As we enter into our great Upper Peninsula summer season, we will all soon be blessed with those great fresh fruits. I certainly have my favorites. It is, however, important for us to know the nutritional makeup of these various fruits. I favor the very healthy lower sugar and higher fiber fruits. Check out this list of the sugar and fiber content of many of the popular fruits.
As noted below, raspberries are great with very low sugar and high fiber. Recall that all fruits contain their natural fruit sugar along with dietary fiber, and you will see that the amount of sugar and the amount of fiber varies quite a bit. Of course, the fiber in these fruits helps your digestion, so the more fiber, the better. The sugar and fiber content of various fruits is noted below, from lowest to highest sugar content. I generally recommend that you avoid raisins due to the extremely high sugar content.
- Raspberries one cup 5 grams of sugar and 8 grams of fiber.
- Blackberries one cup 7 grams of sugar and 8 grams of fiber.
- Strawberries one cup 7 grams of sugar and 3 grams of fiber.
- Cantaloupe one cup 11 grams of sugar and 2 grams of fiber.
- Watermelon one cup 12 grams of sugar and 1 gram of fiber.
- Apples one medium 14 grams of sugar and 5 grams of fiber. (Apples are a great healthy sweet tooth satisfier.)
- Blueberries one cup 14 grams of sugar and 4 grams of fiber.
- Cherries one cup 14 grams of sugar and 3 grams of fiber.
- Peaches one cup 14 grams of sugar and 3 grams of fiber.
- Pineapple one cup 15 grams of sugar and 2 grams of fiber.
- Grapes one cup 15 grams of sugar and 1 gram of fiber.
- Pears one cup 16 grams of sugar and 5 grams of fiber.
- Grapefruit one cup 17 grams of sugar and 3 grams of fiber.
- Oranges one cup 17 grams of sugar and 4 grams of fiber.
- Bananas one medium 21 grams of sugar and 4 grams of fiber.
- Mangos one cup 24 grams of sugar and 3 grams of fiber.
- Raisins one cup 116 grams of sugar and 8 grams of fiber.
Be sure to take note of the extremely high sugar content in raisins. Like most of us, I love to snack and I will often use my EKCO brand apple slicer to remove the apple core and cut the apple into 8 slices with one motion. I then dip the apple slices into peanut butter and this makes for a very filling healthy snack. A serving of two tablespoons of peanut butter has 7 grams of protein, 2 grams of fiber, and only 3 grams of sugar. Sliced apples are also very good with cheese.
Here is my very healthy trail mix formula. This is so simple to make even a doctor can do it! Just mix two cups of Planters Dry Roasted Peanuts with one cup Original Fiber One Cereal and you are ready to snack. This is low sugar, high fiber and is also a great source of protein from these very healthy peanuts. Try it, you'll love it. Happy summer to all, have fun, and eat healthy. And yes, these are doctor's orders!
Editor's note: Dr. Jim Surrell, author of "SOS (Stop Only Sugar) Diet," has his practice at the Digestive Health Clinic at Marquette General Health System. Requests for health topics for this column are encouraged.