Fruits That Increase Blood Sugar


Fruits that can increase your blood sugar, but there are also some that will help you control the blood sugar levels. It is good to note that excessive consumption of fruits can lead to a spike in blood sugar levels, so it is important to limit them. Fruits that contain higher amounts of sugar in them make it easy for you to gain weight very quickly. This happens if you are not watching your calorie intake or have a particular condition that causes blood sugar levels to be high.

These Everyday Foods Aren’t What You Think They Are

Everyone probably knows that a tomato is really a fruit, but does everybody know how many other foods that we call vegetables are actually fruits? Did you know, for example, that a bell pepper is a fruit?

There are a number of seriously surprising foods that you probably think you think you know a lot about but in reality don’t fully understand. The terms we commonly use to classify our food — namely our fruits, vegetables, berries, grains and nuts — may be leading you astray.

Of course there’s a whole genre of processed foods that have misleading names (ahem, bacon bits, which are made of soy protein, not bacon), but that’s a rabbit hole we’d rather not go down today. For the purposes of this post, we’re focusing on produce and grains. There are plenty of natural foods that throw us for a loop.

Here are 14 foods that aren’t what you think:


A watermelon is a BERRY.

Wendy Connett via Getty Images

A berry is “a fleshy fruit that has multiple seeds on the inside, embedded in the flesh of the ovary.” So technically speaking, a watermelon is a berry!


An eggplant is also a berry.

Hiroshi Higuchi via Getty Images

You read that right. An eggplant is also a berry.


So is a chili pepper.

stacy vitallo via Getty Images

Chili peppers = berries = mind blown.


Bananas are berries too.

Robert George Young via Getty Images



Strawberries, on the other hand, are NOT berries.

Lauren Burke via Getty Images

Stay with us here… A strawberry does not fall under the definition of a berry because it is not produced by a single ovary. It is an “enlarged stem end, or receptacle, in which are partially embedded the many true fruits… popularly called seeds.”


Neither are blackberries.

SAUL LOEB via Getty Images

Blackberries are not berries. Blackberries are not berries. We keep saying it, but we keep not believing it.


And raspberries aren’t berries either.

lacaosa via Getty Images

What is the world coming to?


An avocado is a fruit.

lacaosa via Getty Images

Ok, we can deal with this one at least. A fruit is “the structure that bears the seeds of a plant.” The CRC Dictionary of Agricultural Sciences defines it as “the ripened ovary of a flower together with any accessory parts associated with it.”


Bell Peppers are also fruits.

Hiroshi Higuchi via Getty Images

Not really into this.


Squash is also a fruit.

Brian Yarvin via Getty Images

When does this insanity end?

Fruit vs. Vegetable


fruit is the mature ovary of a seed plant, usually developed from a flower. Fruits have seeds so they further the reproductive cycle. A vegetable is a plant or that part of a plant which is edible, and does not necessarily have a role in the plant’s reproductive cycle. While most vegetables and fruits are easy to distinguish and classify, some are still ambiguous as to whether they are a vegetable or a fruit. Tomatoes, olives and avocados are often considered vegetables, but are actually fruits.

What is a fruit?

A fruit is defined as the developed ovary of a seed plant with its contents and accessory parts, as the pea pod, nut, tomato, or pineapple. It is the edible part of a plant developed from a flower, with any accessory tissues, as the peach, mulberry, or banana. A fruit is the often sweet and fleshy part of a plant that surrounds the seeds, although some fruits like berries bear the seed on the outside of the fruit.

What is a vegetable?

All other edible plant parts are considered vegetables. A vegetable is an herbaceous plant cultivated for an edible part, such as the root of the beet, the leaf of spinach, or the flower buds of broccoli or cauliflower.

Examples of fruits and vegetables

Here’s an interesting list of fruits that are often thought to be vegetables:

  • tomatoes
  • cucumbers
  • squashes and zucchini
  • avocados
  • green, red, and yellow peppers
  • peapods
  • pumpkins
  • olives
  • sweet potatoes and yams

Apples, eggplants, rose hips and corn kernels are also fruits.

It is also interesting to note that mushrooms are neither fruit nor vegetable; they are a type of fungus.

Types of Vegetables

Examples of vegetables include broccoli, potato, onions]], lettuce, spinach, turnips, cauliflower, . Vegetables are classified according to the part of the plant:

  • Root vegetables: underground plant parts consumed by people as food. Root vegetables are generally storage organs, enlarged to store energy in the form of carbohydrates.
    • Bulb vegetables like garlic, onion, shallot
    • Tuberous roots like sweet potatoes and yams
    • Taproots like radishes and carrots
    • Root-like stems such as Florida arrowroot
    • Modified plant stems like turmeric, lotus root, taro, water lily, ginger and potato
  • Edible Flowers: flowers that are consumed either raw or after cooking. e.g. broccoli, chives, cornflower, cauliflower, basil, bean, okra
  • Stems like asparagus, leek, sugar cane
  • Leafy vegetables like spinach, lettuce, kale, mustard and cabbage

Differences in popular usage

Fruits and vegetables are vegetarian as well as vegan, hence constitute a big part of the staple diet in almost every household.

Traditionally, most people categorize “vegetables” as foods that are eaten as part of a meal’s main course and “fruits” as foods that are eaten for dessert or as a snack.

Most fruits are sweet with bitter seeds, because they contain a simple sugar called fructose, while most vegetables are less sweet because they have much less fructose. The sweetness of fruit encourages animals to eat it and spit out the bitter seeds on the ground so they spread and further the plant’s life cycle.


Both fruits and vegetables are very high in nutrition as they contain many vitamins and are low in fat and calories. A cup of fruit may contain more calories than a cup of vegetables because fruits have higher sugar content. However, starchy vegetables like beet and potato are higher in calorie as well as sugar.

Although vegetables and fruits are extensively used in preparations that involve cooking or baking, they provide most nutrition when they are eaten raw.

Because of the combination of high nutrition and low calorie, most weight loss and diet plans recommend high portions of fruits and veggies over processed food.

In the video below, a dietitian talks about the importance of fruits and vegetables to the diet and whether canned or frozen fruits and vegetables are just as nutritious as fresh.

Vegetables That Are Fruit and Other Common Foods That Aren’t What You Think

Not everything in life is what it seems — not the avocado on your toast or the jelly in your PB&J. Whether you have mistaken a veggie for a fruit or a nut for a legume, blame your parents, school system or supermarket and let’s course correct. Here are some foods that aren’t what you think. 

Broccoli is a flower

Broccoli is a flower

Yes, broccoli is a vegetable. However, this favorite springtime produce is better categorized as a flower. Vegetable is a general term for the edible portion of a herbaceous (soft-stemmed) plant. Flowers are a specific sort of vegetable, the kind whose aboveground parts are edible. In broccoli’s case, the flowering stalk is harvested prior to flowering, then added to your casserole.

Cauliflower and cabbage are flowers too

Cauliflower and cabbage are flowers too

Cauliflower and cabbage, just like broccoli, are flowering stalks. While these leafy foods may not fit the part of a flower, there are many other edible flowers complete with dainty petals in vibrant colors.

Quinoa is a seed

Quinoa is a seed

Matters complicate a bit when classifying quinoa. For one, the Whole Grain Council recognizes quinoa as a pseudocereal, a sort of grain. However, botanically speaking, quinoa is a seed harvested from a herbaceous plant, aka a vegetable. Nutritious and versatile, quinoa makes an excellent and unexpected ingredient that goes great with eggs.


Rhubarb is a vegetable

Rhubarb is a vegetable

Tart rhubarb, famously paired with sweet fruits for the perfect pie filling, is no fruit at all. Instead, count the reddish, pink stalks among the veggies. But be wary, the green leaves that flower from rhubarb stalks and the roots that grow beneath are both toxic.

Avocados are fruit

Avocados are fruit

Though you may be accustomed to seeing them stacked atop each other beside the veggies in the produce section, avocados would be better placed alongside their fellow exotic fruits. While vegetables refer to the edible portion of a herbaceous plant, fruits are the edible reproductive body of a seed plant. Fruits grow on a plant and help get its seeds out into the world.


Pumpkins are fruits too

Pumpkins are fruits too

Pumpkins, of Halloween and “pumpkin spice” fame, are fruit too. Like avocados, they grow on a plant and contain its seeds. In addition to furthering the plant’s reproductive means, pumpkins — like other fruits — are also known to have a sweet pulp.


Cocoa beans aren’t beans, but fruit seeds

Cocoa beans aren’t beans, but fruit seeds

Step into any of America’s best dessert shops and you’d expect to see delicacies iced, filled, glazed or dipped in chocolate. Botanically, cocoa beans, the basis of your chocolate obsession, are not beans at all. Cocoa is made of dried seeds from the fruit of a tropical evergreen tree. Beans are seeds too, however, they grow from climbing plants, not trees.


Coffee beans aren’t beans either

Coffee beans aren’t beans either

Whether you drink it in a latte, cappuccino or macchiato, coffee comes from a flowering shrub that grows cherry-like fruit. Each coffee cherry contains two pale seeds enclosed by pulp and an outer skin. Those seeds are harvested, dried then roasted. They are incorrectly, but more commonly known as coffee beans.


Peppers are fruits

Peppers are fruits

Red, yellow or green, sweet bell peppers of all varieties are fruits, not veggies. Spicy chili peppers, like one of Texas’ many official state foods, the jalepeño pepper, are fruits too.


Corn is not a vegetable but a grain and a fruit

Corn is not a vegetable but a grain and a fruit

The Whole Grains Council rightly classifies corn as a grain. However, grains are also a sort of one-seeded fruit known as caryopsis or cereal grain. In caryopses, the fruit and seed fuse together making them ideal for drying. Tip: mix canned or fresh corn kernels with your pancake batter for an instant and unexpected pancake upgrade.


Peanuts are legumes, not nuts

Peanuts are legumes, not nuts

Despite their name, peanuts are not nuts, but legumes. A sort of vegetable, legumes are made up of various beans, lentils and peanuts. Frequently consumed as peanut butter, these legumes also fight memory loss.


Peas and chickpeas are legumes too

Peas and chickpeas are legumes too

Like peanuts, peas and chickpeas are also a part of the legume family. Given their high nutrient content, beans and peas are counted as part of The United States Department of Agriculture protein food group too.

When is a vegetable really a fruit?

Tomatoes of varying ripeness on a tomato plant.

From an early age, we’re told by our parents to make sure we eat our vegetables.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture recommends that people eat five to nine servings of fruits and vegetables per day.

However, there’s long been confusion around what is a vegetable versus a fruit — tomatoes, we’re looking at you.

So, when is a vegetable actually a fruit — or a root or a shoot?

The situation informs the definition

University of Georgia Cooperative Extension vegetable specialist Tim Coolong explains that the definition of a vegetable varies depending on how scientific you want to get.

From a consumer perspective, the difference between a vegetable and a fruit is how the item is consumed. 

“A vegetable is a food item used to complement other items in a main dish, while a fruit would generally be consumed by itself as a snack or as a dessert,” Coolong said.

From a research and grower perspective, the difference is more about how they are grown.

“Though there are exceptions, veggies tend to be managed as annual crops, while fruits are more often perennials grown on bushes or trees,” Coolong said.

“A fruit specialist would work with peaches, apples and oranges, all of which require the same skill sets when growing them. And a vegetable specialist growing tomatoes, peppers and eggplant would grow those items similarly, even though all three of them are fruits, botanically speaking,” he added.

Did you catch that? Scientifically, tomatoes, peppers and eggplants are all fruits.

It all comes down to science

When you break it down botanically, the definition of a vegetable gets fuzzy — and you wind up in arguments with your trivia group about whether a pumpkin is a fruit or a vegetable.

So let’s dig into the more botanical classifications of some of our favorite foods, because there are a few that might surprise you.

First, anything that contains the seeds of the plant is a fruit, not a vegetable. This category includes items many consider to be vegetables, including squash, tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, eggplant and avocados.

Yes, pumpkins are a fruit!

Peas and beans are a bit trickier, because if you just eat what’s inside the pod, you’re eating the seed. But, if you are also munching on the pod, then you’re eating both the fruit and the seed.

A pile of orange pumpkins.

What other parts of plants are edible?

Broccoli and cauliflower are both immature flowers of the plant. Cauliflower is very underdeveloped, which is why it’s so tightly bound up compared to broccoli. Artichokes are also flowers that have yet to bloom. The choke of the artichoke — the prickly, fuzzy stuff above the artichoke’s heart that you regret eating almost immediately — ultimately becomes the gorgeous purple flower of the artichoke plant.

Cabbage, Brussels sprouts, lettuce, kale and chard are all made up of leaf tissue and, if left alone long enough, the plant will flower. Gardeners call this bolting. Asparagus are the shoots of the plant, and the tip would develop leaves that look like ferns if left in the field long enough.

Carrots, radishes, beets and many other root vegetables are the swollen tap root of the plant. The tap root seeks out water for the plant, which are the greens growing from the top of the root. Plants don’t just have one root, which is why — when you pull a carrot out of the ground — there are often lots of little hairy looking rootlets on them as well. Sometimes you’ll even get a two- or three-legged carrot, which means it sent out more than one tap root, or the tap root split into multiple branches.

Speaking of roots — sweet potatoes are tuberous roots, but white potatoes are true shoot tubers. Tubers are an extension of the plant that will one day create an entirely new plant. That’s why your store-bought potatoes will start sprouting on their own in your cupboards.

Onions are another anomaly. While they may be bulb shaped, they actually are compressed leaf tissue that grows underground. A bulb of garlic, however, is a true bulb similar to flower bulbs like tulips and daffodils. In a head of garlic, there is a thin layer of leaf tissue that surrounds each clove, each of which is a separate bulb.

A fruit is just a fruit, right?

Now, “vegetables” may be a bit convoluted, but fruits are pretty straightforward, right? Well, maybe not.

Take strawberries for example. Scientifically, the flesh of the strawberry is not the fruit. The fruits are the tiny seed-like things on the outside, embedded in the red flesh. Each one of those contains a seed. The delicious juicy flesh is an extension of the plant that holds the flower.

On raspberries and blackberries, all of the little spheres on the berry are separate fruits, scientifically known as drupes. So, a single raspberry is actually a cluster of drupes or fruits, and within each drupe is a seed.

One more fun fact to tuck into your trivia pocket — figs are a fleshy, inside-out flower. Which is why you never see a fig tree with a “traditional” flower on it. That fruit that you’re enjoying is the flower. This helps explain why figs need to be pollinated by tiny wasps that crawl inside of the fig. But that’s another story for another time!

What is the difference between fruits and vegetables?

Fruits and vegetables are an essential part of a nutritious diet. They contain vitamins, minerals, fiber, and other nutrients.

Although they both make up the basis of a nutritious diet, fruits and vegetables have classifications based on their botanical structure. The fruits people eat are the seed-bearing structure in flowering plants, while vegetables consist of edible plant stems, leaves, and other plant components.

The Department of Agriculture recommends adults consume 1.5 to 2.5 cups of fruit per day.

In addition to fruit, they should aim to eat 2 to 4 cups of vegetables. These recommendations vary depending on a person’s age, weight, and sex.

According to a 2015 studyTrusted Source, most adults in the United States do not consume enough produce.

The survey showed that just 12.2% met the daily fruit intake, while 9.3% met the daily vegetable intake. Access is likely an issue, as only 7% of adults near or below the poverty level reported they ate the required amount of vegetables per day.

Read more to learn about the differences between fruits and vegetables, the health benefits of both, and affordable ways to consume more fruits and vegetables.

What is the difference?

Fruits and vegetables comprise different partsTrusted Source of the plants from which they grow.

Fruits come from the flowering part of a plant and contain seeds. In contrast, vegetables are the edible parts of a plant, such as the leaves, stem, roots, and bulbs.

People often associate fruits with sweetness and vegetables with a savory taste. Although this is often true, botanists classify some savory produce as fruits, such as tomatoes.

Commonly mistaken fruits and vegetables

Savory fruits and sweet vegetables sometimes cause confusion as to their classification. Additionally, botanists and culinary experts disagree on the classification of some fruits and vegetables, further complicating the matter.

Botanists classify fruits and vegetables based on the part of the plant that they originate. However, chefs use flavor profiles, such as sweet or savory, to decide whether something is a vegetable or a fruit.

Below are some fruits and vegetables that fit into two different categories and that people often mix up.


While the tomato is technically a fruitTrusted Source –– according to botanists –– many consider it a vegetable due to its savory flavor.

FoodData Central (FDC), the U.S. government’s central nutrient database, classifies tomatoesTrusted Source as vegetables. However, a tomato grows from the plant’s flower and has seeds, making it a fruit.


According to the FDC, cucumbers are also vegetables.

However, cucumbersTrusted Source come from the flowers of the plants. They also have seeds throughout them, classifying them as fruit.


People may view rhubarb as a fruit due to its distinctive flavor and role in various baked goods.

Although the FDC also classifies it as a fruit, botanists disagree. The part of the rhubarb people eat is the stem, making it a vegetable, not a fruit.

Green beans

Most people consider green beans to be vegetables, and the FDC agrees.Trusted Source

Regardless, green beans grow from the flower of their plant, and they contain beans, which are their seeds. This makes them a fruit.

Bell peppers

Bell peppers have seeds inside and grow from the flower of the plant, making them a fruit. However, the FDC categorizes them as vegetables.

Nutritional profiles

Regardless of their technical classification, fruits and vegetables are excellent sources of vitamins, minerals, and fiber.

Many experts say that when trying to follow a nutrient-dense diet, a person should aim to “eat the rainbow.” This is because colorful vegetables contain vital nutrientsTrusted Source, and their different shades indicate different nutrient profiles. A diverse diet offers a range of vitamins and minerals, which helps people consume a nutritious diet.

For example, red and orange vegetables are high in antioxidants and carotenoids. Blue or purple vegetables are rich in anthocyaninsTrusted Source, which have anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties. Meanwhile, dark, leafy greens are excellent sources of calcium, fiber, and carotenoidsTrusted Source.

Fruits also contain various beneficial nutrients. For example, many citrus fruits –– such as oranges, grapefruits, and limes –– contain vitamin C, an antioxidant that helps the body’s tissues grow and repair themselves.

Health benefits of fruits vs. vegetables

Bone health

Humans need calcium for building and maintaining strong bones. It occurs naturally in broccoli and dark, leafy greens such as kaleTrusted Source, bok choyTrusted Source, and collard greensTrusted Source. Oranges and dried figsTrusted Source also provide a substantial amount of the mineral.

Immune health

Vitamin C plays an essential roleTrusted Source in the body’s ability to heal damaged tissues.

Fruits high in this vitamin include:


Both fruits and vegetables are excellent sources of fiber. However, people need to consume produce in its complete state –– not in juice form –– to get the most fiber.

Fiber prevents blood sugar spikes by slowing the digestive process, and it also helps the digestive system function properly. Brocolli, squash, pears, and apples, among other produce, are all high in fiber.

Affordable fruits and vegetables

According to a 2015 studyTrusted Source, most adults in the U.S. do not consume enough produce. The research showed that the largest disparity in vegetable consumption was poverty. Although fruits and vegetables are a proven part of a nutritious diet, they remain expensive and inaccessible to many individuals.

People living in food deserts are at a significant disadvantage. These are areas where individuals have limited access to nutritious foods.

A nutritious diet can be difficult to achieve considering these barriers to access. However, the below strategies may help ease some of these challenges.

Choose inexpensive produce

Some produce, such asparagus and berries, can be expensive. People looking to stretch their grocery budget can try buying more affordable options.

Although the least expensive produce varies depending on the location and season, some of the most affordable fruits and vegetables include:

  • watermelon
  • apples
  • bananas
  • pineapple
  • peaches
  • potatoes
  • dried beans
  • carrots
  • cabbage
  • frozen mixed vegetables

Check eligibility for food assistance

People living in the U.S. may be eligible for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), a monthly benefit allowing individuals to buy fruits, vegetables, meat, bread, and more.

Low income, pregnant, nursing, or postpartum individuals (until their children are 5 years of age) are also eligible for the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC). This provides them access to the nutritious foods that new mothers and young infants need.

Visit the local farmer’s market

In addition to shopping in grocery stores, people can use their SNAP dollars at most farmer’s markets.

The Double Up Food Bucks program, which is currently active in 25 of the 50 states, helps individuals get more for their money at the farmer’s market. It matches every dollar a person spends, meaning they can get twice the produce for the same price.

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