There are two types of sugar in fruit which are fructose and glucose. The proportions of fructose and glucose will vary depending on the type and size of the fruit, but most fruits are about half glucose and half fructose.
What is the difference between glucose and fructose?
Glucose is the body’s preferred energy source, and it is also called blood sugar because it circulates in the blood. Your body processes most carbohydrates you eat into glucose, either to be used immediately for energy or to be stored in muscle cells or the liver as glycogen for later use.
Like glucose, fructose is a sugar found naturally in many fruits and vegetables. Fructose has a different metabolic pathway than glucose, as it is not the preferred energy source for muscles or the brain. Fructose is only metabolized in the liver and is more lipogenic – or fat-producing – than glucose.
Is the sugar in fruit bad for you?
No, the natural sugar found in fruit is accompanied by other nutrients, such as protein and fiber, which cause natural sugars to be absorbed slowly. This steady absorption of natural sugar prevents blood sugar spikes. When it comes to the sugars found in fruit, it’s essential to distinguish between fruit sugars and refined sugars. Refined sugar, or white sugar, is a refined form of sucrose. Sucrose is composed of glucose and fructose, produced naturally in plants, mostly sugar cane or sugar beets. If sucrose has similarities to the sugars found in fruit, why is it bad?
One of the main differences between sucrose and the fructose and glucose found in fruit is that refined white sugar lacks any significant nutritional value. With fruit, our bodies are designed to receive energy and properly store and use the sugars found in fruit. This is partly due to the other things found in fruit, like a combination of vitamins, minerals, fiber, phytochemicals, and water.
Evidence suggests that eating too much refined sugar can cause inflammation in the body, and over time, that inflammation may lead to significant health problems. In comparison, the natural sugars found in fruits have not been linked to inflammation, and in fact, foods containing natural sugars, such as fruits and vegetables, may be anti-inflammatory.
How To Regulate Sugar Intake By Knowing Differences Between Fruits
If you do want to regulate or monitor your sugar intake, any type of sugar, it is essential to know the differences between the different kinds of fruits. There are some cases where you have to pay a little more attention to the type of fruit you eat. For example, if you are a person with diabetes, any kind of sugar, even from fruit, can affect your blood sugar levels. This is also true for anyone following a ketogenic diet, as the sugars in fruit will affect your body’s ability to get in and stay in ketosis, also known as “fat burning.”
Top 5 Highest Sugar Fruits
1. Dried Figs
Sugar = 32 grams per serving (4 figs)
A normal serving of figs is a total of 4 of them, meaning that you’d be consuming 32 grams of sugar in your total serving. While the sweetness in dried figs and dates is all-natural, it does not come from added sugars. These fruits have low water content, which makes the naturally occurring sugars more concentrated.
Sugar = 29 grams per cup
Lychee is a tropical fruit that is unique in flavor and appearance. It’s native to China but can grow in certain warm regions of the US.
Sugar = 23 grams per cup
Mango is an edible stone fruit produced by a tropical tree and is a member of the cashew family and one of the most important and widely cultivated fruits in the tropical world.
Sugar = 20 grams per cup
Like other fruits, cherries are low in calories and full of fiber, vitamins, minerals, and nutrients. They include vitamins C, A, and K and contain potassium, magnesium, and calcium.
Sugar = 19 grams per medium apple
Apples are low in saturated fat, cholesterol, and sodium. They are also a good source of dietary fiber and vitamin C.
Other High Sugar Fruits
Here’s a quick list of some additional high-sugar fruits:
- Oranges: 17 grams per one large orange
- Pears: 17 grams per one medium pear
- Kiwi: 16 grams per one sliced kiwi
- Pineapple: 16 grams per cup of pineapple chunks
- Grapes: 15 grams per cup
- Bananas: 14 grams per medium banana
- Figs (fresh): 10 grams per large whole fig
Lowest Sugar Fruits
If you’re restricting sugar from your diet or monitoring your daily intake, a simple method is to know which are your lowest-sugar fruits and how they compare to the high-sugar fruits. Here’s a list of some of the lowest-sugar fruits:
- Strawberries: 7 grams per cup
- Blackberries: 7 grams per cup
- Lemons and limes: 5 grams per cup
- Raspberries: 5 grams per cup
- Avocado: 1.52 grams per cup
Important Point: Sugar From Fruit Is Not Bad
There may be reasons you’re measuring your sugar intake, even if it’s natural sugar from fruit. Still, fruits are packed full of nutritional value, allowing your body to process and use these natural sugars in the right way. For most people, there is no need to concern themselves with limiting the natural sugars that come from fruits and vegetables.
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