Sugar Suspect: What Fruits Have the Most Sugar?
Fruits are a great snack for healthy eating, but not all fruits are created equal when it comes to calories
If you’re trying to eat healthy foods, then you most likely consider fruit to be a good choice. For the most part, you would be right, but it’s important to realize that not all fruits are created equal when it comes to nutrition. While many fruits are celebrated for their incredible health benefits such as blueberries being rich in antioxidants and bananas being a good source of potassium, fruits also contain sugar, which can be confusing for some people who think that eating sugar is taboo. You might wonder, if fruits are healthy but sugar is bad for you, then what gives? Well, the simple answer is that sugar affects you differently, depending on its source.
What Is the Difference Between Sugar in Fruit and Added Sugar?
The thing to remember is that the sugar found in fruit is made up of naturally occurring sugars like fructose, glucose, and sucrose and when they are consumed in fruit, you are eating them in their natural state. This is in contrast to added sugars, which are the same sugars that are found in fruit, however, they are removed from their natural source and processed into other low-nutrition foods such as sugary cereals, soda, and cookies. It is these foods that offer little to no nutritional value that are to blame for an increase in various health issues such as tooth decay, and even an increased risk of certain cancers.
These sugars don’t present the same risk factors when they are eaten from their natural source, plus, fruit offers a whole host of health benefits from lowering blood pressure to boosting memory and even reducing stress. This is one of many reasons that we’re told to eat our fruits and vegetables, shooting for roughly 3-5 servings of vegetables a day and 2-4 servings of fruit. When you are eating to lose weight, the number of servings of fruit that you should eat per day is usually reduced to about 2 servings, and this is mainly because fruits contain more calories than vegetables.
Basically, no matter how you slice it, sugar is still sugar; while eating fruit isn’t going to cause the same health concerns as eating added sugar, you still get the calories. This means eating too much sugar (even if it’s in fruit) and means packing away extra calories, which can lead to weight gain.
Which Fruits Have the Most Sugar?
The key is to know which fruits are higher in sugars so that you know which ones to avoid reaching for as a snack when you’re approaching your daily calorie limit. Another factor to consider is portion sizes. Most fruits are considered portion-controlled, for example, one apple or one orange, but you still need to pay attention to the size. A large apple, for instance, can have roughly 110 calories and 22 grams of sugar, compared to a small apple that only has about 55 calories and 11 grams of sugar.
So, with so many different kinds of fruit out there, which ones have the most sugar and which are the ones to go for if you don’t have many calories left in your daily bank? Here’s a list of some of the most popular fruits and how many calories and sugars they each contain:
- Cherries — (½ cup, Maraschino) 13 calories, 31.21g sugar
- Mango — (one mango) 135 calories; 30.64g sugar
- Banana — (one large) 121 calories, 16.63g sugar
- Grapes — (one cup, seedless) 110 calories, 24.77g sugar
- Orange — (one large) 86 calories, 17.2g sugar
- Pear — (one medium) 96 calories, 16.27g sugar
- Grapefruit — (one cup) 74 calories, 16.05g sugar
- Blueberries — (one cup) 83 calories, 14.44g sugar
- Pineapple — (one cup, diced) 74 calories, 14.35g sugar
- Apple — (one medium) 72 calories, 14.34g sugar
- Peach — (one large) 61 calories, 13.17g sugar
- Figs — (one medium) 37 calories, 8.13g sugar
- Kiwi — (one kiwi) 46 calories, 6.83g
- Strawberries — (one cup, whole strawberries) 46 calories, 6.71g sugar
- Plum — (one plum) 30 calories, 6.55g sugar
- Raspberries — (one cup) 64 calories, 5.44g sugar
What About Dried Fruit?
When it comes to dried fruit, you want to avoid eating large quantities because dried fruit usually contains a pretty high sugar content. When water is removed from the fruit, the nutrients become very concentrated, which means dried fruit contains significantly higher amounts of sugar than its hydrated counterparts. For example, a cup of raisins has almost 80g of sugar, compared to a cup of grapes that has about 24g. Plus, some dried fruits even contain added sugars, boosting the overall amount of sugar you consume even further into the stratosphere. Basically, dried fruits are more of a sugary snack disguised as a healthy choice.
Hopefully, this helps you make a more informed choice about the fruits that you choose to eat, or at least the portion sizes when you’re on a weight-loss plan. Fruits are a nutritious and healthy snack, but it’s important to not eat them to excess since they can still add quite a substantial amount of calories to your day, which can hinder your weight loss goals. For more helpful tips and resources that can help you achieve the healthy lifestyle that you’re looking for, make sure to check out the rest of our blogs! If you’re looking for a convenient, nutritious way to shed those extra pounds, make sure to see what Sensible Meals has to offer!
FoodData Central, U.S. Department of Agriculture, https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/index.html