Five Fruits with the Highest Sugar Load

I recently shared my article, Reasons to Limit Fructose Consumption on my Facebook page, and I had someone ask me a really good question:

What fruits have less fructose because I like to have smoothies?

So, Suzanne -  this post is for you!

When researching the amount of carbs in various fruits, I was alarmed that the fruits my kids like the most have the highest sugar load. I was glad that I generally limit them to one or two pieces of fruit per day.

Since we avoid fruit juice and only eat fruit since it has fiber, I was not happy to learn that fruits generally don’t contain much in the way of fiber. The fiber helps to slow the uptake of sugar in your bloodstream, which is a good thing – but even when you eat the skin you’re not gaining a whole lot.

Just for perspective, I’ve also included the equivalent of sugar in teaspoons. It goes without saying there are actually health benefits for these fruits this post doesn’t address, and there are health drawbacks to eating white sugar. Again, it’s just for perspective. Don’t shoot me :)

#1 – Apple

At the top of the list are nature’s toothbrush – the apple.

A whopping 35 grams of carbs for one large apple – or 25g for a medium apple. Thanks to fiber you can shave 3g’s off those numbers, but they are still quite high.

To compare, when your child eats a large apple, the sugar load is the same as if they were eating 8.75 teaspoons of sugar.

#2 – Pomegranate

Now this one surprised me.

One medium pomegranate has a load of 26 grams.The surprising part is there’s only 1g of fiber for all those seeds. I find that hard to believe!

That’s 6.5 teaspoons of sugar.

#3 – Banana

I guess it’s no surprise bananas are in the top five. Sumo wrestlers don’t bulk up with bananas for nothing, right?

One large banana has 25 grams of carbs and 3g’s fiber.

That’s 6.25 teaspoons of sugar.

#4 – Pear

Now they are four popular varieties in pears in the US, but they are all high in carbs.

Although high in potassium, each pear has a load of 22 grams of carbs. The good news is it has 4 grams of fiber which is not bad.

That’s 5.5 teaspoons sugar.

#5 – Blueberries

One cup of blueberries has 20 grams of carbs.

I always thought blueberries contained more fiber than they do – 3 grams. Learn something new every day.

Oh, and that’s 5 teaspoons sugar.

So now that you know which fruit has the most sugar per serving, I bet you’d like to know which are the better choices. That will be the topic of my next post…

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Lea Harris founded Nourishing Treasures in 2006. A mom passionate about her family's health and well-being, Lea believes education is power. Encouraging others to take baby steps in the right direction of health for their families, Lea's goal is to raise awareness of what goes into our mouths and on our bodies, providing natural alternative information that promotes health and prevents disease by using traditional foods and nature's medicine.

Lea is a Certified Health Coach graduate from Beyond Organic University, and a Certified Aromatherapist graduate from Aromahead Institute.

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Five Fruits with the Highest Sugar Load — 11 Comments

  1. Would love to hear more about the apple being “natures toothbrush” because it certainly concerns orthodontics. Your article is quite revealing about the amount of sugar in these popular fruits, but doesn’t fructose metabolize slower than table sugar?

  2. Yes, that seems like a lot of sugar. My 17 month old doesn’t eat any processed foods, all whole foods. With that said I would rather her eat an apple, pear or banana any day over candy or a chocolate bar. Most kids don’t eat many fruits and veggies so when you pair eating fruits and sugary fruit juices and candy and such, I think it is a lot of sugar. My daughter eats lots of veggies and a banana a day and one other fruit I don’t think is hurting her. I may be wrong, but there are many many worst foods out there, no? I do love my apples. You will have to pry them out of my hands…..LOL! :) Thanks for the great information! :) :) :)

  3. Give me a break, seriously! Now we have to eliminate bananas, blueberries, peas, apples and pomegranates?! Pomegranate?!!! The super fruit!!! We should be concerned about processed foods not what nature gives us. If we start thinking about every little thing, we can go crazy! I think fruits are great and they have much more to offer than just fructose!

    • No no! I am not saying you should never eat them. I was just warning you that they have more sugar than you might think, and letting your child eat 6 servings a day might not be the best idea. Just a little head’s up :) Like I mentioned on the other post, fruits have lots of wonderful properties and vitamins that we need.

      If it’s a choice between fruit and cake, choose the cake!

      And above all – no stress :)

      • Yes they are high in fructose (I wouldn’t use the word sugar because not all sugar is the same), but it is naturally occurring and our body know how to handle it. And choosing between fruit and cake, I’ll choose fruit anytime.
        Sorry, but we disagree on this one.

  4. Natural sugars are COMPLETELY different from white table sugar. A friend of mine cannot tolerate any white, raw, brown sugar (heart problem) but can consume as much honey and fruit as she’d like without any problems. The two forms of sugar are totally different.

  5. If I recall, the amount if sugar in a banana varies hugely depending on its ripeness. And i’m stunned by your pomegranate numbers, and surprised at how much fiber is in those soft delicate pears! Definitely looking forward to part two… :)

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