Picture of Mary Ellen Phipps, MPH, RDN, LD

Mary Ellen Phipps, MPH, RDN, LD

Mary Ellen Phipps, MPH, RDN, LD, the founder of Milk & Honey Nutrition, is a diabetes dietitian (Registered Dietitian Nutritionist) renowned for combining her knowledge of diabetes and culinary expertise into easy-to-follow recipes and articles!


Is Pineapple Good For Diabetes?

Article Overview

is pineapple good for diabetes

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:

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 fruitSugar (g)
Pineapple chunks8
Strawberry halves4
Watermelon chunks5
Canteloupe chunks6
Orange slices8
Banana slices9

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 foods0-55
Medium glycemic index foods56-70
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 load0-10
Moderate glycemic load11-19
High glycemic load20+

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

If you want to enjoy some pineapple juice, make sure to pair it with sources of fiber and protein (like in a smoothie), or enjoy it with a meal. 

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 and pineapple slices in bowl of ice

Pineapple Cherry Popsicles (Diabetes-Friendly)

With just four ingredients and no added sugar, your whole family will love my pineapple cherry popsicles!
View Recipe

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 Colada with pink umbrella for type 1 diabetes and alcohol

Low Sugar Sparkling Pina Colada

View 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!

What other foods are good for diabetes?

is pineapple good for diabetes

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