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9 Fruits to Avoid If You Have Diabetes

You can eat fruits—but some are higher in sugar than health experts would prefer. Here's our quick list of fruits for diabetics to avoid.

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Wooden board with fresh sliced pineapple on tableNew Africa/Shutterstock

Pineapple

You can tell when biting into a juicy piece of pineapple that it’s probably high in sugar. That sweet, sticky juice running down your chin contains about 16 grams of sugar per cup. You can cut back on the serving size by topping a yogurt parfait with diced pineapple. Next, check out our 7-day diabetic meal plan.

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Cranberries in a bowlDream79/Shutterstock

Sweetened Cranberries

Real cranberries are low in sugar and contain only 4 grams in an entire cup. However, once you dry them out and add sweetener, they’re no longer a healthy choice for people with diabetes. Rather than having dried cranberries on their own, use a small handful as a topping for oatmeal or a salad like this one.

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bowl of raisins. raisins on a wooden background.sharshonm/Shutterstock

Raisins


While raisins are an easy snack on-the-go, they’re not the best choice if you’re watching your blood sugar. According to the Mayo Clinic, people with diabetes should limit their fruit portions to 15 grams of carbohydrates. One cup of raisins contains 115 grams! Opt for grapes instead or enjoy a small portion with a handful of almonds to balance the sugar. Did you know these are the worst eating habits if you have diabetes?

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A few figs in a bowl on an old wooden background.; Shutterstock ID 743841358; Job (TFH, TOH, RD, BNB, CWM, CM): TOHMarian Weyo/Shutterstock

Figs


There’s a reason why figs make the perfect cookie filling—they’re sweet! One cup of figs contains about 29 grams of sugar. Skip those boring packaged cookies and bake your own diabetic-friendly desserts at home for less sugar and more taste.

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Tangerines (oranges, mandarins, clementines, citrus fruits) with leaves in basket over rustic wooden backgroundOksana Mizina/Shutterstock

Tangerines

A tangerine may fit in the palm of your hand, but it packs a sweet punch. One cup (about 2 tangerines) contains over 20 grams of sugar. It’s best to steer clear of this fruit or to use a small portion as a topping. Instead, steer toward the best fruit for people with diabetes.

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Mango smoothie in a glass Mason jarElizaveta Galitckaia/Shutterstock

Mangos

Enjoying a slice of mango can instantly conjure up memories of your last tropical vacation, but it’s best to leave this fruit for special trips. One cup of mango contains 23 grams of sugar, so try looking for lower-sugar fruits. This grapefruit gremolata salmon dish feels indulgent but is healthy enough to enjoy every week.

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bunch of cherries in a wicker basketNatalia Wimberley/Shutterstock

Cherries


A cup of cherries feels like the quintessential summer snack, but it could send your blood sugar skyrocketing. One cup contains 20 grams of sugar and will probably leave you still feeling hungry. Change up your go-to summer fruit with this honey lime berry salad.

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Kiwi fruit on wooden backgroundOksana Mizina/Shutterstock

Kiwi


Kiwi is the fruit that gives fruit salads a gorgeous green color and sweet flavor; just watch the portion sizes. One cup of sliced kiwi has about 16 grams of sugar. Skip the kiwi and whip up this citrus avocado salad for a beautiful, bright dish without the extra sugar.

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fresh organic lychee fruit on bamboo basket and old wood backgroundkwanchai.c/Shutterstock

Lychees


Lychees probably weren’t on your grocery list this week, so let’s keep it that way. Lychee fruit can be used as a sweetener for desserts or cocktails and contains a whopping 29 grams of sugar per serving.

Carrie Madormo, RN
Now a freelance health and food writer, Carrie worked as a nurse for over a decade. When she isn't hunched over her laptop with a baby in hand, you will find her cooking her grandmother’s recipes, lacing up her running shoes or sipping coffee in the bathroom to hide from her three young children.

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