Can a diabetic eat grapefruit? The answer is yes! Grapefruit can be a great addition to your diet. This healthy fruit can also help with weight loss, and can even protect against cancer. In this article, we'll discuss if diabetics can eat grapefruit, how much sugar it contains, and what are the health benefits of grapefruit.

In this Diabetic & Me article you will learn about:

  • Can diabetics eat grapefruit?
  • How is sugar content related to grapefruit?
  • How much sugar does a grapefruit contain?
  • What are the benefits of grapefruits?

Is It Safe for Diabetics to Eat Grapefruit?

People with diabetes can eat grapefruit – and should! The truth is that what you eat, as a diabetic, has a major impact on the health of your body. In addition to staving off serious complications like kidney disease or blindness from diabetes type 2, eating healthy foods now helps prevent those from developing later in life. Healthier foods also help control blood sugar levels and weight. Isn't it worth adopting a healthier lifestyle if it means giving yourself more quality years?

Grapefruits are one of those 'healthy' rules for diabetics that will not only keep you happy with how you look and feel, but they're good for your heart too. Diets high in potassium have been shown to lower blood pressure because potassium has a positive effect on the heart muscle.

What Is The Glycemic Index of Grapefruit?

The glycemic index of a Grapefruit is 25 meaning that it has a low glycemic index. The glycemic load is only around 6 which means that for diabetics, Grapefruit can be eaten without worrying about spiking your blood sugar levels or insulin output.

Grapefruits are also good for weight loss because they contain naringenin and nobiletin phytochemicals which have been shown to enhance the burning of fat cells in laboratory mice studies. They help reduce obesity by reducing adipose tissue growth through inhibiting genes responsible for lipid synthesis (fat production). This fruit is truly amazing!

Diabetics who eat grapefruit tend to have lower cholesterol levels and triglyceride counts than those who don't, and the fruit is also good for blood pressure problems (and typically low in sodium). This tasty citrus fruit contains important nutrients like vitamin C and folates that contribute to overall health as well.

How Is Sugar Content in Grapefruits Related to Diabetics?

The sugar content of grapefruit is not very high, making it one of the few fruits that diabetics can enjoy without worrying about spiking blood sugar levels or insulin output. 

How Much Sugar Is in 100g of Grapefruit?

Half of a medium-sized grapefruit contains about 8 grams of sugar, which is about almost the same amount found in one small apple or orange. A large grapefruit can have up to 17 grams of sugar.

The sugar content of grapefruit juice varies depending on the type of grapefruit you're eating. For instance, pink or red grapefruits have less sugar than white ones do. One cup of 100% pink or red grapefruit juice contains around 8 grams of sugar while one cup of 100% white has around 17 grams which is over 2 times as much.

Half of one grapefruit is considered as one serving and contains:

  • Calories: 52
  • Total fat: 0.2 g
  • Sodium: 0 mg
  • Total carbs: 13 g
  • Dietary fiber: 2 g
  • Sugar: 8.5 g
  • Protein: 1 g

What Are The Health Benefits of Eating Grapefruit?

Grapefruits contain nutrient-dense phytochemicals that are good for your skin, heart, immune system, weight loss, bone health, and more. More positive effects of grapefruit are below:

Resistance To Infection

Grapefruit is an excellent source of vitamin C providing about 40% of its recommended daily value in one serving. Studies have shown that when people eat foods high in Vitamin C they've reported feeling less tense or stressed with greater resistance to infection. Vitamins also increase collagen production which reduces wrinkles.

Relieve Arthritis Pain

Vitamin C can also help relieve pain associated with arthritis because it uses the body's natural anti-inflammatory responses to reduce inflammation which is what causes joint stiffness and soreness.

Prevents Cancer

Nutrients found in grapefruit help prevent certain cancers like breast cancer because estrogen levels reduce the risk of developing this disease. Studies have shown that people who eat grapefruit or drink grapefruit juice are at lower risk for breast cancer than those who don't because the phytochemicals in grapes interfere with estrogen metabolism acting as anti-estrogen agents.

Lower Blood Pressure

Grapefruits contain potassium which helps lower blood pressure by having a positive effect on heart function and muscle cells while reducing hypertension (high blood pressure).

Potassium is also essential to nerve signaling, efficient oxygen transport throughout the body, energy production, acid/base balance, carbohydrate metabolism, and fluid regulation helping your kidneys remove waste from your system.

Slows Down Digestion

Grapefruit's high fiber content keeps you full longer preventing overeating so it can be beneficial to weight loss efforts too! Fiber slows down digestion to prevent blood sugar levels from spiking which helps balance out insulin output.

Good for Your Skin and Hair

Grapefruits are good for your skin because they protect against free radical damage that can cause premature aging, wrinkles, and other signs of aging by neutralizing harmful toxins in the body before they have a chance to affect cellular health.

The nutrients found in grapefruit help keep collagen production healthy too! Collagen is what gives structure and elasticity to our skin while protecting it from infections like acne-causing bacteria. Healthy collagen keeps your hair strong preventing breakage so you won't lose as much hair when brushing or washing it.


Grapefruit also contains antioxidants that stimulate cell growth-promoting healthier-looking nails too! 

Does Grapefruit Juice Affect Blood Sugar Levels?

The short answer, it can. Grapefruit juice is packed with many healthy nutrients, but its high sugar content can also make your blood sugar rise if you drink too much of it.

Added sugars in grapefruit juice may raise your blood sugar levels. If you buy 100 percent fruit juice with no added sugar and consume only 6 ounces per day, it is acceptable.

The nutrient naringenin has been shown to increase insulin sensitivity in people with type 2 diabetes, but the carbs in grapefruit juice alone could be enough to stimulate natural hormone production too. I'm not saying you should avoid drinking grapefruit juice altogether, just consider limiting how much you have on a daily basis so that your blood sugar doesn't spike.

Can Diabetics Drink Grapefruit Juice

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.


Resistance to infection, arthritis pain relief, and protection against cancer are just a few of the many health benefits that grapefruit offers. The fruit is also an excellent source of vitamin C providing about 40% of its recommended daily value in one serving and potassium which helps lower blood pressure by having a positive effect on heart function and muscle cells while reducing hypertension (high blood pressure).

This article has only scratched the surface but we hope it's been helpful so far! If you're diabetic or have high blood sugar levels, please consult your doctor before adding more grapefruits into your diet.

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 currently use a Medtronic Guardian 4 CGM and a MiniMed 780G insulin pump with Humalog insulin.

View All Articles