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Fruits and Sugars

By The Paleo Diet Team
June 9, 2015
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Sugar content of fruit

In general, fresh fruits are healthy, nutritious foods that are good sources of vitamins, minerals, phytochemicals, and fiber. Further, they are instrumental in maintaining a net alkaline-yielding diet. Olives, dates, figs, and grapes were some of the first fruits to be domesticated, and pits from these fruits initially appear in the archeological record about 6,000 years ago in the Near East. However, the common fruits we eat today bear little resemblance to their wild ancestors. Domesticated fruits are almost always larger, sweeter, and contain less fiber than their wild counterparts. Compare a Golden Delicious apple to a crab apple and you begin to get the picture.

Dr. Cordain’s original recommendation to eat fresh fruits as your appetite dictates still holds for most people. However, if you are very much overweight or are insulin resistant, he recommends that you initially limit high sugar fruits (grapes, bananas, mangos, sweet cherries, apples, pineapples, pears and kiwi fruit) from your diet until your weight starts to normalize and your health improves. Try to include more vegetables in lieu of the high-sugar fruit. As per his previous recommendations, dried fruits contain excessive sugar, and from the table below, you can see they more closely resemble commercial candy than their fresh counterparts. Note that some fruits (avocados, lemons, and limes) are very low in total sugar and should not be restricted.

For insulin-resistant subjects, fructose consumption may be particularly problematic. Consequently, he has tabulated the total metabolic fructose for items in the Table below. Metabolic fructose = (fructose + ½*sucrose). In the gut, table sugar (sucrose) is split into its two component parts (fructose and glucose) before it enters the bloodstream. Hence sucrose’s contribution to the total dietary fructose load must be considered.

Table of fruits and sugars

(grams sugar per 100 grams; Tot. met. = Total metabolic)

The information on this page was compiled using the Nutritionist V Database.

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