You May Also Like

Sustainable water brands

These sustainable water brands make it easier than ever to ditch plastic bottles

The beginner's guide to composting

The beginner’s guide to composting—no matter the size of your space

The Goods Mart convenience store

This better-for-you convenience store serves up healthy versions of pit-stop faves

Hurom HZ slow juicer

I replaced my pricey juice bar habit with juicing at home for a week—here’s what happened

Chopped romaine lettuce hosts e. coli outbreak

Everything you need to know about the E. coli outbreak on romaine lettuce

cbd drink

How to make a super simple CBD drink

The best fruits to eat if you want to avoid a sugar high


Thumbnail for The best fruits to eat if you want to avoid a sugar high
Pin It
Photo: Foodies Feed/Jakub Kapusnak
1/3
If you’re trying to cut back on sugar, you know you need to chuck the chocolate bars and pumpkin spice lattes. But when it comes to fruit, things are a little more complicated.

Sure, fruit is full of vitamins A, B, and C (among others)—all of which your body needs. But fructose can spike blood sugar levels, even with all that fiber to help slow absorption. “I’m definitely pro-fruit, but it is possible to over-consume it,” confirms nutritionist Stephanie Middleberg, MS, RD, CND.

To make sure you’re getting your recommended daily servings without a sugar high, we created the “fruit pyramid,” a handy guide to the best low-sugar option to peel open or pop in your blender. Because swearing off, say, brain-boosting blueberries in the name of health just doesn’t make sense.

Here are the best fruits to eat if you’re watching your sugar intake—and how you should eat ’em.

Get Started
2/3
Hannah Packer for Well+Good
Hannah Packer for Well+Good

Avocados at the bottom, mangos at the top

The amount of sugar in fruit varies widely, which is why it’s so helpful to keep the pyramid in mind. If you’re watching your sugar intake, you want to eat more from the base and be a bit more portion-focused with the fruits at the top.

The bottom options that are lowest in sugar? Avocado, Middleberg says, which only has a little over one gram of sugar per cup. Plus, the fiber and healthy fats are super-filling, which can help curb your cravings throughout the day. In other words: The beloved green guy is about as good as it gets.

Next up? Berries, according to Middleberg. “They’re satisfying, and one cup can really feel like a lot,” she notes. One cup of raspberries has 5 grams of sugar, a cup of strawberries has 7 grams, and a cup of blueberries has 15 grams.

Other low-ish sugar/mid-pyramid fruits include grapefruit (a half has roughly 8 grams of sugar), oranges (9 grams), bananas (14 grams), pears (17 grams), and apples (19 grams)—all of which Middleberg really likes because they’re not fruits people tend to overeat. “Some of this has to do with crunch factor,” she says, “while others, like grapefruit and oranges, are appealing because they can be ‘activity’ foods, meaning you really have to work to eat them.”

Topping the pyramid? Mangos, which pack 26 grams of sugar per cup. They’re definitely still good for you—full of fiber and vitamins A, B, and C—but Middleberg suggests sticking to a serving size of one cup is key.

3/3
Peaches
Photo: Foodies Feed/Jakub Kapusnak

Pay attention to pairings

Smart fruit consumption isn’t just about how much you eat, but what you eat it with. Pairing your fruit with a protein and healthy fat will not only round out the nutrient profile of your meal; it’ll keep you satiated longer, so you’re less likely to keep noshing until you’ve had the sugar equivalent of a Snickers. (No, it’s not the same thing, but you get the point.)

Middleberg’s go-to pairings? Try your fruit with some nut butter, yogurt or ricotta, or a handful of almonds for a way more satisfying snack.

And remember, no one is saying that fruit is bad. Like anything else, it’s all about balance. Picking from the base of the pyramid when possible—and being smart about pairings—can really help you get all the benefits of fruit, without the gnarly side effects of too much sugar. And that is a very sweet prospect, indeed.

Want to balance out your fruit smoothies with some greener options? Check out these fruitless options. Plus, find out why Blake Lively cut soy, not sugar.

Graphic: Abby Maker for Well+Good

Loading More Posts...

You May Also Like

Hurom HZ slow juicer

I replaced my pricey juice bar habit with juicing at home for a week—here’s what happened

anthony bourdain talks vegan burgers

Why Anthony Bourdain isn’t sold on the Impossible Burger

Corn leads to the most weight gain of any veggie

Here’s why you might want to enjoy this beloved summer vegetable in moderation

Sustainable water brands

These sustainable water brands make it easier than ever to ditch plastic bottles

beet latte

This rosy-hued oat milk latte is as delicious as it is pretty

Trader Joe's might stock cauliflower gnocchi

Cauliflower connoisseurs: Trader Joe’s might soon answer your low-carb, Italian-cuisine dreams