15 of the Worst Fruits and Vegetables You Can Eat
Are you doing more harm than good with your food choices?
Fruits and vegetables have plenty of health benefits. And when it comes to produce, there’s no doubt a wide variety of goods are delivered more often than not. That said, we also know few things in life can be 100% perfect, 100% of the time. Unfortunately, fruits and veggies are no exception.
While upping your intake of fresh, whole foods is certainly important, there are a few you may want to steer clear of, or at least not overindulge in too often.
Let’s take a quick look at 15 of the worst fruits and vegetables you can eat, including a surprising fruit that could hinder your weight loss efforts (No. 8) and a summertime favorite to only eat in moderation (No. 12).
- Why it’s bad: Contains 16.2 grams of sugar per cup
The relaxing sounds of Hawaiian music begin to lull in the back of your mind every time you take a bite of this sweet, succulent fruit. But all that sweetness can be chalked up to sugar content — 1 cup of solid chunks contain 16.2 grams of sugar.
Available year-round, pineapples can be tough to stay away from (pineapple pizza, anyone?). Thankfully, they’re only ripest during a few months a year. Phew. (After all, there’s a reason pineapple upside-down cake is a thing.)
- Why it’s bad: Corn is often full of GMOs
With summertime just around the corner, it’s likely you’ll be seeing lots of corn on the cob with each and every BBQ you attend. But corn isn’t just a seasonal staple alone. We eat the stuff in the form of popcorn, processed syrup, salsas, and breakfast cereals. Because of this, corn is often riddled with tons of GMOs.
Slice reports there’s no way of knowing how the genes added to corn will affect us in the future. Furthermore, corn is often fed to cows to fatten them up before they’re slaughtered for meat, so just imagine the negative effects such a product could have on our bodies.
- Why it’s bad: Contains 17 grams of sugar per cup
Cherries might be the perfect accompaniment to your cocktail, but we recommend enjoying them in moderation.
While a bag of cherries definitely makes for a great midday snack, just keep in mind that their addicting nature exists for good reason. In just 1 cup of cherries with pits, you’re getting more than 17 grams of sugar.
- Why it’s bad: Contains an overload of saturated fat, sugar, and calories
There sure has been a lot of hype surrounding all things coconut. But don’t be fooled by claims that this healthy alternative — whether in the form of oil, sugar, or water — is better for you.
According to a 2015 NY Daily News article, “The trendy superfood — which is about to make the jump into the Mainstream American Diet thanks to Starbucks, Walmart, and Costco — is loaded with heart-damaging saturated fat, sugar, and calories that hide behind its healthy, food co-op image.”
Tasty as it may be, there are some people who shouldn’t consume coconut at all. “I caution patients with high cholesterol or a history of heart disease,” Kate Patton, dietitian at the Cleveland Clinic’s Heart & Vascular Institute, told the publication. So, consider the state of your individual health before cracking a coconut.
- Why it’s bad: Contains 39 grams of sugar per fruit
Figuring out the best way to actually break into a pomegranate is hard enough, and once you’re in there, it’s likely you’ll want to fully enjoy the fruits of your labor (pun very much intended). But did you know a whole pomegranate has 39 grams of sugar?
That said, it’s often smarter to use them as a topping for your yogurt.
- Why it’s bad: Contains 23 grams of sugar per cup
A common ingredient in smoothies, sushi rolls, and guacamole (and pretty much anything else you’d want to eat), this juicy fruit sure is tough to stay away from. Mangoes are full of sweet, sweet goodness, so it’s no surprise 1 cup of sliced mango has 23 grams of sugar, making them the perfect addition to most tasty things in life.
- Why it’s bad: Contains 36 grams of carbs per potato
You guessed it — potatoes are probably the most cautioned of all veggies. While they’re an absolute necessity (in any form) on Thanksgiving, the starchy vegetable isn’t exactly the most revered when it comes to your choice of a healthy side.
The main deterrent is the 36 grams of carbs that are packed into a single potato. So, eat these starchy veggies in moderation.
- Why it’s bad: Their starchy quality isn’t good for weight loss
Bananas are often a main staple in many folks’ kitchens. And although they’re certainly better than opting for pancakes in the morning, bananas are best in small doses.
As Lauren Slayton, author of The Little Book of Thin, told The Daily Meal, if you’re trying to lose weight, it’s better to go for fruits that aren’t so starchy.
9. Winter squash
- Why it’s bad: Contains 21 grams of carbs per cup
Winter squash, which includes butternut, acorn, and spaghetti, comes with its fair share of health benefits, but it doesn’t top the charts in the grand scheme of the vegetable world. Averaging around 21 grams of carbs per cup of winter squash, according to Verywell, the entire veggie packs a seriously carb-heavy punch.
- Why it’s bad: Contains 16 grams of sugar per cup
Fig Newtons may have been a popular lunchbox snack years ago, but it’s not the way to go if you’re looking to cut back on sugar. According to AOL, “Fresh figs are filled with fiber and can help to lower blood pressure, but the fruit does contain a good amount of sugar too — 100 grams of raw figs (or roughly 1 cup) contains around 16 grams of sugar.”
- Why it’s bad: Contains 10.6 grams of carbs per cup
A farmer’s market favorite, jicama is a pretty exciting, yet fairly unloved, root vegetable, The Kitchn says. But in the overall scheme of things, it’s also one that ranks high in the carbohydrate department: 1 cup of slices has 10.6 grams of carbs.
Its crunch is alluring, and its juicy consistency is similar to that of a savory apple. While it sure it tasty, it’s not the best veggie in the world, either.
- Why it’s bad: Contains plenty of fructose
There’s nothing quite like a fresh slice of watermelon following a hard mountain bike ride or a half-day hike. But if you haven’t just done some level of physical activity, it’s best to limit your watermelon consumption.
According to Fat Loss Foodies, this high-sugar fruit has “plenty of wonderful qualities, but [it is] also very high in fructose, the natural sugar found in fruit.” So, try to limit it when possible.
13. Brussels sprouts
- Why it’s bad: Causes bloating and gas
OK, so we know what you’re thinking here. How could Brussels sprouts ever be bad? And we understand your reaction. But, let us explain.
According to Alissa Rumsey, registered dietitian and spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, Brussels sprouts are to be avoided, as least if you’re worried about bloating. As Rumsey told The Daily Meal, Brussels sprouts are one of the worst veggies for bloating and gas. And nobody wants that.
- Why it’s bad: They soak up large amounts of fat and salt
Is eggplant a healthy alternative to meat? Sure, but still, it makes the list. According to Maggie Moon, author of The Elimination Diet Workbook, mushrooms are a better option.
“The down side of this is that they really do soak up everything,” Moon told The Daily Meal. “They’re like sponges for fat and seasoning, so it’s easy to pile calories and sodium onto eggplant.”
- Why it’s bad: Onions can cause digestive problems
With all their flavor, onions are an easy veggie to love. And it’s no surprise plenty of people consume more than enough onions in a given week. Consuming them on sandwiches, in pasta sauces, or the like, however, isn’t necessarily a good thing.
Much like everything else on this list, onions aren’t completely unhealthy. It’s just that they’re lacking in super food status. “Onions consist mostly of water, carbs and fiber,” Healthline says. “The main fibers in them, fructans, can feed the friendly bacteria in the gut, but they can also cause digestive problems in some people.”
And on that note, folks… eat your fruits and veggies! Just remember: All things in moderation.