“Instead of dessert, grab a piece of fruit!”
Although I don’t know anyone who’s ever opted for half an apple instead of a bowl of ice cream and been totally satisfied, it seems like this substitution often gets brought up as a healthier alternative.
And OK, yes, anything organic is probably a better option than processed, artificially flavored dessert that doesn’t mean that it’s truly good for you. In fact, a serving of Ben & Jerry’s mainstay Cherry Garcia has 23 grams of sugar—the same as a serving of raw mango.
To your body, sugar is sugar. No matter the source, it affects your body the same way—spiking blood sugar levels and signaling the release of insulin. Over time, too much sugar can increase triglyceride levels, slow down metabolism, encourage production of belly fat, and decay teeth. Sadly, recent studies show that fructose (the natural sugar found in fruit) might be even worse than glucose and other types of sugar.
Don’t get us wrong—fruit (or any other food, for that matter) isn’t bad. Most whole fruit is has a high water and fiber content, both of which contribute to feelings of fullness which can sometimes help with weight loss. But if you’re concerned with your sugar intake, or you don’t want to deal with the crash that often follows a blood sugar spike, look for these five fruits.
One serving of strawberries has only seven grams of sugar but a hefty dose of fiber to keep you full for hours. Plus, they’re loaded with vitamin C and antioxidants, so they’ll keep you healthy all through the fall and winter. Not in season where you live? Find ’em in the freezer section—frozen fruits and veggies contain just as many vitamins and nutrients as their fresh counterparts.
OK, you might not think of avocado as a fruit, but it certainly is! These curvy green guys are low in sugar and high in healthy fats that fight inflammation. Surprisingly, avocados are also incredibly high in fiber, so they’re a great “fruit” to throw in a smoothie for a drink that’s a bit more dense.
They’re so flavorful and sweet tasting, but one cup of raspberries contains just five grams of sugar. If you’re looking for more hydration, scoop up a handful—raspberries have a high water content, too.
Another juicy, tangy fruit that’s surprisingly low in sugar, little kiwis only contain six grams per serving. Because they pack a serious punch of flavor, kiwis make a great substitute for other tropical fruits that are a bit higher in sugar like papaya or mango.