To help you quickly determine the size of a fruit serving, use your fist as a measure.
Fruit is a part of a balanced diet. Like vegetables, fruit is rich in vitamins, minerals and fibre. All types of fruit, without exception, can be eaten by a person with diabetes. However, some fruit contains more carbohydrates than others. In order to maintain proper blood glucose (sugar) control, it is important to pay particular attention to the quantity of fruit consumed and to distribute the servings throughout the day.
For a balanced meal containing a sufficient amount of carbohydrates, one serving of fruit is generally enough. That said, you can eat several servings of fruit per day — most people need two to four.
Whole fruit, especially when eaten with the peel, provides a good source of dietary fibre.
One serving of fruit is what exactly?
One serving of fruit provides 15 g of carbohydrates. The amount of fruit equivalent to one serving varies by the sugar concentration of each kind of fruit.
Here are a few examples of the amount of fruit corresponding to a single serving.
|1 serving (15 g of carbohydrates)||Fruits|
|1 medium fruit||orange, peach, apple, pear|
|½ large fruit||banana, grapefruit, mango|
|2 small fruits||kiwis, persimmons (native), plums, clementines|
|125 ml (1/2 cup)||grapes, 100% pure fruit juice with no added sugar, fruit sauces with no added sugar, canned fruit in its juice or in a light syrup|
|250 ml (1 cup)||cantaloupe, honeydew, watermelon, blackberries|
|Other fruits||500 ml (2 cups) of fresh strawberries, 375 ml (1½ cups) of raspberries, 175 ml (3/4 cup) of blueberries|
|Dried fruits||3 dates, 3 prunes, 4 dried apricots, 30 ml (2 tablespoons) of raisins|
To help you quickly determine the size of a fruit serving, use your fist as a measure: it is the equivalent of 250 ml (1 cup) of fruit.
Canned and preserved fruit
Select fruit that has been canned or preserved in its own juice (with no added sugar) or in water. A single serving of canned fruit is about 125 ml (1/2 cup). If the fruit comes in a heavy syrup, rinse it under water to remove the excess sugar.
It is preferable to select fruits frozen without added sugar. The size of the serving needed to obtain 15 g de carbohydrates will vary depending on the type of fruit.
Fruit juice contains essentially the same nutrients as whole fruit but lacks fibre. If you are trying to lose weight or maintain your current weight, whole fruit is more filling than its juice.
Even if the fruit juice you choose is labelled “no sugar added” or “unsweetened,” juice naturally contains carbohydrates from the fruit used to make it. Moreover, given its lack of fibre, the carbohydrates in the juice are more quickly absorbed.
Research and text: Diabetes Québec Dietitian Team
June 2014 (updated on July 2018)
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