You know sugar is bad for you, and some fruits are high in sugar. So does that mean you should avoid fruit? Not exactly. In this article we’ll look at the sugar content of fruit and show you the fruits with the highest and lowest amount of sugar. But first, it’s important to understand the different types of sugar.
There are two types of sugars: those that occur naturally in foods and added sugars.
1. Naturally occurring sugars
- These sugars are found naturally in foods such as fruit (fructose) and milk (lactose).
2. Added sugars.
- Include sweeteners like white sugar, brown sugar, powdered sugar, honey, agave nectar, high fructose corn syrup, etc..
How Much Sugar Do You Need?
The American Heart Association recommends no more than 100 calories a day of “added sugar” for most women and no more than 150 calories a day for most men. Unfortunately, most Americans consume about 22 teaspoons worth of added sugar each day, according to The Mayo Clinic. This amounts to an extra 355 calories every day!
The problem with eating too much sugar is it does bad things to your body. Specifically, it blocks your body’s ability to burn fat.
That’s why it’s important to understand the fruits that have the highest and lowest sugar content. The general consensus among health experts is that if you limit added sugar from other sources, you don’t need to worry about eating too much sugar from natural sources like fruit. Problem is, it’s clear that most people don’t do a good job of limiting their sugar intake. Check out this list and then you’ll see my recommendation at the bottom of the page.
Sugar Content of Fruit: The Highest
Sugar Content of Fruit: The Lowest
*Note: I got all these numbers from the USDA’s National Nutrient Database.
My Final Word on Sugar
In general, I think people should eat more fruit. That’s because even though fruit contains natural sugars, it also contains healthy vitamins, minerals, fiber, and disease-fighting antioxidants. Stick with real, raw fruits, and not dried and canned fruits, which almost always contain added sugar.
If you don’t burn off the food you’re eating then even fruit can lead to weight gain. So here’s my recommendation:
- If you work out a lot then three or even four servings a day is probably fine.
- If you tend to be more sedentary, stick with two servings of fruit max.
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