In this article we’ll explore the nutrition benefits of pineapple and answer the question, “Is pineapple good for diabetes?”
Pineapple is delicious and super refreshing. But, as someone living with diabetes myself, I understand why you may be inclined to wonder is pineapple good for diabetes.
Can people with diabetes eat pineapple?
People with diabetes can eat pineapple. And, we’ll discuss why throughout this article… and some delicious ways to enjoy it.
Pineapple is a deliciously sweet tropical fruit option. I love it fresh or frozen! You can also enjoy pineapple freeze-dried, canned, and dehydrated among other ways.
Nutrition benefits of pineapple
As a dietitian living with diabetes, I love including pineapple in some of my favorite recipes. Many people add it to desserts, but you can also put pineapple on top of pizza and salads, and use it in marinades for your favorite meats.
Pineapple is rich in antioxidants, vitamin C and manganese, and has a little over 1g fiber per half cup serving.
Pineapple also contains an enzyme call bromelain. Bromelain helps breakdown protein molecules in your digestive tract. This is why you’ll often see pineapple served with meat. The bromelain content of pineapple may make pineapple a helpful digestive aid for some people.
Research about the benefits of pineapple
In addition to being nutrient rich and a digestive aid, research shows pineapple may be associated with these benefits as well:
- Healthy immune system support
- Decreased inflammation
- Decreased cancer risk
- Faster recovery time after surgery
Does pineapple raise blood sugar?
Because pineapple contains carbohydrate, it can raise your blood sugar levels, though this is not a reason to avoid pineapple if you have diabetes.
Pineapple is not as high in fiber as other fruits, so I recommend combining it with a meal that contains fiber and protein. Fiber and protein help to slow down the digestion process which gives your body time to produce insulin (or gives your medication time to take effect) and promotes stable blood sugars over time.
How many carbs are in pineapple?
One serving of pineapple (1/2 raw pineapple chunks) and contains 11g carbohydrate.
Is pineapple high in sugar?
One half cup of raw pineapple chunks contains 8g of sugar. Here’s how that compares to a half cup serving of other common fruits.
|1/2 cup serving of fruit||Sugar (g)|
Pineapple glycemic index
The glycemic index tells us how quickly a food can raise blood glucose levels. (It does not take into account how much carbohydrate is in a food.)
The glycemic index of pineapple is 66. Pineapple is considered a medium glycemic index food.
|Low glycemic index foods||0-55|
|Medium glycemic index foods||56-70|
|High glycemic index foods||>70|
Pineapple glycemic load
The glycemic load, however, is a more accurate picture of how much and how quickly a food may raise blood sugar levels. The glycemic load considers both how quickly a food can raise blood sugar levels and how much carbohydrate is in the food.
This tells us how much of an impact a food can potentially have on blood sugar levels. The glycemic load of 1/2 cup of raw pineapple is 7.
|Low glycemic load||0-10|
|Moderate glycemic load||11-19|
|High glycemic load||20+|
A half cup serving of pineapple is considered a low glycemic load food. Low glycemic load foods are considered more beneficial for people looking to maintain stable blood sugar levels.
Is pineapple juice good for you?
One cup of unsweetened pineapple juice contains manganese, vitamin C, and folate… along with 32g carbohydrate and 25g sugar. And, about 0.5g fiber remains in the juice as well.
Because of the increased sugar content and lower fiber content (compared to pineapple chunks), if you have diabetes, I do not recommend drinking pineapple juice on its own unless you are treating a low blood sugar.
Is pineapple ok for people with diabetes?
Is pineapple good for diabetes? Yes, pineapple is completely ok for people with diabetes. Be mindful of your portion size though, and keep track of how much carbohydrate you’re consuming. Pair pineapple, like other fruits, with protein and fiber sources to help promote stable blood sugars after you eat it.
How to enjoy pineapple with type 2 diabetes and type 1 diabetes
Some of my favorite pineapple recipes I have here on my website are fun treat-type recipes! Though you can enjoy a side of pineapple with your favorite lunch, or on top of a salad too for a delicious sweet addition to your meals.
Pineapple Cherry Popsicles
Pineapple Cherry Popsicles (Diabetes-Friendly)
These popsicles are incredibly easy to make and so refreshing on a hot day! I love making these with my kids.
Low Sugar Sparkling Pina Colada
If you’ve read my post on alcohol and diabetes, you know I don’t recommend mixed drinks with large amounts of added sugar. But, this lower sugar Pina colada is a fun way to enjoy that pineapple coconut flavor without as much added sugar. And, you can also make it as a mocktail!
Low Sugar Sparkling Pina ColadaView Recipe
Is pineapple good for diabetes? The final word
So, is pineapple good for diabetes? Pineapple is a low glycemic load food, and can be a delicious part of a diabetes-friendly diet. Yes, it does contain natural sugar, but it also contains vitamins, minerals, and bromelain (a helpful digestive enzyme).
I recommend enjoying pineapple as part of a snack with protein and fiber, or as part of your favorite dishes!