5 High-Carb Fruits—And How Adding Protein Or Fat Helps Blood Sugar

There are *so* many reasons to love fruits. These nutrient-rich foods pack in plenty of vitamins, minerals, fibre and phytonutrients—necessary for keeping your body functioning at an optimal level. And, many contain antioxidants like polyphenols, also, that help ward off cancer and keep your body healthy.

But here’s the thing: Eating endless fruit isn’t a zero-sum game. That’s because all fruit contains natural sugar, and as a result, is naturally higher in carbohydrate content than vegetables, says registered dietitian Bonnie Taub-Dix.

Some low-carb diets, including the ketogenic diet, actually suggest avoiding most fruits because of their carb content. (FWIW there isn’t an “official” definition of what low-carb truly means, but most of these diets range between 50 to 150 grams of carbs per day, with the keto diet at no more than 50 grams of carbs per day.)

“I’ve never met a patient in my practice that was overweight because they ate too much produce. I have, however, had patients eating too much fruit and think that it doesn’t matter because it’s fruit. But it does matter,” she says, especially if you are managing diabetes or need to control your blood sugar levels.

Quick tip to help stabilise blood sugar levels when having fruit: Pair ’em with protein and or fat. Try adding some almond butter to your apple.

Meet the Expert: Bonnie Taub-Dix is a registered dietitian, nutrition consultant and author of 

But the carbs in fruit are just one part of the picture, Taub-Dix says. Fruit isn’t something to avoid! Keep the fruit’s carbohydrate content in mind along with its nutritional profile and don’t jump to eliminating high-carb fruits. Women should be eating about one and a half to two cups of fruit a day, according to the NIH. (BTW, most people aren’t eating enough of it in the first place.)

High-carb fruits might be a great way to stay fuelled before a workout and they make for a sweet (all natural!) treat to end your day.

So whether you’re navigating a low-carb diet or you’re just curious, here are five fruits that have particularly high carb counts.

READ MORE: What Is The 30 Plants Per Week Challenge?

1. Banana

If a banana comes to mind when you’re thinking of high-carb fruit, there’s a good reason why: A medium banana (about 18cm long) is loaded with 27 grams of carbs. There are a few other reasons to throw this fruit into your a.m. smoothie, though—from containing prebiotics and fibre to packing in electrolytes, including potassium.

2. Raisins

Fuelling up for a hike? Chances are you will find a decent amount of raisins in trail mix, likely because of their high carb count. With 22 grams of carbs in a little box of raisins, you only need a handful of these sweet nuggets to get a quick energy boost when you’re out on the trail or on a long run. But you’ll also get 2 grams of fibre, which can help balance your blood sugar levels and minerals like potassium and iron.

3. Mango

Many tropical fruits tend to have higher sugar content, and therefore, higher carb counts. And mangoes are no exception. According to the USDA, one cup of cut mango yields 25 grams of carbs. That said, there are many reasons to eat this “king of fruits.” It’s a solid source of vitamin C, vitamin A and folate.

READ MORE: 10 Healthy Snacks That Won’t Give You A Sugar Crash In 20 Minutes

4. Pineapple

Each cup of chopped pineapple contains almost 22 grams of carbohydrates (per the USDA) and offers tons of nutritional benefits. This tasty tropical fruit packs in 85 percent of your daily manganese needs, an essential nutrient that helps your body function properly, and plenty of vitamin C, fibre and H2O. (With 86% water, it’s also a great source of hydration.)

5. Apple

One medium apple—measuring about 7cm in diameter—has about 25 grams of carbs (that number varies only slightly depending on the type of apple). Surprised? That’s probably partly because it is a high-fibre fruit. Apples also are rich in antioxidants like vitamin C, which help keep your immune system humming.



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