Why is fresh fruit better than canned fruit for people with diabetes?

Toby Smithson
Nutrition & Dietetics

For someone with diabetes, the focus is on total carbohydrate from food sources. A typical fruit serving of ½ cup of juice, ¼ cup dried fruit, 1 medium piece of fresh fruit or ½ cup canned fruit packed in its own juice will provide about 15 grams of carbohydrate.

Someone with diabetes should make sure if consuming canned fruit that they use fruit packed in its own juice in order to get more food for the carbohydrate content. Generally ½ cup of canned fruit in its own juice will be 15 grams of carbohydrate.

Whenever possible, it's best to select fresh fruit over canned fruit. Although fresh fruit can eventually spoil, it usually has more fiber, vitamins and minerals than canned fruit. Plus, fresh fruit takes a bit of effort to chew, which may cause you to eat slower, and allow you to be more mindful about your food selection.

If you do eat canned fruit, choose fruit that is canned in water rather than fruit in heavy syrup. The juice (or syrup) is usually included in the carb count displayed on the food label (unless otherwise specified). If the fruit is not packed in water, pour off the liquid to reduce the amount of carbs you are consuming.

Continue Learning about Diabetes


Diabetes mellitus (MEL-ih-tus), often referred to as diabetes, is characterized by high blood glucose (sugar) levels that result from the body’s inability to produce enough insulin and/or effectively utilize the insulin. Diabetes ...

is a serious, life-long condition and the sixth leading cause of death in the United States. Diabetes is a disorder of metabolism (the body's way of digesting food and converting it into energy). There are three forms of diabetes. Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease that accounts for five- to 10-percent of all diagnosed cases of diabetes. Type 2 diabetes may account for 90- to 95-percent of all diagnosed cases. The third type of diabetes occurs in pregnancy and is referred to as gestational diabetes. Left untreated, gestational diabetes can cause health issues for pregnant women and their babies. People with diabetes can take preventive steps to control this disease and decrease the risk of further complications.

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.