Nutritionists Say This Fruit Has as Much Sugar as a Dairy Milk Caramel

"An apple a day keeps the doctor away," the old saying goes, but did you know that some fruits are hidden sugar mines? This seems like nature's evil joke, tricking us into thinking we're being healthy when really we're downing tablespoons of sugar, doesn't it? "Forbidden fruit," it seems, is a very all too real.

But before swearing off the fruit section of the grocery store for good, take note that only a few are high glycemic. "It's important to consume a variety of fruits and vegetables for optimal health, but some fruits are dense with sugar and lack fibre," says Paula Simpson, RNCP and co-founder of Zea Skin Solutions. "These types of fruits are considered 'high glycemic,' meaning they're rapidly digested, causing quick spikes in blood sugar and insulin levels. This hill-and-valley response can increase risks of insulin resistance, lethargy, sugar cravings (due to unbalanced blood sugar levels) and weight gain over the long term."

All nutritionists we surveyed agreed that berries and apples are the healthiest fruits. For example, one raspberry or blueberry has just one calorie. Apples and berries (blackberries, blueberries, raspberries, cranberries) have a high fibre content, which ticks off the boxes for optimal digestion and healthy blood glucose levels. Below, we've called out the most sugar-laden fruits.

Keeping this all in mind, know that sugar-heavy fruits aren't the enemy—it's all about moderation. Plus, they still provide vital nutrients and necessary carbs that don't make them as abysmal as, say, a can of soda or a piece of candy. "Carbohydrates are an important part of our diet—especially those of us who are highly active," Bella says. "A cup of pineapple with reduced-fat yoghurt, or one slice of whole wheat bread with peanut butter and half a banana can make a good pre-workout snack.

"In order to get all the benefits without overdoing it on calories and carbs, mix and match the types of fruits you consume and spread out your fruit intake throughout the day, always pairing it with a source of protein and healthy fat (which curb hunger). Try to have six colours of total produce daily, shifting the focus on abundance instead of restriction."

Opening Image: Seed and Savour