Published:
October 26, 2023
April 16, 2024
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Pineapple, a tropical fruit known for its vibrant flavor and juiciness, has been a popular addition to diets worldwide. It offers a rich source of vitamins and minerals and boasts a relatively low glycemic index, making it a potentially favorable choice for individuals with diabetes. Pineapple is also notably high in bromelain, an enzyme associated with various health benefits, including aiding digestion and reducing inflammation.¹ 

In this comprehensive analysis, we'll explore the intricate relationship between pineapple and glycemic control, shedding light on its nutritional profile and potential impact on blood sugar levels. Moreover, we will delve into the lesser-known benefits of pineapple consumption, such as its contribution to digestive health and its potential role in reducing inflammation, aiming to provide a holistic understanding of its place in a balanced diet for those managing diabetes.

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Glycemic Index Table

According to the available data, the glycemic index of pineapple is estimated to be 66.² With a serving size of 100g, the carbohydrate content is approximately 13g per serving.¹ Consequently, the glycemic load (GL) per serving can be calculated as 66 (glycemic index) multiplied by 13 (carbohydrates per serving in grams), divided by 100, which gives us a value of approximately 8.6.

The glycemic index (GI) measures how quickly a specific food item can raise blood sugar levels. A value of 66 for pineapple suggests that it falls in the medium range of the glycemic index scale, indicating that it can moderately raise blood sugar levels. It's important to note that the glycemic index of a food can be influenced by various factors such as ripeness, processing, and cooking methods. 

While fresh pineapple has a GI of 66, the glycemic index might differ if the pineapple is canned or cooked, potentially increasing the glycemic index due to changes in the structure of the carbohydrates. This information underscores the importance of considering factors beyond just the glycemic index when assessing the impact of pineapple on blood sugar levels.

Glycemic Index

66

Serving Size

100g

Carbohydrate* per Serving (g)

13 g

GL per Serving

8.00

Nutritional Facts

Pineapple is a tropical fruit known for its vibrant taste and nutritional richness. It is a notable source of essential vitamins and minerals, including vitamin C, vitamin B6, and manganese. Additionally, it contains significant amounts of dietary fiber and the enzyme bromelain, which has been associated with various potential health benefits, such as aiding digestion and reducing inflammation.

A standard serving of 100 grams of raw pineapple contains approximately 50 milligrams of vitamin C, 0.1 milligrams of vitamin B6, 0.9 milligrams of manganese, and 1.4 grams of dietary fiber, highlighting its value as a nutrient-dense fruit.¹

The nutritional information below is for 100 g of pineapple.¹

Calories

50 kcal

Carbs

13 g

Protein

0.54 g

Fiber

1.4 g

Cholesterol

0 mg

Vitamins

A (3 µg), B6 (0.1 mg), C (50 mg).

Sodium

1 mg

Total Fat

0.12 g

Is Pineapple Good for Weight Loss?

Pineapple can be a valuable addition to a weight loss diet due to its low-calorie density, high water content, and significant fiber content. The presence of bromelain, an enzyme known for its potential anti-inflammatory properties, may aid in digestion and promote healthy metabolism, potentially supporting weight management efforts. 

Moreover, the International Journal of Food Sciences and Nutrition highlights pineapple's potential to promote satiety, potentially curbing excessive calorie intake and aiding in weight loss efforts when integrated into a balanced diet and active lifestyle.

A standard serving of 100 grams of raw pineapple contains approximately 50 calories and 1.4 grams of dietary fiber, underscoring its nutrient density and potential to contribute to a feeling of fullness.¹ However, it's important to moderate serving sizes, as excessive consumption of pineapple, like any other food, can lead to an increase in calorie intake, potentially hindering weight loss goals. Integrating pineapple as part of a well-balanced diet and healthy lifestyle choices can aid in achieving sustainable weight management goals.

Is Pineapple Safe for People Living with Diabetes?

Pineapple can be included in the diet of individuals with diabetes, but portion control and mindful consumption are essential due to its carbohydrate content. While pineapple has a moderately high glycemic index, its rich fiber content and essential nutrients, such as bromelain and vitamin C, can offer potential health benefits. The American Diabetes Association suggests incorporating pineapple in moderation as part of a well-balanced meal plan, emphasizing the importance of monitoring overall carbohydrate intake to manage blood sugar levels effectively.

According to the Journal of Medicinal Food, the fiber content in pineapple can aid in slowing down the absorption of sugar, potentially minimizing the impact on blood glucose levels. However, individuals with diabetes should consult with their healthcare provider or a registered dietitian to determine appropriate serving sizes and integrate pineapple into a diet plan that aligns with their specific dietary needs and blood sugar management goals. Understanding the nuanced relationship between pineapple consumption and diabetes management is crucial in promoting informed dietary decisions for individuals living with diabetes.

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Allergies

Allergic reactions to pineapple are possible, albeit relatively uncommon. Symptoms can vary from mild oral allergy syndrome, characterized by itching or swelling of the lips, tongue, and throat, to more severe manifestations, including hives, digestive issues, and even anaphylaxis in rare cases.³ It's important to note that pineapple allergy is usually linked to the proteins in the fruit and can be exacerbated by certain processing methods, such as canning or cooking.

According to the American College of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology (ACAAI), cross-reactivity between pineapple and certain other allergens, such as latex or other fruits like bananas and kiwi, may also occur, necessitating caution for individuals with known sensitivities. Understanding the potential for allergic reactions to pineapple can be crucial in managing dietary choices and ensuring appropriate medical care for those with known sensitivities.

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FAQs

What is Glycemic Index?

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.

What is Glycemic Load?

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.

Does Pineapple Spike Insulin?

There is no scientific evidence to suggest that pineapple spikes insulin. Pineapple is a low glycemic index fruit, meaning it does not cause a rapid increase in blood sugar levels. Insulin is released in response to high blood sugar levels, so consuming pineapple is unlikely to cause a significant increase in insulin secretion. However, it is important to note that consuming large amounts of any food, including pineapple, can lead to an increase in blood sugar levels and insulin secretion.

Is Pineapple Low Glycemic?

Yes, pineapple is considered low glycemic due to its low glycemic index (GI) score of 59. However, it is important to consume pineapple in moderation as it still contains natural sugars.

Can People Living with Diabetes Eat Pineapple?

Yes, people living with diabetes can eat pineapple in moderation as it is a low glycemic index fruit. However, they should monitor their blood sugar levels and consume it as part of a balanced diet.

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References

  1. USDA FoodData Central. (2022, October 28). Food Details - Pineapple, raw. https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/2346398/nutrients
  2. The University of Sydney. (2023, May 1). Glycemic Index – Glycemic Index Research and GI Newshttps://glycemicindex.com/
  3. American Academy of Allergy Asthma and Immunology. (2020, September 28). Oral allergy syndrome. https://www.aaaai.org/tools-for-the-public/conditions-library/allergies/oral-allergy-syndrome-(oas)

About the author

It is a long established fact that a reader will be distracted by the readable content of a page when looking at its layout.

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About the author

Brittany Barry is a national board-certified health coach and NASM-certified personal trainer based in South Carolina.

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Please note: The Signos team is committed to sharing insightful and actionable health articles that are backed by scientific research, supported by expert reviews, and vetted by experienced health editors. The Signos blog is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. If you have or suspect you have a medical problem, promptly contact your professional healthcare provider. Read more about our editorial process and content philosophy here.

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