low fructose fruits

Low fructose fruits: Know which are the best

When it comes to going sugar-free or embracing a lower sugar lifestyle, the topic of fruit (& low fructose fruits) usually confuses many and can cause a many domestic arguments (I’ve seen it happen!).

Should you eat it on a detox? Isn’t all natural sugar ok for you? How much per day is recommended? Which fruits are lower in fructose? Are dates a sugar bomb?

As an overall ine, fruit is absolutely healthy but it’s worth knowing what your low fructose fruits are and understanding a healthy approach.

This will help you avoid overeating fructose in fruit form which can drive more sweetness cravings and have negative health impacts.

Read: To fruit or not to fruit

low fructose fruits

Can you eat fruit whilst living sugar-free?

  1. Yes you can. Plenty of people happily and healthily live mostly without refined sugar but with a little natural fruit in their diet. I eat all fruit here and there but nothing regularly as a habit and opt for low fructose fruits where I can, trying to eat seasonally and location based (e.g. what is native to that area).
  1. Fruit does contain sugar in the form of fructose, but the fibre that comes with fruit (think skins etc.) and nutrients help your body slow down the fructose release on your body (& liver) and process it more effectively.
  1. Fruit can impact your cravings (subjectively!). I’ve had some say a few berries bring on sugar cravings and others who can eat a banana first thing and be fine for the rest of the day. This is not so simple and depends on many other factors (habits, diet history etc.). However, in general a higher intake of fruit can correlate to an increased presence of cravings.

To put it simply: A banana, a smoothie and a dried fruit bar might make you want cake and chocolate more than if you were eating mostly veg during a day.

Thus for tastebud recalibration purposes and general sweet tooth reduction, it does pay off to know your low fructose fruits (especially if you’re currently eating a fair few portions a day) so you can make a few less sweet swaps and really trust that fruit isn’t going to put back on some sugar train.

What are the low fructose fruits?

Starting with the lowest and getting higher, here are some common low fructose fruits:

  • Tomatoes and avocados (yes technically fruits!)
  • Lemons and limes
  • Cantaloupe melon
  • Raspberries, blackberries & strawberries
  • Clementine
  • Kiwi fruit
  • Grapefruit

low fructose fruits

What are the higher fructose fruits?

Starting with the highest and most sweet natural eats:

  • Dried fruits (Dates, raisins, figs etc.)
  • Mango
  • Grapes
  • Watermelon
  • Banana

low fructose fruits

My recommendations for eating high or low fructose fruits

1. Make some appealing swaps (appealing to you that is!). For example:

  • Try berries on your porridge instead of banana
  • Snack on a clementine instead of dried fruit or grapes
  • Make your own fructose-free muesli and then add some fresh berries
  • Try Kiwi fruit instead of mango if you’re feeling tropical!
  • Try green mango instead of yellow (it’s crazily lower in sugar!)

2. Reduce your portion or use of higher fructose fruits (to reduce total fructose):

  • Use half a banana in a smoothie or try half a banana with some berries
  • Slash the use of dates or any dried fruit in recipes (sometimes I’ve sweetened a whole recipe with one date!)
  • Be conscious of your portions of grapes & watermelon which are both very easy to eat a lot of
  • Avoid dried fruits in savoury dishes on a regular basis e.g coronation chicken
  • Use higher fructose fruits more as special treats or as dessert substitutes e.g. this nutty banana fudge is a good one.
  • Eat higher fructose fruits more when in season or native to that environment (e.g. somewhere tropical)

3. Slow down the sugar release by eating fruit with some protein & fat. For example:

  • Add some nut butter to apple (total yum!)
  • Have with some full fat natural yoghurt
  • Eat with a main meal rather than as a stand alone snack

Should you eat fruit on a sugar-detox?

There’s no doubt about it, when you really limit or remove fructose from your diet, the physical sugar cravings (note not emotional!) tend to die down.

Even just 3-5 days can have an impact and force you to investigate non-fruit based snacks if they’ve become your default. Thus it’s great for just finding new things and experimenting.

However, this isn’t necessary and can be of the restrictive nature which can backfire. I suggest you review this sugar addiction quiz on your sugar habits and then read about gradual vs. cold turkey approaches to decide how effective a lower fructose fruits strategy will be to you.

And of course, comment below if any specific questions – I would love to help!

Please share if someone you know is confused by fruit!

2 replies
  1. Mona
    Mona says:

    I live in a country where higher fructose fruits are native. I’m allergic to kiwi and we don’t really have bluberries and blackberries while strawberries are now out of season. I consume a lot of dates,apples, bananas and currently grapes coz they’re in season . And I know it is really bad for me as I’m trying to manage my PCOS symptoms by cutting down on sugar. My question is how do I do that without going out of my way ( getting exotic fruits which is not sustainable even if I find them in super markets) ? Note that PCOS makes me crave sugar.
    P.s. tried to download your worksheet here but it took me to a local gaming page.

    • Laura
      Laura says:

      Hi Mona, sorry about that. Let me look into why the worksheet isn’t working and I will e-mail it over to you. I would keep to local seasonal fruits if they are the ones available but just try to reduce your fruit consumption overall and replace them with vegetables instead. Can you fill up on vegetables and proteins and keep fruit as more like a nice treat/dessert and then you can have the ones that are most available and that you really fancy? Hope that helps. Laura x


Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *