20 Fruits With a Low Glycemic Index – Based on Popularity

Posted March 26, 2021 by Michael Chamberlain - See Editorial Guidelines

Looking for the most comprehensive list of fruits with a low glycemic index? Here we’ve compiled the most helpful resource you’ll need. We’ve put together the ultimate list of the best and most popular fruits, down to the less common fruits with a low glycemic index.

Here’s the initial list to start us off with their glycemic index score. Then we’ll go through each one in more detail.

Fruits with a low glycemic index:

  1. Cherries – 20
  2. Grapefruit – 25
  3. Dried apricots – 32
  4. Pears – 38
  5. Apples – 39
  6. Oranges – 40
  7. Plums – 40 or Prunes (Dried plums) – 29 
  8. Strawberries and other berries – 41
  9. Peaches – 42
  10. Grapes – 53
  11. Guava – 12 
  12. Tamarind – 23
  13. Passion fruit – 30
  14. Soursop – 32 
  15. Carambola/Star Fruit – 36
  16. Avocado – 40+
  17. Dragon Fruit – 48-52
  18. Kiwi – 50
  19. Permissions – 50
  20. Mangoes – 51

So, that’s the list, and each fruit can also bring additional benefits, which we’ll discuss. Let’s get into some of the details, starting with a quick reference guide on glycemic index (GI).

Reference guide for low GI score

20 Fruits With a Low Glycemic Index

In simple terms, the GI of foods denotes the speed at which produce – containing carbohydrates – affects your blood sugar level when eaten.

Foods with a lower GI take longer to be absorbed and digested. This means that the conversion of carbohydrates to glucose takes longer, minimizing the dramatic impact on blood sugar levels.  

This means that your blood sugar levels will rise slowly and avoid any instant or unhealthy spikes. This is an important factor for many people dealing with various conditions, such as diabetes.

According to the American Diabetes Association (ADA), GI scores are rated as:

Glycemic ScoreGlycemic level
Low GI55 or lower
Medium56 – 69
High70 and above

When it comes to low GI fruits, many are aware of the main ten common fruits within this group. But for low GI fruits, there are actually lots of choices. 

Although some fruits in the list below may sound new or unpopular, they all have their unique flavor and benefits that are worth trying.

Popular Low GI Fruits (Least to highest GI)

Here’s our top list, and the most comprehensive one available on the net!

1. Cherries

Cherries have a GI score of 20 and are also high in potassium, fiber, and antioxidants, which will give your immune system a boost.

Cherries pack a punch when it comes to flavor and their abundant nutrient content delivers a positive effect on your heart health.

The downside to cherries, like many fruits, is that they have a short growing season.

It can be difficult to purchase fresh cherries all year round unless they’re flown in from abroad.

As an alternative, you can opt for canned tart cherries as a substitute. Canned cherries have a GI score of about 41. This is still well below 55 and is therefore considered a very low GI.

But make sure to use canned cherries that aren’t packed with sugar.

2. Grapefruit

Grapefruit has an amazing GI score of 25 and contains over 100 percent of your recommended daily intake of vitamin C.

This citrus fruit also has a large number of nutrients such as antioxidants, potassium, and fiber.

They’re also good for maintaining healthy heart function and support an effective digestion process. Grapefruits are a good booster for your immunity as well. 

But grapefruit may affect how your prescription drugs work if you take any. So, if you consider eating grapefruit while on prescription medications, check with your doctor first. 

3. Dried apricots

Dried apricots have a GI index of 32. They are high in vitamin A and E. They also have one-fourth of the daily copper requirement.

Dried apricots, and most other dried fruits, for that matter, contain more sugar and have a higher GI than the whole fruit counterpart. So, if you opt for the dried fruit option, then keep your portions small.

The only downside to apricots is that they bruise easily, and it’s hard to find them fresh and keep them that way.

Many get apricots shipped when they are still green to avoid this bruising.

4. Pears

Pears have a GI score of 38 and they are high in fiber as well.

One small pear has about 7 grams of fiber. This is roughly 20% of the daily fiber your body needs. 

It has a rich, sweet, and subtle taste, whether having it fresh or baked. But try having them with the peel intact – it’s the healthiest way to eat pears. They also make a great option for summer salads.

Some believe that the pigments that give pears their color, called “anthocyanins,” can lower your chances of type 2 diabetes.

However, more studies are needed to validate this.

5. Apples

Apples have a glycemic index of 39 and are one of the lowest of the GI fruits. They’re also one of the most common fruits available.

This popularity mainly comes because apples are one of America’s favorite fruits.

It’s a go-to fruit that satisfies any crunch cravings. It provides roughly 20% of your daily fiber intake and is the healthiest with the peel on.

Apples are also believed to reduce the risk for diabetes and cardiovascular diseases. 

They are gut-friendly and so is a great option to feed your healthy gut bacteria as well. While boosting your iron levels and apples do make a crunchy option for fruit salads. 

6. Oranges

Oranges have a GI score of 40 and offer a great boost of vitamin C. There are plenty of orange varieties, so their glycemic index can vary.

In general, the average glycemic index of a medium-size orange is 43. So, it’s safe to say that oranges, in general, have a low glycemic index – well below 55. 

Orange is also a great source of fiber and makes a good pulpy fruit you can munch on. 

If you’re considering having a healthy alternative, then avoid orange juice. Orange juice will have all the calories minus the fiber – as well as other additives, making it far less healthy.

7. Plums or Prunes (Dried plums) 

Plums have a GI score of 40 and are juicy treats rich in antioxidants.

Like apricots, plums also bruise quickly, and you may find it hard to get your hands on fresh plums all year round.

But you can enjoy plums in their dried state which are the “prunes.”

Prunes have a GI score of 29. Specifically, prunes are ideal for those who suffer from constipation as they’re a potent natural laxative.

The fiber content in prunes adds bulk to the stool alongside reducing the cholesterol content.

However, watch out for your portion sizes if you’re opting for prunes instead of plums. As prunes are dried fruits, their water content is removed, making them higher in carbohydrates.

8. Strawberries (including other berries) 

Strawberries have a GI score of 41 and are a great snack or dessert fruit that’s popular around the world.

A cup of strawberries has more vitamin C than an orange. They’re also a good source of fiber and contain micronutrients, such as polyphenols that act as antioxidants.

Strawberries protect your heart in different ways. They can increase HDL (good) cholesterol, lower blood pressure, and help prevent cancer.

They’re also a sodium-free, fat-free, cholesterol-free, low-calorie fruit option. 

And there’s more good news. You don’t have to just stop at strawberries. Blueberries, blackberries, cranberries, raspberries, and just about all berries have a low GI too.

Here is a list of berry varieties that are also fruits with a low glycemic index, ranked low into the 30s and 40s.

  • Goji berries
  • Bilberries
  • Saskatoon berries
  • Acai berries
  • Elderberries
  • Cloudberries
  • Huckleberry
  • Gooseberries
  • Chokeberries 
  • Mulberries
  • Salmonberry
  • Muscadine
  • Buffaloberries

9. Avocado

The actual GI score of avocado largely depends on its ripeness. Studies have shown that the GI of avocado in general scores below 55, making it officially a low GI fruit.

One study found that Nigerian avocado had a GI of 40+. Shockingly, in another study, it was found that the GI of a raw, peeled avocado is estimated to be about zero.

This zero score came with a margin of error of just one point. The conclusion for such a score was backed up by the fact that avocados contain very few sugars. 

The main sugar found in avocado is D-mannoheptulose. This sugar is believed to help control blood sugar management.

This is a key science behind why the American Diabetes Association encourages diabetes patients to add avocados into their diet.

Avocados can also lower the risk of metabolic syndrome, a factor that can increase the risk of diabetes.

Avocado can also reduce the risk of blood vessel diseases such as heart disease, stroke, and even kidney failure.

10. Peaches

Peaches have a GI of 42 and only have 68 calories. It’s packed with 10 different vitamins, including 6% of daily vitamin A and 15% of daily vitamin C.

One medium peach also contains 2% or more daily value of vitamins E and K. They also have a good amount of minerals, niacin, folate, iron, choline, potassium, magnesium, phosphorus, manganese, zinc, and copper.

Peaches offer a great delicious alternative to a calorie-laden dessert.

Having a complex fiber content, the best way to get most of it is to eat a peach with its skin still on. 

In particular, peach skin contributes much of the 3 grams of fiber found in a large peach.

11. Grapes

On the lower end of the popularity list of fruits with a low glycemic index, grapes make it, with a GI score of 53. They provide fiber, vitamin B-6, and other essential minerals in ample amounts.

As a fruit where it’s normal to eat the skin, the skin is also rich in healthy fiber. 

Grapes also provide effective support for digestion and efficient brain function. They can also boost your mood by supporting positive mood hormones.

Also, grapes are significantly associated with a lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

Besides this, their high antioxidant content may also protect against various chronic diseases.

Lesser-known fruits with a low glycemic index

Let’s now get on to the lesser-known and perhaps less popular fruits that also have a low GI score. Perhaps look to incorporate some of these fruits into your diet. 

Here we list fruits with a low glycemic index, from least to highest score – some you may already know, and some may be completely new to you.

12. Guava 

Guava has an amazing low GI score of 12 and is a perfect addition to a meal, or a snack, especially in the morning.

As this fruit is rich in fiber, it goes a long way towards keeping you feeling fuller for longer. This can contribute greatly to maintaining a healthy weight.

Guava also plays a great role in lowering blood sugar levels, especially for type 2 diabetes.

Consuming without the peel is more effective for this purpose and equally lowers total serum cholesterol, triglycerides, and LDL.

They also make a go-to fruit for improving blood pressure and serum lipid parameters. 

13. Tamarind 

Tamarind has a very low GI score of 23, and among other nutrients, Tamarind is rich in fiber.

Tamarind is also packed with magnesium, potassium, iron, calcium, phosphorous, vitamin B1, B2, and B3. Even small amounts of vitamin C, K, B6, B5, folate, copper, and selenium can be found. 

The polyphenols in tamarind have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. These properties contribute toward protecting against heart disease, cancer, and diabetes. 

In specific, the seed extract may help lower blood sugar, whereas the pulp can help you lose body weight and reverse fatty liver disease.

14. Passion fruit 

Passion fruit has a GI score of 30 and is well known for cutting sugar-craving and mood swings. Besides, passion fruit boosts the immune system, supports heart health, reduces anxiety, and is a good source of antioxidants and fiber. 

Most importantly, according to research, passion fruits have a bioactive compound that can improve insulin sensitivity.

Alongside this, they have great potential to reduce the risk of many diseases, including diabetes.

15. Soursop 

Soursop has a GI score of 32 and is a member of the custard apple family.

One cup can provide 46.4 mg of vitamin C – and is known for its strong effects on supporting your immune system. When used for this purpose, the USDA recommends an intake of 90 mg per day. 

Soursop also provides 626 mg of potassium which helps with blood pressure regulation and rapid workout recovery. 

They’re also a common fruit consumed for related health benefits such as reducing inflammation and healing stomach issues. 

16.Carambola (Starfruit) 

Carambola has a GI score of 36 and is highly rich in Vitamin C.

It’s also packed with fiber, copper, carotene, alpha, and vitamin A. The fiber in carambola (starfruit) slows food digestion and prevents rapid spikes in blood sugar.

As a low-calorie and nutrient-dense fruit, carambola can aid in healthy weight loss and help prevent the development of insulin resistance.

Including carambola in your diet can also reduce your risk of diabetes and keep blood sugars under control. 

17. Dragon fruit 

The exact GI of dragon fruit is difficult to pin down, but on average, they score 48-52. 

The most exciting thing about dragon fruit, besides its low GI index, is that it’s naturally a low-calorie food.

Most of the calories come from carbohydrates of two types. One is naturally occurring sugars (13g per 6-ounce serving), and the second is fiber (5 grams of fiber per 6-ounce serving).

This fiber content alone accounts for 18% of your recommended daily intake of fiber. 

But unfortunately, in most countries, only dragon fruit juices are readily available, more so than the actual fruit.

Dragon fruit juice only contains vitamins and minerals and not fiber content. Sometimes these drinks are mixes of several juices with a high sugar volume.

You can often find these mixed dragon fruit juices being marketed as “dragon fruit flavor.” Sometimes they may not even contain the actual dragon fruit juice.

18. Kiwi 

Kiwi has a GI score of 50 and can routinely make a low-carb, diabetes-friendly fruit.

By breaking down sugar from other foods, they help regulate the release of sugar in your blood.

Kiwi also contains a good source of potassium, fiber, and vitamin C and a high water holding capacity.

Kiwis can be found in many grocery stores most of the year. And more conveniently, they can last in the fridge for up to three weeks.

This shelf life is much longer than many other fruits and is indeed a handy diabetes-friendly fruit option.

19. Persimmon 

Persimmon has a GI score of 50 and is a fiber-rich fruit with 64% water.

In general, 100 grams of persimmon has 127 calories. If 127 is too much, opt for Asian or Japanese persimmon, which contains only around 18 calories per portion. This fruit is still considered a low to moderate-calorie fruit.

Persimmon makes a good source of vitamin A and C, vitamin B6, potassium, antioxidants, and the mineral manganese. They may also benefit heart health, reduce inflammation and support healthy vision. 

20. Mangoes

Mangoes in general have a GI score of 51 which means they are low GI fruit.

However, depending on the type and variety of mango, the GI value can vary between 51 and 56.

Therefore, those with diabetes should only include light to moderate amounts of mangoes into their diet.

People’s responses to food vary. If mangoes are a viable, healthy carb choice for you, it’s important to evaluate how you respond to them.

Now, let’s discuss some top tips to consider when looking at fruits with a low glycemic index.

Fruits with low glycemic index – tips to consider

  • Processing the fruit, such as grinding, can raise the GI. Generally, the more processed a fruit – or any food is – the higher the GI. 
  • Cooking methods or techniques can affect the fruit too. The longer you cook the fruit, the higher the GI can become.
  • The riper the fruit, the higher the GI. An unripe banana can have a GI of 30, whereas an overripe banana has a GI of 48.
  • Fruits that have high fiber and/or acid content tend to have a low GI.

To close

It’s a comprehensive list, but now you have some amazing choices of fruits with a low glycemic index. We hope this helps in enhancing, regulating, and improving your fruit intake!



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