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Is Pomegranate Good for Diabetes?
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Is Pomegranate Good for Diabetes?

Written by Edibel Quintero, RD | Medically reviewed by Medically reviewed by Rosmy Barrios, MD
Published on 2022 August 4
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4 min

Pomegranate has long been a recommended fruit for those with diabetes, but how does it help? We take a look at the fruit and its benefits for diabetes in this article. Check it out.

is pomegranate good for diabetes

Pomegranates have been used to help a range of ailments through the centuries, and research suggests this fruit, with its vibrant red color, may offer some benefits for a diabetes patient too.

Though those with diabetes are generally told to avoid fruit with lots of sugar, some clinical studies show that consuming pomegranate may positively affect blood glucose levels.

If you’re wondering how pomegranate can help those with high blood sugar and diabetes to manage their symptoms, keep reading now to learn more.

Is Pomegranate Good for Diabetes?

Pomegranate fruit is a good choice for those with diabetes for a few reasons. To begin with, pomegranate seeds are thought to help improve insulin sensitivity, which helps manage blood glucose levels. Indeed, insulin resistance is a marker of a heightened risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

Pomegranates are also low in carbs. They do not cause a massive spike in blood sugar as high-carb fruits do when consumed. Low carb foods help you control blood sugar levels better than those containing lots of natural or processed sugars.

Lastly, pomegranate is loaded with antioxidants. Antioxidants help to fight the free radicals and oxidative stress caused by chronic illnesses like diabetes, and they may even be able to prevent the development of some of these conditions.

Is Pomegranate Juice Good for Diabetes?

The benefits of drinking pomegranate juice for those with diabetes come primarily from the risks of atherosclerosis in people with diabetes. Atherosclerosis is the hardening of the arteries and increases the risk of developing heart disease and other heart conditions in those with diabetes.

Pomegranate juice is thought to be beneficial due to its high levels of antioxidants present. Indeed, pomegranate juice is unique because its sugars are attached to antioxidants. This means it does not cause a blood sugar spike like other fruit juice and may even benefit your heart.

If you drink pomegranate juice for diabetes, you should ensure that the juice you buy is pomegranate juice and not a mix of other juices or loaded with refined sugar.

Is Pomegranate High in Sugar?

Pomegranate has 13.7g of sugar per 100g. This is relatively high but may be balanced slightly by the 4g of fiber and 1.67g of protein. They also contain high levels of vitamin C, K, and folate, which contribute to your overall health and wellbeing.

With the relatively high levels of fiber in pomegranate, your blood sugar is unlikely to spike as fiber helps absorb sugar. This makes pomegranate a safe fruit for those with diabetes, provided it is consumed in moderation.

Glycemic Index of Pomegranate

The glycemic index of pomegranate is 18, making it an excellent fruit to manage diabetes.

The glycemic index or glycemic load is essentially a rating system that defines how quickly a food will affect your blood glucose levels when eaten on its own.

A low glycemic index is usually a value less than 55, with a medium load being 56–69 and a high index being 70+. This means that pomegranate has a low glycemic index, and low GI foods suit people with diabetes.

When mixing foods together in a meal, you alter the overall glycemic index of the meal. Additionally, the glycemic index is not the only factor you should use when choosing diabetes-friendly foods. Everything from nutrient content to cooking methods can impact the way food affects your body.

Does Pomegranate Raise Your Blood Sugar?

Foods with a higher glycemic index tend to be metabolized faster, which causes a blood sugar spike. High GI foods are usually loaded with carbohydrates.

Pomegranate is a low GI food and will not raise your blood sugar significantly after consumption. It is thought to be a good choice for those with type 2 diabetes, but further research is needed to understand their impact on type 1 diabetes.

Pomegranate Health Benefits for Diabetes

Pomegranate and pomegranate juice are both thought to be efficient methods of managing high blood glucose levels in those with diabetes. The maximum benefits of pomegranate for diabetes come from its low glycemic load and antioxidant content.

Unlike many other fruits, the sugars found in pomegranate are not considered “free” and are instead attached to antioxidants. This means that pomegranate can be consumed without the risk of a blood sugar spike, helping to control blood glucose levels and reduce insulin resistance.

Pomegranate may help reduce blood pressure. Pomegranate fruits are thought to reduce levels of angiotensin-converting enzymes (ACE). ACE plays a role in controlling the size of blood vessels which impacts blood pressure. Due to the increased risk of other illnesses that diabetes comes with, keeping blood pressure low is recommended for those with diabetes.

This delicious fruit is also rich in antioxidants that protect the body against toxic free radicals and oxidative stress. Both of these can lead to several chronic illnesses, including diabetes and heart disease.

This suggests that the phenolic compounds in pomegranates may actually result in a reduced risk of developing type 2 diabetes in the first place.

Lastly, pomegranates are loaded with anti-inflammatory properties. Chronic inflammation is also a risk factor in developing type 2 diabetes, so consuming pomegranate could help reduce this.

How to Consume Pomegranate

Pomegranates can be consumed in a few ways. These include:

  • Eating pomegranate fruits on their own
  • Adding pomegranate seeds to your salad toss
  • Adding pomegranate arils to yogurt or granola
  • Adding pomegranate to your smoothies
  • Consuming fresh pomegranate juice, or a mix of pomegranate and other fruit juices
  • Consuming pomegranate with green tea
  • Adding to a fruit salad

A Word From Our Nutritionist

Pomegranate is one of few fiber-rich fruits which can help manage glucose levels in the blood. Unlike many other fruits, pomegranate will not cause a spike in sugar levels and can actually help to control sugar levels in the blood.

Pomegranates contain many antioxidants and phenols, which help protect the body against free radical damage and oxidative stress. They may also help to treat damage caused by and prevent chronic illnesses like diabetes and cancer.

Pomegranate arils are an easy fruit to add to your daily diet. You can add them to salads, yogurt, granola, or eat them alone. You could also consume pomegranate juice, though as with any fruit juice, you should consume it in moderation.

With a low glycemic load and a relatively high fiber content, pomegranate is regularly recommended to those with diabetes as an effective method of glucose management.

Pomegranate can offer a sweet but healthier alternative to processed and refined sugars, which cause a spike in sugar levels in the blood and can put you at increased risk of reduced insulin sensitivity.

Eating pomegranate is thought to be helpful for those with diabetes, but it should be consumed in moderation.

Conclusion

Pomegranate has lots of benefits for those with diabetes, including increased insulin sensitivity, antioxidant content, anti-inflammatory properties, and high fiber content. It is also thought to lower blood pressure and help with sugar levels in the blood.
Pomegranate can be consumed in a number of ways and is easy to add to your diet. If you’re thinking about adding pomegranate to your diabetes-friendly diet, like the keto diet, speak with a doctor to ensure there are no risks.

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 byRosmy Barrios, MD
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