Low-Carb Fruits With the Most and Least Sugar
If you follow a low-carb diet or are living with diabetes, you may have a complicated relationship with fruit. You may have heard you don’t need to worry about how much sugar is in fruit because it is considered natural sugar. But that will depend whether you are following a diet that counts carbs or one that relies on the glycemic index or glycemic load. Knowing which fruits are naturally lower in sugar can help you make better choices to fit your diet.
The Natural Sugar in Fruit
The FDA recommends adults eat two cups of fruit or fruit juice or a half-cup of dried fruit per day. How much fruit you eat may differ if you are following a specific low-carb diet plan or if you are limiting carbohydrates in your diet due to diabetes.
Most fruits have a low glycemic index (GI) due to the amount of fiber they contain and because their sugar is mostly fructose. However, dried fruit (such as raisins, dates, and sweetened cranberries), melons, and pineapples have a medium GI value.
Fruits contain many nutrients, and if you want to satisfy a sugar craving, fruit is the best choice. The good news is that the fruits lowest in sugar have some of the highest nutritional values, including antioxidants and other phytonutrients. On the other hand, some people digest and process sugar better than others. If you are someone who responds well to a low-carb diet, it pays to be careful.
Quick View of the Sugars in Fruits
For a quick way to think about which fruits are lowest in sugar, use these rules of thumb. Fruits are listed here from lowest to highest sugar content:
Berries: These generally are the fruits lowest in sugar, and also among the highest in antioxidants and other nutrients. Lemon and lime are also in the lowest category.
Summer Fruits: Melons, peaches, nectarines, and apricots are next in sugar-order.
Winter Fruits: Apples, pears, and sweet citrus fruit such as oranges are moderate in sugars. (lemons and limes are low in sugar).
Tropical Fruits: Pineapple, pomegranates, mangoes, bananas, and fresh figs are high in sugar (guava and papaya are lower than the others).
Dried Fruit: Dates, raisins, apricots, prunes, figs, and most other dried fruits are extremely high in sugar. Dried cranberries and blueberries would be lower, except that a lot of sugar is usually added to combat the tartness.
Here is a deeper dive into the fruits ranked from lowest to highest in sugar.
Fruits Low in Sugar (Low-Carb Fruits)
Lime (1.1 grams of sugar per fruit) and lemon (1.5 grams of sugar per fruit) are rarely eaten as-is; they are mostly converted to juice and then sweetened. But you can add a slice to your water or squeeze them on food to add their nutrients and tartness.
Rhubarb: 1.3 grams of sugar per cup. You are unlikely to find unsweetened rhubarb, so check the label before you assume what you are eating is low in sugar. But if you prepare it yourself, you can adjust the amount of added sugar or artificial sweetener.
Apricots: 3.2 grams of sugar per small apricot. They are available fresh in spring and early summer. You can enjoy them whole, skin and all. Be sure to watch your portions of dried apricots, however, as (of course) they shrink when dried.
Cranberries: 4 grams of sugar per cup. While very low in sugar naturally, they are usually sweetened when used or dried, so be wary. If you use them in recipes yourself, you can adjust the amount of sugar added.
Guavas: 4.9 grams of sugar per fruit. You can slice and eat guavas, including the rind. Some people enjoy dipping them in salty sauces. They are the low-sugar exception to the tropical fruits.
Raspberries: 5 grams of sugar per cup. Nature’s gift for those who want a low-sugar fruit, you can enjoy raspberries in every way, eaten by themselves or as a topping or ingredient. You can get them fresh in summer or find them frozen year-round.
Kiwifruit: 6 grams of sugar per kiwi. They have a mild flavor but add lovely color to a fruit salad. Also, you can eat the skin.
Fruits Containing Low to Medium Levels of Sugar
Blackberries and strawberries: 7 grams of sugar per cup. With a little more sugar than raspberries, these are excellent choices for a snack, in a fruit salad, or as an ingredient in a smoothie, sauce, or dessert.
Figs: 8 grams of sugar per medium fig. Note that this figure is for fresh figs. It may be harder to estimate for dried figs of different varieties, which can have 5 to 12 grams of sugar per fig.
Grapefruit: 8 grams of sugar per grapefruit half. You can enjoy fresh grapefruit in a fruit salad or by itself, adjusting the amount of sugar or sweetener you want to add.
Cantaloupes: 8 grams of sugar per large wedge. These are a great fruit to enjoy by themselves or in a fruit salad. They are the lowest in sugar of the melons.
Tangerines: 9 grams of sugar per medium tangerine. They have less sugar than oranges and are easy to section for fruit salads. They are also easy to pack along for lunches and snacks, with built-in portion control.
Nectarines: 11.3 grams of sugar in one small nectarine. These are delicious fruits to enjoy when ripe.
Papaya: 12 grams of sugar in one small papaya. They are lower in sugar than the other tropical fruits.
Oranges: 12 grams of sugar in a medium orange. These are great to pack along for lunches and snacks.
Honeydew: 13 grams of sugar per wedge or 14 grams per cup of honeydew balls. They make a nice addition to a fruit salad or to eat by themselves.
Cherries: 13 grams of sugar per cup. Ripe fresh cherries are a delight in the summer, but watch your portions if you are limiting sugar.
Peaches: 13 grams of sugar per medium peach. You can enjoy them by themselves or in a variety of ways in desserts, smoothies, and sauces.
Blueberries: 15 grams of sugar per cup. They are higher in sugar than other berries but packed with nutrients.
Grapes: 15 grams of sugar per cup. While they are a nice snack, you’ll need to limit portions if you are watching your sugar intake.
Fruits Containing High to Very High Levels of Sugar
Pineapple: 16 grams of sugar per slice. It’s delightful, but as a tropical fruit, it is higher in sugar.
Pears: 17 grams of sugar per medium pear. This winter fruit is high in sugar.
Bananas: 17 grams of sugar per large banana. They add a lot of sweetness to any dish.
Watermelon: 18 grams of sugar per wedge. While this melon is refreshing, it has more sugar than the others.
Apples: 19 grams of sugar in a small apple. They are easy to take along for meals and snacks, but higher in sugar than tangerines or oranges.
Pomegranates: 39 grams of sugar per pomegranate. The whole fruit has a lot of sugar, but if you limit the portion to 1 ounce, there are only 5 grams effective (net) carbs.
Mangos: 46 grams of sugar per fruit. These tantalizing tropical fruits have a lot of sugar.
Prunes (66 grams of sugar per cup), raisins (86 grams of sugar per cup) and dates (93 grams of sugar per cup) are dried fruits that are very high in sugar.
Fruit and Low-Carb Diets
Some of the popular low-carb diet plans differ, based on whether they consider glycemic index or glycemic load (South Beach, Zone), while others just look at the amount of carbohydrate (Atkins, Protein Power).
Strict low-carb diet: At less than 20 grams of carbohydrate per day, you will likely be skipping fruit or substituting it rarely for other items in your diet. Concentrate on getting your nutrients from vegetables. Diets such as Atkins and South Beach don’t allow fruit in the first phase.
Moderate low-carb diet: Those that allow 20 to 50 grams of carbs per day have room for about one fruit serving per day.
Liberal low-carb diet: If your diet allows 50 to100 grams of carbs per day, you may be able to follow the FDA guidelines, as long as you limit other sources of carbs.
Not all low-carb diets limit fruit, however. Diets like the Paleo diet, Whole30, and even Weight Watchers (although it’s not necessarily a low-carb diet) do not place a limit on fruit.
In general, if you are following a low-carb diet, you should try and eat fruits that are low in sugar, 7 grams or less per serving. When consulting the list below, which ranks fruit based on sugar content, keep in mind that some values are per cup while others are per whole fruit.
Fruit Choices When You Have Diabetes
Your fruit choices when you have diabetes depend on the diet method you are using. If you are counting carbohydrates, the are about 15 grams of carbohydrate in 1/2 cup of frozen or canned fruit or 2 tablespoons of dried fruit (such as raisins). But the serving size for fresh berries and melons are 3/4 to 1 cup so that you can enjoy more of them.
If you are using the plate method, you can add a small piece of whole fruit or 1/2 cup of fruit salad to your plate. If you are using the glycemic index to guide your choices, most fruits have a low glycemic index and are encouraged. However, melons, pineapples, and dried fruits have medium values on the GI index.
A Quick Word
You can make the best choices for fruit based on the diet you are following. If you have diabetes, you may want to consult with us to help you design an eating plan that incorporates fruit appropriately. When you are limiting sugar, fruit is a better choice for a sweet craving than reaching for a sugary snack, as long as you keep portions in mind.
Health and Wellness Associates
Dir. Of Personalize Healthcare and Preventative Medicine
“gender-bending” chemicals causing males of all species to become more female “
Fast Food Identified as a Significant Source of Hormone-Disrupting Chemicals
Fast food contains many ingredients that compromise health, but did you know these convenience meals also come with an extra serving of endocrine-disrupting chemicals? According to recent research, people who eat drive-through hamburgers and take-out pizzas have higher levels of phthalates in their urine.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) collected data on nearly 8,900 Americans of all age groups between 2003 and 2010 as part of a nationwide survey on health and nutrition. Participants reported everything they’d eaten in the past 24 hours and provided a urine sample.
“Fast food” was broadly defined as food from restaurants without table service and/or those with takeout or drive-through service. So besides McDonalds , Pizza Hut, and similar establishments, it also includes sandwich shops, Starbucks, and other “casual dining” restaurants. As reported by Time magazine:4
“The new report,5 published in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives, found that people who ate more fast food also had higher levels of two substances that occur when phthalates — which make plastic more flexible — break down in the body. “
Fast Food Consumption Significantly Increases Phthalate Levels in Your Body
The two phthalate metabolites identified in this particular study were:6
- Di(2-ethylhexyl)phthalate (DEHP), a highly lipophilic (fat-soluble) chemical that is loosely chemically bonded to the plastic, allowing it to leach out into other fat-containing solutions in contact with the plastic.
Animal studies show that exposure to DEHP can damage the liver, kidneys, lungs, and reproductive system, particularly the developing testes of prenatal and neonatal males.
- Di-isononyl phthalate (DiNP), a commonly used plasticizer in flexible PVC products.7While DiNP has been considered harmless from a health and environmental perspective, more recent research suggests it may in fact have similar effects as DEHP and other phthalates.
For example, a 2015 study8 linked both DEHP and DiNP to increased insulin resistance in adolescents.
Approximately one-third of the respondents reported eating fast food in the past 24 hours, and according to the authors, “that alone tells you the public health impact of this type of food preparation.”9
Those who got at least 35 percent of their calories from fast food had nearly 24 percent higher levels of DEHP and 39 percent higher DiNP in their urine compared to those who had not consumed any fast food in that time frame.
In those who ate some fast food, but got less than 35 percent of their calories from it, DEHP and DiNP levels were still nearly 16 and 25 percent higher respectively.
Avoiding Fast Food Can Be a Simple Way to Cut Phthalate Exposure
As noted by the authors, many scientific and clinical bodies, such as the Endocrine Sociery , now suggest reducing exposure to phthalates — especially during pregnancy.
The problem is they’re so widely used, making avoidance difficult. According to this research, simply abstaining from fast food is one way you can significantly reduce your exposure.
Personal care products are another major source of phthalates that are within your control. Pregnant women and young children are at particularly high risk when it comes to these kinds of chemicals. As noted by CNN:10
“The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists released a report11in 2013 stating that high levels of exposure to phthalates could lead to adverse reproductive outcomes in women.
Research has linked these chemicals with increased risk of fibroids and endometriosis, which can cause infertility, and reduced IQ and behavioral problems in children exposed in the womb. High phthalate levels have also been linked with diabetes risk in women and adolescents…
‘This study shows that fast food may be an especially important source of phthalate exposure,’ said Linda Birnbaum, Ph.D. director of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences and the National Toxicology Program.”
Phthalates From Plastic Gloves, Conveyor Belts, Packaging — It All Adds Up
The researchers point out that one reason fast food exposes you to higher levels of plasticizing chemicals is because workers also use plastic gloves when handling each and every ingredient, and that’s a source of phthalate contamination too, over and beyond the actual packaging.
Japan banned vinyl gloves for use in food establishments back in 2001 due to their phthalate content. In the U.S. however, use of vinyl gloves has actually increased over the years due to the rising prevalence of latex allergies.
While additional research needs to be done to identify which foods pose the greatest risk, the study did find that meats and grain-based food items — even if they were not from a fast food restaurant — tended to result in higher phthalate exposure.
The exact reason for this is still unclear, but it could be related to the way they’re processed, or because the fats they contain bind phthalates more efficiently. That said, fast food as a category had the strongest association with elevated phthalate levels by far.
Researcher Ami Zota notes that previous studies have compared phthalate levels in food before and after packaging, showing that levels rise 100 percent after being packaged. This clearly demonstrates these chemicals do leach out of the plastic and into the food.
Moreover, if the food is packaged when hot, the migration of phthalates is sped up. Findings such as these are hotly refuted by the chemical industry which, despite all the evidence to the contrary, still maintains that phthalates are both safe and relatively stable within the plastic.
Chemical Industry Insists Decades’ Old Safety Levels Are Adequate
Both the National Restaurant Association and the American Chemical Society responded to the study in question saying the phthalate levels found in fast food are “well below” levels the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) deems potentially harmful to human health.12
However, EPA safety levels for DEHP have not been revised since 1988. And, according to study author Ami Zota: “The same range of concentrations measured in this [group] overlaps with the range of concentrations that have been measured in some of epidemiological studies that find adverse health effects,” so EPA levels may simply be too lenient.
In fact, some researchers suggest there may be NO safe level of phthalates in humans. Dr. Leo Trasande, an associate professor of Pediatrics and Environmental Medicine who has researched phthalates in food, told Civil Eats:13
“No studies in humans have found a safe level of phthalate exposure. We know there are effects of low level exposure. For example, the levels found in this new study are comparable to those previously linked to blood pressure increases14 and metabolic effects15 in children.”
Health Risks Associated With Phthalates
Phthalates are one of the groups of “gender-bending” chemicals causing males of all species to become more female “These chemicals have disrupted the endocrine systems of wildlife, causing testicular cancer, genital deformations, low sperm counts and infertility in a number of species, including polar bears, deer, whales and otters. Scientists suspect phthalates may affect human fertility and reproduction in similar ways.
Animal studies have also linked phthalate exposure to a wide range of other health problems, including the following (see chart below)16,17,18 The reason for their diverse effects has to do with the fact that they mimic natural sex hormones. This is particularly problematic in children who are still growing and developing, as the glands of your endocrine system and the hormones they release influence almost every cell, organ, and function of your body.
Besides being instrumental in sexual function and reproductive processes, your endocrine system also plays a role in regulating mood, growth and development, tissue function, and metabolism.
|Reduced IQ in children19,20 (phthalates may affect the activity of aromatase, an enzyme that converts testosterone into estrogen, which plays an important role in brain development)||“Decreased dysgenesis syndrome” involving cryptorchidism (undescended testicles), hypospadias (birth defect in which opening of urethra is on the underside of the penis instead of at the end), and oligospermia (low sperm count)|
|Interference with sexual differentiation in utero||Enlarged prostate glands, testicular cancer, breast cancer, and uterine fibroids|
|Impaired ovulatory cycles and polycystic ovary disease (PCOS)||Numerous hormonal disruptions and metabolic disease|
|Early or delayed puberty||Disturbed lactation|
|Toxicity to developing male reproductive systems21,22||Neurodevelopmental delays, inattention, hyperactivity, and symptoms of autism23|
|Miscarriage and preterm birth||Allergies and respiratory problems24|
Phthalates Are Everywhere
Phthalates are among the most pervasive of all known endocrine disrupters. According to EPA estimates, more than 470 million pounds of phthalates are produced each year.25
They’re primarily used to make plastics like polyvinyl chloride (PVC) more flexible and resilient, but they can also be found in air fresheners, dryer sheets, and personal care products like shampoo, shower gels, lotions, and makeup. Their prevalence in personal care products is thought to be the reason why women tend to have higher levels of phthalates in their system than men.
Furniture, upholstery, mattresses, and wall coverings can also contain phthalates. They’ve even been detected in infant formula and baby food (likely because they migrated from the packaging materials). They are also used as “inert” ingredients in pesticides.26
Considering how ubiquitous they are, avoiding phthalates entirely may be near impossible. Being mindful when shopping for food, household, and personal care products can go a long way toward minimizing your exposure, but the risks these chemicals pose really demand a more universal response.
As Zota told Time magazine:27 “Our study helps shed light on one potential way that people can reduce their exposure to these chemicals through their diet, but it also points to a broader problem of widespread chemicals in our food systems that will require many different types of stakeholders to get involved in order to fix it.”
Tips to Help You Avoid Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals
To limit your exposure to endocrine disrupting chemicals like phthalates and bisphenol-A (BPA), keep the following guidelines in mind when shopping for food, personal care and household products.
|Avoid fast-food restaurant fare and processed goods. Eating a diet focused on locally grown, ideally organic, whole foods cooked from scratch will significantly limit your exposure to not only phthalates and BPA but also a wide array of other chemicals, including synthetic food additives and pesticides.||Use natural cleaning products or make your own. Besides phthalates, avoid those containing 2-butoxyethanol (EGBE) and methoxydiglycol (DEGME) — two toxic glycol ethers that can compromise your fertility and cause fetal harm.|
|Buy products that come in glass bottles rather than plastic or cans; be aware that even”BPA-free” plastics typically leach other endocrine-disrupting chemicals that are just as bad for you as BPA.||Switch over to organic toiletries, including shampoo, toothpaste, antiperspirants, and cosmetics.
EWG’s Skin Deep database28 can help you find personal care products that are free of phthalates and other potentially dangerous chemicals.
|Store your food and beverages in glass rather than plastic, and avoid using plastic wrap as it too contains phthalates that can migrate into your food (especially if you microwave food wrapped in plastic).||Replace your vinyl shower curtain with a fabric one or glass doors.|
|Use glass baby bottles and drinking bottles.||Replace feminine hygiene products (tampons and sanitary pads) with safer alternatives.|
|Filter your tap water for both drinking and bathing. If you can only afford to do one, filtering your bathing water may be more important, as your skin absorbs contaminants .
Under the 1974 Safe Drinking Water Act, the EPA set a maximum contaminant level (MCL) for DEHP of 0.006 mg/dL, or 6 ppb.29
Note that the Safe Drinking Water Act regulates DEHP levels only for public water supplies, not for well water.
|Look for fragrance-free products. One artifical fragrance can contain hundreds — even thousands — of potentially toxic chemicals, including phthalates.
Avoid fabric softeners and dryer sheets, which contain a mishmash of synthetic chemicals and fragrances.
|If you have PVC pipes, you may have DEHP leaching into your water supply. If you have PVC pipe from before 1977, you will definitely want to upgrade to a newer material.
This “early-era” PVC pipe can leach a carcinogenic compound called vinyl chloride monomer into your water. Alternatives to PVC for water piping include ductile iron, high-density polyethylene, concrete, copper, and PEX.30
|Consider replacing vinyl flooring with a “greener” material. Also avoid soft, flexible plastic flooring, such as those padded play-mat floors for kids (often used in day cares and kindergartens), as there’s a good chance it is made from phthalate-containing PVC.|
|Read the labels and avoid anything containing phthalates. Besides DEHP, also look for DBP (di-n-butyl phthalate), DEP (diethyl phthalate), BzBP (benzyl butyl phthlate), and DMP (dimethyl phthalate).
Also be wary of anything listing a “fragrance,” which often includes phthalates.
|Make sure your baby’s toys are BPA-free, such as pacifiers, teething rings and anything your child may be prone to suck or chew on — even books, which are often plasticized. It’s advisable to avoid all plastic, especially flexible varieties.|
Please spread the word to your family and friends. If you don’t understand something in this article, or have any questions, please give us a call.
Health and Wellness Associates
Archived Article : JM
CHRISTMAS SUGGESTIONS TO KEEP YOU WELL
The Christmas holidays commonly cause a flare of allergies for the following reasons:
1. Food is abundant. There is a tendency to drink more milk and eat more chocolate, sugar, corn (in the form of corn syrup or dextrose), and wheat products. If you have no symptoms, or if your symptoms are relieved with your present allergy extract, you need not be concerned. If you have an allergy extract to treat these foods, check to be sure that the extract doses are correct. After avoiding these in all forms for 4 days, add these specific foods back into your diet, one at a time, at a four day interval. You can do one food in the morning and one in the afternoon. Does your extract prevent the symptoms?
Remember, asthma, hives or colitis, in particular, can suddenly appear – or reappear if certain foods are a problem. Colitis may not appear for 8 – 48 hours after eating a problem food, but hives are usually evident 15 minutes to one hour after ingesting something that is allergenic.
2. Eggnog can be a major problem. No form of egg has more potential for causing trouble than raw egg white, so eggnog can cause many symptoms, particularly in children who have asthma or eczema. Store-prepared eggnog can contain additives. Read labels carefully. If you are unsure if egg causes a reaction, put drop on skin and see if that spot becomes red in 15 minutes. If it does not you can put a drop on tongue. Check pulse, check breathing and check muscle strength if you know how to do this. Do not do any egg exposure if you already know egg causes a visit to the emergency room.
3. Be extremely cautious about nuts. Remember that if your child is allergic to peanuts and takes a walnut from a dish of mixed nuts that contains peanuts, there could be enough peanut on the walnut it touched to cause someone to have a violent reaction. Keep your allergy meds handy over the holidays. Have both antihistamines and asthma meds on hand.
4. Churches can cause allergies due to incense, candles, decorations, and the odors of mothballs and perfume, as well as from possible years of molds and dust in the air. Malls, restaurants and lavatories also cause many problems due to Christmas trees, fragrances and other chemical odors.
5. Generally, Christmas presents do not cause much difficulty, except for scented personal items, toys made of soft, smelly plastic which exudes chemical odors, or polyester clothing, which contains the chemical formaldehyde.
6. Natural Christmas trees can cause major problems. Some children become ill just walking into a field where they grow because of the pine odor, or from molds growing on the trees and vegetation. There is no pollen at this time of year. If Christmas trees are a problem, call your allergy doctor. You might need to be checked for pine terpines and molds. Even if you avoid real pine trees at home, your child can be exposed to trees and real Christmas greenery at school, church, malls, etc. So – caution. You can’t totally avoid pine at this time of the year.
7. In addition, some Christmas trees are sprayed with toxic chemicals, herbicides and pesticides. Leukemia has been found in excess in some communities where Christmas trees are grown for a cash crop. In the Appalachian Mountains, the incidence of cancer is nine times the number expected in a population of 36,000. They are trying to decrease the amount of chemicals used on trees in that area to see if there is less cancer.
If chemically treated trees are brought into your home, your house will be contaminated with these same chemicals. An Austin air purifier (480-905-9195) might help a lot because this one can eliminate some 3000 chemical odors..
8. Artificial trees sometimes have an odor because they are synthetic and made from chemicals. They also can be dusty and moldy from storage and these can cause symptoms. If you use any color or odor sprays on a natural or artificial tree, the chemical odors can definitely cause symptoms. Check the chemical to be used in the typical manner.
9. Christmas tree ornaments are often dusty, old and moldy. Simply going into the attic or basement to obtain them certainly can cause allergies.
10. Traveling and visiting can cause a recurrence of allergies. If you visit a relative’s home, and your child immediately becomes sick because of perfume, tobacco, dust, pets, molds, etc., it would be very wise to leave immediately and go to a hotel providing it causes less difficulty . Take your air purifier with you if you are spending the night at someone’s home.
The stress and strain of Christmas, along with lack of sleep and excitement related to the holidays, can certainly make all of us more prone to infections and allergies. Some extra D3 and magnesium (500 mg) might also help. Try ACS ( An improved form of colloidal silver) for all sorts of infection. Buy Oscillococcinum at the drug store – it’s very effective and inexpensive. For food or chemical reactions, 1-2 tsp of baking soda in a half glass of water can often help in 15 minutes.
Hope the above will help you have a have a most delightful, healthy and heart -warming holiday. It is a great time of the year for sharing , showing you truly care and being with those you love the most.
Health and Wellness Associates
Doris Rapp , M.D.
You may not know this, but there’s a really high chance that you might have
Leaky Gut Syndrome.
It’s one of the MOST overlooked health issues today.
If you have any of these:
* Thyroid problems
* Issues with your adrenal gland
* Digestive issues
* Food sensitivities
* Even basic issues like gas and bloating…
If you have any sort of digestive issues,
IBS or autoimmune diseases, you
Have a greater chance of leaky gut syndrome.
Contact us with any questions, or help in healing healthy gut syndrome
Share this with your family and friends
Health and Wellness Associates