An 8-ounce apple contains around 25 grams of sugar, while a 4.5-ounce banana contains around 19 grams. Half a medium grapefruit, around a 5.5-ounce serving, contains around 11 grams of sugar, while a single 5.5-ounce orange contains around 14 grams.
The sugar contained in fruit, fructose, is different from typical table sugar, or sucrose. The body digests fructose more slowly than it digests sucrose, so eating fruit does not cause spikes in blood sugar levels. Most raw fruit has a low glycemic index, which means it is not harmful to people with diabetes.
While fruit contains some sugar, it also contains vitamins, minerals and fiber, and tends to have less sugar by volume than other snacks. Fiber slows down the body's digestion of glucose, which allows more time for it to be burned off rather than stored as fat. Products such as soda, cookies and cake contain more calories, more added sugar and no nutrients.
Canned fruit and dried fruit may have sugar added to them during preparation. Some canned fruits are packaged in heavy syrup, which significantly increases the sugar content. Consumers concerned about sugar should choose canned fruit packed in water or natural juices. Fresh and frozen fruit remain the healthiest options, and most fruits contain negligible amounts of fat and cholesterol.