- Choose canned fruits in juice or light syrup.
- Dried fruit and fruit juice are also nutritious choices, but the portion sizes are small so they may not be as filling as other choices.
A small piece of whole fruit or about 1/2 cup of frozen or canned fruit has about 15 grams of carbohydrate. Servings for most fresh berries and melons are from 3/4 to 1 cup. Fruit juice can range from 1/3 to 1/2 cup for 15 grams of carbohydrate. Only 2 tablespoons of dried fruit like raisins or dried cherries contains 15 grams of carbohydrate, so be cautious with your portion sizes! Fruit can be eaten in exchange for other carbohydrates in your meal plan such as starches, grains, or dairy.
For the Plate Method:
If using the plate method, having a small piece of whole fruit or ½ cup of fruit salad for dessert is a great complement to the non-starchy vegetables, small portion of starch, and protein foods that are on your plate.
For the Glycemic Index:
Most fruits have a low glycemic index because of their fructose and fiber content. Melons and pineapple have medium GI values, as do some dried fruits such as dates, raisins, and sweetened cranberries. Overall, fruit is encouraged when using the glycemic index to guide food choices -- so enjoy.