How Much Sugar is in Fruit
One of the best things about summer is the variety of fresh fruits and vegetables everywhere. You can stroll through your local farmers’ market or roadside farm stand and get delicious, nutritious options. A low-sugar lifestyle includes lots of veggies and plant-based fats like avocado, but limits fruit to 2-3 servings per day.
In order to keep your sugar intake to the 25 grams suggested by the World Health Organization, you should be aware of all the sugar you’re eating, even if it’s from natural sources. Fruit contains naturally-occuring sugar called fructose, and if you’re eating a whole piece of fruit, you’re getting both fructose and a healthy dose of fiber, which helps control blood sugar levels and minimize the spike from eating sugar. The key is to make sure that you’re getting your natural sugar alongside all that fiber in the fruit (in short, skip the fruit juice).
Here’s some information on the sugar and fiber in your favorite fruits to help you make informed choices. All of these are for 1 cup of the fruit unless otherwise specified:
|Apple||13.3 g||3 g|
|Banana (1 medium)||14 g||3 g|
|Blackberries||7 g||7.6 g|
|Blueberries||14.6 g||3.6 g|
|Cantaloupe||13.9 g||1.6 g|
|Cherries||17.7 g||2.9 g|
|Figs (1 large)||10.4 g||1.9 g|
|Grapefruit||15.8 g||3.7 g|
|Grapes||14.9 g||0.8 g|
|Honeydew melon||14.4 g||1.4 g|
|Kiwi||16 g||5.2 g|
|Mango||24.4 g||3 g|
|Nectarine||11.2 g||2.4 g|
|Orange||16.8 g||4.3 g|
|Peach (1 large)||14.7 g||2.6 g|
|Pear (1 medium)||8.6 g||4.4 g|
|Pineapple||20 g||2 g|
|Plum||16.4 g||2.2 g|
|Raspberries||5.4 g||8 g|
|Strawberries||7 g||2.9 g|
|Watermelon||9 g||1 g|
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!). Overall, 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!