List of Dry Fruits for Diabetics Patients to Eat


The sugar and calorie content of fresh and dried fruits is the main difference between them. The drying process causes the fruit to lose water mass and volume, making the sugars and nutrients more concentrated.

As a result, dried fruits contain more calories and sugar than fresh fruit. However, It does not mean they are less healthy for people with diabetes.

If you have diabetes, you may be wary of eating dried fruits. However, it is essential to note that dried fruits can be a nutritious and diabetic-friendly snack if consumed in moderation.

Instead of a sugary candy bar, why not reach for a select few dried fruits (just half a fistful – e.g 1 apricot + 2 Walnuts + 2 Badam) when craving something sweet? Eating dried fruits in moderation can help maintain healthy blood sugar levels.

Best Dry Fruits to Eat – For Type 1 & Type 2 Diabetes

Some dried fruits can help you control your blood sugar levels. A study says a specific composition of nuts and dried fruits efficiently counteract metabolic diseases such as type 2 diabetes. It is likely due to their unique profile of macronutrients, micronutrients and other bioactive compounds.

Here is the list of dry fruits for people with diabetes to eat:

Apricots or Khumani

Dried apricots have a low GI score of 30 to 32. They also provide 2.2 grams of protein and 4.7 grams of fibre.

This tart-tasting dried fruit also provides essential nutrients like vitamin A, iron, potassium, and calcium. However, people with diabetes should avoid canned, dried apricots with syrup. 

Dates or Khajoor

Dates are a tropical fruit that come in both dry and wet varieties. Dry dates have a high amount of dietary fibre, which promotes satiety and suppresses your food cravings. In addition, this iron-rich and delicious dried fruit is ideal for diabetic people with anaemia

Despite their sweetness, dates have a low to moderate glycemic index (GI), depending on the variety.

One study also shows that the five common types of dates (Fara’d, Lulu, Bo Ma’an, Dabbas and Khalas) have low GIs. So, when eaten in moderation, dates are safe for people with diabetes.

Raisins or Kishmish

A 1/2 cup of raisins contains 2.2 grams of protein and 2.7 grams of fibre.

It also has a GI score of 54 to 66, making raisins a low to medium glycemic index dried fruit. Raisins are also suitable for managing anaemia and constipation.


Prunes are dried plums with nearly 6.2 grams of fibre in a 1/2 cup serving. Since it has a low GI of 29 and high fibre, prunes are ideal for overweight or obese diabetics. 

Almonds or Badam

Despite their common label, almonds are a type of dried fruit, not true nuts. Nevertheless, soaked almonds are an excellent diabetes-friendly option with a GI score close to 0.

They are also high in vitamin E and antioxidants, making them ideal for adults and children.


Each serving of dried figs contains 4g of fibre and 19-26g of sugar, depending on the type.

Due to their low to moderate GI, figs should not raise blood glucose as rapidly as other high glycemic index foods. And you can pair it with plain Greek yoghurt and walnuts to minimise GI impact. 

The HealthifyMe Note

Dried fruits may be smaller and lacking in water content, but they are still fruits and contain plenty of nutrients. People with diabetes can have dried fruits as a healthy alternative to high-calorie, high-carbohydrate, or high-glycemic index snacks. Nutritionists recommend eating low to moderate GI dry fruits such as apricots, prunes, dates, walnuts, and almonds to stay safe.

Glycemic Index of Dried Fruits

The glycemic index (GI) is a score based on how slowly or quickly a food raises blood glucose levels. Foods with a high GI undergo rapid digestion and cause high blood sugar fluctuations.

Low GI foods, by contrast, undergo slow digestion and absorption. Hence, they produce a gradual or slow rise in blood sugar and insulin levels. 

When you have diabetes, choosing foods that will not cause your blood sugar to spike is essential. So, go for dried fruit with a medium or low GI. 

The GI scale goes from 0 to 100. The rating is as follows:

  • Low: 55 or less
  • Medium: 56–69
  • High: 70 or above

There can be variations in the glycemic index of different dried fruits. Some of them get coated with sugar and syrup before drying, which makes them sweeter.

These are candied fruit and often have a very high GI score. Other dried fruits have artificial sugar added after drying, which can also change the GI value.

A study shows that sugar-coated dried fruits with high GI cause an energy peak for a short period. But, then, the blood sugar quickly drops.

As a result, you may experience a sugar crash or sudden fatigue. Therefore, those more prone to sugar crashes or have severe diabetes must only have natural, plain dried fruits with low GI ratings. 

Here is the reference GI value of different dried fruits:

Food Serving Size Caloric Content (Range)
Raisins 1/2 cup 54-66
Apricots 1/2 cup 30-32
Prunes 1/2 cup 29
Figs 1/2 cup 61
Almonds 1 cup 0
Cashews 100 g 22
Peaches 100 g 35
Walnuts 100 g 15
Sultanas 100 g 51-52
Dried apples 100 g 29
Pistachios 100 g 15
Dates 100 mg 63

According to the American Diabetes Association, a person with diabetes can consume between 45-60 grams of carbohydrates daily. It is equivalent to 3-4 carbohydrate servings.

For example, a typical 1/4 cup of dried fruit equals 15 grams of carbohydrates or one serving. You can include this much in a daily meal plan, provided no added sugar exists. 

The HealthifyMe Note

Certain dried fruits have a low glycemic index, such as prunes, apples, apricots, peaches, almonds, walnuts, and pistachios. Figs, dates, and raisins have a medium glycemic index. Candied dried fruits (which is not recommended) may have a slightly higher glycemic load, thus causing blood sugar levels to rise faster than other forms of dried fruit.

Benefits of Dried Fruits for Diabetes

According to current research, combining dried fruits with high-GI foods improves postprandial glycemia more than eating high-GI foods alone. It is because dried fruits tend to displace available carbohydrates. Hence, effectively lowering the overall GI of the meal.

Another study shows the ability of 4 dried fruits (dates, apricots, raisins, and sultanas) to reduce the glycemic response of white bread. These dried fruit varieties lower the glycemic response by displacing half of the available carbohydrates.

Dried fruits are also good immunity boosters. A study shows that dried fruits’ phenolic compounds and other potent antioxidants support immunity. Since diabetes causes a compromised immune system, eating immunity-building dried fruits is beneficial. 

It is always best to eat various fruits in all forms and colours. However, it is easy to overdo dried fruits while snacking on them. The good news is that HealthifyPRO CGM can be a powerful tool to monitor and determine the quantity of dried fruits that can lead to better or worse glycemic function.

Furthermore, since different people can have very different glycemic reactions to the same foods, CGM can provide personalised data and feedback.


Dried fruit can be an excellent snack option for those with diabetes due to its long shelf life compared to fresh fruit.

It is full of essential vitamins, minerals, and fibre, but the drying can also intensify the sugar and calorie count. Therefore, if you have diabetes, remember to be mindful of portion sizes and select dried fruits with a low glycemic index.

Those with diabetes should be cautious with their consumption of dried fruit. If you need help with how to include them in your diet, consult a HealthifyMe nutritionist.

They can help you pick the best options based on your individual needs. In addition, a Pro nutritionist and CGM can determine if a particular dried fruit can help maintain your glycemic control.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q. Does dried fruit raise blood sugar?

A. Eating dried fruits in moderation will not raise your blood sugar. Dried fruits having a low or moderate GI is best if you are concerned about the impact on blood sugar levels. However, dried fruits with high GI scores will significantly affect blood sugar more than low and moderate GI ones. Therefore, it all depends on the type and amount of dried fruits you consume. 

Q. Can diabetics eat raisins?

A. Yes, people with diabetes can eat raisins. However, they do have a glycemic index of 54 to 66. Hence, eating excess raisins or pairing them with carb-heavy foods is not suitable for diabetes. If you snack on raisins, keep your portions small or around 1 tsp in the day. 

Q. Are dates good for diabetes?

A. Yes, dates make an excellent mid-morning or evening snack in a diabetes diet. However, since there are various types of dates with varying GI scores, it is better to eat them in controlled amounts. So, eat at most 1 to 2 dates in one sitting or equally spread three dates throughout the day. 

Q. Are cashews OK for diabetics?

A. Cashews are a rich source of beneficial fats for people with diabetes. They have a low GI score of 22. Hence, cashews are not likely to cause a significant rise in your blood sugar when eaten in moderate amounts. However, avoid cashews coated in salt and other flavourings. 

Q. Is dried kiwi good for diabetics?

A. The nutritional value of kiwi fruit makes it a brilliant addition to your diabetes-friendly diet. It is rich in fibre and low in GI, making it a good option for people with diabetes. You can add dried kiwi to salads, oatmeal, or smoothies. 

Q. What dried fruit can type 2 diabetics eat?

A. No dried fruit is entirely out of the question, even if you have diabetes. It all comes down to portion size. However, it is best to choose dried fruits with a low to moderate glycemic index. This way, you will be sure to minimise blood sugar spikes. Some examples of dried fruits with a low to moderate GI are dried apples, peaches, figs, almonds, raisins, apricots, walnuts, and cashews.

Q. Are almonds good for diabetes?

A. The GI of almonds is almost 0 or no more than 5. It is because the small amounts of carbohydrate in almonds is primarily fibre. Therefore, almonds are good for diabetes. 

The Supporting Sources

1. Hernández-Alonso, Pablo, Lucía Camacho-Barcia, Mònica Bulló, and Jordi Salas-Salvadó. 2017. “Nuts and Dried Fruits: An Update of Their Beneficial Effects on Type 2 Diabetes” Nutrients 9, no. 7: 673.

2. Alkaabi, J. M., Al-Dabbagh, B., Ahmad, S., Saadi, H. F., Gariballa, S., & Ghazali, M. A. (2011). Glycemic indices of five varieties of dates in healthy and diabetic subjects. Nutrition journal, 10, 59.

3. P Dhiman, K Soni, S Singh, Nutritional Value of Dry Fruits and their Vital Significance – A Review, PharmaTutor, 2014, 2(3), 102-108

4. Zhu, R., Fan, Z., Dong, Y., Liu, M., Wang, L., & Pan, H. (2018). Postprandial Glycaemic Responses of Dried Fruit-Containing Meals in Healthy Adults: Results from a Randomised Trial. Nutrients, 10(6), 694.

5. Viguiliouk, E., Jenkins, A. L., Blanco Mejia, S., Sievenpiper, J. L., & Kendall, C. W. C. (2018). Effect of dried fruit on postprandial glycemia: a randomised acute-feeding trial. Nutrition & diabetes, 8(1), 59.

6. Chang, Sui Kiat & Alasalvar, Cesarettin & Shahidi, Fereidoon. (2016). Review of dried fruits: Phytochemicals, antioxidant efficacies, and health benefits. Journal of Functional Foods. 21. 113-132. 10.1016/j.jff.2015.11.034.

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