Can Diabetics Eat Dried Figs?

by Mary Ellen Phipps, RDN

Have you ever wondered, can diabetics eat dried figs? Year after year, one of the biggest myths in the diabetes world that just will not go away is that people with diabetes can’t eat fruit. And, especially dried fruit. BUT, this is just not true. So, can diabetics eat dried fruit? If you have diabetes and want to enjoy dried fruit, like California Dried Figs, you absolutely can!

One of the main reasons given for people with diabetes not eating dried figs is the sugar content. And, if we only looked at sugar content when considering our food choices, that might be true. Fortunately though, we look at several other nutrients as well to make smart food choices.

The Three Most Important Nutrients for Managing Blood Sugars

Anyone looking to manage blood sugars, whether it’s because you have diabetes or another condition, should pay attention to these three nutrients:

  • fat
  • fiber
  • protein

All three of these nutrients take longer for our bodies to digest than sugar. So, when we eat them at the same time as sugar, it takes longer for your body to digest the sugar… and yes, you guessed it, that means we’re less likely to see a quick rise in blood sugar, otherwise known as a blood sugar spike.

Every time you eat, you should try to have fat, fiber, and/or protein on your plate.

Natural Sugar and Fiber in Dried Figs

Each serving of dried figs contains 19-26g sugar depending on the type of dried figs you want to eat. This is naturally occurring sugar, aka not added sugar. And while yes, sugar is sugar, naturally occurring sugar comes with a host of other beneficial nutrients as we alluded to above. For example, each serving of dried figs also comes with 4g fiber.

So, remembering that we want to include fat, fiber, and protein each time we eat, we can pair our delicious dried figs with a protein and/or fat source (remember: fiber is already included!) for a deliciously balanced blood sugar friendly meal or snack.

Snack plate with cheese, crackers, cucumbers, and both California Dried Mission Figs and California Dried Golden Figs. RD Mary Ellen Phipps answers the question can diabetics eat dried fruit.

Three Ways to Enjoy Dried Figs for Stable Blood Sugars

  1. Chopped dried figs with raw walnuts: Research has shown that consistent consumption of nuts and dried fruit may be associated with both the prevention of type 2 diabetes and management of blood sugars for people with existing type 2 diabetes.
  2. Dried figs on top of plain Greek yogurt: Dried figs are the perfect way to naturally sweeten up plain yogurt for a great breakfast or an energizing snack!
  3. Add dried figs to a charcuterie board with some meats, cheeses, and veggies: Charcuterie boards are so trendy these days and they are the perfect way to pack in nutrient-dense snacks like Orchard Choice or Sun-Maid California Dried Figs. 

One Other Nutritional Perk of Dried Figs

It’s worth noting that you’ll often see figs listed as a “top pick” or “best fruit” for people with diabetes because of their low to moderate glycemic index. This means that they should not raise blood sugars as rapidly as high glycemic index foods. And, when you pair them with fat, fiber, and protein as we discussed above, you can trust that you’re enjoying a delicious blood sugar friendly treat that’s perfect for someone living with diabetes.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.