Peaches are small fruits with a yellow or white pulp and fuzzy peel. They are often called stone fruits because the inner pulp is covered by a shell that contains edible seeds. Native to Northwest China, peaches have been grown and enjoyed for thousands of years. Peaches can be delicious on their own or mixed with other fruits, such as blueberries or mango.
This article will explore how peaches may impact blood sugar levels and the health benefits of including this fruit in your diet.
Peaches are considered one of the top low glycemic index fruits, with a score of 28.¹ Low glycemic index fruits are often high in fiber and essential nutrients, which is true for the peach.
Peaches contain less fructose, a naturally occurring sugar found in fruits, than other fruit options.
While fresh fruit is always the best option, in some geographic areas, fresh peaches are not available. If you purchase canned peaches, be mindful of the ingredients and avoid any varieties that include added sugar, as this drastically increases the glycemic index rating and significantly impacts blood sugar levels.
The below glycemic index and glycemic load data is for 100g of raw, yellow peaches:¹ ²
Peaches are a low-carb fruit with just 10 grams of carbohydrates per 100 grams. Although its sugar content is relatively high, its fiber content compensates for this and creates a balanced, low glycemic index fruit. Peaches also have a low amount of fat and cholesterol, as well as trace amounts of vitamins A, E, and K.
The below nutritional information is for 100g of raw, yellow peaches.²
A (16 µg), B6 (0.03 mg), C (4.1 mg), Folate ( 6 µg)
Peaches can be a great option if your goal is to lose weight. However, moderation and portion size are key since peaches contain high sugar levels.
Peaches are high in water and have high fiber content, which will improve satiety levels and help you feel full. Peaches also have no saturated fats, cholesterol, or sodium, making them an ideal choice for those seeking to lose weight.
Some ways to enjoy peaches include:
Peaches are an excellent choice for people living with diabetes due to their low glycemic index and low glycemic load ratings. Peaches are rich in insoluble fiber that adds bulk to stool and improves digestion. Peaches can also easily relieve constipation, a common ailment for people living with diabetes.
An animal study found that consuming peach juice rich in polyphenols can prevent or reduce the risk factors associated with the development of obesity-related metabolic disorders, such as insulin resistance and high blood sugar levels.¹⁴
Another study found that a polysaccharide sugar derived from seasonal peach gum was found effective in controlling post-meal blood sugar levels and is potentially the equivalent of a non-insulin therapy for people living with diabetes.¹⁵
Peach allergies are relatively common and can cause mild to severe allergic reactions. Allergies to peaches typically manifest as oral allergy syndrome (OAS) or pollen-food syndrome. This reaction occurs when the proteins in a peach trigger an immune response in individuals with a sensitivity to birch pollen. Symptoms of OAS include itchiness of the mouth, lips, or throat, swelling, and redness. In severe cases, allergic reactions can cause hives, difficulty breathing, and anaphylaxis.
The proteins that often cause allergic reactions are found in the fruit’s skin but can also be found in the peach flesh.
If you suspect an allergy, sensitivity, or intolerance to peaches, please consult a healthcare professional.
The glycemic index (GI) is a measure of how quickly a carbohydrate-containing food raises blood sugar levels compared to a reference food, usually glucose. It ranks foods on a scale from 0 to 100, with higher values indicating a faster rise in blood sugar. The glycemic index (GI) scale is typically categorized as follows: Low GI [55 or less], Medium GI [56-69], High GI [70 or higher]. Foods with a high glycemic index digest rapidly and can cause dramatic fluctuations in blood glucose or glucose spikes.
Glycemic load (GL) takes into account both the quality (glycemic index) and quantity (carbohydrate content) of carbohydrates in a specific serving of food. It is a measure of how much a particular food will raise blood sugar levels. GL is calculated by multiplying the glycemic index of a food by its carbohydrate content and dividing it by 100. It provides a more accurate representation of the overall impact of a food on blood sugar compared to the glycemic index alone.
No, peaches do not typically cause a significant spike in insulin levels. They have a low to moderate glycemic index and contain dietary fiber, which helps regulate blood sugar levels by slowing down the digestion and absorption of carbohydrates. However, portion control and moderation are still important when managing blood sugar levels.
Yes, peaches are considered low glycemic due to their low glycemic index (GI) score of 28-56. This means they have a minimal impact on blood sugar levels and can be a good choice for people with diabetes or those looking to manage their blood sugar levels.
Yes, people living with diabetes can eat peaches in moderation as they are low in glycemic index and high in fiber. However, it is important to monitor blood sugar levels and consume them as part of a balanced diet.