10 Low-Sugar Fruits You Should Eat For A Better Health 2022
Fruits are an important part of the diet, with regular fruit-eaters at a lower risk of developing chronic diseases such as type 2 diabetes. However, some people avoid fruits due to the high sugar content.
Too much sugar obviously isn’t good if you have diabetes or you’re trying to lose weight, but some fruits are lower in natural sugars and can be part of a healthy diet – even if you’re watching your sugar intake or blood sugar.
So, what fruits have the least sugar? In this article, we go through the 10 healthiest low sugar fruits for weight loss and overall health.
Top 10 Low-Sugar Fruits To Eat
- Red and white currants
10 Healthiest Low-Sugar Fruits List
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) recommends adults eat one and a half to two and a half cups of fruit per day, depending on your gender and age.
Fruits are rich in essential micronutrients, and many fruits are very low in sugar so can still be eaten as part of a low-carb diet to aid weight loss and blood sugar balance.
Here are the 10 lowest-sugar fruits to eat more of, ranked from the least sugar to the most. For each fruit, we tell you exactly how much sugar there is per portion.
You probably eat avocados as a vegetable in savory dishes, but they’re technically a fruit. And they’re especially good for those watching their sugar intake.
The flesh of one California avocado (136 grams) without the skin and seed contains just 0.4 grams of sugar.
Packed with healthy fats, vitamins, and minerals, avocados are the perfect fruit to eat regularly as part of a healthy, balanced diet. Avocados are an especially good source of vitamin B9 (folate), potassium, and carotenoids – antioxidant nutrients that give avocado flesh its bright green color.
Avocados are great eaten alone, on toast, or even in a fruit salad.
However, not all avocados are equal when it comes to sugar content. Make sure you buy California avocados rather than Florida avocados, which are much sweeter and contain more than 7 grams of sugar per avocado!
If you’ve ever eaten a lime straight, you’ll already know they’re not very sweet (and very sour). In fact, with only 1.1 grams of sugar per lime, they’re one of the lowest-sugar fruits you can eat.
Limes are also high in vitamin C, providing 19.5 milligrams of vitamin C per lime, which is 22% of the average person’s daily needs.
If you only consume the lime juice rather than the whole fruit, you’ll only squeeze out 0.7 grams of sugar and 13.2 grams of vitamin C per lime.
The sourness puts most people off eating limes directly, but there are ways to add more lime to your diet. Try adding a squeeze of lime to a glass of water or mashing with avocado, garlic, and salt to make guacamole. Or, to get the extra vitamin C and fiber from the whole fruit, add whole lime pieces to smoothies.
Rhubarb is technically a vegetable, but most people consider it a fruit (including the USDA FoodData Central database), so we added it to the list. Rhubarb is very low in sugar, containing only 1.3 grams of sugar per 100 grams of raw rhubarb stalks.
However, you can’t eat rhubarb raw for several reasons. Firstly, it’s very tough with thick stalks. Also, due to it’s high malic acid content, it’s so sour that it’s usually cooked with sugar to make it more palatable. However, adding sugar takes rhubarb off of the list of low-sugar fruits: 100 grams of rhubarb cooked with sugar contains almost 30 grams of sugar.
Of course, not adding sugar to cooked rhubarb will significantly lower its sugar content. If you need a bit of extra sweetness, you could try adding a low-calorie sweetener instead.
Secondly, rhubarb is very high in oxalic acid, an antinutrient that inhibits calcium absorption. So, although rhubarb is also a good source of calcium, it’s not bioavailable as it’s mostly bound up as calcium oxalate. Too much oxalic acid in the diet can also increase the risk of kidney stones. Cooking rhubarb in water helps reduce oxalate levels.
To keep rhubarb a low-sugar fruit snack, try stewing rhubarb with some water and a low-calorie, low-sugar sweetener such as xylitol.
You’ll usually find cranberries in the snack aisle of the grocery store. However, they are usually dried and with added sugar because cranberries are low in sugar and have a sour, tart taste due to their high acid content.
Fresh, raw cranberries contain just over four grams of sugar per 100 grams. On the other hand, dried, sweetened cranberries contain over 70 grams of sugar per 100 grams. So, if you can find them, it’s best to go for fresh cranberries rather than dried cranberries.
But sugar isn’t just sugar – different fruits contain different types of sugar, which are digested, absorbed, and utilized differently by the body.
The main ones are glucose, fructose, and sucrose, which is one molecule of glucose and one of fructose bound together. Sucrose is otherwise known as table sugar.
Fruits usually contain more fructose, otherwise known as “fruit sugar,” which raises your blood sugar more slowly compared to glucose or sucrose. However, for a fruit, cranberries are unusually low in fructose and high in glucose. Dried cranberries are usually sweetened with either glucose or sucrose, too.
Nevertheless, cranberries are very healthy because they’re high in antioxidants such as anthocyanins. These can act as antimicrobials, and studies suggest that cranberry extracts are good for reducing the risk of urinary tract infections.
So, fresh cranberries make a great low-sugar fruit to add to your diet. However, limit dried cranberries due to their added sugar content.
Raspberries are usually recommended as one of the best low-sugar fruits for diabetics, and for good reason.
Raspberries contain only 2.7 grams of sugar per 100 grams.
Most of the sugar in raspberries is fructose, with some glucose. Fructose is sweeter than glucose but has less of an impact on blood sugar, making raspberries one of the best fruits low in sugar for diabetics.
Much of the sourness of raspberries comes from citric acid, but raspberries are also a good source of vitamin C (ascorbic acid), providing 23 milligrams per 100 grams of fruit.
Try adding raspberries to your breakfast, with oatmeal or yogurt for example. Raspberry jams are usually very high in sugar and are not recommended, but you can get low-sugar versions made with non-calorific sweeteners.
Clementines are a citrus fruit hybrid between oranges and mandarins. They’re favored for their sweet flavor and thin, easy-to-peal skins – and they’re also surprisingly low in sugar.
One clementine (weighing around 74 grams) provides 6.8 grams of sugar, mostly as sucrose.
Sucrose is the same type of sugar as granulated table sugar. It’s a disaccharide, which means two molecules linked together, of one fructose and one glucose molecule. Once consumed, it’s broken down into glucose and fructose.
Like many other citrus fruits, clementines are also a good source of folate, providing 17.8 micrograms per fruit. Folate is important for making red blood cells and producing energy, and a deficiency in folate can lead to anemia and impairments in reproductive health.
Eat clementines fresh or in a fruit salad. Fruit juices such as orange juice are higher in free sugars and raise blood sugar levels more quickly, so we don’t recommend drinking fruit juice – even with clementines.
Blackberries are another healthy, low-sugar berry to consider adding to your diet.
Fresh blackberries contain just under five grams of sugar per 100 grams. However, commercially frozen unsweetened blackberries you can buy at the grocery store contain relatively less water and more sugar – just over 10 grams per 100 grams.
Like other berries, blackberries are high in health-promoting bioactive compounds, such as flavonoids, polyphenols, tannins, and organic acids. Studies suggest these compounds can protect you from cardiovascular disease, inflammation, and even some cancers.
Blackberries are also rich in anthocyanins, which give the berries their dark color, and blackberry extracts appear to be exceptionally good at inhibiting inflammation levels. The anthocyanin levels significantly increase as blackberries ripen, so make sure to eat blackberries when they’re fully ripe to get the most health benefits.
The best thing about blackberries is they grow everywhere when in season, meaning you can pick lots of blackberries during their peak season for free and freeze them. So, you can try freezing your own fresh blackberries at home for a lower sugar and healthy snack throughout the year.
Strawberries are the next lowest sugar fruit on the list.
Similar to blackberries, fresh strawberries contain just under five grams of sugar per 100 grams. However, compared to blackberries, strawberries are lower in glucose and higher in fructose, so they taste sweeter.
Strawberries are the lowest in calories of the low-sugar fruits, with only 32 calories per 100 grams. This makes strawberries one of the best low-sugar fruits for weight loss.
Moreover, of all the berries, strawberries are considered to be one of the highest in vitamin C (ascorbic acid) with 58 grams per 100 grams of strawberries.
However, the vitamin C content of strawberries varies a lot, and especially decreases the longer you store them. Processed strawberry products, such as fruit juice or jam, also lose a lot of their vitamin and bioactive compound levels.
Nevertheless, storing fresh strawberries for up to one week doesn’t seem to significantly impact vitamin C levels.
Red And White Currants
Currants are known for their tart, acidic flavor due to their high content of antioxidant polyphenols and organic acids such as malic acid. They’re also quite low in sugar.
They’re also high in potassium, with 75 milligrams per 100 grams of currants, which is important for blood pressure regulation and heart health.
Most people don’t get enough potassium, and it’s considered a “nutrient of concern” in the U.S. population. So, eating more currants is one way to help increase your potassium consumption.
Fresh currants are usually only available seasonally, but you can usually find them in frozen fruit mixes throughout the year.
Watermelon is another low-sugar, low-calorie fruit, which makes it a good choice if you want to lose weight.
Fresh watermelon contains 6.2 grams of sugar per 100 grams. It’s mostly fructose, so watermelon tastes sweeter than many other low-sugar fruits.
However, a standard portion of watermelon is a 280-gram wedge (around one-sixteenth of a watermelon), which provides 17.7 grams of sugar.
So, while watermelon is still low in sugar per gram, a standard portion tends to be larger than that of berries so you’ll probably end up eating more sugar in total.
Fruits are an important source of vitamins, minerals, and fiber in the diet. The USDA recommends adults eat 1.5-2 cups and 2-2.5 cups of fruit for women and men, respectively.
Although fruits are known as sweet foods, many fruits are surprisingly low in sugar. So, even if you have diabetes, trying to lose weight, or you’re watching your carbohydrate intake, you can still enjoy some low-sugar fruits in moderation.
If you’re unsure how much fruit is best for you to have, speak to your doctor or a registered dietitian for personalized guidance.
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