Ask Alina: How Much Fruit Should I Eat A Day?

Q: We’ve always been told to eat a lot of fruits and vegetables, but now I keep hearing that fruits are high in sugar and not to eat too much. What is the right amount to eat? I love fruit and don’t want to give it up. – Meena K. 

A: First things first, you don’t have to give up eating fruit! It’s an amazing source of vitamins and minerals and live enzymes, and should be a part of everyone’s diet.

That being said, the same rules don’t apply for fruits and vegetables. When it comes to vegetables, you can pretty much eat an unlimited amount since they’re very low in sugar, or don’t contain any sugar at all.

Fruits on the other hand, can range from low to high in sugar. And yes, even though it’s natural it’s still metabolized the same way in the body as white sugar! The benefit of eating sugar from fruits however, is that it’s balanced out by the fibre in fruit, which slows down the release of glucose in the bloodstream. Plus, you’re avoiding additives/other unhealthy ingredients, and getting tons of micronutrients instead!

So, onto your question: how much to eat. While there’s no one-size fits all answer for how much fruit you should eat, for the average person who works an office job, is occasionally active and does not have a medical condition, here’s a good rule of thumb:

If a fruit is low in sugar, you can eat a serving daily. If a fruit is mid-to-high sugar, depending on your weight loss goals you can avoid it altogether or eat it 1-2 times per week.

Some examples of low-sugar fruits are:

  • Strawberries and blackberries (7 grams per cup)
  • Raspberries (5 grams per cup)
  • Guava (5 grams per guava)
  • Avocado (1 gram per cup)

Some examples of medium-sugar fruits are:

  • Watermelon (9 grams per cup)
  • Grapefruit (8 grams per half fruit)
  • Papaya (11 grams per cup)
  • Tangerine (9 grams per tangerine)

Some examples of high sugar fruits are:

  • Apple (19 grams per apple)
  • Mango (23 grams per cup)
  • Pear (17 grams per pear)
  • Banana (17 grams per baana)
  • Pineapple (16 gams per slice)
  • Dates (16 grams per date)
Unsure about what’s healthy and what’s not?

Get my entire grocery list, list of brands I recommend and clarity on controversial health topics in my latest book, How To Grocery Shop Like A Nutritionist.

About Alina

I'm a Holistic Nutritionist based in Toronto, Canada and my official title is Certified Nutritional Practitioner (CNP). I received my diploma in Applied Holistic Nutrition from the Institute of Holistic Nutrition. I'm a coach and an educator. Follow Alina on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram for all of the latest updates.
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