Sugar in Fruit & Veggies vs. Added Sugar

Although fruits and some vegetables provide natural sugar, they have no added sugar. The sugar in fruits and veggies differ from added sugar because it occurs naturally and is not added during the manufacturing process to “improve” the taste.

Foods that contain natural sugar provide essential vitamins, minerals and fiber, which slows digestion and helps keep you feeling full. These natural sugars also help fuel your brain.

Here are 2 snacks both containing the same amount of sugar.  Snack #1 contains added sugar and Snack #2 contains sugar found in its natural state:

Snack #1 = A 16oz vanilla latte (35 grams of sugar) and a blueberry scone (22 grams of sugar) from Starbucks.  Total grams of sugar = 57 (approximately 14 teaspoons of sugar).

Snack #2 =  1 Cup Strawberries (7 grams of sugar), 1 orange (11 grams of sugar) 1 apple (19 grams of sugar), 1 entire head of cauliflower (11 grams of sugar), 5 cups of spinach (0.5 grams of sugar), 2 cups chopped tomatoes (8 grams of sugar).  Total grams of sugar = 57.5 (approximately 14 teaspoons of sugar).

Snack #2 obviously is more than one would ever imagine consuming for a snack but look at how much nutrition comes along with the 57 grams of sugar.  Snack #1 is eaten in one setting, very little nutrition and it leaves you hungry for more.

Here is a great link for more details about the sugar in fruits and veggies. 

Below is a list of some of the lower sugar options when deciding what kind of produce to buy

Fruits:  avocados, rhubarb, lemons and limes, cranberries (unsweetened obviously), raspberries, strawberries, grapefruit, papayas, cantaloupe, nectarines, honeydew melon, peaches, blueberries, oranges, clementines, guavas, and plums and pineapple. All of these have less than 10 grams of natural sugar per 100-gram serving.

Vegetables:  mushrooms, watercress, endive, spinach and other leafy greens, cauliflower,radicchio, snap beans, different types of cabbage, artichokes, asparagus, kale and Swiss chard, celery, broccoli, summer squash, okra, cucumber, Brussels sprouts, and winter squash. All have less than 2 grams of natural sugar in 100 grams.

Eat your fruits and veggies!