Can you eat fruit on a low sugar diet? Well, yes and no.
If you’re following a low sugar diet you may be a little confused about the role fruit will play in your daily menu. We all know to “eat our fruits and vegetables”, lumping them into the same category. The truth is that fruits and vegetables are two very different types of foods. Fruits and vegetables are both high in vitamins and fiber. But fruits often contain two or more times the amount of sugar per serving than vegetables do. They really are “nature’s candy” and we should eat them in moderation.
The three best low sugar fruits fall into 3 categories- Berries, Citrus and Melons.
Avocado– The avocado is actually a large berry containing a single seed.An entire raw avocado only has about 1 of sugar. 1 cup of sliced avocado is 234 calories and contains 10 grams of fiber. They are also high in vitamin C 24%, vitamin B-6 20% and magnesium 10%. They also have a lot of are healthy fats, which will help keep you full and satisfied.
Blackberries– 1 cup of Blackberries has 62 calories, 7 grams of sugar and 8 grams of dietary fiber. Blackberries are full of seeds and those seeds are full of omega-3 fatty acids as well as protein, and dietary fiber.
Kiwis– Also known as Chinese gooseberry, these odd fuzzy green-fleshed fruits are a berry, too. Kiwis (or kiwifruits) are rich in vitamin C and low in sugar with only 6 grams in one 2” diameter fruit and only 42 calories.
Raspberries– Raspberries are ripe in the middle of the summer. 1 cup of raspberries has 65 calories, 5 grams of sugar, and 53% of vitamin C.
Strawberries– 1 cup of sliced strawberries has 54 calories and 5 grams of sugar and 8 grams of fiber. They contain 254 mg of potassium and 162% of the vitamin C you need daily.
Grapefruit– The grapefruit is a sour to semi-sweet somewhat bitter fruit. 3.5 ounces contains 138 calories and 7.3grams of sugar and 40% of your daily vitamin C needs.
Lemons– Because lemons tend to be very sour, most people use them as a seasoning or flavoring for foods and beverages. 1 medium lemon has about 17 calories and only 1.5 grams of sugar and 51% of Vitamin C
Limes– Limes have a higher sugar content than lemons but are still low in calories at 20 calories for 1 medium fruit and 1.1 grams of sugar. Limes are a popular ingredient in cocktails and guacamole.
Oranges– 1 small (2 1/2” diameter) orange has 45 calories, 174 mg potassium and 9 grams of sugar as well as 85% of your daily vitamin C.
Cantaloupe- Cantaloupes owe their orange color to a high vitamin A content. A cup of this delicious melon contains less than 13 grams of sugar.
Honeydew– A honeydew melon is type of muskmelon in the gourd family. It’s a relative of the crenshaw, casaba, winter, and other mixed melons. 1 cup diced contains 61 calories and 14g sugar. 51% of vitamin C and 388mg potassium
Watermelon– 1 cup of watermelon has 46 calories, 170 mg potassium , 9 grams of sugar. 17% vitamin A, 20% vitamin C
Here are 4 other low sugar fruits you may want to try:
While these fruits don’t fit into the melon- berry- citrus category, they are still good options for a low sugar diet.
Plum – One medium-sized plum has 30 calories, contains 7 grams of sugar
Clementine – One medium-sized clementine has 35 calories and 7 grams of sugar plus 60 % of your Vitamin C and 5% B6
Cherries – 1/3 cup with out pits contains 50 calories and 8 grams of sugar.
Peach – One medium-sized peach has 59 calories has 13 grams of sugar.
These low sugar fruits contain between 1 and 14 grams of sugar per serving, but serving sizes vary. One ripe, medium sized banana has 105 calories, 27 grams of carbohydrates- 14 grams of that is sugar. While 1 cup of sliced strawberries has 54 calories and only 5 grams of sugar. Look at a medium-sized orange. It has about 15 grams of carbs, a medium-sized apple about 18 grams and a medium-sized banana about 25 grams of carbs!
Fruit has a lot more vitamins, minerals, and fiber than sugary processed snacks or juices. High fiber foods slow down digestion, which means your blood sugar won’t go up as fasts after eating fruit. If you decide to grab a Snicker’s Bar from the vending machine you’ll eat 215 calories, 20 grams of sugar and NO fiber! Remember the strawberries? A cup of them has 5 grams of sugar and 8 grams of fiber.
So there’s a Snicker’s commercial on T.V. and the slogan says, “You’re not you when you’re hungry”, but if you eat their candy bar you aren’t you at your best. According to an article in the Harvard Review,
“Food has a direct impact on our cognitive performance, which is why a poor decision at lunch can derail an entire afternoon.”- Ron Friedman
So if you choose to eat he candy bar instead of the fruit you’ll have less focus, productivity and be in a bad mood.
No matter what kind of diet you follow- plant based, low sugar, high fat, etc., – you can still enjoy fruit and indulge your sweet tooth, too!
Want to add some low sugar fruit to your diet? Click here to get the free download- Best Low Sugar Fruit.