When you are craving something sweet, it’s hard to beat fresh, delicious fruits – especially if they’ve been chilling in the freezer. Today, we’re going to share some of the World’s sweetest fruits with you, and as taste is such a subjective thing, we’re going to take the approach of sorting them by sugar content.
So, if you’re watching your sugar levels for your health, or simply curious how much natural sugar is involved in your favorite sweet fruits, then read on and we’ll tell you all about them.
Without further ado, let’s talk about the World’s Sweetest Fruits!
Table of Contents
The World’s sweet fruits – Our list of sweet treats for you to eat!
In the sections below we have out contenders for the World’s sweetest fruits but to be clear, this is certainly not a definitive list – with somewhere in the neighborhood of 2000 types of fruit around the world, all with their own custom-cultivars to boot, it’s a bit of a tricky subject.
That said, we’ve compiled a list of some excellent examples and we’ll share with you how much sugar each one has per a 1 cup serving, which should give us a fair way of reporting ‘sweetness’ that doesn’t step on anyone’s personal tastes.
Sweetest is subjective to some extent, after all, but with that little disclaimer out of the way, let’s bring on those fruits to see what you think!
- Sugar content per 1 cup serving: 112.76 grams
- Family: Arecaceae
- Scientific Name: Phoenix dactylifera
You’ll often hear folks say that Carabou mangoes are the sweetest fruit, and for many they certainly TASTE like it, but for sugar content you’d be hard-put to top Medjool or Deglet Noor Dates.
According to the University of Rochester Medical center, just 1 cup of pitted and sliced Deglet Noor contains a whopping 112.76 grams of natural sugars (and a single Medjool date has 16 grams of sugar all on its own!).
They’re so sweet, that you can use date paste on a 1 to 1 ratio for sugar in your recipes, so while folks may argue about what tastes the sweetest to them, dates have got themselves a pretty solid case and the sugars to back it up!
- Sugar content per 1 cup serving: 71.4 grams
- Family: Moraceae
- Scientific Name: Ficus carica
Next up on our list is figs and if your only exposure to them is delicious Fig Newton cookies, then you might want to try them all on their own. Figs, as it turns out, are really quite sugar-dense.
According to FatSecret,1 cup of dried figs contains about 71.4 grams of natural sugars and a whopping 374 calories. The Chicago Tribune also pipes in to tell us that the average medium-sized fig has 8 grams of sugar, so for a snack that will give you a quick burst of energy, figs really fit the bill.
Just don’t overdo it – Aside from tasting honey-sweet, figs are also quite high in fiber and considered to be one of Nature’s natural laxatives. You can certainly still snack on them, just keep your servings small and sensible.
- Sugar content per 1 cup serving: 29 grams
- Family: Sapindaceae
- Scientific Name: Litchi chinensis
Native to Malaysia, the southern parts of China, and northern Vietnam, the Lychee is an odd-looking and delicious fruit that looks like a red-spiky ball on the outside, but when you peel back the skin there’s sweet, white flesh that almost makes it look like a boiled egg.
These little fruits are pretty darned sweet and enjoyed throughout Asia, and according to Nutrition Value, a single cup serving of them has an appreciable 29 grams of sugar and just around 125 calories.
As they are also grown in the southern parts of Florida and Texas, as well as Hawaii and northern California, then be sure to look out for this exotic snack that just might be your new favorite!
4. Passion Fruit
- Sugar content per 1 cup serving: 26 grams
- Family: Passifloraceae
- Scientific Name: Passiflora edulis
Passion fruit has a flavor that is really out of this world. Imagine a mix of melon, pineapple, and citrus and you’ve got the right idea. While it’s tough on the outside, inside you’ve got seeds that are surrounded by a sweet, gelatinous covering and you can scoop it out with a spoon to enjoy its goodness.
As you can imagine, it’s pretty sweet stuff – with the USDA clocking one cup of Passion Fruit as running on 26 grams of natural sugars. That’s some passionate fruit, indeed!
- Sugar content per 1 cup serving: 24 grams
- Family: Lythraceae
- Scientific Name: Punica granatum
Pomegranate is another odd-looking fruit that’s sweet and in high demand. Resembling a waxy-tomato on the outside (and a little bit from the sectional view of the inside), pomegranate fruits have delicious seeds that are coated with flesh and look like small, ruby gems.
The USDA tells us that you’ll find 24 grams of natural sugars in a single cup of pomegranate seeds and really, that’s okay – processed sugar is what gets us in trouble, so if you want a sweet treat without all the guilt, then the pomegranate can definitely deliver!
- Sugar content per 1 cup serving: 23 grams
- Family: Anacardiaceae
- Scientific Name: Mangifera indica
While fans of the mango will tell you that it’s the sweetest fruit on the planet, that’s not technically true – although you would probably vote that it was in a taste test! Mango, according to the USDA, actually only packs a sugar-punch of 23 grams per 1 cup serving, it just feels like there is more because it tastes so amazing
You can even enjoy it when it’s green if you want a nice snack without that ‘in your face’ sweetness – just dip slices of green mango in vinegar, maybe with a little salt, or even soy sauce and you’ve got a new way to enjoy an old favorite.
7. Sweet Cherries
- Sugar content per 1 cup serving: 20 grams
- Family: Rosaceae
- Scientific Name: Prunus avium
Cherries are a sweet favorite of folks all over the globe. It’s understandable – there’s really an amazing blend of sweet and sour in a perfect cherry and the woody scent when they are fresh is sure to get your heart beating quicker.
If you like cherries but that 20 grams of sugar that the USDA is advising seems a little bit high, then just go with red cherries – they’re only 15 grams of natural sugars per cup. Just be sure to keep a cup handy for those pits, because by the time you’re done there will sure be a lot of them!
- Sugar content per 1 cup serving: 18 grams
- Family: Musaceae
- Scientific Name: Musa acuminata Cavendish
While there are many varieties of bananas, 95% of what you get in the United States is a particular cultivar called the ‘Cavendish’ banana. These yummy yellow fruits are a great source of potassium and antioxidants, and as far as their sweetness they’ve got about 18 grams of sugar per cup of banana slices.
Of course, bananas are easy to smush, so for those out there who are curious, a cup of mashed bananas will definitely raise the level of natural sugars, right up to 28 grams.
As a little piece of banana trivia before we move on to the next fruit, the reason your bananas can brown in minutes of peeling them is a little enzyme called polyphenol oxidase that causes a chemical reaction when it hits oxygen – pretty neat and definitely sweet!
- Sugar content per 1 cup serving: 17 grams
- Family: Rutaceae
- Scientific Name: Citrus × sinensis
Oranges are one of the most classic of snacks that we remember from childhood, and if you haven’t had one in a while then we highly recommend revisiting this old favorite.
In case you’ve forgotten the trick, squeeze the orange methodically with both hands, rotating it as you go, to loosen up the skin for easy removal. Once it’s out of the way, the slices are heavenly as long as it’s ripe (otherwise, you’re in for a sour that will rival lemons on a good day).
With only 17 grams of sugar per cup per USDA statistics, oranges taste a whole lot sweeter than they actually are, which is great if you’re watching your sugar levels – both natural and processed. They’re compact, sweet, and come in their own carrying-case, so if it’s been awhile then be sure to get a few oranges next time you’re at the store – you won’t be disappointed!
- Sugar content per 1 cup serving: 15 grams
- Family: Vitaceae
- Scientific Name: Vitis
Grapes are consistently sweet and according to the USDA, an entire cup is only 62 calories and 15 grams of natural sugars. We’re talking about the classic white seedless variety, though if you love grapes and would like more of a natural sugar kick, then today is your lucky day.
Be on the lookout for ‘Cotton Candy Grapes’. Developed in 2013 by a small farm known as the ‘Grapery’, these little wonders look just like regular white seedless grapes, but they really pack a punch – with an entire cup being about 100 calories and with 28 grams of sugar!
Needless to say, they’re ‘less’ healthy in comparison to regular, old grapes, but they’re still fruit, and frankly we can’t wait to get our hands on some now that we know they’re out there!
- Sugar content per 1 cup serving: 13.57 grams
- Family: Caricaceae
- Scientific Name: Carica papaya
Everyone has heard of them, but have you ever tasted a fresh papaya before? They’re really quite the treat – some folks say they taste a little like an ‘eccentric’ mango, while others say the flavor is akin to that of cantaloupe.
It falls somewhere in that range – the sweetness is there, but not overpowering, and the smooth texture will really get your attention. Best of all, for all that flavor it only comes with 13.57 grams of sugar per one cup of mashed papaya (and only 11 grams if it’s slices), so you can eat a bunch without worry of excess sugars in your diet.
- Sugar content per 1 cup serving: 11 grams
- Family: Rosaceae
- Scientific Name: Malus pumila
Our final entry is one that almost everyone has tasted – the Apple – and this fruit really doesn’t get enough credit. The sugar value that we’re giving you today comes from the USDA listing for 1 cup of the red delicious variety of apple, but there are more than 7500 varieties of these fantastic fruits.
In case you’re curious, we checked on Fujis, which are argued by many to be the sweetest apple, and we’ve got some good news. Sources like Nutrionix advise that they only have 13 grams of sugar per 1 cup serving.
Apples aren’t exotic, but they are sweet, delicious, and available just about anywhere you go, so if you’re managing your sugar levels carefully, don’t forget your old friend the apple. These sweet fruits are good for you and they’ll always be there when you need one!
It’s almost time for us to go, but before we hand in our keys and check-out, we’ve collected a few frequently asked questions for a quick dose of fun facts and useful tips. Let’s take a peek!
What is the world’s sweetest fruit?
The most common answer that you’ll get is mangoes – with the Carabou Mango from the Philippines being recognized as the sweetest mango in the world. We should note, there are about 17 strains of this, and in 2003 the ‘Sweet Elena’ mango from Zambales, Philippines, was found to be the sweetest of the sweet.
It’s a good answer, really – these are mind-blowing mangoes, and sweet taste isn’t always about sugar content. Too much can be overpowering and taste almost sickly, but mangos consistently hit the ‘perfect sweetness’ mark for many a palate around the world.
What fruit has the least sugar for diabetics?
Typically, berries are the way to go for the perfect mix of sweetness without a whole lot of sugar being involved. Popular examples include low-sugar fruits such as blackberries, strawberries, and blueberries, although if you prefer something a little more solid, watermelon and cantaloupe are also excellent low-sugar options.
What makes fruits sweet, anyways?
Typically, the sweetness that we associate with fruits is largely due to the fructose content, but there are many different types of sugars in various fruits. With plums and apples, for instance, you’ve got sorbitol, fructose, glucose, and sucrose.
The different sugars come together like paint on an artist’s easel-mounted canvas, and other factors that the texture also come into play when we’re judging the overall sweetness. That said, fructose is the one that we tend to associate the most with overall sweetness – just know that it’s not the ONLY factor.
In today’s article we’ve shared with you 12 of the World’s Sweetest Fruits, and we’ve tried to keep it as a nice mix of the exotic and familiar, just in case you’ve got a hankering for some new kinds of fruits.
As far as sugar content, dates and figs really bring on the most potential sweetness by sheer sugar density, but Mangos are often considered the sweetest even though they bring just 2 grams of sugar per cup to the table. It’s fair – there are many types of sugars involved in fruits, and tastes vary from person to person – so ultimately the ‘sweetest’ will really be up to you.
Still, if you get a chance, we highly recommend looking for Carabou mangoes – they’ve made the Guinness Book of World Records, so even if they don’t have the most sugar content, there’s definitely something going on there that you’re going to want a taste of!
Thanks so much for reading and don’t forget to share some of your own favorite sweet fruits in the comments – we’re all looking for new, healthy snacks, and that’s the kind of feedback that gets everyone taking notes!