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

Answer 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 can't eat them if you have diabetes.

The total amount of carbohydrates in a food affects blood sugar levels more than the source of the carbohydrates — or whether that carbohydrate source is a starch or sugar. As you decide what fruit to eat, keep in mind that one serving of fruit should contain no more than 15 grams of carbohydrates. So the size of the serving depends on how much carbohydrates are in the fruit.

The advantage of eating a low-carbohydrate fruit is that you can eat a bigger 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 apple
  • 1/2 medium banana
  • 1 cup blackberries
  • 3/4 cup blueberries
  • 1 cup cubed cantaloupe or honeydew melon
  • 1 medium orange or nectarine
  • 1 cup raspberries
  • 1 1/4 cup whole strawberries

With

M. Regina Castro, M.D.

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Aug. 31, 2022 See more Expert Answers

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