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
Sarah’s RA (Rheumatoid Arthritis ) Treatment
When I first saw Sarah, we discussed her diet, and I suggested there might be a genetic influence involved as she’s Scottish-Irish. Many of her family members also had autoimmune problems, including multiple sclerosis (MS) and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). Her genetic background suggested she may have an intolerance of wheat and gluten.
“You said I should eliminate that out of my diet as well as processed foods and sugar. You also did a metabolic typing. I did a very thorough questionnaire about how I metabolize food, about my energy levels, and about the stress in my life.
Along with my blood type, I was given a very special protocol of which foods would help me heal… I did a lot of vegetable juicing, which really helped me. I juiced probably 48 ounces a day of green juice.
I also ate a lot of organic grass-fed beef, ostrich, bison, free-range chicken and raw dairy. You even recommended raw eggs and raw egg yolks. Because I was in Wisconsin, I found an organic farm close to me. I got most of my meat, raw milk and my eggs from there. I bought all my fresh vegetables from local farmers markets. I got to know area farmers and learn about their farming practices.
I would buy a variety of vegetables and meats from them because I knew how they grew their food and raised their animals. I even used to meet the ostrich farmer in a parking lot across from the co-op where she used to sell her meats and buy it direct at a lower price. I also incorporated a lot of probiotics in my diet, and increased my vitamin D levels. Instead of suppressing my immune system with drugs to control my disease, I was using food to redesign my immune system and make it as strong as possible.
Apart from diet, the other important issue you advised me to address was the level of stress in my life. At that time, I was a teacher, new and passionate about the field. I worked very long hours, beyond what was healthy. Additionally, I dedicated several hours per week to triathlon training, and had some emotional stress in my life is well.
You, emphasized how stress and emotions impact immunity and now that I am studying Eastern medicine I have learned it is one of the primary causes of disease. I still question whether it was the amount of work and stress in my life which triggered the onset of my disease.
I cut back on the amount I was working and doing, and made more time for rest and enjoyment. You, also taught me Emotional Freedom Technique, a method of tapping along traditional energetic acupuncture meridians to help relieve emotional issues. I began incorporating EFT into my daily life, which was a simple and time-effective method to help me better deal with everyday stress and anxiety.
The Importance of Vitamin D
Vitamin D is a really important component. It stimulates 200 to 300 anti-microbial peptides that are even more powerful than antibiotics, which help improve and regulate your immune system and fight infections. Sarah, as many others with RA, noticed her symptoms were at their worst during the winter, and would often dissipate during the summer. This is what you call a giant clue that vitamin D is at work…
Invariably, unless you’re aggressively addressing your vitamin D level with sun exposure or supplementation, your blood levels of vitamin D will drop to dangerously low levels sometime in January, February, or March, when sun exposure is at its lowest. Optimizing your vitamin D is extremely important.
Essentially, if you’re using a supplement, you need to take whatever dosage is required to reach and maintain a therapeutic level, which can only be done by a healthcare worker that understands this.
Nourishing your gut microbiome is another important component. In addition to eating more fermented foods, it’s equally important to cut out sugar from your diet as it will feed pathogenic microbes and decimate your immune system, leaving you susceptible to autoimmune diseases of all kinds.
“I learned how to ferment my own vegetables and dairy products. I made my own kombucha, yogurt, cultured butters, milk kefir and coconut kefir. It took almost two years to get my system in balance, but right away, I noticed a difference.
In about two weeks my cravings for wheat, breads, and sugar diminished… My healthcare worker also told me that I had leaky gut and digestive proteins in my bloodstream.
I talked to my healthcare team, and after three months after being very strict with the diet. I felt better; I’d lost about 10 pounds. I had so much more energy and felt lighter. But when they did my analysis and showed me was — that I had completely changed — that’s when I really believed that food was medicine…
I was able to resume my regular activities… I was able to return to racing. That year, after following your protocol for about a year, I actually won an entire triathlon… So I went from being told I’d never run again to winning a race. Slowly, slowly the symptoms diminished. After two years of being very strict [with my diet], my symptoms went to complete remission, and they’ve stayed that way. It’s been over 10 years.
I still work out. Right now, I train Brazilian capoeira, which incorporates martial arts, dance, and acrobatics. I’m still able to do gymnastics. I can still do back flips at age 43. I still run occasionally. I still swim and bike. I do yoga and cross-country skiing when I’m in the north. So, I’m very active and very healthy. In fact, I feel that by you helping me, it really extended my life. I feel much younger than my age.”
I just want to wish Sarah the best, and her testimony we hope is helpful for others.
Sarah did go through more steps than she had wrote about, but
There IS Hope for RA Patients!
Health and Wellness Associates
Natural Ingredient Found in Pain Creams
Capsaicin is an ingredient in many topical skin preparations used to relieve pain. Capsaicin is available as a cream, ointment, stick, pad, gel, liquid, or lotion. It is marketed under many brand names including Zostrix, Icy Hot Arthritis Therapy, Capsagel, and Arthricare for Women.
Here are 10 things you should know about capsaicin:
1 – Capsaicin is the active component of chili peppers.
Capsaicin is an irritant to humans, producing a burning sensation in any tissue it touches.
Capsaicin works by depleting or interfering with substance P, a chemical involved in transmitting pain impulses to the brain. The properties of capsaicin make it an option for relieving pain associated with osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and diabetic neuropathy. Capsaicin is used to relieve muscle pain, joint pain, or nerve pain.
2 – Capsaicin is available over the counter.
You do not need a prescription for capsaicin from your doctor. You can find products containing capsaicin in your drugstore for over-the-counter purchase. You should follow the directions given by your doctor or the directions on the label (there are different dosages or strengths of capsaicin available). For pain relief, capsaicin is usually used 3 or 4 times a day. You should rub the capsaicin cream or gel into the painful area until no more cream is visible on the skin.
Wash hands thoroughly after applying capsaicin to other areas of the body.
If the capsaicin was applied for hand pain, however, wash your hands after 30 minutes.
3 – Don’t use extra doses of capsaicin.
Stick to the directions, but if you should inadvertently miss a dose, use it as soon as you remember — unless it’s close to the time of the next dose.
4 – Capsaicin has no known drug interactions.
Though there are no recognized drug interactions with capsaicin, ask your doctor to be sure that you can use capsaicin, and continue to take your current medications.
5 – Capsaicin may cause a burning sensation.
You will likely experience a warm, burning, stinging sensation when you begin using capsaicin. The sensation, which is expected when beginning use, may continue for 2 to 4 weeks. The sensation should lessen the longer you use capsaicin. Reducing the number of daily doses of capsaicin will not reduce the sensation, but it may reduce the pain relief achieved.
6 – Arthritis pain relief is not immediate.
Even with regular use of capsaicin, arthritis pain relief will take some time. Pain relief from arthritis typically is evident 1 to 2 weeks after starting capsaicin. To prevent pain from returning, capsaicin must be continued. However, if pain is not better after using capsaicin for 3 or 4 weeks, talk to your doctor. It may not be worth it to continue.
7 – Capsaicin must be handled with care.
Be aware of what can happen if you get capsaicin in your eyes or on other sensitive body parts because of the burning sensation it causes.
If capsaicin gets in your eyes, immediately flush your eyes with water. To rid other sensitive areas of capsaicin and the burning feeling, wash the areas with warm soapy water. Keep capsaicin out of reach of children.
8 – Some people should not use capsaicin.
There are warnings about using capsaicin under certain circumstances. Before using capsaicin, tell your doctor about:
previous allergic reactions to capsaicin, hot peppers, other drugs, dyes, foods, preservatives
pregnancy or current attempts to become pregnant
Also, be aware that capsaicin should not be used by children under two years of age.
9 – Research supports the use of capsaicin for osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.
A study from 1991 involved 70 osteoarthritis patients and 31 rheumatoid arthritis patients. Patients were instructed to apply 0.025% capsaicin or placebo to painful knees, four times a day. Results revealed that 80% of patients treated with capsaicin experienced pain reduction following two weeks of treatment.
10 – Research also supports the use of capsaicin for osteoarthritis of the hands.
Capsaicin 0.075% was evaluated for osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis in a 4-week study, published in 1992. All of the study participants had significant hand pain and applied capsaicin to their hands four times daily. It was found that capsaicin reduced tenderness and pain in osteoarthritis of the hand patients, but not rheumatoid arthritis patients when compared to placebo.
We have been very successful reversing RA, Rheumatoid Arthritis, osteoarthritis, and many forms of joint pain, so please call us if you need help with any of these conditions.
Health and Wellness Associates
Please Don’t Use Lysol!
You may find that a strange thing for a healthcare professional to say, but at this time of the year I need to remind people that if you have babies, small children, animals, that lysol products will do a lot of harm to babies, children, animals, elderly, people with inflammation/ auto-immune, chemotherapy patients, diseases, lupes, RA, MS, and cancer patients. Even if your cancer is in remission it is advisable not to use Lysol products.
Easiest way to explain it; Lysol is meant to kill live cells. Well a live cell or organism on the floor, or in the air, is the same live cells that we are made up of.
It has become the cause of many chronic respiratory problems in your children, cancer patients, puppies, small dogs, and so on.
So, Lysol kills live cells and anything living!
Health and Wellness Associates
The Anti-Inflammatory Winter Tonic You Can’t Live Without
‘Tis the season of cool days and warm drinks! This comforting and healing golden milk is a recipe centuries old, but tweaked for today’s market. This recipe not only taste great, but are also good for you. This turmeric tonic is the perfect beverage to sip on when you have a cold or if you are looking for an anti-inflammatory boost.
I know what you are saying, “Here she goes again with another Tumeric solution” Yes, I am!
Now ask the question, “Why should be drinking this?” Everyone!
If you do not like this drink, sprinkle a small amount of turmeric in your coffee, or hot chocolate made with almond milk.
3 cups unsweetened almond milk
1 inch piece turmeric, grated
1 inch piece ginger, grated
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 dropper of stevia or powder form to taste
Add all of the ingredients into a medium saucepan and warm over low heat for about 15 minutes or until warmed through, stirring occasionally.
Strain and enjoy with friends!
Health and Wellness Associates