These 15 Fruits Have Sneaky-High Amounts of Sugar


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It's no secret that fruit is good for you—and much better than a handful of candy or a piece of cake. But some fruit does have higher levels of sugar, which doesn't necessarily mean you have to steer clear of it; it's just something to be aware of when consuming them.

First things first, the sugar in fruit is natural sugar, not added sugar, which is what you should really be worried about (and it's found in candy, soft drinks, juices, baked goods, ice cream, etc.). Nancy Z. Farrell, MS, RDN, a spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, says, "The guidelines recommend no more than six teaspoons of added sugar per day for a female and no more than nine teaspoons of added sugar per day for a male. If we consider that there are approximately four grams per teaspoon, then that would mean roughly no more than 24 grams of added sugar per day for a female and no more than 36 grams of added sugar per day for a male."

Secondly, while fruit does have sugars, it still has a heck of a lot of nutrients that you need in your diet—and according to the Cleveland Clinic, the amount of fiber in fruit balances the amount of sugar, preventing spikes in blood sugar. "I do not recommend avoiding fruits; instead enjoy every juicy bite!" says Farrell. "Fruits are packed with water and no fat (except for avocados or olives, but their fat is mainly unsaturated). Fruits are rich sources of nutrients such as vitamin C, folate, vitamin A, vitamin E, and dietary fiber. All of these nutrients support health by lowering the risk of illnesses such as heart disease, cancer, and obesity."


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So what should you keep in mind when it comes to sugar in fruit? "Adhere to the serving sizes at snack or mealtimes," Farrell recommends. "At snack time, enjoy fruits by pairing them with a protein source. So for example, a pear and a cheese stick; an apple with nut butter; peaches and cottage cheese; berries and Greek yogurt; an orange with almonds, etc." And choosing fruit as your dessert rather than refined sweets is always your best bet.

Ultimately, your consumption of fruit depends on your own dietary or healthcare needs, and it's something worth discussing with a doctor, nutritionist, or dietician. "For example, diabetics may want to know that many fruits such as apples, cherries, citrus fruits, berries, and peaches rank low on the glycemic index. Bananas rank moderately low. Tropical fruits and melons fall in the low-moderate glycemic range," Farrell says.


(Image credit: Ellie Baygulov/Stocksy)

When it comes to consuming fruit, fresh is almost always best. Dried, frozen, or canned fruits can have more sugar than their whole and fresh counterparts.

TL;DR: Don't fear fruit—it should be incorporated into your daily diet and is much better for you than other sweet treats. But since knowledge is always power, take a look at which fruits have high amounts of sugar below, based on the food database from the United States Department of Agriculture.



(Image credit: Rocio Alba/EyeEm/Getty Images)

Measure: 1 cup

Sugars (grams) per measure: 28.94

With one cup of lychee, you'll get 10 mg of calcium. It's also a source of vitamin C.

Passion Fruit


(Image credit: Westend61/Getty Images)

Measure: 1 cup

Sugars (grams) per measure: 26.43

Passion fruit contains 28 mg of calcium per cup, 821 mg of potassium per cup, and also has a good amount of vitamin C.



(Image credit: Manuta/Getty Images)

Measure: 1 cup, sliced

Sugars (grams) per measure: 18.34

Bananas may have more sugar than some fruits, but they're packed to the gills with nutrients like potassium, calcium, iron, vitamin C, and so much more.



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Measure: 1 cup pieces

Sugars (grams) per measure: 22.54

Mangoes are a good source of vitamin A and vitamin C. 



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Measure: 1 fruit (2 1/2 inches in diameter)

Sugars (grams) per measure: 21.05

While you can't find them at every grocery store, persimmons are pretty delicious and worth a taste test. They're high in vitamin A, vitamin C, and potassium.



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Measure: 1 cup with pits

Sugars (grams) per measure: 17.69

A favorite summer fruit, cherries contain calcium and potassium.



(Image credit: Vesna Jovanovic/EyeEm/Getty Images)

Measure: 1 cup, sections

Sugars (grams) per measure: 16.83

It's interesting to note that Florida oranges contain slightly more sugar (16.91 grams). But we all know the health benefits of oranges—they are high in vitamin C and can boost your immune system.



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Measure: 1 cup, sliced

Sugars (grams) per measure: 16.37

Plums contain high levels of potassium, vitamin C, and antioxidants.



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Measure: 1 cup, chunks

Sugars (grams) per measure: 16.25

Pineapples are a good source of vitamin C and manganese.



(Image credit: Isabella Antonelli/EyeEm/Getty Images)

Measure: 1 cup, sliced

Sugars (grams) per measure: 16.81

Kiwis are packed with potassium and vitamin C.



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Measure: 1 cup sections, with juice

Sugars (grams) per measure: 16.05

Grapefruit is high in water and contains plenty of vitamin A and vitamin C.



(Image credit: DejanKolar/Getty Images)

Measure: 1 cup

Sugars (grams) per measure: 14.05

Grapes are always a great snack option—and they are high in antioxidants. Experts believe that grapes can fight heart disease and cancer.



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Measure: 1 cup

Sugars (grams) per measure: 14.74

It's no secret that blueberries are a superfruit that can help with heart health, memory, skin health, and more.



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Measure: 1 cup, sliced

Sugars (grams) per measure: 14.32

Bosc pears (and pears in general) are a great source of potassium and fiber.



(Image credit: Aleksandr Kuzmin/Getty Images)

Measure: 1 cup, halves

Sugars (grams) per measure: 14.32

Apricots are packed with vitamin C and potassium. Dried apricots contain a lot of sugar, so opt for the fresh version. Farrell says they're "a nice versatile addition to cooked, baked, stir-fry, or grilled recipes."

Next, 9 Foods That Are Making You Break Out (and What to Eat Instead)

This article was originally published at an earlier date and has since been updated.


This article is provided for informational purposes only and is not intended to be used in the place of advice of your physician or other medical professionals. You should always consult with your doctor or healthcare provider first with any health-related questions.

Managing Editor

Sarah is lifestyle writer and editor with over 10 years of experience covering health and wellness, interior design, food, beauty, and tech. Born and raised in Los Angeles, she attended New York University and lived in New York for 12 years before returning to L.A. in 2019. In addition to her work on THE/THIRTY and Who What Wear, she held editor roles at Apartment Therapy, Real Simple, House Beautiful, Elle Decor, and The Bump (sister site of The Knot). She has a passion for health and wellness, but she especially loves writing about mental health. Her self-care routine consists of five things: a good workout, “me” time on the regular, an intriguing book/podcast/playlist to unwind after a long day, naps, and decorating her home.