You’re given a banana and an apple. Guess: Which one has more sugar? Though each is a perfectly healthy serving of fruit and both happen to pair wonderfully with peanut butter, one is far more sugary than the other. The average-sized apple, while lower in calories overall than an average-sized banana, actually has approximately five grams more sugar.
But that doesn’t mean the banana is the better choice. Most people don’t fully understand that sugar is not all bad for you — and in fact, it takes a whole lot of overeating of added refined sugars to do any real damage to your health.
The stress of worrying about sugar is probably doing more harm than the sugar you’re eating, unless you’re eating a trough of it every day. So read on to find out which fruits have the most sugar — but keep in mind that it’s not really a big deal.
In a cup of juicy, red grapes, you’ll find 15 grams of sugar. Some grapes are sweeter than others — cotton candy grapes, for instance, have way more sugar. That’s what gives them their super sweet flavor.
Dried cherries are far denser in sugar content than the fresh kind. In one-third of a cup of dried cherries, there are nearly 30 grams of sugar. Some of this sugar is added after the fruits are dried. However, in a cup of fresh cherries, there are nearly 20 grams of sugar. Cherries also have dozens of health benefits from antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds.
If you’re eating the whole fruit, you’d be eating 46 grams of sugar — that’s more sugar than most doughnuts! However, a serving of mangoes is typically considered to be about a cup’s worth. In a cup, there are 23 grams of sugar, about half that of the full mango.
They’re not a particularly popular snack, but this exotic fruit is a favorite addition to Thai restaurant menus and cocktails. Surrounded by red, leathery skin, the ripe white inside of the fruit is super sweet to taste. A cup of lychees has nearly 30 grams of sugar. However, a cup of lychees also has more than 100 percent of your recommended daily value of vitamin C. They may be difficult to eat, but they’re absolutely worth it.
Figs are the most sugar-dense fruit we found, with approximately 8 grams of sugar in just one medium-sized fig. A serving of figs usually amounts to four of the wrinkly fruits — meaning that you’d be consuming 32 grams of sugar total in your serving. Also, even though they’re a fruit, figs are not vegan — they’re filled with dead wasps!
We recommend pairing proteins and healthy fats with your fruit, especially if that fruit is part of a meal. That’s the biggest mistake people make with their morning smoothies — they only add in fruit and miss out on the other nutrients they need.
For some delicious and naturally sweet breakfast options, check out this roundup of our best smoothie recipes.