Are Fruits High In Sugar?

Photo Credit: André Karwath CC-BY-SA-2.5 2005
Sugar is a simple carbohydrate found in many fruits. Sugars are monosaccharides and disaccharides. Monosaccharides are simple sugar molecules like glucose and fructose. Dissacharides are two sugar molecules, such as sucrose. Sucrose is the familiar granulated table sugar. Lactose and dextrose are other types of dissacharide sugars. When several sugar molecules combine, they form a starch, or a complex carbohydrate. Sugar not only makes food taste sweet, it also provides your body with the fuel necessary for energy and body functions. Although sugar provides energy and is relatively low in calories (about 16 calories per teaspoon), it contains no essential vitamins and minerals. Fresh, raw fruits contain the monosaccharide fructose, but they also contain a number of essential vitamins and minerals. The sugar content varies in different fruits, but generally, raw fruit does not contain enough sugar to derail your diet. 
Fruits that are high in natural sugar will taste sweeter than other fruits. Apples, dates, bananas, figs, cherries and grapes contain more natural sugars than watermelon, strawberries, lemons, limes and kiwi fruits. Whole, fresh fruits contain essential vitamins like A, C, E and K. Minerals include potassium, zinc and magnesium. Fruits are also abundant in fiber, which should be an important part of a healthy, balanced diet. 

For more information about sugar content in popular foods, see:
WebMD, Sugar Shockers: Foods Surprisingly High In Sugar, by  Elaine Magee, MPH, RD

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