Most people don’t need much convincing when it comes to the health benefits of fruits and vegetables. In regards to fresh produce, there’s no doubt a wide variety of goods are delivered more times than not. But few things in life can be 100% perfect, 100% of the time, and 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. While we’re not recommending you cross these 12 fruits and veggies off your grocery list for good, it may benefit you to cut back just a bit.
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 contains 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.
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 corn in the form of popcorn, processed syrup, salsas, and breakfast cereals. Because of this, corn is often riddled with tons of GMOs.
Slice reports we just don’t know 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 has on our bodies as well.
Cherries might be the perfect accompaniment to your cocktail, but we recommend you not eat too many. 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.
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.”
And 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.
Figuring out the best way to actually break into a pomegranate is hard enough, so 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? This is why it’s likely a better idea to use them as a topping for your yogurt.
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.
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.
Bananas are often a main staple in many folks’ kitchens. And although they’re certainly better than opting for pancakes in the morning, keep in mind 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
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.
Fig Newtons may have been a popular lunchbox snack years ago, but it’s not necessarily the best 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.”
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. It’s yummy, but also worth noting it’s not the best veggie to eat mindlessly.
There’s nothing quite like a fresh slice of it 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.
And on that note, folks… eat your fruits and veggies!