Reviewed by Christine Mikstas, RD, LD on November 02, 2021
Fruit’s good for you! It has fiber and other nutrients you need. But it also has natural sugar, and some have more than others. For example, one mango has a whopping 46 grams of sugar -- not your best choice if you’re trying to watch your weight or how much sugar you eat. Maybe enjoy a couple of slices and save the rest for later.
A cup of these has about 23 grams sugar. That’s a lot for something that’s so easy to pop in your mouth. You might eat them more slowly if you slice them in half and freeze them. They’ll be waiting for you as a refreshing summer treat that takes a bit longer to eat.
They’re sweet, and they have the sugar to show for it: A cup of them has 18 grams. If you fill up a large bowl with them, you can lose track of how many you eat. Measure your snack beforehand so you know exactly how much sugar you’ll get.
One medium pear has 17 grams of sugar. If you’re trying to cut back, don’t eat the whole thing -- just put a few slices in some low-fat yogurt or on top of a salad.
A medium wedge of this summer treat has 17 grams of sugar. As its name suggests, it’s loaded with water, and it has special minerals called electrolytes that are just what your body needs to recharge after some time in the sun. Just keep it to a slice or two.
Two medium-size ones have 16 grams. If you’re trying to keep an eye on your sugar, maybe slice a couple and spread some goat cheese on them for a protein-rich treat, or use some in a sauce to add some zip to lean meats like skinless chicken.
One medium banana has 14 grams sugar. If that seems like more than you bargained for, slice half of it into your morning cereal or smash a small piece in the middle of your peanut butter sandwich.
Less Sugar: Avocados
Not all fruits are loaded with the sweet stuff. A whole avocado -- yep, it's a fruit -- has only 1.33 grams of sugar. Put it in a salad, spread it on toast, or make some guacamole. But while they’re low in sugar, they’re high in calories, so it might not be a good idea to make them a daily habit.
Less Sugar: Guavas
Each one has 5 grams of sugar and about 3 grams of fiber, too -- more than you'd get from a serving of brown rice or a slice of whole-grain bread. You’ll get even more fiber if you add guavas with the skin on to your smoothies.
Less Sugar: Raspberries
These pack a serious punch of fiber with 8 grams per cup -- and only 5 grams of sugar. The fiber is good for digestion and can help you feel fuller with fewer calories. They’re the perfect size to savor one at a time, and they’re not bad with some fresh whipped cream and a spoon, either.
Less Sugar: Cantaloupe
It’s kind of amazing that the flavor and satisfaction packed in a single medium wedge can come from only 5 grams of sugar -- and only 23 calories. Try it with some cottage cheese and a sprinkle of salt.
Less Sugar: Papayas
Here’s a good one to add to your shopping list: Half of a small one has 6 grams of sugar. Even a small one is pretty big, so half is plenty to eat at one time. You can add a squeeze of lime and a sprinkle of sea salt -- or a dollop of frozen yogurt for a tropical treat.
Less Sugar: Strawberries
A cup of whole strawberries has only 7 grams. Add them to a salad for some vibrant color and a touch of summer.
IMAGES PROVIDED BY:
Mayo Clinic: “Nutrition and healthy eating: Chart of high-fiber foods.”
NIH News in Health: “Sweet Stuff: How Sugars and Sweeteners Affect Your Health.”
United States Department of Agriculture Agricultural Research Service: “All About the Fruit Group,” “National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference.”
What’s Cooking In America: “How to Freeze Grapes.”