall health and satisfy a patient’s sweet tooth.

When you drink pineapple juice or eat dried pineapple, keep in mind that the sugar content in them is higher than what seems like a small portion. Thus, if you’re incorporating pineapple into your diet for the first time after diagnosis, keep an eye out for any shifts in your blood glucose levels.

The best time to eat pineapple as a healthy snack is in-between meals. You should not eat pineapple on an empty stomach, as it can cause a huge glucose spike.

Excessive consumption can result in a spike in blood sugar levels, which is dangerous for people with diabetes.

Conclusion

Pineapples can be an excellent option for people with diabetes who want to include fruit in their diet. However, they should eat pineapple in moderation because pineapple may result in blood glucose spikes if consumed in an excess amount.

If you find that pineapple significantly affects your blood sugar levels, you may consider reducing your serving size or eating the pineapple with a lower-carb meal or other fruits.Compared to canned, cupped, or pineapple juice, which often contains added sugars, frozen or fresh pineapple has a less significant effect on blood glucose levels. Consider pairing pineapple with foods low in GI, rich in fiber, protein, or healthy fats. Also, select raw or frozen pineapple with no added sugar, and avoid sugary syrup or rinse it before eating.

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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