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Which fruits contain less sugar?
We are always being told we should eat more fruit and vegetables for reasons of health. This is good advice, of course, but fruits and some vegetables contain sugar. For someone who needs to keep an eye on sugar consumption for reasons of diet or diabetes, it’s good to know the sugar content of various fruits.
If the intake of added sugar is limited and severely restricted, then the consumption of natural sugar in fruit should not be a problem. That’s a big “IF”. But of course we eat cakes, biscuits and sweets.
Some fruits which are low in sugar or only have a moderate level of sugar include rhubarb, which is perhaps the lowest for sugar.
With many fruits it’s going to depend on how much or how many you eat
One apricot will have around 4 grams of sugar, but who stops at one?
Cranberries are good at 4 grams per cup, with a bit more for berries like raspberries, blackberries and strawberries.
One innocent looking fig will give you 8 grams of sugar.
Moving up the scale to tangerines, nectarines, oranges, cherries and to peaches with 15 grams for a large peach, then on to blueberries and grapes at 15 grams a cupful.
It can be easier to remember those at the high end of the scale and feel safe with most other fruits.
Tropical fruits are often high in sugar, with pineapple giving 16 grams a slice, watermelon 18 grams a slice and a large banana at 18 grams.
Apples and pears surprisingly are in this group with a medium size apple giving 20 grams.
Pomegranates and mangos are way up the scale with at least 40 grams each.
Top of the list come dried fruits with a cup of prunes at 65 grams, raisins 86 grams a cupful and worst of all are dates reaching nearly 100 grams for a cupful. Those long boxes of dates usually have added sugar on top of what they have already.
Canned fruit might appeal as it means certain fruits can still be eaten well out of season, but usually they are soaking in syrup. Even canned fruit in juice is high in added sugar.
Fresh fruit rather than dried or tinned will be higher in vitamins, antioxidants and fibre so fresh fruit is always a better choice.
All this depends very much if the fruit is ripe. These days fruit is usually picked early before it is ripe. Growers like to collect the fruit while it is still firm because it travels better without damage. The trouble is if fruit is picked too early, the ripening process slows and stops. The fruit will still go soft and mouldy be will not get sweet and will have a lower sugar content.
Bananas always seem to ripen well, but an apple, for example, will not. If it is picked when sour, it will stay pretty sour. The genes that ripen and sweeten the fruit get switched off too soon.
Some items have an identity crisis. Tomatoes and avocados are technically fruits because they contain a seed, but legally they are listed as vegetables. They don’t contain a lot of sugar anyway.
Bye for now,