I’ve written before about my struggles with fructose malabsorption and my difficulties digesting certain fruits. Many low FODMAPers do just fine sticking to fruits with little to no excess fructose. I have to watch my fructose much more carefully, so I created this list of high fructose fruits for quick reference.
One thing to note is that researchers don’t agree what high fructose means. We’ll start by looking at three common definitions. Then we’ll briefly review moderate fructose fruits before moving onto high fructose fruits.
The truth is, most fresh fruits are low to moderate fructose at normal serving sizes. But, you have to be cautious with dried fruit, which gets it’s own section toward the end of the post.
Note: all links in this post open in a new tab, unless otherwise stated. To learn more about how research for this site is conducted, please visit the data and methods page.
What is High Fructose?
The meaning of “high fructose” is a matter of some debate. Low FODMAP researchers use one standard to define low and high fructose. Other researchers and nutritionists use different standards.
The Excess Fructose Rule
Low FODMAP researchers use the excess fructose rule to determine whether foods are high or low fructose. This rule compares the amount of glucose and fructose in foods to find the amount of excess fructose.
Foods that have more glucose than fructose are said to have no excess fructose. Those that have more fructose than glucose are said to have excess fructose. Foods that have more than .40 grams of excess fructose per serving are considered high FODMAP and high fructose.1
The excess fructose rule isn’t really used outside of the low FODMAP community. Instead, researchers use either percent fructose or fructose per serving to classify foods as high or low fructose.
The Percent Fructose Rule
The percent fructose is really simple. This rule looks at the total sugar content of a food. If fructose makes up 50% or more of the total sugar content, then the food is considered high fructose. Any food in which fructose makes up less than 50% of total sugar content is considered low fructose.2
The Fructose per Serving Rule
The fructose per serving rule considers only the amount of fructose in a food. Generally, if a food has more than 3 grams of fructose per serving, it’s considered high fructose. This is true regardless of how much glucose is in the food or how much fructose contributes to total sugar content.3
Applying these rules can be confusing. For example, a half cup of sliced banana has 3.7 grams of glucose and 3.6 grams of fructose.
Since there’s more glucose than fructose in a half cup of banana slices, this would be classified low FODMAP and, therefore, low fructose. And, since fructose makes up about 40% of the total sugar in bananas, this would also be classified low fructose under the percent fructose rule. But, a half cup of sliced banana would be considered high fructose if using the 3 gram rule.
How you measure fructose matters. For this post, I used the fructose content rule to identify high fructose fruits.
Some fruits fall just above the 3 gram threshold, while others are way above the threshold. It didn’t seem fair to put all these fruits in the same category. Instead, I created moderate fructose and high fructose categories.
Moderate Fructose Fruits
I’ve already made a list of moderate fructose fruits, which you can see in this post on low fructose fruits. For that list, I defined moderate fructose as having between 3 and 5 grams of fructose per serving.
I created a moderate category because some fruits are just above the 3 gram guideline. For example, a half cup of fresh blueberries contains 3.68 grams of fructose.
It didn’t seem fair to lump blueberries in the same category as grapes, which have nearly three times as much fructose. So, I felt a low, moderate and high classification system was more helpful, even if it doesn’t fully align with the research literature.
Another thing to keep in mind is serving size. One of the entries in the moderate fructose fruits table is bananas. One of the entries in the high fructose fruits table is also bananas. This is because banana is moderate fructose at some serving sizes, but high fructose at others.
If you’re monitoring total fructose intake, pay special attention to portion sizes. Any food can be made low fructose if you reduce the serving size enough. I emphasize normal serving sizes in my work. Normal servings are one piece of medium-sized fruit, a half cup of fresh fruit or a fourth cup of dried fruit. These are reflected in the table below.
High Fructose Fruits (5+ Grams Fructose per Serving)
|Fruit||Serving Size||Fructose (grams)|
|Grapes, red||1/2 cup||9.17|
|Grapes, green||1/2 cup||8.65|
|Jackfruit||1/2 cup, sliced||7.60|
|Banana||1 large (about 4.8 ounces)||6.60|
|Papaya||1 small (about 5.5 ounces)||5.86|
|Banana||1 medium (about 4.2 ounces)||5.72|
Grapes are one of the most popular fruits in the United States, ranking just below apples, oranges and bananas.4 They’re also one of the most studied fruits, due in part to their role in wine production.
Nutritionally, grapes are a powerhouse. Grapes have high amounts of polyphenols, a naturally occurring compound that reduces inflammation.5 Grapes have also been shown to reduce cholesterol, improve cognitive function, and boost the immune system.6
While all grapes have health benefits, red grapes are particularly noteworthy. Red (and purple) grapes contain resveratrol, a polyphenol, that gives the grapes their darker color. Resveratrol also gives red grapes an anti-inflammatory advantage over green and other lighter colored grapes.7, 8
For all their health benefits, grapes also contain high amounts of fructose. At normal serving sizes of half a cup, green grapes contain over 8 grams of fructose and red grapes contain over 9 grams. This makes fresh grapes one of the highest fructose fruits.
While grapes are healthy, they may be difficult to fit into a low fructose diet. So, enjoy grapes in moderation, perhaps pairing them with some lower fructose fruits.
If you’re not familiar with jackfruit, it’s a large, tropical fruit in the same family as figs. Ripe jackfruit has a sweet taste, similar to banana or mango. Unripe jackfruit has a milder taste and meatier text and is sometimes used as a vegan meat substitute.9
Jackfruit is a good source of B vitamins, magnesium and potassium. It’s believed that jackfruit can aid heart health, as potassium counteracts high levels of sodium.10
In the US, fresh jackfruit can be found in some grocery stores, though it’s more commonly found in Asian food stores.11 However, canned jackfruit is increasingly common on store shelves. For example, higher end grocery stores in my town carry canned jackfruit, though I’ve never seen it a discount food stores.
Jackfruit is high fructose, with a half cup having over 7.5 grams of fructose. Reducing serving size here isn’t a good option, either, since just one fourth a cup of jackfruit has nearly 4 grams of fructose.
If you’re watching fructose intake, it’s probably best to leave jackfruit off your plate.
Bananas are one of the highest fructose fruits. A medium banana, which many would consider a typical serving size, has 5.72 grams of fructose. A large banana has 6.60 grams of fructose.
That said, bananas are one of the fruits that contain more glucose than fructose, which makes them low FODMAP. Bananas are a good example, then, of how different measures of fructose content can lead to different labeling. I have an entire post on the fructose content of bananas, if you want to learn more.
Like jackfruit, papaya is also a tropical fruit. Unripe papaya has a green peel and must be cooked prior to eating. Ripe papaya has an orange peel and can be eaten raw. The inside, or flesh, of the papaya varies from yellow to orange to red.12
Papaya is high in vitamin C, which supports immune system health.13 Papaya also contains high amounts of flavonoids and is thought to reduce inflammation and to protect against certain kinds of cancer.14
A small papaya, about 5.5 ounces in weight, has nearly 6 grams of fructose. If you want to try papaya, reducing the serving size seems like a good option. Half a small papaya contains 2.9 grams of fructose, which means it’s below the cutoff value (3 grams) to be labeled low fructose.
Just be aware of serving size and any other fructose-containing foods you may eat with papaya. Since papaya is a high fructose fruit, pairing it with other fruits could easily bust your fructose budget.
As you probably noticed, the list of truly high fructose fruits, those with 5 or more grams of fructose per serving, is fairly short. Most fresh fruit is low to moderate fructose at normal serving sizes. However, one place you really need to exercise caution is with dried fruits. Let’s look at that topic now.
Dried Fruit is High Fructose
While most fresh fruits are low-to-moderate fructose, nearly all dried fruits are high fructose at normal serving sizes. And the normal serving size for dried fruit is one-fourth cup, which really isn’t much food.
The following table shows the fructose content, in grams, of some popular dried foods. Unless otherwise stated, the serving size for each is one-fourth cup.
You’ll notice that medjool dates have an incredibly high amount of fructose. When I first ran across this figure, I thought it must be wrong. I checked with other sources and the figure reported for medjool dates is correct. This is why dates are often used in place of cane sugar or honey. Just keep this in mind when you run across foods that are “naturally sweetened” with dates.
Fructose Content in Popular Dried Fruits
|Medjool dates (4 dates, pitted)||30.72|
|Raisins, black seedless||14.33|
Final Thoughts on High Fructose Fruits
As mentioned, most fresh fruits are low or moderate fructose at normal serving sizes. So, if you can’t eat high fructose fruits, the number of fresh fruits you should avoid is fairly small.
That said, please remember there are different ways to measure the fructose content of a food.
If you tolerate some fruits on the high fructose list better than those on the low and moderate fructose lists, it may be that you need to use a different measure of fructose content. Perhaps you just need to avoid fruits with excess glucose. Or maybe it’s the percentage of fructose that’s more relevant to you.
Posts Related to “High Fructose Fruits”
If you’re interested in which fruits are considered low and moderate fructose, you can find lists of each in my post on low fructose fruits.
I also have several posts on the fructose content of individual fruits:
Grapes are one of the highest fructose fruits, so it shouldn’t surprise you that grapes are high in FODMAPs, too. You can learn more, including why some insist grapes are low FODMAP in my post on the FODMAP content of grapes.
I’ve also written a post on FODMAPs in raisins. Fructose is an issue here, but raisins contain other FODMAPs that the fresh grapes from which they’re made don’t.
As I discussed earlier, bananas are one of the fruits that can be classified low or high fructose, depending on which measure you’re using. You can learn more about the fructose content in bananas in this post.
Apples are also another confusing fruit. Based on low FODMAP guidelines, apples are one of the highest fructose fruits. But, based on fructose content, apples range from low to moderate fructose. You can learn more in my post on apples, which gives fructose values for five popular apple varieties.
Finally, it’s often recommended that people monitoring their fructose avoid watermelon. Watermelon contains a lot of sugar in general, and a lot of fructose in particular. This post on the fructose content in watermelon gives you all the info.
And, if you’re interested in the fructose content of vegetables, I have a post on that, too. Fortunately, most vegetables are naturally low in fructose, though not always low in FODMAPs, so you have to be careful with your veggie choices. You can learn more in this post, which lists fructose values for more than 50 popular vegetables.
Finally, I wrote a very in-depth post about other high fructose foods. Fruits appear on the list, but some of the other entries may surprise you.
About the Author
Amanda Coleman, PhD, studies food culture and teaches a popular Food and Society course. Years of digestive problems led her to live low FODMAP. Now she uses her research and analysis skills to help others understand FODMAP essentials, so they can lead better, healthier lives.
Disclaimer: the author is not a certified medical professional. Opinions expressed and content contained on this website are for informational purposes only and should not be interpreted as medical advice. Exercise caution and due diligence when using this site and the information contained herein and understand your experiences may vary.