Friday, March 18, 2011

Sugar Content Lists

Realising sugar was making me feel very sick I have cut it out of my diet for a while. I began 4 months ago, and during that time I have been to the doctor and confirmed I don't have any signs of diabetes or pancreatic disease, also that my diet has been healthy and fits well within a Low Glycemic Index. I also don't have signs of fructose/lactose etc intolerance. But cutting out high sugar foods, and then cutting out fruit, definitely improved my health. Very interesting!
I have now decided to eat as strictly sugar free as I can for a couple of months and take probiotics at the same time and then reintroduce some fruit and see what happens. I could figure out high sugar foods, but what about medium and low?
So I checked around to find what the actual sugar content of fruits and vegetables are (the simple sugars: monosacharrides and disaccharides) and I thought I would share what I have found, even though there are still some contradictions and things I would like to know that are missing (like how much sweeter are cooked onions that raw ones?).

I am sharing this not because I think anyone else needs to do what I am doing but because everyone I spoke to had the same confusion as I did about the relative amounts of sugar in foods. and were interested to know what I discovered.

The two most helpful sites were this one
that has taken data from the United States Department of Agriculture and arranged it into order of sugar content  (instead of alphabetical order). Most of the list is processed foods I have never heard of and would never eat, so I copied down the fruits and veggies and a few other things that interested me.
(I ended up approximating some things, and changing them to their Australian terms etc, so please go to the original for accuracy.)

Grams of sugar per 100g

100g - 37.5g Very High Sugar

Sugar, honey, dates, maple syrup, raisins, dried apples, dried apricots, dried figs, dried tomatoes

37.4g - 18.6g

Rhubarb cooked with sugar, hoisin sauce, prunes, plums

18.6g – 10.5g   Medium Sugar

Grapes, mangoes, canned apple pie filling, cherries, bananas, croissants(!), apple juice, canned apricots, tangerines, milo drink

10.4g – 6.6g

Canned tomatoes, apples, plums, oranges, apricots, grapefruit juice, baked sweet potato, orange juice, peaches, beets, nectarines, melons, pistachios, sweet wine(!), yoghurt, grapefruit, nashis, eclair with custard filling and chocolate icing (!)

6.5g – 4.1g Low Sugar

Coconut meat, watermelon, miso, bread, paw paw, boiled sweet potato, canned beets(!), milk, cashews, potato chips, parsnips, strawberries, peanuts, peas, yoghurt, carrots, onions, blackeyed beans, raspberries, canned tomatoes, red peppers, macadamias,

4.1g – 2.6g

Feta, shiitake mushrooms, carrots, white corn,  pecans, tomatillo, cabbage, cornchips, pine nuts, yellow corn, green peppers, eggplant, soybeans, turnips,

2.6g – 0g
Fresh tomatoes, walnuts, buckwheat flour, zucchini, lemon, avocadoes, onions, brazil nuts, pumpkin seeds, radishes, scones, brussel sprouts, chives, cottage cheese, mushrooms, broccoli, potatoes, cauliflower, cucumber, lima beans, swiss cheese, asparagus, pita bread, beans, lettuce, eggs, pumpkin, garlic, unsweetened chocolate for baking(!), tofu, seaweed, mozzarella, beet greens, cheddar, oats, chicken, coffee, cornstarch, fish, ham, butter, oil, rice, salt, tea.

The second was a pdf file for Pediatric Diabetes Guidelines for a completely sugar free diet.

Pediatric Diabetes

Avocado, Rhubarb
all other fruits

Celery, globe artichokes, mushrooms, spinach, watercress, legumes, potatoes, eggplant, asparagus, bean sprouts, broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, zucchini, cucumber, fennel, leeks, lettuce, pumpkin, radish, spring greens, swede, turnip, seeds (sesame, sunflower, pumpkin)

Beetroot, brussels sprouts, carrots, green beans, okra, onion, parsnip, peppers, squash, sweet corn, sweet potato, tomato.

Inspite of some contradictions I have a good idea now of what I will base my diet around ie the foods allowed on the Pediatric Diabetes diet, with some supplementation from the lowest reaches of the other list!

A note about raw and cooked veggies! Generally baking veggies intensifies the sweetness and so the veggies end up with more sugar percentage, while boiling veggies means some sugar is lost into the water and so the vegetable ends up with a smaller amount of sugar. However, the differences are small!
I included some baked pumpkin, carrot and red capsicum as part of the meal pictured! That was before I had this list, but I don't plan to cut those beautiful coloured veggies out of my diet altogether, even for a couple of months!

Do let me know if you found the lists interesting!

PS As far as I can work out, this is completely separate to my Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.


  1. A very useful list. Thanks for posting. I am sure it will help you and your diet. Perhaps with time you will be able to reintroduce what you like the most and that you have to avoid right now.

  2. Thank you for the previous recipes - they look delicious! I am glad that your new way of eating has made you feel a bit better. It was interesting to read about the sugar content in the different fruit and vegetables!
    Really hope you continue to feel better each day.
    Lucy xx

  3. great info here. thank you! i actually gave up meat, sugar,white flower and dairy on jan 10. i was only going to do it for 2 weeks. but i felt so good that i just kept going. now i don´t miss it. happy sunday!

  4. What an informative list! Great resources!

  5. Interesting info, I'm surprised how much sugar is in croissants. The food on the blue plate looks delicious!

  6. Thankyou Lucy and Peggy.:) Jane that is so interesting ~ I might be the same!
    Diana, maybe the croissant they tested had added sugar? Recipes vary so much.
    The food in the blue plate was delicious! Cheers!

  7. This is wonderful... Thanks for sharing...!!!

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