Which fruits are less healthy, and which are better for you?

Fruits are generally considered healthy as part of a balanced diet. However, some people with…

Fruits are generally considered healthy as part of a balanced diet. However, some people with certain health conditions or dietary restrictions may find some fruits more suitable than others.

Whole fruits can be part of an overall healthy diet for many people. Diets that are rich in whole foods — such as fruits, vegetables, and whole grains — support overall health and may help prevent some chronic conditions.

Fruits contain nutrients that may be lacking in the average diet, along with other beneficial plant compounds, such as various antioxidants.

For some people, certain types of fruit may be more desirable than others.

Some people or diets may consider certain fruits unhealthy, and, in some cases, there may be healthier alternatives for people to consider.

This article looks at why people with certain dietary restrictions or health conditions may wish to avoid certain fruits, which fruits they may wish to avoid, and some alternatives they may consider healthier.

Although fruit is generally a healthy staple in any diet, there are some factors that may make certain fruits unhealthy by a person’s individual standards, based on any health conditions, dietary restrictions, or weight loss goals they may have.

For example, some people following low carbohydrate or ketogenic diets may restrict their fruit intake.

High glycemic index foods

The glycemic index (GI) is a ranking system for carb foods such as fruit to measure how they affect blood sugar levels after a person eats them.

Foods with higher GI scores affect blood sugar more after ingestion, so they may not be the most healthy option for people who need to control their blood sugar levels, such as those with diabetes.

Sugar

Even aside from GI scores, some people may be looking to cut higher sugar sources from their diet.

In general, fruit is a rich source of dietary sugars. This extra sugar may lead to the person eating more calories than intended.

For others, the sugar itself may be the thing they wish to avoid.

Fats

Some people may also look to eliminate certain fruits for being high in fats.

Fruits such as avocado and coconut are naturally high in fats. People who are following a low fat diet may not consider these fruits healthy for them, or they may want to avoid the extra calories from fat that these fruits have.

It is important to keep in mind that most whole fruits are healthy when a person eats them in moderation and as a part of a balanced diet.

No fruits are truly unhealthy in and of themselves.

However, some people may simply prefer not to eat certain fruits due to their higher sugar, fat, or calorie level that may interfere with their weight loss goals, current diet, or dietary restrictions.

Others, such as those with diabetes or allergies, may need to watch their intake of certain fruits for health reasons.

The following sections look at some fruits that certain people may consider unhealthy.

Bananas

Bananas contain a number of important nutrients.

However, some people may not enjoy eating bananas due to their higher amounts of carbs, sugars, and calories per serving.

One banana contains:

  • 112 calories
  • 1.37 grams (g) of protein
  • 0.42 g of fat
  • 28.8 g of carbs
  • 3.28 g of fiber
  • 15.4 g of sugar

It also contains the following vitamins and minerals:

  • 451 milligrams (mg) of potassium
  • 34 mg of magnesium
  • 11 mg of vitamin C
  • 0.46 mg of vitamin B6
  • 0.1 mg of copper

Mangoes

Mangoes are rich in vitamins and some antioxidants.

However, they are also very rich in sugars that may affect blood sugar levels, so some people may need to avoid eating them.

One cup of mango contains:

  • 99 calories
  • 1.35 g of protein
  • 0.63 g of fat
  • 24.7 g of carbs
  • 2.64 g of fiber
  • 22.5 g of sugar

It also contains the following vitamins and minerals:

  • 277 mg of potassium
  • 89.1 micrograms (mcg) of vitamin A
  • 60.1 mg of vitamin C
  • 0.2 mg of vitamin B6
  • 0.83 g of copper

Cherries

Cherries are rich in antioxidants and important nutrients.

However, they also have a lot of sugar per serving, with little fiber to balance this out. Some people may choose to avoid eating cherries for this reason.

One cup of cherries contains:

  • 94.5 calories
  • 1.59 g of protein
  • 0.3 g of fat
  • 24 g of carbs
  • 3.15 g of fiber
  • 19.2 g of sugar

It also contains the following vitamins and minerals:

Coconut

Coconut is the fruit of the coconut palm, and people use it for its meat, water, and oil.

Coconut is very high in fat, so it may not be ideal for people who are looking to reduce their fat or calorie intake.

One cup of fresh coconut contains:

  • 301 calories
  • 2.83 g of protein
  • 28.5 g of fat
  • 12.9 g of carbs
  • 7.65 g of fiber
  • 5.3 g of sugar

It also contains the following vitamins and minerals:

  • 11.9 mg of calcium
  • 303 mg of potassium
  • 27.2 mg of magnesium
  • 2.8 mg of vitamin C
  • 8.58 mcg of selenium
  • 2.07 mg of iron

Grapes

Grapes contain important vitamins and antioxidants.

However, they are also high in sugars and have little fiber to balance this out.

One cup of grapes contains:

  • 104 calories
  • 1.08 g of protein
  • 0.24 g of fat
  • 27.2 g of carbs
  • 1.35 g of fiber
  • 23.2 g of sugar

It also contains the following vitamins and minerals:

  • 286 mg of potassium
  • 4.8 mg of vitamin C
  • 0.19 mg of copper

Lychees

Lychees have a highly fragrant smell and taste, and they contain beneficial vitamins and antioxidants.

However, they may be too sweet for some people, and they have very little fiber to balance out their sugar content.

One cup of lychees contains:

  • 125 calories
  • 1.58 g of protein
  • 0.83 g of fat
  • 31.4 g of carbs
  • 2.47 g of fiber
  • 28.9 g of sugar

It also contains the following vitamins and minerals:

  • 325 mg of potassium
  • 136 mg of vitamin C
  • 0.28 mg of copper

Orange juice

Oranges are sources of fiber, water, and important vitamins, such as vitamin C.

Orange juice is a popular way to consume oranges, but it may not be as healthy as oranges themselves.

The juicing process removes much of the fiber from an orange, making it easier to consume more of it without becoming full.

Orange juice is also rich in sugars and is quite acidic, which may contribute to the erosion of tooth enamel.

About 1 cup of orange juice contains:

  • 119 calories
  • 1.69 g of protein
  • 0.3 g of fat
  • 28.4 g of carbs
  • 0.74 g of fiber
  • 20.6 g of sugar

It also contains the following vitamins and minerals:

  • 139 mg of calcium
  • 441 mg of potassium
  • 27.3 mg of magnesium
  • 83.3 mg of vitamin C
  • 0.11 mg of thiamin
  • 47.1 mcg of folate

Dried fruit

Dried fruit has had all of its water removed.

The result is a smaller, more nutrient dense version of the fruit. These tend to be sweeter and smaller than their whole fruit alternatives, which may make it easier to overeat them.

People who are watching their calorie or sugar intake may, therefore, want to avoid dried fruits.

When people use the term unhealthy fruits, they may be referring to the balance between sugars and fiber, the fat or carb content of the fruit, or other factors, such as the levels of vitamins or antioxidants in the fruit.

From these perspectives, there may be some fruits that are preferable for some people and in some diets.

Berries

In general, berries are well-rounded from a nutritional standpoint.

Although their exact composition will vary, many berries are typically lower in sugar than many other fruits and contain beneficial fiber and vitamins.

Berries also tend to have higher levels of phytochemicals and antioxidants that may support overall health.

Because of their unique composition, berries have been the subject of many studies.

For example, one meta-analysis in the journal Nutrients notes that having a high intake of various berries may help reduce weight, decrease caloric intake, and reduce the risk of conditions such as metabolic syndrome, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and some types of cancer.

Watermelon

Watermelon’s name derives from the fact that it mostly comprises water. It is very low in calories while providing the sweet taste that many people desire from fruit.

One cup of watermelon contains:

  • 46.5 calories
  • 0.93 g of protein
  • 0.23 g of fat
  • 11.5 g of carbs
  • 0.61 g of fiber
  • 9.42 g of sugar

It also contains the following vitamins and minerals:

  • 170 mg of potassium
  • 12.3 mg of vitamin C
  • 42.6 mcg of vitamin A

Apples

Apples are rich in water and healthy fibers that may be more filling than some other options without being very calorie dense. They also provide important antioxidants to the body.

One large apple contains:

  • 126 calories
  • 0.63 g of protein
  • 0.41 g of fat
  • 33.4 g of carbs
  • 5.81 g of fiber
  • 25.1 g of sugar

It also contains the following vitamins and minerals:

  • 14.5 mg of calcium
  • 259 mg of potassium
  • 12.1 mg of magnesium
  • 11.1 mg of vitamin C
  • 65.3 mcg of beta-carotene

Grapefruit

Grapefruit is low in calories and high in nutrients, including a number of helpful antioxidants.

One cup of grapefruit contains:

  • 75.6 calories
  • 1.39 g of protein
  • 0.25 g of fat
  • 19.2 g of carbs
  • 2.88 g of fiber
  • 12.4 g of sugar

It also contains the following vitamins and minerals:

  • 39.6 mg of calcium
  • 243 mg of potassium
  • 16.2 mg of magnesium
  • 56.2 mg of vitamin C
  • 104 mcg of vitamin A

Although no fruit is inherently unhealthy, it is important to consider fruits in the context of a balanced, healthy diet.

Overeating some foods — especially those high in sugars, fats, or calories — may not be right for people with certain conditions or dietary restrictions.

These people may consider some fruits less healthy than others based on their personal needs. Trying other alternatives may help them maintain their health or reach their weight or body composition goals.