Low-Carb Fruits With The Most And Least Sugar

We have been told that a spoonful of it helps the medicine go down. We have heard that it can be one of the most significant contributors to countless chronic diseases. We have read that our body needs it to survive. So what is the truth about sugar? Is it good or bad? Well, the truth is that it is just not that simple. And one of the main reasons for this grey area is that all sugar is not created equal. There is natural sugar and there is also refined sugar. Separating the two goes a long way in creating clarity around sugar’s role in our diet.


Natural Sugar Vs. Refined Sugar

In general terms, sugar is a source of energy for the body. It is a carbohydrate that the body transforms into glucose, which it uses for fuel. However, depending on the type of sugar, it can effect the body in different ways.

Natural sugar is the kind of sugar that is in fruit and dairy. It is called fructose or lactose, respectively. The foods that fructose comes in provide essential nutrients for disease prevention and overall health.

Refined sugar is processed sugar. Originally, it is sourced from sugar beets or sugar cane. When these plants are processed, sugar can then be extracted. This sugar is also known as sucrose, a combination of fructose and glucose. There is little to no nutritional value in sucrose.

One of the main differences between natural and refined sugar, besides where they come from, is how the body metabolizes them. Because natural sugar is contained in fruit, which is high in fiber, it slows digestion. This means individuals feel fuller faster when they eat fruit instead of candy. Additionally, the body can break down refined sugar much more expediently, leading to a rapid rise in blood sugar and insulin levels. It is these rapid rises and falls that can precipitate chronic diseases, such as diabetes. In short, refined sugar, due to the fact that it is not as filling as natural sugar, has a better chance of making individuals gain weight, as well as raising the chances of contracting a number of chronic diseases.

However, once the sugar makes its way through the stomach and into the small intestine, these differences start to shrink. To the small intestine, it does not matter if the sugar was once fructose or sucrose—it is all the same. And when it comes down to it, when the body has high sugar levels it begins to store the sugar as fat. In other words, too much fruit consumption does have the potential to cause weight gain.


A Deeper Look At Fruit Sugars

It is important to note that while fruit is associated with fructose and refined sugar is associated with sucrose, both fruit and refined sugar contain fructose and glucose. In fact, they contain nearly equivalent amounts of each. Table sugar contains the two in equal amounts. In fruit, the ratio varies—pears and apples are made up of about 65% fructose and on the other end of the spectrum is cranberries, which contains 20% fructose. It is for this reason that those who are trying to lose weight should still be mindful of how much and what types of fruit they eat—some fruits have a much lower sugar content than others.


Fruits Containing Low Levels Of Sugar

There are a number of fruits that have low levels of sugar. The following is a list of fruit with less than 10 grams of sugar per a 100 gram serving.

  • Acai-2 grams
  • Apricot-9 grams
  • Avocado-1 grams
  • Blackberry-5 grams
  • Boysenberry-7 grams
  • Cantaloupe-8 grams
  • Clementine-9 grams
  • Coconut-6 grams
  • Cranberry-4 grams
  • Gooseberry-6 grams
  • Grapefruit-7 grams
  • Guava-9 grams
  • Honeydew-8 grams
  • Kiwifruit-9 grams
  • Kumquat-9 grams
  • Lemon-3 grams
  • Lime-2 grams
  • Mulberry-8 grams
  • Nectarine-8 grams
  • Orange-9 grams
  • Papaya-6 grams
  • Peach-8 grams
  • Raspberry-4 grams
  • Salmonberry-4 grams
  • Strawberry-5 grams
  • Watermelon-6 grams
  • White currant-7 grams


Fruits Containing Low To Medium Levels Of Sugar

While most fruit contain low levels of sugar, there are a handful with a slightly higher level of sugar content. These fall into the low to medium sugar-level fruit category. The following is a list of fruit with between 10 grams and 20 grams of sugar per a 100 gram serving.

  • Apple-10 grams
  • Banana-12 grams
  • Blueberry-10 grams
  • Cherry-13 grams
  • Cherimoya-16 grams
  • Currant-15 grams
  • Elderberry-11 grams
  • Fig-16 grams
  • Goji berry-13 grams
  • Grape-16 grams
  • Litchis-15 grams
  • Longan-14 grams
  • Loquat-10 grams
  • Mandarine-11 grams
  • Mango-15 grams
  • Pear-10 grams
  • Plum-10 grams
  • Pineapple-10 grams
  • Plantain-15 grams
  • Pomegranate-14 grams
  • Quince-13 grams
  • Soursop-14 grams


Fruits Containing High To Very High Levels Of Sugar

A handful of fruit contain a much higher level of sugar than other fruit. These fruit fall in the high to very high sugar-level fruit category. The following is a list of the fruit with more than 20 grams of sugar per a 100 gram serving.

  • Custard apple-23 grams
  • Date-63 grams
  • Durian-23 grams
  • Jackfruit-22 grams
  • Tamarind-57 grams


Fruit And Low Carb Diets

There is no doubt that fruits provide health benefits. They offer a number of nutrients that help the body to prevent illness and function properly. However, fruit does cause a problem for those on a low-carb diet.

The point of this type of diet is to restrict carbohydrate, or sugar, intake. Dieters must try to heavily reduce their consumption of everything from pasta and bread to candy and soft drinks. Fruits also tend to fall on this list of banned or reduced foods.

When the numbers are broken down and the amount of carbs is counted, though, fruit starts to look more low-carb diet friendly than initially thought. Fruits do have more carbs than many vegetables, yet they are significantly lower in the carb count than bread, pasta, or candy.

In conclusion, maintaining a low-carb diet does not mean that you can not eat fruit. As previously stated, it simply requires that you be cognizant of how much fruit you are consuming. This includes making an effort to opt for fruits that have a lower sugar content (shown on the list above).