Is Papaya Good for Diabetes?

Medically Reviewed By: Dr. Damanjit Duggal, MD, MBBS March 30, 2022

Last updated on September 9th, 2022

Fruits are a healthy alternative as a balanced meal and a snack. It comprises several vital nutrients like fibre. Few fruits contain a high sugar content, resulting in high sugars. Papaya has immense health benefits but by the end of this blog, you will get to know if papaya is really good for diabetes.

Individuals consume medicine to regulate their glucose levels, yet others manage their levels. This is possible with the help of a healthy diet and exercise. Even though fruit constitutes an important part of a healthy diet, few fruits are rich in natural sugars. Hence, consuming in excess is harmful to blood glucose levels. Now here the question comes, can diabetics eat papaya? The good news for people with diabetes is that papaya works wonders for them in moderation.

Papaya is a rare exotic fruit that packs countless health benefits. This tropical plant is indigenous to Mexico and South America. Papaya is cultivated in California, Florida, Texas, India, Sri Lanka, etc. Papaya comes in two types, red and yellow papaya. It has greenish-orange fruits. Papaya has a soft, juicy, and succulent nature. It contains less sugar. People eat this fruit in raw form. People also add papaya to smoothies, and salads, or enjoy it as kebabs, halwa, or curry.

Papaya and Diabetes

Is Papaya Good for Diabetes?

Papaya is naturally sweet in nature. Since having sugar impacts glucose levels, few individuals may believe that fruits are off-limits. Papaya (in moderation) can be a part of a diabetic-friendly diet.

Sugar Content in Papaya

1 cup of fresh papaya consists of 11 grams of sugar, as per the USDA. Papaya is appropriate for diabetics to restrict their consumption of added sugars. This aids in weight management and keeping the glucose levels in the target range.

The AHA suggests that all individuals restrict added sugars they take into below ½ of their daily flexible calories. For many females that means below 100 calories daily, or 6 tablespoons of sugar. For males, that’s roughly 150 calories daily, or 9 teaspoons of sugar.

Summary

Papaya is beneficial for type 2 diabetic patients. This is a result of its moderate glucose content. This sweet fruit contains rich flavonoids and antioxidants. Both these constituents aid in keeping the glucose level in check naturally.

Glycemic Index of Papaya

The GI indicates how fast a particular food product increases the level of glucose. This might be useful for diabetics who are aiming to keep their glucose levels within target limits. Papaya has a GI value of 60. As a result, it does not increase blood glucose too rapidly. Scores are as follows:

  • Low glycemic index foods: between 20 to 49
  • Moderate GI foods: between 50 to 69
  • High GI foods: between 70 to 100.

How Much Papaya is Good for a Diabetic Daily Meal? 

Nutritionists recommend a modest serving of papaya. This aids in controlling sudden increases in blood glucose levels. They also recommend diabetics restrict the daily consumption of papaya to 1 cup daily. The fruit contains fewer calories and a moderate number of organic sugars. As a result, people should not take papaya in excessive amounts.

Papaya contains a huge reserve of dietary fibres. This assists in delaying the uptake of glucose in the system. And, this helps in mitigating diabetes signs. People must have papaya as a mid-day or evening snack. Also, doctors suggest people with diabetes avoid this fruit at night.

Summary

Papaya leaves help in lowering sugar levels. The antioxidants present in papaya leaf juice guard the pancreatic beta cells against damage. This, consequently, maintains the blood sugars within a healthy limit.

Potential Health Benefits of Papaya

Papaya is good option for diabetics due to its medium GI. Consuming this fruit may also reduce a person’s blood glucose. Papaya exerts a hypoglycemic effect on a person’s body. Papaya comprises flavonoids. These are natural antioxidants that control blood sugars.

Due to the high fibre and water content of papaya, it avoids constipation. Also, due to both these properties, papaya is a digestive aid. The fruit also comprises an enzyme known as papain. It also aids in digestive health. Also, papain constitutes powerful skin-healing beneficial effects. In topical and mashed form, papaya helps to support wound healing. Also, it helps to prevent infection of burn regions.

Papaya is known as the “fruit of angels”. It helps in:

  • Treating diabetes, heart issues, indigestion, joint pain, dengue, and cancer.
  • Papaya contains antioxidants such as lycopene. Thus, it aids in preventing the oxidation of cholesterol, as a result avoiding heart blockages.

Also Read: Can Diabetics Eat Jaggery?

Nutritional Facts of Papaya

As per the USDA, 1 small fresh papaya contains around 67 calories. Also, it contains:

  • 3.0 g of Dietary fibre
  • 96 mg of Vitamin C
  • 30 mg of Calcium
  • 290 mg of Potassium
  • 35 mg of Magnesium

This table represents several nutrients and their amounts present in 100 gm of papaya:

Nutritional Value of Papaya
Nutrients (in 100 grams of Papaya) Its amount
Calories 39
Fat 0.14 grams
Saturated Fat 0.043 grams
Monosaturated Fat 0.038 grams
Polyunsaturated Fat 0.031 grams
Sugar 5.9 grams
Fibre 1.8 gram
Protein 0.61 gram
Salt 0.01 gram
Cholesterol 0 mg
Potassium 257 mg

Summary

Flavonoids in papaya aid in lowering the levels of blood sugars. People must have papaya in moderation. This is because over-intake may result in spikes in sugar levels and stomach issues, also.

Substitutes to Consuming Papaya

There are several fruits that may alternate with papaya. They fall within a lower limit. These can be:

  • Apples
  • Blackberries
  • Blueberries
  • Strawberries
  • Grapefruit
  • Cranberries
  • Pears
  • Plums
  • Raspberries
  • Apricots

Moderation is very important. Thus, a person must try to have only 1 or 2 pieces of fruit daily. Fruits high on the GI values may involve:

  • Ripe bananas
  • Dates in dried form
  • Pineapples
  • Watermelon

These fruits may result in increases in blood glucose levels.

Also Read: Can Diabetics Eat Coconut Milk?

Ways to Have Papaya for People With Diabetes

  • Consume ripe papaya as a fruit.
  • Toss up a fruit salad using ripe papaya, pineapple, and mango.
  • Prepare fruit juice with ripe papaya.
  • Also, include frozen ripe papaya cubes in smoothies.

When to Have This Tropical Fruit for Diabetes

Papaya contains a medium glycemic index. Thus, it is best to have it at mid-day or mid-afternoon. It is good not to have papaya at night although its glucose level is moderate.

Also Read: Is Diabetes Reversal Possible?

Risks of Having Papaya in Excess When You Are Diabetics

Appealing as it might be, evade the over-consumption of papayas. The perfect serving for people with diabetes is 1 cup every day. Papaya in excess increases glucose levels. As this fruit has a laxative effect, its excess may cause diarrhea too.

Summary

Diabetics can consume papaya as ripe fruit, or in fruit salads. They can also squeeze the fruit into a juice or smoothies. This helps in giving them a whole plethora of vital nutrients from the fruit along with managing diabetes.

FAQs:

Should a person have papaya daily?

People can have papaya in the form of chaat or juice. Every person must add this superfruit in their diet to obtain most of its benefits. Fruits are highly nourishing and having a bowl full daily helps in keeping a person active and immunized to diseases.

Does papaya cause side effects?

Side effects of the fruit may be nausea and vomiting. The unripe form is perhaps unsafe. Unripe fruit comprises papaya latex, comprising an enzyme known as papain. Consuming huge quantities of papain may harm the esophagus.

Is papaya high in sugar?

Papaya is a favourite tropical fruit. A person may enjoy papaya without having a lot of sugar. ½ of a small papaya comprises 6 grams of sugar. Small sized papaya is a decent size, hence ½ of the fruit is a plenty serving.

When should a person stop having papaya?

People must avoid unripe and semi-ripe papaya during pregnancy. As, it may result in uterine contractions because of its laxative activities. It is good to not have papaya during the early phases of pregnancy except it is completely ripe.

References:

  1. https://www.healthline.com/health/diabetes/is-papaya-good-for-diabetes
  2. https://www.netmeds.com/health-library/post/is-papaya-good-for-diabetes
  3. https://www.diabetesincontrol.com/can-papaya-reduce-risk-of-diabetes/

Last Updated on by Dr. Damanjit Duggal 

Disclaimer

The information included at this site is for educational purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for medical treatment by a healthcare professional. Because of unique individual needs, the reader should consult their physician to determine the appropriateness of the information for the reader’s situation.

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