You’ve cut out the good stuff (e.g., sweets and ice cream), but your weight’s staying constant. The culprit could be something you always thought was healthy: fruit. The sugar content in fruit varies depending on the type you choose and how it’s processed. Drying, for instance, ups the sugar content in fruit to extreme levels while eating it raw will help you cut back on unnecessary calories and sugar.
Don’t get us wrong, we’re not telling you to avoid fruit. That would be crazy! Fruit is packed with healthy nutrients and disease-fighting antioxidants. It’s chock-full of fiber, contains a lot of water and helps keep you satiated. The benefits of fruit far outweigh the downsides. That said, if you have diabetes or prediabetes or are on a mission to lose weight, you need to be careful about fruits you consume.
Which Fruits Are High in Sugar?
Anything dried boasts the highest sugar content in fruit, especially raisins, cranberries, figs, dates.
Compare the dried version to a raw fruit and you’ll be amazed by the difference in sugar content. Dried pears, for instance, contain a whopping 112 g of sugar in one cup. The same amount of raw Bartlett pears contains a fraction of that—14g. One cup of packed golden raisins has 108 g of sugar, while the same amount of red or green grapes contain 23 g of sugar.
Tropical fruits like pineapple, bananas, and pomegranates also contain higher amounts of sugar. One cup of pineapple, for instance, contains 16 g of sugar while the same amount of banana contains almost 28g.
Which Fruits Have the Least Sugar?
These tasty options offer the benefits of eating fruit without the hefty sugar content.
- Avocados. One cup of pureed California avocados boasts a mere 0.69 g of sugar.
- Limes. One fruit has just over a gram of sugar.
- Berries. Raspberries (5 g/cup), blackberries (7 g/cup), and strawberries (7 g/cup) are low in sugar. Another bonus is, they’re loaded with antioxidants and cancer-fighting plant chemicals.
- Plantains. One cup of fried plantains contain 4 g of sugar. If you boil them, it drops to 3g.
- Clementines. One fruit has 7 g of sugar.
- Lemons. One cup has just 5 g.
- Pears. One small Asian pear has 9 g of sugar.
- Watermelon. One cup of watermelon balls has 10 g of sugar.
- Apples. One cup of Granny Smith apples contains just over 10g of sugar.
The amount of sugar in your favorite fruit might surprise you. However, be sure to keep this information in perspective: You’re better off reaching for a piece of fruit with a bit more sugar than eating a processed snack that has less sugar overall, but more added sugar.
Still, be mindful about the amount of sugar that you’re consuming via fruit this summer. Mangoes have lots of sugar and not a ton of fiber, so you’ll want to eat them in moderation. On the other hand, berries, especially raspberries and blackberries, will give you a sweet treat that is well-balanced with fiber (they’re especially healthy if you get out into the woods or the farm and pick them yourself!). Conclusion, remember that for much of human history a piece of fruit was a rare treat to be savored and enjoyed. Taking that historic perspective can help you stay healthy today and in the future!