Fruit is naturally sweet, but not all fruit contains the same amount of sugar.
Knowing which fruits have more or less sugar is important for a number of reasons, particularly if you have certain conditions like diabetes or are trying to follow certain diets. It also can help you determine which fruits might make a great snack and which are sweet enough to fill in as a dessert substitute.
If you've ever wondered just how much sugar might be in a serving of your favourite fruit, here's what you need to know.
Figs have the most sugar.
If you've ever eaten a fresh fig, you know how sweet they can be. So it shouldn't come as a surprise that they are high in sugar content. The Daily Meal reported that a medium-sized fig generally contains about eight grams of sugar. And since you're going to eat more than just one (a serving size is about four), all of that sugar adds up quickly.
Lychees isn't too far behind.
These sweet fruits can contain an awful lot of sugar. According to the US Department of Agriculture (USDA), one cup of fresh lychees contains close to 29 grams of sugar.
Grapes' sugar content can vary by varietal, but tend to be fairly high in sugar.
Unlike some other fruits, the amount of sugar in a serving of grapes can vary based on the type of grapes you're eating. The USDA noted that one cup of Thompson seedless grapes contains just over 23 grams of sugar. So though grapes are definitely a healthy snack, you need to be wary of eating them mindlessly if you're trying to watch your sugar intake.
Mangoes also have quite a bit of sugar.
As with anything, the amount of sugar you're getting when you eat mango depends on how much mango you're eating. Eat This, Not That noted that a cup of mango contains about 22.5 grams of sugar. But an entire mango is far more. WebMD noted that eating an entire mango means eating about 45 grams of sugar.
Cherries aren't far behind.
Cherries are another relatively high-sugar fruit. But, like many other fruits, they also contain a number of good-for-you nutrients that make eating them well worth it. The Daily Meal reported that a cup of fresh cherries contains about 20 grams of sugar.
Pears have more than 15 grams of sugar.
Each pear that you eat likely has more sugar in it than you thought. WebMD noted that one medium pear, which is likely what you'd normally eat at one time, has about 17 grams of sugar in it. Eating just a portion of a pear instead might be a better bet, particularly if you're trying to keep your sugar intake in check.
Pineapple is pretty sweet, as well.
Like some other fruits, it's likely not all that shocking to hear that pineapple has a fair amount of sugar in it. VeryWell Fit noted that a cup of pineapple contains just over 16 grams of sugar. That's a typical serving, but if you're eating more than that, the amount of sugar can go up fairly quickly as well.
Bananas are often used to sweeten smoothies, baked goods, and more.
Bananas are known to be relatively sweet and are frequently used in baked goods to sweeten without overdoing it on the sugar, to sweeten and thicken smoothies, and more. They're not as sweet as some fruits, but USDA noted that one medium banana contains about 14.4 grams of sugar. Bananas, like other fruits, also contain a ton of other healthy components, including magnesium, potassium, and more.
Oranges and tangerines contain almost the same amount of sugar.
If tangerines and oranges are your winter fruit staples, it's good to know that they're generally the same, in terms of sugar content. Eat This, Not That noted that tangerines typically contain no more than about 12.7 grams of sugar each, while VeryWell Fit noted that a small orange often comes in around 12 grams. They're also chock full of vitamin C, fibre, and other nutrients that your body needs.
Apples have slightly less.
Apples are often considered fairly sweet fruits as well, but they don't pack the same sugary punch as some other options. Still, you're getting more than 10 grams of sugar if you're eating more than about a cup of fruit. Well + Good noted that a cup of apples contains about 11 grams of sugar, but that if you eat the skin, you're getting a boost of fibre as well.
Berries are fairly low-sugar fruits.
If you're looking for a low-sugar option, berries can be a good choice. Depending on the variety and amount you're eating, your berry snack can contain anywhere from about four to six grams of sugar. Healthline noted that raspberries contain about five grams of sugar, while kiwi (a berry!) contains about six, and strawberries and blackberries contain about seven. And Women's Health noted that cranberries, which, of course, are popular during the cooler fall and winter months, are lower in sugar, containing about four grams of sugar per cup.
Apricots have very little sugar.
Apricots have even less sugar than berries. The USDA noted that one fresh apricot contains just over three grams of sugar. Apricots are a great choice when you're looking to switch up your fruit routine, while still snacking on something tasty and healthy.
Lemons and limes have even less.
If you're looking for some of the health benefits that fruit can provide without getting too much sugar, lemons and limes might be good options. Healthline noted that lemons and limes typically contain approximately one gram of sugar per piece of fruit (lemons contain nearly one and a half grams). But they're also loaded with vitamin C, potassium, calcium, phosphorus, and more.
There are many good reasons to eat a serving of fruit and you should definitely still include fruit as part of a healthy and balanced diet, but if you need to monitor your sugar intake for whatever reason, knowing which fruits have more and which have less is crucial for determining which are the best for you.