Strawberries and Diabetes

Strawberries and Diabetes


Glycemic index:


Calories per 100 g:

35 kcal

As a diabetic, you’ve probably been advised to stay away from sugar-containing foods and fruits as much as possible. However, you don’t necessarily have to steer clear of fruits, especially if you have a sweet tooth. This is especially true as fruits offer loads of nutrients, vitamins, and fiber which has been proven to regulate blood glucose levels and help decrease the risk of developing type 2 diabetes.


Strawberries, in particular, feature among the superfoods for diabetics recommended by the American Diabetes Association (ADA). In this article, we would explore the relationship between the consumption of strawberry and diabetes health.


Nutritional value

  • Protein 0.64 g
  • Carbohydrate 7.63 g
  • Fat 0.22 g
  • Fiber 1.8 g
  • Sugar 5.34 g
  • Cholesterol 0 g

How Much Carbs Do Strawberries Contain?


Strawberry contains relatively lesser carbs compared to other fruits like mango and banana. Namely, you get just 11 g of carbs and 3 g of fiber from a one-cup serving of strawberries. In addition, strawberries fall under the low-glycemic foods category with a GI value of just 41. This means if you consume a cup of strawberries, your carb intake is still within the recommended 15 g per serving carb intake for people with diabetes.


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How Do Strawberries Benefit Diabetics?


The low-calorie content of strawberries makes them an excellent option for people looking to keep their weight in check. You get as little as 46 calories from a generous one-cup serving of strawberries. This is highly beneficial to diabetics as watching your weight is a natural means of avoiding diabetes complications such as diabetic retinopathy and blood vessel damage.


Strawberries also offer a decent amount of fiber — about 12% DV from just one cup. Aside from slowing sugar digestion, fiber also helps you stay filled for prolonged periods. This results in a reduction in the number of times you eat, thus promoting weight loss and helping you beat your sugar levels even more.


Additionally, strawberries present a rich antioxidants profile. These compounds have been found to benefit diabetic health by improving insulin resistance. Hence, a diet rich in fresh fruits like strawberries reduces your risk of developing type 2 diabetes.


Lastly, strawberries offer a rich vitamins and minerals profile, including magnesium, vitamin C, and anthocyanins. These have been associated with healthier blood sugar levels in people with diabetes. Namely, a particular study linked magnesium to reduced insulin resistance and fasting glucose levels, reducing type 2 diabetes risk. On the other hand, vitamin C presents a lower type 2 diabetes risk and reduced postprandial blood glucose spikes, while its antioxidant content could prevent hypertension — a diabetes complication.


A Review of Studies on Strawberry and Diabetes


In a bid to study how strawberries influenced postprandial sugar levels following the consumption of high-calorie Western foods like pancakes and bacon, a certain study on diabetes and strawberry was carried out on 14 overweight adults. These individuals consumed a strawberry drink (approximately one cup of fresh strawberries) either two hours before a Western meal, alongside the meal, or 2 hours after the meal. Following observation over 10 hours, the first group (those who took the drink before eating) had extensively diminished blood sugar levels. This was predicted to result from strawberry-induced enhanced insulin signal causing a more rapid transport of glucose from the bloodstream into body cells.


Another 14.7-year-long study conducted on 37,131 initially non-diabetic women discovered that those who consumed a minimum of two strawberry servings weekly reduced their risk of developing diabetes by 10%, compared to those that rarely or never ate strawberries. Remarkably, women who consumed fewer strawberry servings were more at risk of having higher hemoglobin A1C levels—a diabetes marker—thus, putting them at a higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes.


The Best Way to Eat Strawberries as a Diabetic


Eating fresh strawberries in the whole form can be pretty boring, to say the least. However, having diabetes doesn’t prevent you from spicing things up a little bit. The following are ADA-recommended strawberry recipes that offer below 15 g of carbs per serving that you can try:

  • Frozen yogurt fruit pops
  • Lemony fruit cups
  • Fruit and almond smoothie
  • Fruit filled pancake puffs
  • Fruit and cheese kebabs
  • Sparkling strawberry mint water

Wrap Up


Your diet as a diabetic doesn't have to be bland and monotonous. Research on strawberry and diabetes has shown that this fruit is not only beneficial in managing your blood sugar levels but is also quite delicious and refreshing, making them just perfect for diabetics with a sweet tooth. However, it’s essential to consume them in moderate amounts.



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