A person holding a red apple. A person holding a red apple.

Is Apple Good for Diabetes Patients? Health Benefits Uncovered

There’s a solid reason why apples are one of the most consumed fruits worldwide. But are apples healthy for diabetes? Many people who have diabetes are asking themselves that question.

There are some conflicting claims regarding whether apples are safe to eat if you have diabetes1. Let’s examine what science has revealed so far about this fruit!

1. Is Apple Good for Diabetes Patients?

Those without diabetes may benefit from one medium apple, but can diabetes have apples?

Yes, it is the answer. Eating apples can be consumed without raising blood sugar levels2 in diabetes bodies.

Apples are a great source of antioxidants and phytochemicals, among other nutrients. These vitamins and minerals lower the risk of developing diseases like diabetes, asthma, cancer, and heart problems.

Does this imply that apples don’t contain any sugars and that eating them is healthy for diabetes?

Apples are beneficial for diabetes to consume. It is untrue that apples don’t contain sugars, nevertheless. Apples do have sugars or fructose in them naturally. Almost all fruits contain fructose but in variable amounts.

Because apples are also high in dietary fiber, the fructose in apples does not induce a blood sugar increase. These dietary fibers slow down fructose’s absorption into the bloodstream and digestion.

The plant substances known as polyphenols are also present in apples. These polyphenols lower glucose levels.3

Apples are advantageous to include in a diabetes-friendly diet due to their low glucose index and glycemic load.

2. What Kind of Apples Should a Diabetes Patient Eat?

Those with diabetes should limit their apple consumption to those without a higher glycemic load.

The most popular apple variety is Red Delicious, which is also one of the worst for diabetes in terms of low sugars or glycemic index4.

Granny Smith apples are a superior option because they have more fiber and fewer natural sugars than most other apple varieties. Apple’s high fiber amount lowers blood sugar levels.

3. What Is the Glycemic Index of an Apple?

A picture of an apple.
Photo by Frank Albrecht on Unsplash. Copyright 2019

The glycemic index calculates the speed at which foods raise your blood sugar levels after you eat them. Foods with higher glycemic index scores have been proven to increase such levels more quickly than foods with lower scores.

Depending on the type of apple, the glycemic index ranges from 28 to 44 for apples. This indicates that your blood sugar levels will rise more slowly due to the high fiber content.

A food is deemed to have a low glucose index if it has a glucose index of less than 55.

4. Diabetes and the Sugar Content in Apples

Carbohydrates in apples may have an impact on your blood sugar levels. However, compared to the sugars frequently found in food and other goods with refined and processed sugars, the carbohydrates in apples have a distinct impact on your body. Apples are, therefore, unlikely to result in a significant increase in blood sugar levels.

Since some apples have more natural sugars than others, the number of natural sugars in an apple will also vary depending on the variety of citrus fruits you have.

Compared to Red Delicious or Golden Delicious cultivars5, which typically have more sugar per serving, Granny Smith and Fuji apples might be thought of as having less sugar.

Because apples contain polyphenols, they encourage the release of insulin from your pancreas and help your cells absorb sugar. Your pancreas doesn’t secrete enough insulin if you have type 2 diabetes.6

Consuming apples offers a chance to lessen insulin resistance. Your blood sugar levels stable may drop as a result.

5. Sugar Content in Apple

A top view of a number of apples.
Photo by Sydney Rae on Unsplash. Copyright 2016

The sort of apple determines how much sugar it has. Here is a list of the most popular apples and how much sugar each contains. These numbers are for apples weighing 133 and 180 grams. Thus, everything is based on the weight of your apple.

  • Granny Smith: 15 g
  • Golden Delicious: 15 g
  • Gala: 16 g
  • Red Delicious: 16 g
  • Pink Lady: 16 g
  • Fuji: 19 g
  • McIntosh: 19 g

6. What Health Advantages Does Apple Offer?

The apple is one of the fruits that people eat the most everywhere. They are also regarded as healthful due to their low-calorie content and the presence of antioxidants that are good for your well-being.

A woman eating a green apple.
Photo by Khamkhor on Unsplash. Copyright 2018

6.1. High Levels of Vitamin C

Apples provide incredible health benefits! Their main recognized benefit is that they have high vitamin C levels, preventing scurvy.

6.2. Protect Cells

Antioxidants, abundant in citrus, help shield cells from harm from free radicals and other environmental toxins. Due to this, our health becomes better.

6.3. Prevent Blood Sugar Spikes from Stable

They are also a great source of fiber, which can lower cholesterol and blood sugar. They are also low in fat!

6.4. Lower Cholesterol

Pectin, a form of soluble fiber found in large quantities in apples, helps to lower harmful LDL (bad) cholesterol while raising helpful HDL (good) cholesterol. Even the risk of heart disease may be decreased by them, which is good for health.

6.5. Good for Your Skin

Apples are also healthy for your skin, particularly the Granny Smith kind because it has a lot of antioxidants that fight against free radical damage and make it anti-aging!

6.6. Lose Weight

Additionally, because citrus fruits are low in calories and fill you full with fiber without adding too much sugar to your system, they can aid in weight loss.

A person does not experience hunger for a while after eating an apple. Because citrus includes a lot of dietary fiber, they satisfy hunger.

You usually don’t gain weight when you don’t eat a lot.

People with type 2 diabetes who need to control their weight for their well-being should choose the apple.

7. Does Apple Juice Affect Blood Sugar Spikes?

When it comes to how it affects blood sugar spikes, apple juice, and orange juice are roughly equivalent. However, the fundamental guideline for anyone with diabetes is that they can only consume fruit juices that are 100% pure and also eat dried fruits that have no added sugar.

However, it’s crucial to monitor how your food consumption affects your blood sugar levels and make adjustments. Your blood sugar spikes may react differently to other fruit juice than they would to a fresh apple.

I usually advise choosing fruit juice over apple nectar because the latter may be richer in sugar and deficient in fiber.

8. Tips on How to Eat More Fruits and Vegetables if You Have Diabetes-Friendly Dietary Guidelines

A woman picking apples from the tree.
Photo by Vitolda Klein on Unsplash. Copyright 2021

Here are some easy guidelines for increasing fruit intake and vegetables:

  • To prepare juice, combine different fruits and vegetables. I prefer vegetables because they don’t cause my blood sugar to rise.
  • Every meal should have a serving of salad, vegetables, or fresh fruits. Try to consume one dish or more each day.
  • Chopped apples can be added to your breakfast cereal to increase fiber. It will taste fantastic as a result!
  • Combine the fruits and vegetables with tasty food, such as yogurt or oatmeal.
  • As a snack, choose fruits rather than chips.
  • When dining at fast food establishments, substitute sweet potato fries with regular fries.
  • Choose a range of fruits and vegetables to eat. Why not try something new every week? The variety is fairly extensive, ranging from dark leafy greens to vibrantly colored berries.
  • Try preparing the fruit and vegetables: roasting, grilling, stir-frying, and air-frying are techniques that enhance the flavor and freshness of these nutritious items. Use healthy cooking oils wherever possible.
  • Try preparing the fruit and vegetables: roasting, grilling, stir-frying, and air-frying are techniques that enhance the flavor and freshness of these nutritious items. Use healthy cooking oils wherever possible.
  • Try different condiments; dressings, dips, or salsas can make your meal seem different by adding flavor and nutrients. Try out several sauce recipes, such as ones with turmeric or ginger roots, which have therapeutic characteristics and many health advantages, including increased brain function.

9. Conclusion

The apple is one of the fruits that people eat the most everywhere. Their main recognized advantage, which aids in the prevention of scurvy, is another reason they are regarded as healthful.

Antioxidants in apples help shield cells from harm from free radicals and other environmental toxins. Apples also contain fiber. This can lower your cholesterol and blood sugar levels while lowering your risk of heart disease.

Additionally, thanks to their antioxidant characteristics, apples may lower cancer risk! When consumed fresh or juiced, apples have many health benefits, but you must first determine how much is best for your body type because some individuals with diabetes respond negatively to them.

10. FAQs

10.1. Do apples raise your blood sugar?

Apples have very little effect on blood sugar levels. Apples do not rapidly increase blood sugar with a hype. Hence, it is safe to take apples if trying to control sugar.

10.2. How many apples a day can a diabetic eat?

Diabetic people should keep it minimal to 1-2 apples a day. However, apples are rich in fiber and good for diabetic people. It is known that 4 apples per day will not increase blood sugar levels adversely.

10.3. Can diabetics eat apples at night?

Yes! A diabetic can eat apples at night without worrying about the rapid increase in blood sugar level.

  1. Bilous, Rudy, Richard Donnelly, and Iskandar Idris. Handbook of diabetes. John Wiley & Sons, 2021. ↩︎
  2. Mathew, Thomas K., and Prasanna Tadi. “Blood glucose monitoring.” (2020). ↩︎
  3. Sun, Chongde, et al. “Dietary polyphenols as antidiabetic agents: Advances and opportunities.” Food Frontiers 1.1 (2020): 18-44. ↩︎
  4. Atkinson, Fiona S., et al. “International tables of glycemic index and glycemic load values 2021: a systematic review.” The American journal of clinical nutrition 114.5 (2021): 1625-1632. ↩︎
  5. Ghinea, Cristina, Ancuta Elena Prisacaru, and Ana Leahu. “Physico-chemical and sensory quality of oven-dried and dehydrator-dried apples of the Starkrimson, Golden Delicious and Florina cultivars.” Applied Sciences 12.5 (2022): 2350. ↩︎
  6. Galicia-Garcia, Unai, et al. “Pathophysiology of type 2 diabetes mellitus.” International journal of molecular sciences 21.17 (2020): 6275. ↩︎

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