Apples are one of the most popular fruits in the world and for good reason! But are apples good for people with diabetes? That's a question that many people with diabetes are asking themselves. There are some conflicting reports on whether or not apples are safe to eat if you have diabetes. Let's take a closer look at what research has said about this fruit so far!

In this Diabetic & Me article you will learn about:

  • Can diabetics eat apples?
  • How is sugar content related to apples?
  • How much sugar does an apple contain?
  • What are the benefits of apples?

What Kind of Apple Should a Diabetic Eat?


Diabetics should stick to eating apples that are lower on the glycemic scale.

The most commonly eaten variety of apples is the Red Delicious, one of the worst varieties for diabetics if they are looking for low sugar content or low glycemic impact. A better choice would be Granny Smith apples, which has higher fiber content and lower natural sugar level than most other types of apple. Apples decrease blood sugar levels due to their high fiber count.

What Is The Glycemic Index of An Apple?

The glycemic index measures how quickly a food causes a rise in your blood glucose level after being eaten. Foods with higher numbers have been found to increase those levels more quickly than foods with lower numbers on the glycemic index scale.

Apple has a low glycemic index ranging between 28 to 44 based on what apple it is. This means that, due to the high fiber content, your blood sugar levels will rise less quickly.

Any food with a glycemic index below 55 is considered a food with a low glycemic index.

How Is Sugar Content in Apples Related to Diabetics?

Apples contain carbs which can affect your blood sugar levels. However, the carbohydrates in apples have a different effect on your body compared to the sugars that we often see in food and other products with refined and processed sugars. Because of this, apples are not likely to cause your blood sugar levels to rise excessively.

The number of natural sugars in an apple will also depend on the type of apple you have since some apples contain more natural sugars than others. Granny Smith and Fuji apples can be considered to have less sugar compared with Red Delicious or Golden Delicious varieties which usually contain more sugar per serving.

Because apples contain polyphenols they boost your pancreas to release insulin and assist your cells to consume sugar. When having type 2 diabetes your pancreas doesn't secrete enough insulin. Eating an apple creates a possibility to reduce insulin resistance. This can lead to lowering your blood sugar levels.

How Much Sugar Is in 100g of Apple?

How much sugar an apple contains depends on the type of apple. Here's a list of the most common apples and their sugar content per one apple. This sugar content is based on an apple between 133 and 180 grams. So it all depends 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 

Don't let the simplicity of these organic Granny Smith apples fool you. They're hearty, tart, and crisp! The perfect snack paired with a pack of high-fiber crackers or as part of an apple pie recipe for those nights when baking just sounds like too much work. 

What Are The Health Benefits of Eating Apples?

Apples are one of the most popular fruits in the world. They are also considered to be healthy because they are low in calories and contain antioxidants that are beneficial for your health.

High Levels of Vitamin C

Apples are amazing for your health! They contain high levels of vitamin C which helps fight scurvy - it's their biggest known benefit.

Protect Cells

Apples are packed full of antioxidants that help protect cells from damage caused by free radicals or other substances in our environment.

Control Blood Sugar Levels

They are also packed with fiber, which can help control your blood sugar levels and cholesterol. Plus they're low in fat!

Lower Cholesterol

Apples contain high amounts of pectin too - a type of soluble fiber that helps lower harmful LDL (bad) cholesterol while increasing beneficial HDL (good) cholesterol. They may even reduce the risk of heart disease.

Good for Your Skin

Apples are also good for your skin, especially the Granny Smith variety which is high in antioxidants that prevent damage from free radicals - this makes them anti-aging!

Lose Weight

Additionally, they can help you lose weight because apples are low in calories and fill you up with fiber without adding too much sugar to your body.

Does Apple Juice Affect Blood Sugar Levels?

Apple juice is about the same in regards to its effect on blood sugar levels as orange juice is. But, the main rule for any person with diabetes is that they can consume fruit juices that only contain 100% real fruit and have no added sugars.

But, it's important to always see how your blood sugar levels react to what you consume and adjust your intake accordingly. Fruit juice might have a different reaction to your blood sugar levels than a fresh apple.

I always recommend going for the fruit itself and avoiding apple juice since it might be higher in sugar and missing the fiber.

Tips On How to Eat More Fruit and Vegetables If You Have Diabetes

Here are a few basic tips on how to eat more fruit and vegetables:

  • Make a juice out of a variety of fruits and vegetables. I prefer vegetables as they don't elevate my blood sugar levels.
  • Include a proportion of salads, vegetables, or fresh fruit in every meal. Try to eat at least one serving per day.
  • Add some extra fiber to your breakfast cereal by adding chopped apple. It will also make it taste very good!
  • Mix the fruits and veggies with something you enjoy like yogurt or oatmeal.
  • Eat fruit as a snack, it's much better than chips!
  • Swap fries for sweet potato fries when you eat out at fast-food restaurants.
  • Eat a variety of fruits and vegetables. The range from dark leafy greens to brightly-colored berries is very wide, so why not try something new every week!
  • Try cooking the fruit and vegetables: preparation methods such as roasting, grilling, stir-frying, and air-frying can add flavor and freshness to these healthy foods. Make sure to use healthy cooking oils.
  • Experiment with condiments: dressings, dips, or salsas can be used to transform your plate by introducing both flavor and nutrients. Experiment with different recipes for sauces such as those containing turmeric or ginger roots which have healing properties as well as many health benefits such as improved brain function.

Conclusion

Apples are one of the most popular fruits in the world. They're also considered to be healthy because they contain high levels of vitamin C which helps fight scurvy - it's their biggest known benefit. Apples are packed full of antioxidants that help protect cells from damage caused by free radicals or other substances in our environment. And, apples provide fiber too! This can help control your blood sugar levels and cholesterol while reducing the risk for heart disease.

Plus, apples may even reduce the risk of cancer due to their antioxidant properties! Apples have so many benefits when eaten fresh or juiced but you need to know how much is just right for your body type before consuming them since some people with diabetes react differently than others do.

About the Author

Ely Fornoville

Hi, I'm Ely Fornoville and I am the founder of Diabetic & Me. Being a type 1 diabetic since 1996 I developed a passion to help people learn more about diabetes. I write about diabetes and share stories from other diabetics around the world. I am currently using a Freestyle Libre CGM and a Minimed 640G insulin pump with Humalog.

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