One of nature’s greatest miracles is the fruit. It’s difficult to fathom how something as savory and tasty as fruit came into existence, but thanks to globalization, we now have the opportunity to sample unique fruits from all over the world.
But what exactly causes the sweetness of fruit, and which fruits have the most sugar? All fruits have a naturally sweet flavor due to the presence of sugars in their structure. It’s been proven that fruits with the sweetest taste are those that are cultivated organically and allowed to develop on the plant. Grapes, figs, mangoes, and (surprise) jackfruits have the most sugar of any fruit.
Those curious about the sweetest fruits and how their perceived sweetness stacks up against their real sugar content can find all the answers they need here. To make the most of these wholesome, all-natural foods, we also have some expert advice on how to choose and prepare the tastiest fruits.
What Makes Fruit Sweet?
Nowadays, many of us are turning to fruit as a delightful source of natural sweetness instead of added sugars because dietitians advise us to reduce our intake of added sugars. One of the healthiest swaps we can make is candy bars for delicious, juicy fruit. Why, then, are fruits so sweet?
As a result of their desire to be consumed, fruits are inherently sweet. This is a component of the plant’s survival strategy; when the fruits are consumed and digested, wild animals, birds, and insects “spread” the seeds.
In order to attract animals to eat them, plants that use this form of seed dispersal will be delicious and vividly colored. The fruit gets sweeter and tastier as it ages and ripens. You will note that an underripe banana has a gritty texture and is not at all sweet if you have ever eaten one. A ripe banana, on the other hand, is smooth and deliciously sweet naturally.
The starches found in the fruit’s flesh are converted into sugars as it ripens. The majority of fruits need heat and sunlight to ripen, but others, like citrus fruits, may do so even in the winter. These sugars are what give fruits their sweetness, but recently, researchers have found that other flavorings can also enhance the sweetness of foods.
This implies that fruits with low sugar content can taste sweeter than those with high sugar content. Keep in mind that we are discussing fresh fruits here; many fruits are dried to make them simpler to keep for extended periods of time.
Because the natural sugars in dried fruits are more concentrated, they have a very strong sweetness. Any fruit that is dried will have significantly more sugar per gram than the fresh version.
Why Are Some Fruits Sweeter Than Others?
Fruits vary in sweetness depending on the amount of natural sugar they contain as well as the type of sugar. For example, a fruit with a high proportion of fructose will taste sweeter than one with a high proportion of sucrose. The amount of sugar we can taste might also be affected by the acidity of the fruit. This is especially true with citrus fruits, which have a natural sweetness that is balanced by the acidity of the juice.
Even within a single kind of fruit, sweetness might vary depending on extrinsic variables. Each variety of fruit has very specific environmental parameters that must be met in order for the fruit to attain its peak sweetness. A fruit’s sugar levels can be affected by even little changes in temperature, humidity, and sunshine levels.
Fruit sweetness can also be affected by when it is harvested. Many fruits are harvested before they are fully ripe in order to be transported and kept for a longer period of time. These fruits will ripen slowly on their way from the farm to the supermarket, but they will not be as delicious as fruits permitted to ripen on the plant.
How To Pick The Sweetest Fruits
We’ve got some excellent recommendations to assist you pick the absolute best fruit if you want to ensure that your fruit bowl is stocked with the sweetest fruits. To begin, only purchase fruits that are in season. This indicates they were grown and harvested within their natural growing season, with no use of artificial light or heat. You will undoubtedly notice the difference if you compare a strawberry produced from a local farm during the summer to an imported strawberry in the middle of winter!
The distance traveled by the fruit can also affect its sweetness levels. Because it only needs to travel a short distance to the store, locally cultivated fruit will have ripened on the plant or tree. Fruit that has been imported is more likely to have been harvested before it is fully ripe and will have spent several days in cold storage.
Finally, within each fruit type, there are variants that are sweeter than others. Consider apples, which range from super-sour cooking apples to delightful dining kinds like the magnificent Pink Lady.
What Are The Sweetest Fruits?
So, now that your tastebuds are tantalized, are you ready to discover the sweetest varieties of fruit? Let’s take a look at our list of the very sweetest fruits out there!
19.08g of sugars total per 100g of food. On a wooden table, there is a fresh jackfruit in a white dish, along with a jackfruit half and leaf. All of us had never heard of jackfruit a few years ago, but today it appears to be everywhere! Although it has a high sugar content, jackfruit is typically utilized in savory dishes rather than sweet ones. Because it can be used in a variety of vegan meals in place of meat, jackfruit is becoming more and more popular. If you haven’t tasted pulled pork made with jackfruit, you should!
Jackfruit is typically consumed while it is underripe, before the starches have converted to sugar, when it is used as a meat substitute. But ripe jackfruit is more sweeter and has a flavor similar to a combination of mango and pineapple.
Sugars total per 100g serving: 16g When you have a bunch of grapes in your fruit bowl and you can’t stop eating on them, it’s usually because of their extreme sweetness! The sugar content of grapes varies depending on the type, but top-quality table grapes are among the sweetest fruits available. Grapes are small enough to put a full grape or two into your mouth at once and have a smooth, juicy texture inside a thin edible skin.
Red grapes are often sweeter than green grapes and contain more antioxidants and other health benefits. Grapes are extremely low in calories and provide an excellent substitute for sugary snacks.
16g of total sugars per 100g of food. You might be surprised to learn that figs rank so highly on the list of the sweetest fruits; these delightful little morsels are so sweet that eating one is like consuming honey or fruit jam! In reality, before sugar became more widely utilized, figs were employed as a sweetener in antiquity.
The sugars in figs are in the form of fructose, which has an extremely sweet flavor to our palate. This is why figs taste so sweet. Additionally, they have very little acidic flavor, allowing the fruit’s sweetness to really stand out.
14 grams of sugars per 100 grams. Partially cut mango on a white background. Mango flesh is sweet, rich, and juicy due to the abundance of fruit’s natural sugars. These exotic fruits smell and taste incredibly fragrant, like a medley of peach, pineapple, and papaya. Make sure the mango you’re about to eat is perfectly ripe so you can enjoy all of its sugary goodness. Give the skin a press with your thumb, and it should give just a little bit if it is ready to be tested. Mangos, fortunately, ripen rapidly in a fruit bowl, so if yours isn’t quite ready yet, you may wait another day or two.
14g of sugars total per 100g of food. Table with ripe pomegranates and greenery against a dark background. Who would have guessed that the pomegranate’s jewel-like seeds contained such high levels of sugar? Eating pomegranates takes some work because it takes a while to pluck out the little edible seeds.
But it’s worth it since each red seed has a flavor that is intensely sweet and a cross between cranberry and strawberry. The seeds have a fleshy outer shell and a little, hard pip, both of which are edible.
6. Sweet Cherries
12.82g total sugars per 100g serving Sweet cherries have a distinct flavor and sweetness that distinguishes them from other fruits. Cherry flesh is delicate and delicious, with a deep red hue. This gives them a deep flavor reminiscent of a blend of blackberries, raspberries, and plums. Cherries are small and each fruit has a small stone, making them difficult to consume. The flavor and sweetness, on the other hand, are well worth the effort! They are also high in nutritional value, including antioxidants and a variety of vitamins.
12g of total sugars per 100g of food. The dense flesh of bananas is packed with starch, which is transformed into sugars as the fruit ripens, despite the fact that your taste buds may not alert you to the fact that it is one of the sweetest fruits. A delightful flavor with hints of honey and vanilla can be found in ripe bananas. One banana is big enough to make a substantial and healthy snack, and the texture is rich and smooth. Bananas are the perfect snack to increase your energy levels after an exercise or during the mid-afternoon slump at work because of their high sugar content.
8. Passion Fruits
11g total sugars per 100g serving fruits of passion Passion fruits are avocado-sized fruits with a rough skin and a soft, seed-filled core. These seeds are encased in a jelly-like material that is incredibly sweet and flavorful. This soft, seed-filled pulp is typically scooped out and eaten with a spoon; however, we really enjoy it on vanilla ice cream! The flavor of ripe passion fruit is sweet and rich, with undertones of citrus, pineapple, and melon. Examine the skin of a passion fruit to see whether it is ripe; it should be slightly wrinkled and give slightly when squeezed with a finger.
10g of total sugars per 100g of food. The sweetness levels of pineapples make them an interesting fruit. Natural sugar levels are high, but the juice is also rather acidic. These amounts of acidity balance out the sugars and produce a nuanced sweet and sour flavor. A pineapple’s thick outer skin, which should be peeled off and discarded, protects the flesh inside. Pineapples offer a delightful juiciness and a crisp, crispy texture. Tropical and fragrant, with a faint citrus tang, is how the flavor tastes.
10g total sugars per 100g serving An apple a day keeps the doctor away, as the adage goes. One apple equals one serving of fruit, and the crunchy, juicy flesh of this crisp fruit is high in natural sugars. The sugar content of apples varies slightly depending on the variety. Eating apples, such as Pink Lady and Gala, are significantly sweeter than cooking apples. Apples have the advantage of storing well and being easy to transport, allowing us to enjoy them all year!
10g of total sugars per 100g of food. High levels of natural sugars are present in pears, although they typically only become noticeable when the fruit is completely ripe. Pears that are not yet ripe have a gritty feel; but, as they mature, they soften and develop a strong natural sweetness. Pears have a flavor that is similar to an aromatic apple with floral taste overtones. The fruit’s skin and meat are both edible, but the pips and tough center should be thrown away.
10g of sugars per 100g serving. Ripe plums in a bowl, sitting on a wooden table. Among the stone fruits we’ve listed, plums have the lowest concentration of sugar. The gentle, sweet flavor of these tiny purple fruits is carried through in their supple flesh. You can easily bite through the firm peel, which has a somewhat sour flavor that goes well with the fruit’s sweeter inside.
The plums with the most delicious flavor are the ones that have been left on the tree to ripen completely. Plums that are picked when they are underripe can be ripened at home, but this will reduce their sweetness and flavor.
9.96g of sugars total per 100g of food. The tiny berries known as blueberries are so rich in nutrients that they are dubbed a “superfood”! They can support blood pressure control and heart health since they are rich in antioxidants that enhance the immune system. The natural sugars in blueberries work well with their somewhat sour, acidic tang and moderate sweetness. You can eat a handful of blueberries either raw or cooked for a tasty and nutritious snack.
9g total sugars per 100g serving Kiwi fruit is another fruit with significantly greater sugar levels than you might imagine. Kiwis have a zesty citrus flavor that precisely balances the sugar level to provide a zingy, refreshing flavor. The outer skin of kiwi fruits is soft but unappealing to eat, therefore it is usually peeled away from the flesh beneath. The fruit’s center includes small black seeds surrounded by a white core, all of which can be eaten.
9g of total sugars per 100g of food. When choosing fruit to put in our fruit bowls, apricots are frequently forgotten, but these tiny orange fruits should get more love! Although apricots resemble peaches in size, they have denser, slightly chewier flesh. Apricots have a flavor that is little sour and zingy, but they also have enough sugar to modestly raise your energy levels. One reason dried apricots are so well-liked is that fresh apricots aren’t always available to buy because they don’t store well.
9g total sugars per 100g serving The orange is, unsurprisingly, the first and sweetest citrus fruit on our list. Many citrus fruits are simply too sharp and zingy to eat on their own, but nothing beats a juicy orange! Oranges are segmented fruits with a strong outer skin. Each slice is sweet and juicy in texture. Some oranges have harsh pips that should not be consumed.
17. Sour Cherries
8.49g of total sugars per 100g of food. Ripe, deep red organic sour cherries that are fresh. Sour cherries have less sugar than their sweet counterparts, as the name says! They do, however, contain a lot more sugar than most people are aware of. Some cherries have a sour flavor because of their high levels of acidity rather than a lack of sugar. The strong flavor we are all familiar with and appreciate is produced when the acid and sugar in sour cherries combine during cooking.
18. Peaches & Nectarines
Sugars total per 100g serving: 8.1g Isolated peach peaches fruit fruits and nectarine nectarines on a white background Peaches and nectarines are closely related and taste, texture, and sugar levels are extremely similar. Both are stone fruits, having a soft, fleshy outer layer encircling a huge, inedible center stone. Nectarines have smooth skin, whereas peaches have slightly fuzzy skin. Many peaches and nectarines are sold underripe, with firm and crunchy flesh. To acquire the most sugar, leave them to ripen until they are somewhat tender and wonderfully juicy.
8g of total sugars per 100g of food. melons Nothing compares to a recently harvested, sun-ripened melon! These substantial fruits are cultivated on vines, soaking up every ray of sunlight to give them a delectably sweet flavor. Depending on the melon variety, the sugar content in melon fruits varies greatly. Watermelons are softer and have less sugar than cantaloupes and honeydew melons, which have dense white flesh and a lot of sugar.
7g total sugars per 100g serving Many of us find it difficult to consume grapefruit without adding extra sweetness in the form of sugar, syrup, or honey, so how did grapefruits get up on a list of the sweetest fruits? Grapefruit is a citrus fruit that, despite its sour taste, is high in sugar. The high acidity levels contribute to the sour, acidic flavor. Because the natural sugars are boosted throughout the cooking process, grilled or broiled grapefruit tastes sweeter!
4.9g of sugars total per 100g of food. ripe strawberries just picked, selective focus The fact that strawberries are so low on this list may surprise you. However, rather than a lack of sweetness in their flavor, this is because to their low sugar content. Unripe strawberries taste very different from ripe strawberries, as you may have noticed. This is due to the fact that strawberries are another fruit that gets sweeter as it ages, as their sugar content increases and their acidity level drops! What distinguishes strawberries and makes them such a delectably sweet treat for health-conscious snackers is the difference between the levels of sugar and acidity.
Sugars total per 100g serving: 4.9g In a bowl, fresh raw organic blackberries When it comes to sweetness, blackberries can be hit-or-miss because they require a lot of natural sunlight to bring out their inherent sugars. Many blackberries sold in supermarkets have been artificially ripened in glasshouses, and they lack the sweetness of farm-grown blackberries.
However, if you can get your hands on some high-quality blackberries, you’ll be blown away by their sweet, juicy flavor! Blackberries have a flavor that is a cross between raspberries and plums, with an intense richness that is sure to excite your tastes.
4.4g of sugars total per 100g of food. Raspberries are one of those fruits that taste like summer when they are just picked! Raspberries that are grown locally in the summertime tend to be the sweetest since they have had time to ripen naturally in the sun. Raspberries are a tiny, easily digestible berry. They have a strawberry-like flavor, but a scent that is even more flowery.
4g total sugars per 100g serving On a wood background, there is a star fruit. The starfruit, also known as the carambola, is a ridged tropical fruit. When sliced, the yellow, oval-shaped fruit resembles a star, making it attractive as a decoration or garnish. The entire fruit, including the waxy skin, can be eaten! The starfruit flesh is delicious and firm, akin to grapes. It tastes like a cross between green grape, pear, and orange, with a somewhat sour undercurrent.