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Grapefruit and Diabetes - Is it Good for Diabetics

Article author photo Victoria Mazmanyan by Victoria Mazmanyan | Last updated on August 08, 2023
Medically reviewed by Ani Harutyunyan Article author photo Ani Harutyunyan


Grapefruit is a citrus hybrid between sweet orange and pomelo. In this article, we will discuss how grapefruit fits into the diet of a diabetic individual.

Grapefruit and Type 2 Diabetes

Higher consumption of fresh grapefruits, among other fruits, is associated with a significantly lowered risk of type 2 diabetes (1).

Research has found half of a fresh grapefruit eaten before meals to be correlated with considerable weight loss and improved insulin resistance (2).

Bitter grapefruits may have a more beneficial impact on the diabetic profile. The antioxidant naringenin found in grapefruits, responsible for its bitter taste, has been found to mimic the actions of anti-diabetic and lipid-lowering drugs (3).

Glycemic Index and Carbohydrates

Grapefruits are moderate in carbohydrates, containing 16.4g of carbs per average serving size. Of this, 85% consists of net carbs and 15% of dietary fiber.

Despite the carbohydrate content, studies have calculated raw grapefruits from Germany to have a low glycemic index of 26 (4).

On our page, you can find in-depth information about the connection between the glycemic index and diabetes or read about what the glycemic index is.

Ruby red grapefruit segments canned in juice have a GI value of 47. While this number is almost double that of raw grapefruits, it still falls in the low GI category.

Unsweetened grapefruit juice also has a low GI of 49 (4).

Grapefruit Juice and Diabetes

Grapefruit juice has been researched to have strong lipid- and glucose-lowering qualities in experimental animals.

However, consuming grapefruit juice with anti-diabetic medications can have adverse effects. This is because grapefruit juice can inhibit enzymes in the liver, which are responsible for the breakdown and absorption of these drugs. As a result, the medication levels can increase in the blood and lead to toxic side effects (5).

Some medications that interact with grapefruit juice include statins (Atorvastatin), antihistamines (Fexofenadine), antihypertensives (Nifedipine), and antiarrhythmic drugs (Amiodarone) (6).

Grapefruit Juice and Metformin

One study carried out on experimental rats has found grapefruit juice intake to exacerbate lactic acidosis when used alongside Metformin (7).

Lactic acidosis is the buildup of lactic acid in the bloodstream that can lead to various symptoms, such as tiredness, decreased appetite, shallow breathing, and a general feeling of discomfort.

It is important to note that the interaction of grapefruit juice with Metformin has not yet been researched in human subjects.


  6. Grapefruit Juice and Some Drugs Don't Mix
Article author photo Victoria Mazmanyan
Education: General Medicine at YSMU
Last updated: August 08, 2023
Medically reviewed by Ani Harutyunyan
Data provided by should be considered and used as information only. Please consult your physician before beginning any diet.