Whole kiwi fruit and halved green kiwifruit encircled within navy blue stethoscope

Why Kiwifruit Fits into a Diabetes Friendly Eating Plan

  • Health & Lifestyle
  • Did You Know

When you’re managing diabetes or prediabetes, the American Diabetes Association suggest your eating plan has the potential to be a powerful tool.1 All the same, a panel of healthcare professional experts reviewed more than 600 research articles over 5 years, and they couldn’t find a “magic” eating formula for people with diabetes or those at risk for diabetes.2

However, one of the few report guidelines suggests eating the daily fiber recommendation (28 grams per day) by eating more foods like whole fruit. Kiwi fruit not only qualifies as a whole fruit, but also contains specific health benefits for people with diabetes or prediabetes. 


Because most fruits are sweet and contain natural sugars, you might expect them to raise blood sugar dramatically—this isn’t the case with fruits that are a good source of fiber, such as Zespri™ Green Kiwifruit.3,* In fact, the American Diabetes Association notes all fruits have a place on the plate when managing diabetes.4

So why is the fiber in Zespri Kiwifruit so special? Not only does it contribute toward meeting daily fiber intake in a tasty, portable, nutrient-dense package, but it is unique and behaves differently than other commonly eaten fibers (e.g., in apples, oranges, wheat bran etc.). This is because kiwifruit is very good at absorbing and holding water.5  

When eaten with other foods, kiwifruit fiber attracts water, so it swells and thickens the mixture like a gel. As foods are digested, they break down into smaller sugars, and these move more slowly through the gel. This results in sugar being absorbed at a reduced rate into the blood and energy delivered more slowly.

So, eating Zespri Green or SunGold™ Kiwifruit with breakfast, for example, may significantly reduce and slow down sugar uptake from food into the bloodstream, which is great news for blood sugar control.6-11  

Newer research suggests swapping highly digestible carbohydrate foods with the potential to raise blood sugar for an equal amount of Zespri Green or Zespri SunGold Kiwi fruit. The goal is to increase nutrient richness with little impact on carbohydrate intake, or blood sugar and insulin response.12



If you haven’t tasted Zespri SunGold Kiwifruit, you’re in for a sweet treat! Not only is Zespri SunGold Kiwifruit full of refreshingly sweet flavor, but you can also eat its smooth outer skin to almost double the fiber content per serving. Plus, you’ll consume 34% more folate and 32% more vitamin E.6 New research also suggests eating the skin and flesh of SunGold Kiwifruit together has added beneficial effects on digestive health.12

If you or someone close to you has diabetes, consider Zespri Kiwifruit as a perfect way to start the morning or an easy, lunchtime snack. We also offer carbohydrate-conscious kiwi recipes, so go ahead — cut, scoop and enjoy!


  1. Recipes & Nutrition. American Diabetes Association website. https://www.diabetes.org/healthy-living/recipes-nutrition. Accessed March 17, 2022. 
  2. Evert AB, Dennison M, Gardner CD, et al. Nutrition Therapy for Adults With Diabetes or Prediabetes: A Consensus Report. Diabetes Care. 2019;42(5):731-754. 
  3. FoodData Central. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service website. https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/168153/nutrients. Updated March 2019. Accessed March 15, 2022.   
  4. Understanding Carbs. American Diabetes Association website. https://www.diabetes.org/healthy-living/recipes-nutrition/understanding-carbs. Accessed March 17, 2022. 
  5. Wilkinson-Smith V, Dellschaft N, Ansell J, et al. Mechanisms underlying effects of kiwifruit on intestinal function shown by MRI in healthy volunteers. Aliment Pharmacol Ther. 2019;49(6):759-768.
  6. Richardson DP, Ansell J, Drummond LN. The nutritional and health attributes of kiwifruit: a review. Eur J Nutr. 2018;57(8):2659-2676. 
  7. Wilson R, Willis J, Gearry RB, et al. SunGold Kiwifruit supplementation of individuals with prediabetes alters gut microbiota and improves vitamin c status, anthropometric and clinical markers. Nutrients. 2018;10(7):895. 
  8. Monro JA. Kiwifruit, carbohydrate availability, and the glycemic response. Adv Food Nutr Res. 2013;68:257-271. 
  9. Mishra S, Edwards H, Hedderley D, Podd J, Monro J. Kiwifruit non-sugar components reduce glycaemic response to co-ingested cereal in humans. Nutrients. 2017;9(11):1195. 
  10. Lubransky A, Monro J, Mishra S, Yu H, Haszard JJ, Venn BJ. Postprandial Glycaemic, hormonal and satiety responses to rice and kiwifruit preloads in Chinese adults: A randomised controlled crossover trial. Nutrients. 2018;10(8):1110.
  11. Monro J, Bentley-Hewitt K, Mishra S. Kiwifruit exchanges for increased nutrient richness with little effect on carbohydrate intake, glycaemic impact, or insulin response. Nutrients. 2018;10(11):1710.
  12. Mishra S, et al. Metabolic, Anthropometric and blood pressure effects of adding two kiwifruit or bottled water into the diets of people with pre-diabetes: A randomised, parallel group, intervention study. Recent Progress in Nutrition. 2022;2(1):doi:10.21926/rpn.2201006. 
  13. Eady SL, Wallace AJ, Hedderley DI, Bentley-Hewitt KL, Butts CA. The effects on immune function and digestive health of consuming the skin and flesh of Zespri® SunGold Kiwifruit (Actinidia Chinensis var. Chinensis 'Zesy002') in healthy and ibs-constipated individuals. Nutrients. 2020;12(5):1453.  

*A serving of Zespri Green Kiwifruit (2 medium kiwifruits) provides 4 grams of fiber, which is 14% of the recommended daily value for adults.