Without doubt, one of the most common food group’s people cut out when dieting is fruit, not veg, just fruit! The reason for this indiscriminate eviction of this nutrient packed food all comes down to the sugar content, in particular its fructose content. However, the positives of fruit drastically outweigh the negatives, but it comes down to balance…you’ve got to get the type and quantities of each fruit right.
Sugar content of fruit
Now it’s beyond the scope of this article to go through the sugar content of every fruit out there, so instead I’ll give you an idea:
Fruits lowest in sugar
Generally, fruits that make you squirm because of the sheer sourness or bitterness are the lowest in sugar. So some of the obvious low sugar options are lemons, limes, rhubarb, raspberries, and blackberries.
Fruits moderately high in sugar
Blueberries, melons (cantaloupes, honeydew and watermelons), nectarines, peaches and strawberries fall within this category. Other examples include apples, grapefruit and apricots. Although this list isn’t exhaustive, the examples given are useful should somebody wish to minimise their carb intake for whatever reason.
Fruits higher in sugar
Start to think of some of the sweetest fruits to taste and you may come up with oranges, pineapple, plums, and pears, these are fruits considered to be higher in sugar. You might also have thought of grapes and the likes of, these little numbers take you into the higher sugar category…
Fruits deemed to be very high in sugar
Grapes, cherries, figs, prunes, dates, bananas, mangos, tangerines and pomegranates. You might notice that these are relatively small fruits meaning it’s not so much the total sugar content, but more so the relative concentration of sugar. This brings me on to the real sugar dense fruits which include dates, raisins, apricots and prunes. The concentration of sugar in these fruits are particularly high because they are generally dried, so the water content is low and the total sugar in relation to the fruits mass is very high. Consequently large amounts of these fruits can dramatically increase the total sugar content of your diet.
Food Standards Agency, (2008). Manual of Nutrition. 11th Ed. Sources of carbohydrates in the body. London: TSO