What fruits have sugar in them? The sweetness of fruits is the one that attracts us to reach the first bite. Fruits are healthy, they’re rich in vitamins, minerals, and fiber. They are ideal snacks between meals and can help to maintain a healthy weight. However, many people choose not to eat fruits because of sugar presence.
Which Fruits Contain the Most Sugar?
You’re given a banana and an apple. Guess: Which one has more sugar? Though each is a perfectly healthy serving of fruit and both happen to pair wonderfully with peanut butter, one is far more sugary than the other. The average-sized apple, while lower in calories overall than an average-sized banana, actually has approximately five grams more sugar.
But that doesn’t mean the banana is the better choice. Most people don’t fully understand that sugar is not all bad for you — and in fact, it takes a whole lot of overeating of added refined sugars to do any real damage to your health.
The stress of worrying about sugar is probably doing more harm than the sugar you’re eating, unless you’re eating a trough of it every day. So read on to find out which fruits have the most sugar — but keep in mind that it’s not really a big deal.
In a cup of juicy, red grapes, you’ll find 15 grams of sugar. Some grapes are sweeter than others — cotton candy grapes, for instance, have way more sugar. That’s what gives them their super sweet flavor.
Dried cherries are far denser in sugar content than the fresh kind. In one-third of a cup of dried cherries, there are nearly 30 grams of sugar. Some of this sugar is added after the fruits are dried. However, in a cup of fresh cherries, there are nearly 20 grams of sugar. Cherries also have dozens of health benefits from antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds.
If you’re eating the whole fruit, you’d be eating 46 grams of sugar — that’s more sugar than most doughnuts! However, a serving of mangoes is typically considered to be about a cup’s worth. In a cup, there are 23 grams of sugar, about half that of the full mango.
They’re not a particularly popular snack, but this exotic fruit is a favorite addition to Thai restaurant menus and cocktails. Surrounded by red, leathery skin, the ripe white inside of the fruit is super sweet to taste. A cup of lychees has nearly 30 grams of sugar. However, a cup of lychees also has more than 100 percent of your recommended daily value of vitamin C. They may be difficult to eat, but they’re absolutely worth it.
What sugars are in fruits and vegetables?
Fruits and vegetables are consumed in every country across the globe. They are made up of multiple edible components such as the flowers, fruits, stems, roots, seeds and leaves that are used in meals every day.
Fruit and vegetables form an essential part of a healthy, balanced diet. They are nutrient dense, providing dietary fibre, vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients. Dietary Guidelines recommend we eat plenty of vegetables and enjoy fruit, with research showing this can protect against weight gain, obesity, heart disease, stroke and some cancers. Data, however, shows that many of us are not eating enough fruits and vegetables according to recommendations. Some fruit and vegetables are higher in sugars than others, but it’s important to look at the food as a whole – fruit and vegetables contribute important nutrients for health like dietary fibre, vitamins and minerals.
Which sugars are in fruits and vegetables?
Fruits and vegetables contain a range of naturally occurring sugars that make them taste sweet and flavourful. These sugars include disaccharides like sucrose, and monosaccharides like fructose and glucose. Most fruit and vegetables have a mixture of these different sugars, but the ratio will depend on the specific type and variety of fruit or vegetable.
Learn more about monosaccharides and disaccharides in Sources and Type of Carbohydrates and Sugar.
Sugars Content of Fruits and Vegetables
Here we take a look at the types and amounts of sugars in some popular fresh fruits and vegetables available at supermarkets and farmers markets.
The values below have been taken from the FSANZ Australian Food Composition Database. Values are for the raw food, unpeeled, with no additions, unless otherwise stated. Sugars content may vary depending on the way the food is prepared or if other ingredients are added during preparation or cooking.
|Food||Total Sugars (g/100g)||Sucrose (g/100g)||Fructose (g/100g)||Glucose (g/100g)|
Crisp, crunchy and healthy, the humble apple is the perfect healthy snack when you’re craving something sweet.
Typically one of the first apples you get in the season, these apples have a sweet flavour that are perfect for pies.
11.1g of sugar per 100g
One of the most popular apples for tarts and pies, this apple is a staple for baking.
10.5g of sugar per 100g
Crisp, white and juicy flesh, this variety of apples is great in salads and a popular option for healthy snacks and lunch boxes.
13g of sugar per 100g
Sweeter than many other varieties, this apple is great in salads, pies and eaten on its own.
12.1g of sugar per 100g
Firm and crisp, this popular apple can be eaten as a snack or used in pies, salads or sauces.
12.2g of sugar per 100g
Known for its crisp flesh and tart, tangy taste, this apple is used for baking, salads and snacking.
10.3g of sugar per 100g
A wholesome snack available everywhere, the banana is full of Potassium, Vitamin B6, Vitamin C, Magnesium, Copper, and Manganese, along with healthy fibre.
The most popular variety of banana, this tasty, healthy fruit is a great go-to snack as part of a healthy diet.
12.8g of sugar per 100g
Lady Finger Banana
Another popular variety, these are thinner and slightly shorter than Cavendish bananas and have a sweeter flavour.
18.2g of sugar per 100g
Used in a wide range of foods and juices, oranges are grown extensively and make for a healthy snack or addition to a meal. Grown in colder climates but typically available all year round, oranges can be juiced, added to baked goods, added to salads, used in a range of savoury dishes or eaten on its own.
Sweet flesh with little to no seeds make these a popular variety of orange.
8.2g of sugar per 100g
Popular for their high juice content, this is a favourite for freshly squeezed juice.
8.2g of sugar per 100g
Pineapples come in a wide range of varieties specifically bred to be sweet, juicy, have higher levels of antioxidants and vitamin C. We have the Aussie Rough, Aussie Gold, Aus Jubilee, Aussie Smooth and the Aus Festival. Varieties available in New Zealand include Cayenne and Queen.
The sweetness of pineapples will vary slightly depending on the variety and the time of year they’re picked. Pineapples are slightly sweeter when picked in the summer.
Pineapples (multiple varieties)
Popular in fruit salads, BBQs, desserts and as a great summer snack, pineapples are a popular choice of fruit.
8.2g of sugar per 100g
Picked in late summer, pears can be grouped into two categories: European and Asian – both of which are available in Australia and New Zealand. Mild in flavour, their crunchy, juicy flesh is full of antioxidants and dietary fibre.
Bosc Pear (also known as Brown Skin Pear)
With a harder flesh than other varieties, the Bosc pear is juicy, crunchy and sweet.
10.4g of sugar per 100g
Known also as the Asian pear, apple pear or papple, this pear is round in shape with juicy white flesh.
10.6g of sugar per 100g
Packham’s Triumph Pear
This is a wonderful eating pear with green to yellow skin and juicy, white flesh with a sweet flavour to it.
12.4g of sugar per 100g
William Bartlett Pear
With its sweet, soft flesh, this is a perfect pear to have by itself or with a cheese platter.
9g of sugar per 100g
A popular berry in the summer months, strawberries can be enjoyed as a refreshing snack, part of a fruit platter or in desserts like pavlova.
3.8g of sugar per 100g
A staple in roasts, stir fries, salads and platters all over Australia, carrots are full of vitamins and minerals like zinc, calcium, beta carotene and folate.
Sugar-free Fruits and Vegetables for Healthy Living
Fruits have sugar but not the added kind. Despite this, diabetics still face a problem with their blood sugar levels no matter how little or more they eat. If you’ve always wondered whether there are any low-sugar and sugar-free fruits and vegetables out there, there is! Here is what you need to know about them.
Fruits and Vegetables with Zero or Negligible Sugar Content
Life doesn’t end when you get diabetes. You can optimize your diet with vegetables and fruits with low sugar content. Some of them are:
Lettuce has fibre which is good for your gut and a key ingredient in soups and salads. It’s rich in Vitamin K, low in calories, and a good source of nutrients like folate, manganese, iron, and other vitamins. For every 100 grams of lettuce, there are just 0.8 grams of sugar!
Beetroots are one of the best sugar-free vegetables which are super low in calories. It is a good source of folate for women and helps regulate blood pressure levels. In a 100 g serving, you get 20% of RDI for folate, 0.2 grams of fat, 2 grams of fibre, and up to 1.7 grams of protein.
Tomatoes are a diabetic superfood and loaded with Vitamin C, A, potassium, and other nutrients. It’s a low-carb vegetable and gives you just 32 calories in every serving. The lycopene found in tomatoes is known to have cancer-fighting properties and lowers the risk of heart disease too. Besides that, tomatoes also prevent night blindness, give you soft and supple skin, and help boost your bone density.
Papaya is good for your digestive system and has low sodium content. Low sodium intake correlates with lower cholesterol and blood sugar levels. The fruit is loaded with nutrients like vitamins A, C, folate, potassium, protein, and fibre. There are also traces of essential B vitamins, calcium, magnesium, and vitamin K in the fruit. What makes papaya stand out is that it’s high in lycopene which is shown to regulate blood pressure levels, keep your heart in good shape, and prevent sunburn. It is also known to protect against certain types of cancer.
Cucumbers are cooling and hydrating. The best part is that they are low in calories per cup and give you fewer than 5 grams of carbs per cup. You can have them as much as you want as they’re excellent sources of potassium and Vitamin C. They’re also a versatile ingredient extensively used in various dishes like salads, soups, pasta, wraps, sandwiches, and more.
Cabbage is a good source of fibre, manganese, vitamins B6, K, and C. It’s loaded with antioxidants which makes it a great choice for diabetics. You can even ferment organic raw cabbage at home to make a jar of sauerkraut, a good source of pre- and probiotics. And we don’t have to stress that your gut health influences your immunity, the way you feel, and much more.
Here’s Everything You Need to Know About Fruit Sugar
We’re clearing up the confusion around fruit sugar once and for all.
Many of us have a sweet tooth, and it’s all too tempting to reach for a candy bar instead of an apple. We, at Aaptiv, know that too much sugar is bad for our health, upping our chances of diabetes and heart disease and often hindering our weight-loss goals.
So, while it’s important to cut back on refined sugar, we wanted to know about the sugar found in fruit. We asked experts to clear up the confusion about fruit sugar once and for all.
The Difference Between Fruit Sugar and Other Sugars
First things first: Not all sugar is created equal. According to Lauren Fleming, a registered dietitian at Savoured RD Wellness, there’s natural sugar in many foods we eat, including fruits, dairy products, grains, and vegetables. These foods have sugar in them no matter what—even if sugar hasn’t been added to them.
So, what’s the difference between fruit sugar and other sugars? “Refined, or processed, sugars come under many names, including white sugar, brown sugar, cane sugar, coconut sugar, palm sugar, invert sugar, high-fructose corn syrup—the list goes on!” Fleming says. “These sugars come from mainly plants but have been processed in some way to a simple, sweet form.”
Refined sugar is commonly added to foods to make them taste good or to help them last longer, Fleming explains. (Just think about the chocolate bar that’s been sitting in your cupboard for months—chances are it still tastes delicious.)
Though refined sugar may be devilishly addictive, Fleming says it lacks any significant nutritional value—unlike fruit sugar. Fruits have vitamins, minerals, fiber, and antioxidants. In other words, the fruit you eat is more nutritious than a bag of candy. Sorry.
How does the body metabolize sugar?
The fruit has fructose and glucose in it—just like processed sugar. Most fruit has 40-55 percent fructose, and table sugar is 50 percent fructose and 50 percent glucose. Why does this matter? According to Nicole Osinga, a registered dietitian and founder of Osinga Nutrition, the body metabolizes fructose differently than glucose.
“Fructose is primarily metabolized in the liver. There are pros and cons to this,” she says. “The pro is that eating fructose doesn’t raise blood glucose or insulin levels, both of which—when elevated above the normal range—are thought to contribute to a variety of diseases ranging from heart disease to obesity to several forms of cancer.”
The disadvantage, Osinga says, is that when fructose is metabolized in the liver, it’s typically used to make fats. However, because “fructose is almost never eaten by itself and is usually consumed with equal parts glucose,” she adds.
Glucose, on the other hand, breaks down in the stomach and needs insulin to get into the bloodstream, so it can be metabolized. “The glucose our body doesn’t need right then is stored to try to keep our glucose levels as stable as possible all day long,” Fleming says.
Does the body treat fruit sugar the same as refined sugar?
This is where things get sticky. While the body breaks down all sugar the same way—whether you’re getting your fix from cake or a banana—the process for fruit sugar is much slower. Fleming explains this is because fiber slows down the digestion of sugar, and many fruits are rich in fiber – (you are getting enough fiber, right?). “Another tip to help slow down the absorption of the fruit even more is to pair your fruit with a meal or a protein,” she says.
Foods loaded with refined sugar—such as cookies—have little to no fiber, allowing sugar to quickly travel through the bloodstream. This is why you experience a sugar high and then crash after you guzzle down soda or eat a pint of ice cream. On top of throwing our sugar levels out of whack, refined sugary foods also tend to lack other nutritional value and are often considered “empty calories” (think candy or sweet cocktails).
Is fruit sugar healthy?
Like any sugar, too much fruit sugar isn’t good for you. But compared to refined sugar, fruit is a much better option for regular consumption. “Fruits have a lot of great nutrients in them that are important for our body,” Fleming says, citing vitamin C (this is recommended), vitamin K, and fiber. “Berries and apples also have flavonoids and antioxidants that can help in cancer and other chronic disease prevention.”
What fruits are highest and lowest in sugar?
Osinga says that berries such as raspberries, blackberries, and strawberries are lowest in natural sugar, while the highest are dried fruits, bananas, and mangoes. Fruit juice also tends to be high in sugar, and it’s easy to drink too much of it because it doesn’t require the same digestive process as a whole fruit.
So, how much fruit should you eat a day? “What is usually recommended is up to three servings of fruit a day,” Fleming says, noting that moderation is key.
What is the glycemic index, and why does it matter?
It’s important to watch your sugar intake—regardless of which type of sugar you’re consuming. The glycemic index is a handy tool that ranks foods based on how they affect blood sugars, Fleming explains. This, in turn, helps you make more informed nutritional decisions.
“Foods that are low in the glycemic index (‘low GI’) are more slowly digested. They cause a slower rise in blood sugars,” Fleming says. “Foods higher in the glycemic index are digested and absorbed by the body more quickly, so they have a bigger effect on blood sugars and therefore insulin. Most fruits are low to medium GI.”
If you’re living with diabetes, Fleming says it’s important to consume foods low in GI to help control blood sugars. She also points out that low GI foods will keep you feeling full longer, which helps with weight management.