I've heard that you shouldn't eat sweet fruits such as chikoo or mangoes if you have diabetes. Is this true?

Answers from M. Regina Castro, M.D.

It's a common myth that if you have diabetes you shouldn't eat certain foods because they're "too sweet." Some fruits do contain more sugar than others, but that doesn't mean you shouldn't eat them if you have diabetes.

The total amount of carbohydrates in a food affects blood sugar levels more than does the source of carbohydrates or whether the source is a starch or sugar. One serving of fruit should contain 15 grams of carbohydrates. The size of the serving depends on the carbohydrate content of the fruit.

The advantage of eating a low-carbohydrate fruit is that you can consume a larger portion. But whether you eat a low-carb or high-carb fruit, as long as the serving size contains 15 grams of carbohydrates, the effect on your blood sugar is the same.

The following fruit servings contain about 15 grams of carbohydrates:

  • 1/2 medium banana
  • 1/2 cup (83 grams) cubed mango
  • 1 1/4 cup (190 grams) cubed watermelon
  • 1 1/4 cup (180 grams) whole strawberries
  • 1/3 cup (80 grams) cubed sapodilla (chikoo)
  • 3/4 cup (124 grams) cubed pineapple

With

M. Regina Castro, M.D.

Jul. 24, 2014 See more Expert Answers