Fruit and Their Sugar Content
Fruit – extremely healthy but we’ve all heard mixed reviews about them in regards to clean eating. If you are following a low carb diet or have diabetes you should be aware that not all fruits are the same. Yes, they all have vitamins but the levels of sugar in them vary.
Of the 5 a day, we recommend 2 fruit portions and 3 and above veg portions. Most fruits have a low glycaemic index (GI) due to the amount of fiber they contain and because their sugar is mostly fructose. However, dried fruit (such as raisins, dates, and sweetened cranberries), melons, and pineapples have a medium GI value. The good news is that the fruits lowest in sugar have some of the highest nutritional values, including antioxidants and other phytonutrients.
Fruits low in sugar per portion are:
· Limes (1.1g per fruit) and Lemon (1.5g per fruit)
· Rhubarb (1.3g per cupful)
· Apricot (3.2g per small fruit)
· Cranberries (4g per cupful)
· Raspberries (5g per cupful)
· Kiwi (6g per fruit and you can eat the skin for extra fiber)
Fruits low to medium in sugar per portion are:
· Blackberries and strawberries (7g per cupful)
· Grapefruit (8g per half of fruit)
· Cantaloupe melon (8g per ¼, lowest sugar content of the melon group)
· Orange (12g per medium sized fruit)
· Honeydew melon(13g per ¼ fruit)
· Cherries (13g per cupful)
· Blueberries (15g per cupful)
· Grapes (15g per cupful)
Fruits high in sugar per portion are:
· Pineapple(16g per slice)
· Pears (17g per medium size fruit)
· Banana (17g per large banana)
· Watermelon (18g per large wedge)
· Apples (19g per small fruit)
· Mango (46g per fruit)
· Prunes, raisins and dates (66g, 86g and 93g per cupful)
If You Have Diabetes
Your fruit choices if you have diabetes depend on the diet method you are using. If you are counting carbohydrates, they are about 15 grams of carbs in 1/2 cup of frozen or canned fruit or 2 tablespoons of dried fruit (such as raisins). But the serving size for fresh berries and melons are ¾ to 1 cup so that you can enjoy more of them. If you are using the plate method, you can add a small piece of whole fruit or 1/2 cup of fruit salad to your plate. If you are using the glycaemic index to guide your choices, most fruits have a low glycaemic index and are encouraged. However, melons, pineapples, and dried fruits have medium values on the GI index.
Now don’t let this scare you off eating fruit, they are rich in vitamins and nutrients but if you are trying to get lean or keep your diabetes under control then it’s worth knowing he difference between the different types.
Louise Kavanagh | Health and Fitness Club Manager