Mark Howard

Fruit contains a natural sugar called fructose. Unlike sucrose, or table sugar, fructose does not cause abrupt fluctuations in your blood sugar levels because your body digests it more slowly than sucrose.

Fruits that taste sweeter, such as cherries or peaches, generally have more natural sugar in them, while more tart fruits, including lemons or avocados, have less, but few fruits contain enough sugar to make them bad for you.

The fructose in fruit is different from fructose-based sweeteners used in processed food. According to registered dietitian Susan Bowerman, a medium orange contains about 12 grams of natural sugar, while a cup of strawberries has about 7 grams. With only 50 to 60 calories, both of these foods provide 3 grams of fiber, 100 percent of your recommended daily intake for vitamin C and small amounts of folic acid, potassium and other vitamins and minerals. A 20-ounce bottle of soda has about 225 calories, no nutrients and about 60 grams of added sugar, usually in the form of high-fructose corn syrup.

Even the sourest fruits contain some fructose. According to the United States Department of Agriculture, a lemon contains about 2 grams of natural sugar and a lime contains 1 gram. Although most berries are sweet, a cup of raw cranberries has only about 4 grams of sugar. Low-sugar fruit may seem like a good choice for diabetics, but some of them are so tart, few people can eat them without sweetening them.

Final thought of the day….a Brazilian study found that women who ate three apples or pears per day lost more weight while dieting than women who did not eat fruit while dieting.