Fruits and Sugar

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~ Fruit and Sugar … To eat it or not to eat it ????

How Much Natural Sugar Should You Take in a Day ? 


Sugar includes two main types: added sugar and naturally occurring sugar. Sugar is often added to processed foods such as baked goods, desserts, breakfast cereals, condiments, salad dressings and marinades. In contrast, sugar occurs naturally in fruit, vegetables and milk.

Basic Guidelines

The United States Department of Agriculture makes no specific recommendation about the amount of natural sugar you should consume every day, but does provide guidelines about consuming sources of natural sugar — how much fruit, vegetables and dairy products you should include in your daily menu. If you need to lose weight or lower your triglycerides, a type of fat that can clog your arteries and make you susceptible to heart attacks and strokes, choose less-sweet fruits and vegetables, such as raspberries and broccoli, over choices such as raisins and corn. Keep your intake of added sugars to a minimum — about 100 calories a day for women and 150 for men.


Include 1 1/2 to 2 cups of fruit in your daily menu. As a general guideline, 1 cup of 100 percent fruit juice, 1/2 cup of dried fruit or 1 average-size piece of whole fruit equals 1 cup of fruit. Low-sugar choices among fruits includes blueberries, 14.74 g, and pears, 17.44 g per 1 medium. Fruit juices and dried fruits tend to contain more sugar than does fresh fruit. One cup of 100 percent orange juice contains 20.83 g of sugar, and 1/2 cup of raisins contains 42.91 g of sugar.



Women should consume between 2 cups and 2 1/2 cups of vegetables every day, and men should include 2 1/2 cups to 3 cups in their daily menus. Equivalents include 1 cup of raw or cooked vegetables, 1 cup of vegetable juice or 2 cups of raw green leafy vegetables. If you want to limit your intake of natural sugar, keep these examples in mind: 1 cup of chopped raw carrots contains 6.07 g of sugar, 1 cup of cooked broccoli contains 2.16 g of sugar, 1 cup of tomato juice contains 8.65 g of total sugar and 2 cups of raw spinach provides 0.26 g of sugar.


Milk and Dairy

Adult men and women should consume 3 cups of dairy products daily. In general, equivalents to 1 cup of milk or soy milk include 1 cup of yogurt, 1 1/2 oz. of natural cheese or 2 oz. of processed cheese. Consider that 1 cup of 2 percent milk contains approximately 12.18 g of total sugar, 1 cup of non-fat fruit yogurt contains 46.55 g of total sugar, 1 1/2 oz. of low-moisture reduced-fat mozzarella cheese contains 0.25 g of total sugar and 2 oz. of shredded processed American cheese contains 0.16 g of total sugar.


Now if your wondering are all fruits beneficial …. well, the truth is … not so much !  If your concerned about your carbs and or sugar intake … then it would be wise to know your fruits !  I love my berries and apples …. I will continue to indulge on those on a regular basis … but now the melons … Hmmmm, I could go with out !


This one’s not just for all you low-carbers! Here’s a quick guide to the best and worst fruits according to their sugar content and nutritional value. If you enjoy sweets and find yourself relying (or perhaps suffering) on Splenda and mockalate far too often, enjoy a sensible selection of fruit instead.


These are our favorite fruits:


Blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, huckleberries, salmon berries, gooseberries – they’re all packed with antioxidants and vitamins. These little fiber bombs are the smartest, most nutritionally-dense fruit you can eat. Aim for a half-cup to one cup daily. Keep in mind that these fruits, especially strawberries and raspberries, are excellent on grilled meats and in salads, so go ahead and experiment! (Glycemic Index: generally low to mid-20′s)

Cherries are similar to berries in terms of their antioxidant value. They have a bit higher natural sugar content, but they’re still very low-carb and are an excellent source of important fiber. Cherries are amazing with bacon, feta and greens; or try them smothered atop pork chops. Hungry yet? (GI: 22)
Apples and Pears

These northern fruits are related to the rose. They’re low in sugar and contain a respectable amount of fiber. While antioxidants aren’t exactly overflowing from your average Granny Smith, apples (and pears) are still a great way to satisfy a craving for sweetness without terrorizing your pancreas. (GI: 38)

Most citrus fruits are quite high in sugar, but grapefruits are not. In fact, their effect on blood sugar is less than apples and pears at only 25. Just don’t ruin a smart thing with a sprinkling of sugar on top! Grapefruit is excellent in salads, especially when paired with avocado slices.
Apricots and Peaches Appricot and Peaches  
With similar nutritional value as apples and pears, these stone fruits are a smart way to get a good dose of vitamin C and fiber. Avoid nectarines, which are much higher in sugar and are more akin to mangoes and papayas. (GI: 30s)

Oh, the forgotten fig. It seems to get lumped into the dates ‘n raisins category, but figs are just as low in sugar as strawberries, and are packed with fiber (all those tender, tiny seeds). Enjoy these fresh whenever they’re in season.


These fruits are high in sugar …

So, don't make them a daily habit :

– Melons

Some low-carb guides will recommend melons, but you do have to be mindful of which ones you’re going for. Both cantaloupes and watermelons are very high in sugar (GI: 65, 100 respectively). We recommend making melons a rare treat.

– Mangoes and Papayas

Though not as sugary as pineapples, these fruits are best enjoyed infrequently. A better choice is the banana, which – although starchy and a 55 on the glycemic index – is a smarter energy source.

– Pineapples

Pineapple is the best source of bromelain, an enzyme that can help with joint health and inflammation. Some folks are intolerant or allergic (if you get an irritated lip or mouth issues after eating pineapple, this is why). Pineapple is very high in sugar, but it’s full of valuable nutrients in addition to bromelain, so enjoy it guilt-free from time to time.




Ok … so now the big question is … how many grams of sugar is 100 calories, right ?  Indeed … we all wonder why is it so dificult to read labels and then have to translate the number mumbo jumbo into facts !  So again, I started to search for the answer and found that even natural sugar has to be limited … forget about all those people who say  " enjoy as much fruit as you want "  … that is just not feasible.  


Soooooo …. now comes the not so complicated part :

There is no definitive answer to the question, but 40 grams is the recommended amount for non-diabetic people. If you're diabetic or borderline diabetic, please see the note at the bottom. 40 grams of sugar refers mainly to added sugar, which is anything that is put into foods rather that which is naturally occurring such as in fruit. By this logic, for instance, ALL sugar in soda would be considered "added," since the beverage itself is constructed rather than harvested. 

More input from WikiAnswers contributors:

Actually, this is a bit of a complicated question. Carbohydrates can take the form of sugar once digested, and a certain amount of sugar, as the answer above indicates, occurs naturally in food. However, the following bit from, I found helpful: "In petitioning for labeling changes regarding sugar, CSPI (Center for Science in the Public Interest), joined by dozens of leading health experts, also wants the FDA to set a maximum recommended daily intake (Daily Value) for added sugars of 10 teaspoons (40 grams) and require labels to disclose the percentage of the Daily Value a food provides."There are many naturally occurring sugars such as sucrose which is a combination of glucose and fructose (or fruit sugar), lactose (from milk), maltose and galactose. You don't want too many of the simple sugar glucose, but you can have a few more of the complex ones. If you digest too many simple sugars, your body gets swamped and the excess that is not used by your body gets stored as fat. Also useful to know is that sugars also enters your cells using the same pathway as Vitamin C – so, too much sugar and your body does not absorb Vitamin C as well. Too much sugar also interrupts your immune system. However, you can eat or drink natural sugars in moderation – say up to 100 grams a day (like orange juice which contains quite a lot of fructose). 


From a health standpoint, specifically adding simple table sugar is a favorable alternative to adding a potentially hazardous substance such as high fructose corn syrup. This isn't to say sugar itself lacks dietary benefits. Sugar, in its original state, is a naturally produced substance rich in vitamins and minerals. And if refined properly, retains these qualities (so long as it remains in the form of table sugar.) In addition, a regular intake of table sugar is important in regulating insulin productivity. There are also positive metabolic effects. Sugar is added to FDA-approved energy products for a reason–it's a safe stimulant that augments energy in a confined period of time and promotes a heart-healthy agenda. Thusly, it is somewhat difficult to say exactly how much sugar per day any one person may require. For someone with a regular metabolism, that doesn't devote time to exercise, a 100g maximum should not be crossed (and in many cases not be approached.) However, athletes may consume 150% of this without seeing notable side-effects. It is important that I reiterate that in either case this threshold should not be approached. Sugar in very high doses is dangerous; if you're concerned for your health it is best to stay at a far more shallow intake than the maximum dosage recommends. 

Amount of any food per day is always subjective to the following: 

a. Age 

b. Health conditions 

c. Physical activity(calorie expenditure per day) 

d. General food habits(based on locality of individual, he may be consuming more of one food and may be immune to bad effects of it) 

e. Others 

There are many other minor factors which may determine the amount of sugars that a person needs. So based on the law of individualism, each individual is unique and their needs are different based on various factors. 

Processed sugar is not necessary at all in anyone's daily diet. It should be avoided. Our body gets enough carbohydrates from ordinary foods and converts raw carbs to sugars as needed. Grains, fruits, and other carbs provide enough(sometimes too much) sugars as is. Dried fruits such as rasins are especially full of sugars. To add even more processed sugar is harmful. As a dentist, I see daily the harm done by hard candy, chocolate, soda, cough drops (98% sugar), sweetened tea, coffee (with either sugar and sometimes powdered cream substitute (contains high % sugar), pastries, pies, cakes, cookies. NONE OF THESE FOODS ARE NECESSARY AND SHOULD BE AVOIDED UNLESS IT IS A RARE SPECIAL OCCASION. Even worse, many of our schools support certain school programs by selling candy, having soda machines in the schools, having juice machines in the schools (just as harmful as soda), and letting teachers give out candy as a reward to children. If schools found out that something that they served in the cafeteria caused a child's toe to fall off occasionally, I bet they would quit serving what caused the toe to fall off. Am I right?? Well, in the same respect, how can schools allow processed sugars, which cause teeth rot and fall out or have to be pulled, to be served in their institution. How can they allow a teacher to award a kid with a substance that is known by EVERYONE to cause tooth decay??? Hope I have been of some help to you. Consult a dietitian if you disagree with anything that I have said. 



The answer is different for each individual. A much more useful answer that may save lives is: Everyone is different. If you are diabetic and worried about harming your body with sugar intake (as you should be), then it is small comfort if your intake is fine for average people but tends to cause high blood sugar for *you* in particular. 

Rather than researching grams of sugar and asking people (or even doctors) if that's harmful, you should buy a glucometer (blood glucose meter) at any drugstore, learn to use it, and find out what foods you can eat (on your current medicine and diet) that will keep your blood sugar in the safe ranges. 

  • Fasting blood sugar under 100 mg/dl (5.5 mmol/L)
  • One hour after meals under 140 mg/dl (7.8 mmol/L)
  • Two hours after meals under 120 mg/dl (6.6 mmol/L)

After you have determined how much milk or sugar or carbohydrate you can eat and stay within these boundaries, then and only then are absolute grams of carbohydrate or sugar a useful thing to know.


Once again, I did my research because I wanted to know how much " natural sugar " can I safely consume and still maintain a healthy diet.  This info above is collected from multiple articles from LIVESTRONG, Mark's Daily Apple,  Mayo Clinic, The United States USDA National Nutrient Database for standard reference and WIKI Answers.


With everything I have read … my final decision is that I will no longer concern myself with my sugar intake … 95% of my sugar intake comes from natural sources and I rarely eat " added sugars ".  I will continue to eat my fruits in moderation … moderation for me being : an apple a day ( to keep the good doctor away, lol ! ) … approx ½ cup blueberries, few strawberries ( 3 or 5 ) and maybe even an orange or banana by days end !  Sometimes the emphasis is just too much and we should just use our common sense.  I needed this information to put my mind at rest … now, I'm over the " Sugar Phenomenon ". 






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