Are Apples Good For Diabetes? Benefits, Risks, Blood Sugar

Is eating apples good for diabetes?

Dealing with diabetes can be overwhelming. 

It may mean changing your eating habits to something you are unfamiliar with. 

And you may have several questions on which foods can help you or worsen things. 

Apples can be a healthy snack you can include, but just like any other fruit, there are some things you need to consider before adding it to your diet if you have diabetes. 

Here, we’ll determine if apples are good for diabetes and what their potential health benefits are. 

Benefits of Eating Apples For People With Diabetes

Here are some of the possible health benefits of apples for diabetics. 

1) Reduced inflammation

Apples are highly nutritious. They offer several essential vitamins and minerals, such as potassium, vitamins C and K. 

In addition, apples are high in polyphenols (antioxidants). Research shows they help reduce free radicals and decrease inflammation. 

2) Good for the heart

Thanks to its high fiber content, apples can help reduce cholesterol levels. Also, evidence suggests that they can help reduce blood pressure. 

3) Promotes gut health

Apples are high in pectin, which functions as food for the microorganisms that live in your gut. As a result, it can help keep them strong and healthy. 

Research shows that good gut health can promote digestion and bowel movements and enhance immune function. 

4) Improved brain function

While this trait is not particular to apples, good fruit and vegetable consumption produces more nutrients and a higher antioxidant content. 

Research shows that antioxidants can help improve cognitive function and reduce the risk of age-related mental decline. 

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Are Apples Good For Diabetics?

Including apples in your diet can be a good option for people with diabetes as they provide a source of fiber and nutrients, but individual responses may vary.

However, since they are mostly made of carbs, you need to eat them in moderation to prevent them from spiking your blood sugar levels. 

High in fiber

One large apple (215 grams) has 29.2 grams of carbs and 5.2 grams of fiber. This means that apples offer around 20% of the recommended fiber intake. 

Since fiber takes longer to digest, research shows it promotes more stable blood glucose levels. 

Low glycemic index (GI)

Another advantage of apples for diabetes is its low glycemic index (GI). 

The glycemic index is a measurement of the impact of carb-containing foods on blood sugar levels. The higher the number, the higher the impact on sugar levels. 

Apples have a low GI number (39), meaning they won’t spike your glucose levels as much as other foods, like cornflakes, which have a GI index of above 90. 

However, since apples still are a good source of carbs, you need to be mindful of how much you can eat. 

If you don’t know how many carbs you should be eating, talk with a health professional to have some guidance on your carb intake based on the medication you are taking and other factors. 

How Much Sugar Is In An Apple?

The amount of sugar in apples depends on the size of the apple. Here is a comparison table stating the sugar content in different apple sizes. 

Size of the appleSugar content (grams)
Small (129 grams)12.9
Medium (169 grams)16.9
Large (215 grams)21.5

Most of the sugars in apples come from fructose, which can have a different effect on the body than other refined sugars (like table sugar). 

According to a 2017 study, replacing simple sugars with fructose can help create more stable blood glucose levels. 

Still, you must be careful with its consumption due to its high carb content. 

How Eating Apples Affects Your Blood Glucose

Blood glucose levels spike when we eat a high-carb meal. Insulin is the hormone responsible for removing the excess sugar in the blood and placing it inside the cells. 

However, when someone has diabetes, insulin may not work properly, causing more sugar buildup. 

Since apples are high in carbs, they can spike blood glucose levels. But since they are high in fiber, they won’t spike it as much as other high-carb processed foods (like candy). 

However, remember that taking the skin off the apples removes most of its fiber. And apple juice is high in sugars and low in fiber, not making it the best choice. 

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What To Add To Apples To Reduce Blood Sugar Spikes

There are some things you can do to create more stable sugar levels when eating apples. 

Protein, healthy fats, and fiber can help promote more stable sugar levels. So, adding either option along with apples can help prevent a sudden sugar spike. 

So, next time you have an apple, consider adding healthy fats (peanut butter, nuts, or seeds) or a protein (Greek yogurt or eggs) to prevent it from affecting your sugar levels. 


How many apples can you eat per day if you have diabetes?

It all depends on the amount of carbs you can have per day and per meal (especially if you are taking anti-diabetic medication). 

The US dietary guidelines recommend consuming 8-10 servings of fruits and vegetables daily (one small apple is a serving). 

So, ensure you don’t surpass this amount, and seek professional health to understand your needs. 

Which apples are the best for people with diabetes?

Granny Smith apples tend to have the lowest sugar per serving, making them the best option for people with diabetes. Another great option is green apples. 

But you can still include other apples if you are careful with the carb intake. 

Nutritional facts about apples

One medium apple (169 grams) has 96 calories, 23 grams of carbs, 4.1 grams of fiber, 0.4 grams of protein, and 0.2 grams of fats. They are also high in vitamin C, potassium, and vitamin K. 


Apples are highly nutritious, making them a great snack option for people with diabetes. Thanks to their high fiber content, it can promote stable sugar levels, improve digestion, and support gut health. 

Considering the carbohydrate content in apples, moderation in consumption may be advisable for individuals managing diabetes.

If you are taking anti-diabetic medication, or you want to understand your individual carb needs, consult with a health professional to have more guidance.

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