I like to make fruit salads for desert. However, a few people I know can't eat that much sugar, so I would like to create a fruit salad which has a low sugar content.

Typically, as a base for the salad, I use a splash of water, lemon/lime juice, sugar/honey and Port. Obviously, I would have to consider changing this base. The fruits I typically use are: apples, oranges, bananas, kiwi, mango, papaya, strawberry and pomegranate.

However, I don't know what is the sugar content of these fruits. Therefore I ask, which fruits have the least amount of sugar (compared to a base weight, that is) and which fruit combinations would still make a good salad? I am not looking for anything fancy or incredibly tasty, just a regular fruit salad.

My grocer has a wide diversity of fruits, so fruit suggestions are also appreciated.

  • Not worth a whole answer, but unsweetened yogurt can make a nice tangy addition to a fruit salad without adding sugar (well, technically a little lactose). – Sam Ley Mar 3 '12 at 17:50
  • Please avoid general health claims in questions/answers. I've edited the question accordingly. – Aaronut Mar 3 '12 at 21:30
  • Oh, I am sorry, was unaware of that. – MobileCushion Mar 4 '12 at 11:36
  • @Aaronut would making reference to Glycemic Index be considered a health claim? I think it makes a sufficient metric for what he is requesting, basically a measurement by which to lower effective sugar in the dish. No? – mfg Mar 4 '12 at 20:17
  • 1
    @mfg: No, of course not - GI/GL is a quantitative measurement, not a qualitative claim. There's nothing wrong with asking or answering about low-sugar or low-anything, either, just so long as it doesn't come with one-size-fits-all advice on what is or isn't healthy. – Aaronut Mar 4 '12 at 21:55

As a metric, if you are concerned about cutting back on sugar you might consider fruits and sugars with a lower glycemic load index (GI; higher causes spikes in blood sugar) as a metric for seeking more ingredients.

Sugars with low glycemic load indices are agave nectar (GI: 15) and brown rice syrup (GI: 25), relative to white sugar and honey.

Fruits with low glycemic indices are

Food | GI Value

Cherries 22

Grapefruit 25

Prunes 29

Apricots, dried 30

Apple 38

Peach, canned in juice 38

Pear, fresh 38

Plum 39

Strawberries 40

Orange, Navel 42

Peach, fresh 42

Pear, canned 43

Grapes 46

For more references and ingredients, here are two lists.

  • Of the list of low GI fruits, grapefruit is the only one that may stand out as a weird inclusion to a fruit salad, but that's pretty subjective. I think the whole of the list could be nicely combined in a fruit salad. – mfg Mar 3 '12 at 17:00
  • Minor nitpick - there's no such thing as a "glycemic load index". Glycemic load and glycemic index are two different things. GI specifically concerns itself with the overall effect on blood sugar, regardless of how much you eat; GL takes into account the actual carbohydrate density as well as the GI (see: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Glycemic_load). – Aaronut Jan 28 '13 at 13:05

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