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What kind of canned fruit can a diabetic eat?

Eating fruit is a great way for people with diabetes to get important vitamins, minerals and fiber. However, fruits also contain natural sugars, so it’s important for diabetics to be mindful of portions. Canned fruit can be a good option in moderation, as the canning process does slightly reduce the sugar content. Here’s an overview of some of the best canned fruit options for diabetics.

Lowest Sugar Canned Fruits

Some fruits are naturally lower in sugar than others, making them better choices for diabetics. Here are some examples of low sugar canned fruits:

  • Peaches – A 1/2 cup serving of canned peaches in light syrup has about 13 grams of sugar.
  • Pears – The same serving size of canned pears has about 15 grams of sugar.
  • Applesauce – Unsweetened applesauce contains about 15 grams of sugar per 1/2 cup serving.
  • Plums – Canned plums have around 16 grams of sugar per 1/2 cup serving.

Compared to other fruits, these options are relatively low in sugar, especially when sticking to a 1/2 cup portion. Going with fruit canned in light syrup or its own juices can further reduce the sugar content.

High Sugar Canned Fruits to Limit

On the other hand, some canned fruits are quite high in natural sugars, so they should be limited for diabetics. Some examples include:

  • Pineapple – A 1/2 cup of canned pineapple has about 18 grams of sugar.
  • Mango – Canned mango contains around 24 grams of sugar per 1/2 cup.
  • Cherries – With 27 grams of sugar per 1/2 cup, cherries are one of the highest sugar fruits.

While these fruits can be incorporated into a diabetic diet in small portions, it’s best to choose other options more frequently.

Tips for Choosing Canned Fruit

Here are some tips to keep in mind when selecting canned fruit with diabetes:

  • Opt for fruit canned in water or light syrup instead of heavy syrup, which can add extra sugar.
  • Look for unsweetened or “no sugar added” varieties.
  • Watch portion sizes and aim to stick to 1/2 cup serving or less.
  • Compare nutrition labels and choose options lower in sugar.
  • Rinse fruit with water before eating to remove excess syrup.

Health Benefits of Canned Fruit for Diabetics

Despite being higher in sugar than vegetables, fruit can still be part of a healthy diabetes diet in moderation. Here are some benefits of incorporating canned fruit:

  • Fiber – Fruits like pears, peaches and plums provide fiber, which can help stabilize blood sugar levels.
  • Vitamins & minerals – Canned fruits offer important nutrients like vitamin C, potassium and magnesium.
  • Convenience – Canned fruit requires no prep work and can be easily grabbed for a quick snack or meal addition.
  • Longer shelf-life – Properly stored canned fruits can last over a year, reducing food waste.

Incorporating Canned Fruit Into Meals

Here are some simple ways to enjoy canned fruit as part of a diabetic diet:

  • Mix with plain yogurt or cottage cheese for a protein-rich snack
  • Blend into a smoothie along with yogurt and greens
  • Top oatmeal or cereal with drained, canned peaches, pears or applesauce
  • Make a simple fruit salad with drained canned fruit
  • Stir fruit into pancake or waffle batter before cooking

Safety Tips

When consuming canned fruit, there are some safety measures diabetics should follow:

  • Wash hands before handling cans to prevent contamination
  • Inspect cans for damage before opening – do not eat from bulging, dented or leaking cans
  • Consume opened canned fruit within 3-4 days and keep refrigerated
  • Avoid direct contact between fruit and metal can interior when opening to prevent lead exposure


Canned fruit can be a nutritious addition to the diet for people with diabetes when chosen wisely. Focus on fruits lower in natural sugar like peaches, pears, applesauce and plums. Be mindful of portion sizes, and look for canned varieties in water or light syrup. Incorporate canned fruits into meals and snacks in moderation to reap the benefits while keeping blood sugar in check.