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Ask the Expert Archive

I LOVE fruit, but I know that eating to much can also be consuming too much sugar. How many peices of fruit a day can I eat without taking in too much sugar?

I am glad to hear that you love fruit! You are correct that fruits do contain sugar. However, the sugar that is found in fruits is naturally occurring as oppose to processed sweets like cookies and cake that contain added sugar, and more of it. As far as consuming too much sugar, fruits tend to be higher in calories and naturally occurring sugar than vegetables, but they are chalked full of nutrients that are essential to a healthy diet.  
Most adult men and women need about 2 cups of fruit/day, which is about 4 pieces of fruit (for example, an apple, an orange, a small box of raisins, and ½ cup of canned peaches packed in juice would all add up to about 2 cups).   As long as you don’t add extra sugar, salt, or fat to them, fruits and vegetables are the one food group where more really does matter to your health. Most Americans eat too few fruits and veggies and too much of everything else. There are numerous benefits to consuming fruits and vegetables, so the more the merrier!
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The Expert: Wendy Reinhardt Kapsak, MS, RDN, is the President and CEO of the Produce for Better Health (PBH) Foundation. At PBH, she guides the Foundation’s efforts to advance the overall effort of increasing fruit and vegetable consumption.
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