Pros And Cons Of Eating Apples When You Have Diabetes

Subarna Ghosal

Updated on:

apples in diabetes

Apples are delicious, nutritious, and convenient to eat and also contain carbs, which impact blood sugar levels. But they are a  good source of fiber, vitamin C, and antioxidants. They also help us to feel full without consuming a lot of calories. But the carbs found in apples affect our body differently than the sugars found in junk foods.

A medium-sized apple contains about 25 grams of carbs and 4.4 of fiber. Fiber slows down the passage and absorption of carbs through the intestines, causing them to not spike our blood sugar levels nearly as quickly. Apples definitely deserve to be called “nutritional powerhouses”.

An old phrase that “an apple a day keeps the doctor away”, stands true. Toss one in your purse or tote bag if you’re on the go; a small apple is a great fruit choice, with just 77 calories and 21 g of carbs. Apples are rich in fiber and are a very good source of Vitamin C. You should not peel your apples though — the skins are the most nutritious part, full of antioxidants.

Eating Apples When You Have Diabetes

  • If we have diabetes, we must keep an eye on our carbohydrate intake. That’s because of the three macronutrients carbs, fat and protein. Among them, carbohydrates affect our blood sugar levels the most.
  • While apples generally do not cause spikes in our blood sugar levels, they do contain carbs. If we are counting carbohydrates, we must be sure to account for the 25 grams of carbs which is in an apple.
  • Diabetic people must watch their carbohydrate intake to make sure their blood sugar levels stay stable throughout the day.
  • According to the US Department of Agriculture, there are 25 grams (g) of carbs in total in a medium-sized apple, and in it around 19 g is sugar.

Impact on Blood Sugar

When digested, the carbohydrates present in apple are broken down into glucose, a simple form of sugar. After glucose enters the blood, insulin is needed to help convert this sugar into energy.

It helps to eat moderate portions of carbohydrate-containing foods and to spread these foods throughout the day to manage blood glucose levels.

Apples and Diabetes Research

There’s no denying fruits and vegetables are a healthy and important part of the diet for everyone, including diabetics. Eating whole fruits lowers the risk of type 2 diabetes, according to a 2014 study published in the British Medical Journal. But according to the same study, drinking fruit juice is linked with a higher risk of diabetes.

Some studies have tested the protective effect of cloudy apple juice on diabetes (in the case of lab rats). In a  study in Complementary and Alternative Medicine, diabetic rats that were given cloudy apple juice and apple peel extract for a period of  21 days observed their fasting blood glucose and cholesterol levels decline.

As long as we monitor our blood sugar levels and don’t overdo it with too many servings of fruit, we can enjoy nutrients, such as vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and fiber in lots of fruits. Apples are good for diabetics that research done on people with prediabetes found that apples could even keep people from developing diabetes.

Fruits: 1 Serving

1/2 banana
1 small apple, orange, or pear
1/2 cup chopped, cooked, or canned fruits

Do Eating Apples Have Any Side Effects?

There have been no such reports of any fatal side effects. But the seeds of the apple contain a poisonous compound which is life-threatening and eating too many apple seeds can be lethal.

The usual cases of allergy from apple may include groups of people who are allergic or sensitive to all the fruits belonging to the Rosaceae family and not just apple.

Some Caution

Apple juices are a major concern in the case of diabetic patients. It is always better to have apple as the natural raw fruit .

Are Apples Healthy For People With Diabetes?

  • The dietary guidelines for diabetics recommend a diet that includes fruits and vegetables
  • Fruits are full of nutrients such as vitamins, minerals, fiber, and antioxidants.
  • Diets high in fruits have repeatedly been linked to lower risks of chronic diseases, such as heart disease and cancer
  • In a review of nine studies, it was found that each serving of fruit that was consumed daily led to a 7% lower risk of heart disease
  • According to the American Diabetes Association, eating apples or any other fruit is not a problem for a person with either type 1 diabetes or type 2 diabetes.
  • Diabetic person should be aware of how apples affect them in order to include this fruit in a diabetes-healthy diet.
  • But People with diabetes must watch their carbohydrate intake to make sure their blood sugar levels stay stable throughout the day.
  • According to the US Department of Agriculture, there are about 25 grams of carbs in total in a medium-sized apple, and around 19 g of that is sugar. Most of the sugar in an apple is in the form fructose, and this may have a different effect on the body than other sugars.
  • The USDA stated  that a medium apple contains around 4 g of dietary fiber, and this fiber may delays the absorption of sugars in the body, which could help prevent spikes in sugar and insulin.
  • pairing fruits with a healthy fat or protein can also lower the spike in blood sugar and make a person feel fuller for longerperiod .
  • Apples have a low impact on the insulin and blood sugar levels in the body and are considered a low-glycemic fruit suitable for people with diabetes.B ut It is still essential to monitor any changes they have after eating an apple, so they know what to expect in their body when they do so.
  • A person feels full after eating an apple due to the combination of fiber, water, and nutrients.
  • Specific flavonoids like quercetin found in apples may, in fact, protect a person from diabetes.
  •  A review from 2011 reports that eating apples linked  with a lowered risk of diabetes.
  • Apples contain soluble fiber which helps keep us full, and slows the absorption of glucose into the bloodstream.
  • Soluble fiber also has anti-inflammatory effects that may help  in the recovery from diabetes-related infections.


Apples are rich in sugar too which the body converts into glucose. Eating too much carbohydrates  at once can lead to elevated blood glucose levels. But the American Diabetes Association recommends the inclusion of fiber-rich apples, in a diabetes meal as long as these foods are fit into your carbohydrate targets.

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