Can People With Diabetes Eat Pineapple?

How It Compares to Other Fruits on the Glycemic Index

If you have diabetes, you can enjoy fruit like pineapple in moderation. Fruit naturally has sugar and carbohydrates in it that can impact blood sugar. However, that doesn't mean you have to avoid it.

Fruits like pineapple are good for people with diabetes as they are packed with vitamins, minerals, and fiber. You just need to be mindful of portions if you want to include it in your diet. 

This article will go over what to know about including fruit like pineapple in your diet if you have diabetes. It also covers the importance of having a balanced diet when it comes to managing your blood sugar levels.

Picture of Pineapple
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The Myth About Fruit and Diabetes

It's a myth that people with diabetes need to avoid fruit. Fruit is an important food source of vitamins, minerals, and fiber. Avoiding fruit can deprive your body of much-needed antioxidants, folate, bioflavonoids, and potassium.

If you have diabetes, you can eat fruit. However, since fruit contains carbohydrates, you need to limit your intake. Carbohydrates are the macronutrients that affect your blood sugar the most.

The amount of carbohydrates varies from one fruit to the next. It might be surprising, but some "less sweet" fruits actually have more carbs than sweeter ones.

Carbohydrate values are measured using the glycemic index (GI). A carbohydrate-based food's GI ranks how fast it will raise your blood sugar level. High-GI foods (with a ranking over 70) will raise your blood sugar and insulin levels faster than low-GI foods (55 or under).

Ultimately, it's not so much about whether or not you can eat fruit but how much fruit you eat as part of the recommended diet your provider wants you to follow.


Click Play to Learn About Low Glycemic Fruit

This video has been medically reviewed by Meredith Bull, ND.

What Are the Benefits of Pineapple for Diabetes?

Pineapple is a fat-free food that's rich in fiber and vitamins. Fiber is very important for people with diabetes because it can help to lower blood sugar, reduce cholesterol, and regulate bowel function.

A single, one-cup serving of fresh pineapple has an impressive 2.2 grams of fiber and only 78 calories.

However, pineapple also has a relatively high GI ranking compared to other fruits. Fresh whole pineapple has a GI ranking of 59, placing it at the lower end of the moderate range.

Unsweetened pineapple juice has a far lower GI ranking because the solid carbohydrates have been removed. Tinned fruit in natural juice has about the same GI ranking as fresh pineapple. However, tinned pineapple in syrup should be avoided if you have diabetes because of the added sugar.

Here is how pineapple compared to other fresh fruits on the glycemic index, ranked from high to low:

  • Watermelon: 76
  • Pineapple: 59
  • Banana: 51
  • Mango: 51
  • Grapes: 49
  • Orange: 43
  • Strawberries: 40
  • Apple: 36
  • Pears: 33
  • Grapefruit: 25
  • Cherries: 22

How to Enjoy Pineapple If You Have Diabetes

Even though it has a higher GI ranking, you can still eat pineapple if you have diabetes—you just need to be mindful of the serving size.

If you love pineapple, stick to one portion and pair it with a protein like low-fat cottage cheese or Greek yogurt. You can also add pineapple to a chicken stirfry for a little pop of sweetness.

If you're making pineapple part of a meal (such as grilled pork and pineapple), consider eating the protein first. There is some evidence that eating according to this timing may slow the rise in your blood sugar.


People with diabetes do not have to avoid fruit, including pineapple. While pineapple does have natural sugar and carbs, you can enjoy it in moderation as part of a balanced diet. You’ll get the many health benefits it offers and still be able to keep your blood sugar levels in range.

A Word From Verywell

When it comes to making smart dietary choices, moderation is always key. Take the time to read food labels, and do the research to understand how certain foods may or may not affect you. By doing so, you'll be able to avoid fluctuations in your blood sugar and achieve better control of your diabetes over the long term.

8 Sources
Verywell Health uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. American Diabetes Association. Fruit.

  2. American Diabetes Association. Get smart on carbs.

  3. Shukla A, Iliescu R, Thomas C, et al. Food order has a significant impact on postprandial glucose and insulin levels. Diabetes Care. 2015; 38(7):e98-e99. doi:10.2337/dc08-1239

  4. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Manage blood sugar

  5. USDA. Pineapple, raw

  6. Glycemic Index Foundation. About the glycemic index.

  7. Harvard Health. Glycemic index for 60+ foods.

  8. USDA. Pineapple juice, 100%.

By Debra Manzella, RN
Debra Manzella, MS, RN, is a corporate clinical educator at Catholic Health System in New York with extensive experience in diabetes care.