Fruits for Gestational Diabetes, Simple List and Portions - A Guide (2023)

Posted April 30, 2021 by admin - See Editorial Guidelines(Last Updated On: April 20, 2023)

It’s crucial when pregnant to eat enough vitamins and keep our bodies healthy. So, it’s not surprising that many pregnant women are looking to make sure they eat enough of the right foods. This includes fruits for gestational diabetes.

So, in this article, we’re going to take you through the fruits safe to eat to help with the control of gestational diabetes.

Fruits for Gestational Diabetes: Portion-controlled fresh, frozen, and canned fruits are ok to eat as long as they have no added sugar. Fruit juice and smoothies should be avoided as they contain higher amounts of added sugar. Fruit naturally has carbohydrates that can raise blood sugar levels, but they also have important vitamins and minerals.

The vitamins in vegetables can help your body cope with pregnancy demands, but what about fruits? You might be wondering which are good fruits for gestational diabetes?


Here’s a quick reference table of fruits, with more outlining information below.

Fruit TypePortion Size (approx.)
Strawberry1¼ cup
Apple½ medium-sized
Melon1 cup cubed
Blackberry1 cup
Grape17 small
Blueberry¾ cup
Banana1 small
Raspberry1 cup
Cherry10 average-sized
Plum1 average-sized
Peach1 average-sized
Grapefruit½ medium-sized
Orange½ medium-sized
Pear1 average-sized

With this summary in mind, let’s start with an overview of gestational diabetes and what it means, so we can more easily understand more about fruits we can eat if diagnosed with gestational diabetes.

Overview of gestational diabetes

Fruits for Gestational Diabetes, Simple List and Portions - A Guide (2)

For a more in-depth view, we have an entire article about gestational diabetes here.

In short, diabetes that occurs during pregnancy is known as gestational diabetes or GDM (gestational diabetes mellitus).

According to experts who have studied it further, gestational diabetes is increasing in prevalence in line with the increase in the prevalence of obesity in women of childbearing age.

Women with a history of GDM are also at an increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes in the years following their pregnancy and their children have a higher risk of developing obesity and diabetes early in life.

From this study, we can see how important it is to make sure we eat a healthy diet, including fresh fruit, to combat the effects of gestational diabetes.

So for those looking at the profile of many common fruits to determine which ones are safe to eat if you have gestational diabetes, let’s discover more about who is in more danger of getting gestational

Who is prone to gestational diabetes?

The risk of diabetes in pregnancy does considerably vary according to race and ethnicity.

Hispanic and Asian women generally have higher rates of gestational diabetes.

It’s also worth noting that black and Hispanic women have higher rates of type 1 or type 2 diabetes during pregnancy.

How prevalent diabetes is in pregnant women varies worldwide and even within a country’s population, depending on the racial and ethical compositions.

As an example, in the US, there are fewer cases among Caucasian women compared to women that are:

  • African American
  • Hispanic American
  • Native American
  • Pacific Islanders
  • South or East Asian

Now that we’ve looked into the background of gestational diabetes let’s start by discovering more about whether it’s ok to eat fruit if you have gestational diabetes.

Can I eat fruit if I have gestational diabetes?

It’s fairly common to question which fruits you can eat if you have diabetes.

The main reason for this is because fruit contains carbohydrates and a form of natural sugar called fructose, which can raise your blood sugar levels.

But by choosing wisely, fruit can still be a part of your daily eating plan when you have gestational diabetes.

The benefits of fruit are in its vitamins, minerals, and powerful plant compounds called phytochemicals.

Many people with diabetes understand the importance of the glycemic index (GI) and wonder how that might affect eating fruit with diabetes in pregnancy.

Do fruits score well on the glycemic index?

If you have diabetes, it’s useful to understand the glycemic index because eating foods with low GI ratings can help control blood glucose.

However, other factors must also be taken into account. The amount of carbohydrates you consume has the greatest influence on blood glucose levels, not just a food’s glycemic index.

It’s also important to eat a healthy, balanced diet that is low in fat, sugar, and salt, and high in fruit and vegetables.

If you’ve been advised to make changes to your diet or need advice, a diabetes dietitian can help you work out a diet plan.Speak to your doctor about being referred to a dietitian.


Why should you eat fruit when you have gestational diabetes?

Thanks to phytochemicals, eating fruit may lower your risk of heart disease, cancer, and stroke and boost your overall health. That’s important because diabetes is linked to a higher risk of heart disease and other problems.

Many fruits are also high in fiber.

Fiber slows digestion, helping to prevent blood sugar spikes common in those with gestational diabetes and other forms of diabetes.

Fiber can also make you feel fuller, which can help you keep a healthy weight.

The best choice is fresh fruit and frozen or canned fruit that does not have added sugars. Check the food labels for added sugar, and be aware that sugar can have many different names on the label.

Other names for sugar include:

  • Cane sugar
  • Dextran
  • Invert sugar
  • Corn sweetener
  • High fructose corn syrup.

Recommended fresh fruits for gestational diabetes include:

  • Strawberry
  • Apple
  • Grape
  • Blueberry
  • Cherry
  • Plum
  • Peach
  • Grapefruit
  • Orange
  • Pear

Experts agree that eating whole fruits, including apples, blueberries, and grapes, is associated with a lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

How much fruit should I eat if I have gestational diabetes?

The serving size of each fruit does depend on its carb content.

On average, one serving of fruit contains about 15 grams of carbs. As a guide, a portion of fresh fruit fits into the palm of an adult hand.

Fruit servings that have about 15 grams of carbs include:

  • 1 small piece of fresh fruit (4 ounces)
  • ½ cup of canned or frozen fruit (no sugar added)
  • 2 teaspoons of dry fruit such as dried cherries or raisins

Below are some serving sizes that contain approx. 15 grams of carbohydrates:

Fruits for Gestational Diabetes, Simple List and Portions - A Guide (4)
  • 1¼ cup fresh strawberries
  • ½ medium-sized apple
  • 1 cup cubed melon
  • 1 cup blackberries
  • ¾ cup blueberries
  • 1 small banana
  • 17 small grapes
  • 1 cup raspberries

Fruits to avoid – gestational diabetes

Although fresh fruit has plenty of benefits in terms of vitamins and minerals for both those with gestational diabetes and those without, there are some types of fruit and ways of eating fruit that you should avoid.

For example, smoothies tend to have extra additives that can lead to increased blood sugar levels. Not to mention that it can be very easy to overconsume on smoothies, increasing your calorie and carbohydrate intake.

Depending on how the smoothie is made, it may have less fiber than just plain fruit. Fruit juices also have much fiber removed.

Having less intact fiber means that fruit juices and smoothies are not as beneficial to the body as whole fruits. Therefore, the following forms of fruit should be avoided if you have gestational diabetes:

  • Canned fruit with sugar
  • Fruit juices and smoothies
  • Any frozen fruit with added sugar

Here’s our list of the five fruits diabetics should avoid.

Related articles

You might also benefit from the relevant articles below:

12 Foods that lower insulin levels

Prediabetes management

Hardest part about being diabetic

Living with and managing diabetes


Final thoughts

We hope this has provided a good overview of fruits for gestational diabetes. If you’re diabetic, then we may be able to assist you further when it comes to your medications.

If you’re having trouble affording any of your medications, enroll with usand see if you qualify to pay only $50 a month for each of your medications through Prescription Hope’s medication access service.

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Fruits for Gestational Diabetes, Simple List and Portions - A Guide? ›

1 medium whole fruit (such as a banana, apple, or orange) 1/2 cup (170 grams) chopped, frozen, cooked, or canned fruit. 3/4 cup (180 milliliters) fruit juice.

How much fruit should a gestational diabetic eat a day? ›

Milk is a healthy food and an important source of calcium. However, milk is a liquid form of carbohydrate and drinking too much at one time can raise your blood sugar. Fruit is a healthy food, but it is high in natural sugars. You may eat one to three portions of fruit per day, but only eat one at a time.

What are good portion sizes of different fruit for diabetics? ›

  • One handful of grapes.
  • One small glass (150ml) of fruit juice (limit to one portion a day)
  • Two small satsumas, clementines or tangerines.
  • Two medium plums.
  • Two tinned pineapple rings or 12 chunks in natural juice.
  • One heaped tbsp raisins, sultanas, currants or dried cranberries.
  • Seven strawberries.

Can you eat lots of fruit with gestational diabetes? ›

Yep, you can still eat fruit if you have gestational diabetes. You'll just need eat it in moderation. If you're concerned, or want help keeping track of the carbs that are included in the fruits you'd like to eat, talk to a registered dietitian.

Are grapes OK for gestational diabetes? ›

Yes—grapes can be enjoyed by people with diabetes! Read on to learn more about the health benefits of grapes, plus the best ways to eat grapes to keep blood sugar under control. People with diabetes don't have to avoid fresh fruit, even grapes.

How many strawberries can I eat with gestational diabetes? ›

If you have diabetes, the key to maintaining your blood sugar is to use portion control. Thanks to the low-carbohydrate density of strawberries, you can safely enjoy a 1¼-cup serving. The diabetic exchange for blueberries is 3/4 cup.

Is banana OK for gestational diabetes? ›

Bananas are nutritious and low in calories, which makes them a healthy addition to the list of foods to eat with gestational diabetes in moderation.

Which fruits to avoid in diabetes? ›

Pineapple, watermelon, mango, lychee, and banana have a high GI, so these are the worst fruits if you are diabetic. These fruits can be included in your daily diet plan after consulting a nutrition expert. Alternatively, these fruits can be substituted with low GI fruits such as avocado, citrus fruits, berries, etc.

What 7 fruits should diabetics avoid? ›

High GI fruits diabetics should avoid
  • Bananas.
  • Oranges.
  • Mango.
  • Grapes.
  • Raisins.
  • Dates.
  • Pears.
Sep 1, 2022

How much is too much fruit during pregnancy? ›

How much fruit should you be eating during pregnancy? Medical professionals usually recommend eating two to four servings of fruit and four to five servings of vegetables each day. In general, one serving of fruit is: a medium piece of whole fruit (about the size of a tennis ball)

Is watermelon OK for gestational diabetes? ›

As such, women with preexisting diabetes or who develop high blood sugar levels in pregnancy — known as gestational diabetes — may want to avoid eating large portions of watermelon (18, 19 , 20 ).

What not to eat the night before a glucose test? ›

Avoid sugars and refined carbs
  • Orange juice and other fruit juices.
  • Sugary granola.
  • Refined cereal.
  • Sweetened toppings like jam or syrup.
  • Pancakes, waffles and French toast.
  • Donuts.
  • White bread.
  • Many other breakfast treats made with refined white flour, like banana bread, croissants, muffins and pastries.
Oct 27, 2022

Which color grapes are best for diabetics? ›

Also, grapes deliver a better insulin control as well as enhances insulin sensitivity. Grapes in all types i.e., green, red, or blue-purple are good for people with diabetes.

What fruits spike blood sugar? ›

Some commonly eaten fresh fruits may raise your blood sugar more quickly than others. These include figs, grapes, mangos, cherries and bananas. Eat them in moderation and in the suggested serving size of one small fruit or 1/2 cup.

What fruit has the least amount of sugar per serving? ›

Learn which fruits have the lowest sugar content to satisfy your sweet tooth without breaking the sugar bank.
  1. Lemons and limes. High in vitamin C, lemons and their green counterparts are fairly sour fruits. ...
  2. Raspberries. ...
  3. Strawberries. ...
  4. Blackberries. ...
  5. Kiwis. ...
  6. Grapefruit. ...
  7. Avocado. ...
  8. Watermelon.

Is pineapple OK with gestational diabetes? ›

For people with diabetes looking to incorporate fruit into their dietary plan, pineapples can be a good choice. However, since they can cause small spikes in blood sugar, eat them in moderation.

Are peaches OK for gestational diabetes? ›

Fresh, fragrant peaches are a warm-weather treat you can include in your diabetes-friendly diet. One medium peach contains 59 calories and 14 g of carbohydrates, according to the USDA.

What snacks are good for gestational diabetes? ›

These are my favorite snack suggestions for folks with Gestational Diabetes:
  • Cheese Sticks.
  • Carrots with peanut butter (or any nut/seed butter)
  • Cucumber with hummus.
  • Plain Yogurt.
  • Avocado.
  • Eggs.
Oct 26, 2020

What foods make gestational diabetes worse? ›

These foods include:
  • sugary drinks and confectionary (cake, biscuits, sweets, ice-cream etc)
  • breakfast cereals.
  • fruit juices.
  • white bread.
  • potatoes.
  • white rice.

Can I eat peanut butter with gestational diabetes? ›

Peanut butter has an impressive nutritional profile. Eating it during pregnancy may help manage gestational diabetes, boost your protein intake, and prevent and relieve constipation.

Can I eat pizza with gestational diabetes? ›

The short answer to this question is yes, people with diabetes can enjoy all types of pizza.

What foods can diabetics eat freely? ›

What foods can I eat if I have diabetes?
  • vegetables. nonstarchy: includes broccoli, carrots, greens, peppers, and tomatoes. ...
  • fruits—includes oranges, melon, berries, apples, bananas, and grapes.
  • grains—at least half of your grains for the day should be whole grains. ...
  • protein. ...
  • dairy—nonfat or low fat.

What foods raise blood sugar quickly? ›

In general, foods that cause blood sugar level to rise the most are those that are high in carbohydrates, which are quickly converted into energy, such as rice, bread, fruits and sugar. Next are foods high in protein, such as meats, fish eggs, milk and dairy products, and oily foods.

What are the 10 best fruits and vegetables for diabetic patients? ›

What superstar foods are good for diabetes?
  • Beans. Kidney, pinto, navy or black beans are packed with vitamins and minerals such as magnesium and potassium. ...
  • Dark green leafy vegetables. ...
  • Citrus fruit. ...
  • Berries. ...
  • Tomatoes. ...
  • Fish high in omega-3 fatty acids. ...
  • Nuts. ...
  • Whole grains.

Which vegetables should be avoided in diabetes? ›

People living with diabetes should look to avoid vegetables with a high GI rating, as the body absorbs blood sugar from those foods much quicker compared with low-GI foods. This includes artichokes, asparagus, broccoli, celery, cauliflower, eggplant/aubergine, green beans, lettuce, peppers, snow peas and spinach.”

How much is too much fruit? ›

Unless you are following a ketogenic diet or have some sort of intolerance, there really is no reason to limit the amount of fruit you eat. While most studies suggest that the optimal amount is two to five servings of fruit per day, there seems to be no harm in eating more.

Which fruit is not good for pregnancy? ›

Papaya – It tops the list for obvious reasons. Raw or semi ripe papaya contains latex which can induce premature contractions and that can be dangerous for your baby.

What is the best fruit to eat while pregnant? ›

Good Fruits for Pregnancy
  • Apples. Apples are very high in fiber, which can help regulate a woman's digestion and prevent hemorrhoids – a common issue that many pregnant women face.
  • Citrus. ...
  • Bananas. ...
  • Kiwis. ...
  • Watermelon. ...
  • Berries.

What fruits can you eat with gestational diabetes list? ›

Gestational diabetes is high blood sugar (glucose) that starts during pregnancy.
Healthy fruit choices include:
  • Whole fruits rather than juices. ...
  • Citrus fruits, such as oranges, grapefruits, and tangerines.
  • Fruit juices without added sugar.
Apr 14, 2021

Can I eat cucumbers with gestational diabetes? ›

Yes, if you have diabetes, you can eat cucumbers. In fact, since they're so low in carbohydrates, you can almost eat as many as you want whenever you want.

How can I control gestational diabetes in my third trimester? ›

5 Tips for Women with Gestational Diabetes
  1. Exercise Regularly. Exercise is another way to keep blood sugar under control. ...
  2. Monitor Blood Sugar Often. Because pregnancy causes the body's need for energy to change, blood sugar levels can change very quickly. ...
  3. Take Insulin, If Needed. ...
  4. Get Tested for Diabetes after Pregnancy.

What is a good breakfast before glucose test? ›

Eat a meal low in carbohydrates before this test. Example of foods to eat for breakfast would be eggs, cheese, bacon and or sausage. Avoid breads, cereals and fruit juices. Example of foods for lunch would be lettuce/salad with any kind of meat.

Why can't you drink water before glucose test? ›

Drinking water before a fasting blood sugar test can actually decrease blood sugar levels, or at least prevent levels from getting too high.

Does drinking water before glucose test mess it up? ›

These activities can also affect your results. But you can drink water. It's actually good to drink water before a blood test. It helps keep more fluid in your veins, which can make it easier to draw blood.

Can diabetics eat popcorn? ›

Popcorn. As long as it's not served with butter or salt, popcorn is considered a good whole-grain snack for diabetes (Asif, 2014). Popcorn is low in calories, which can support a healthy weight and overall management of type 2 diabetes.

Is cantaloupe good for diabetics? ›

Cantaloupe Health Benefits

That's almost as juicy as a watermelon. The high amount of liquid content gives cantaloupes a low glycemic load score of 4. That means your body digests it slowly and it won't make your blood sugar spike. So it's a great pick for people with diabetes.

Can diabetics eat honey? ›

Generally speaking, yes, it's OK to eat honey if you have diabetes. But you should consume it in moderation. Although honey has a lower glycemic index (GI) than table sugar, it still contains sugar. And any type of sugar will raise your blood glucose levels.

How much fresh fruit can a diabetic eat daily? ›

Dietary guidelines recommend five servings of fruits and vegetables every day. That's true whether or not you have diabetes, Pierce says. Since fruits have more calories and sugar than veggies, try to strike a balance. She recommends breaking up your five servings into three veggie servings and two fruit servings.

Does eating a lot of fruit affect glucose levels? ›

The main sugar in fruit, called fructose, is quickly taken up by the liver, converted to glucose, and released into the bloodstream. So, fruit can cause glucose levels to rise. However, fruits also contain fiber, a nutrient that can slow carbohydrate digestion and help manage blood sugar levels.

How many times a day can a diabetic eat fruit? ›

Portion sizes

A person with diabetes should aim to eat at least 5 servings of fruits and vegetables every day.

Does eating a lot of fruit raise blood sugar levels? ›

Yes, it's true that fruit can spike blood sugar levels, but that's no reason to strip it from your diet entirely. After all, fruit is rich in vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and fiber, all of which are great for your health and management of type 2 diabetes, Thomas says.

What fruit does not spike blood sugar? ›

Blackberries and blueberries won't raise blood sugar levels as much as other fruits. These berries are high in fiber and have the highest concentrations of anthocyanins, which inhibit certain digestive enzymes to slow down digestion. They also prevent spikes in blood sugar after eating starch-rich meals.

What is a serving size of fruit? ›

Remember that the serving size for fruits and vegetables is about 4 to 6 ounces.

Should I count fruit in my sugar intake? ›

Sugar found naturally in milk, fruit and vegetables does not count as free sugars. We do not need to cut down on these sugars, but remember that they are included in the "total sugar" figure found on food labels.

Does fruit affect A1C? ›

Fruit, like many other foods, can raise blood sugar. Frequent blood sugar spikes can elevate your A1C, a measure of how high your blood sugar is on average. The higher the A1C level, the less well your body is managing the condition. But fruit doesn't have to be off the table if you're a person with diabetes.

What are 6 foods that prevent diabetes? ›

Choose these foods and drinks more often:
  • Non-starchy vegetables such as peppers, mushrooms, asparagus, broccoli, and spinach.
  • Fruits.
  • Lean protein such as fish, chicken, turkey, tofu, eggs, and yogurt.
  • Whole grains such as quinoa, brown rice, and steel-cut oatmeal.
  • Water and unsweetened beverages.

How much fruit is too much for a diabetic? ›

Current nutrition guidelines recommend that people with diabetes consume 2–4 servings of fruit per day, which is the same as the general population ( 34 ). Still, some people restrict the amount they eat because they are worried about the sugar content.

Should I avoid fruit because it has too much sugar? ›

For the general public, sugar in fruit is not bad as long as you consume the whole fruit and not just fruit juice or products that contain sweetened fruit pieces. When we are seeking to limit sugars, added sugars are more of a concern.


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