Should You Eat More Lemons If You Have Diabetes?

There is some evidence that lemon juice can slow the conversion of to sugar, thereby preventing a spike in blood sugar. Even so, the effect is relatively small, and lemons have not been shown to be an effective home remedy for either or .

This doesn't mean that lemons aren't healthy options for people with diabetes. In fact, the American Diabetes Association (ADA) classifies lemons and other citrus fruits as "superfoods" rich in and . Lemons are also low on the , meaning that they are less likely to raise your blood sugar.

This article takes an unbiased look at the research exploring the effects of lemons in managing diabetes, including what they can and cannot do.

It also looks at the general health benefits of lemons as part of a .

Lemons are good for you, and many alternative practitioners contend that they can help stabilize blood sugar. Others believe that lemons can reverse , meaning the body's inability to respond to —the hormone produced by the tasked with regulating blood sugar.

On paper, the facts look good.

A 2021 study published in the found that lemon juice slows the conversation of starch in foods like bread to (sugar).

Compared to people who drank no lemon juice, those who did had a 30% lower spike in blood sugar after eating two slices of bread. Lemon juice also delayed spikes in blood sugar by 35 minutes.

With respect to insulin resistance, some people believe that in lemons can increase insulin sensitivity. These are plant-based compounds that are thought to have antioxidant properties, meaning that they fight that can cause cellular damage. These include glucose-producing cells in the liver that respond to insulin.

While this effect has been seen in test tube studies, there is little evidence that drinking lemon juice has the same effect in humans.

A 2016 review of studies published in  evaluated seven clinical trials involving 306,723 people over four to 24 years. The researchers could find no evidence that the regular consumption of citrus fruits altered the risk of type 2 diabetes.

A 2021 study in similarly concluded that there was no evidence that long-term citrus fruit consumption improves type 2 diabetes.

This same study found that the effect of lemon juice on appears to be short-lived and not robust enough for lemons to be considered a treatment for diabetes.

The nutritional profile of lemons makes the fruit a great option for everyone, including people with diabetes.

In terms of benefits of lemon that are particularly helpful for those with diabetes:

Before embarking on any diet, consult your healthcare provider if you have diabetes. There are several factors you should think about before adding lemons or lemon juice to your dietary plan: