Lemons are a citrus fruit that may possess some health benefits. Evidence suggests that it is safe for a person with diabetes to incorporate lemons into their eating plan.

Diabetes is a chronic condition that occurs when there is a problem with insulin. This hormone is responsible for regulating blood sugar levels.

When the body does not produce enough insulin or the body is unable to use insulin effectively, it can be difficult to keep blood sugar levels within a suitable target range.

To help manage blood sugar levels, people may make lifestyle changes. This can include altering their eating plans and counting the carbohydrates they consume.

Most fruits, including lemons, contain sugar. However, they are safe to eat in appropriate quantities. This amount will vary for everyone, so it is a good idea to talk with a doctor or dietitian who can offer advice on how much lemon is safe to consume.

Additionally, lemons have health benefits that may make it easier for a person to manage their blood sugars.

Read on to learn more about lemons and diabetes.

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It is safe for people with diabetes to eat lemons. Lemons and other citrus fruits are foods rich in vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and fiber that can benefit health.

Learn about other fruits people with diabetes can eat.

Lemons are rich in fiber and vitamin C. A 65-gram (g) lemon contains over 34 milligrams (mg) of vitamin C and almost 2g of dietary fiber. Research notes that both fiber and vitamin C can benefit people with diabetes.

Vitamin C

Very little scientific evidence supports using vitamin C to prevent diabetes or other chronic conditions. However, vitamin C may benefit people with type 2 diabetes.

A 2020 analysis notes that vitamin C, or ascorbic acid, can play a vital part in improving the level of antioxidants in a person’s body. This may help to prevent or manage type 2 diabetes.

A 2022 studynotes that people with diabetes and higher body weight often had low vitamin C levels, which suggests they may require more vitamin C.

Similarly, a 2020 study also notes a link between diabetes and vitamin C deficiency. The researchers note that increasing vitamin C may help manage blood sugar and prevent health complications.

Learn about foods that contain vitamin C.

Fiber

Fiber can be important in preventing and managing diabetes and prediabetes by:

  • helping control blood sugar levels
  • lowering their risk of heart disease and some cancers
  • aiding weight management by making people feel fuller for longer
  • maintaining digestive health

Researchers have also investigated the effect of a person’s dietary fiber intake on type 2 diabetes. A 2018 study suggests that consuming dietary fiber may reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes. However, more research is necessary to understand whether fiber can help lower the risk.

Learn whether a high fiber diet can help treat diabetes.

Lemons are part of a family of fruits called citrus fruits. They contain high quantities of citric acid.

Citric acid may increase a person’s risk of tooth enamel erosion. This is where acids dissolve away part of the enamel surface of a person’s teeth.

Citrus fruits such as lemons may also cause heartburn, or gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). Citrus fruits increase a person’s production of stomach acid. This may increase a person’s risk of developing heartburn.

Learn about allergies to citrus fruits.

People often add lemons to water or other beverages in various forms. Some common ways to add lemons to the diet include:

  • as sliced lemon with tea or other beverages
  • in warm or cold drinks, such as lemon water
  • using lemon juice as a salad dressing
  • in pickles, marinades, or sauces

Learn about the benefits of drinking lemon water.

Lemons are a citrus fruit that a person with diabetes can safely consume in appropriate amounts. They are a good source of dietary fiber and vitamin C, which can provide health benefits for people with diabetes.

However, lemons do contain sugar, so people with diabetes should consider consulting a dietitian or doctor to discuss how much lemon it is safe to consume.

However, consuming lemons can have potentially adverse side effects, including teeth enamel erosion and heartburn.

Diabetes resources

Visit our dedicated hub for more research-backed information and in-depth resources on diabetes.

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