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Sugar in Peaches

By Sara Ipatenco

If a ripe and juicy peach is your idea of a tasty treat, you are providing your body with key nutrients. Peaches are available fresh during late spring and early summer but are also available canned and frozen year round. Include peaches in your diet for a healthy dose of vitamin C, vitamin A, potassium and fiber; however, not all types of peaches are nutritionally equal. Certain canned and frozen varieties of peaches contain added sugar, which decreases the nutritional value.

Sugar

You may not think about sugar when you open a can of peaches to serve yourself and your family. After all, fruit is a healthy part of your diet. The Mayo Clinic reports that many of the foods in your daily diet contain added sugar to improve the taste and to help preserve their shelf life. The problem with added sugar is that it increases the calorie content of your food but does not supply you with any nutrients. A diet that is too high in added sugar also puts you at an increased risk for dental decay, high triglycerides and weight gain.

Fresh

Fresh peaches are a nutritious part of your diet and contain naturally occurring sugars that are good for your health. Your body needs small amounts of sugar to function properly, and if you get that sugar from fruit, it is more beneficial to your health than sugar that is added to your food. A whole fresh peach contains 60 calories and 12.92 grams of naturally occurring sugars.

Canned

A 1-cup serving of peaches in heavy syrup contains 160 calories and 32.55 grams of sugar. Opt for peaches canned in light syrup, and you will decrease the calories to 136, but you will increase the sugar content to 33.26 grams per 1-cup serving. Choose peaches canned in juice to reduce the calorie content to 110 and the sugar to 25.68 grams. One cup of frozen peaches contains 235 calories and 55.45 grams of sugar. Be aware that unless the can says "no sugar added" you will be consuming added sugar. Be sure to read the label to look at sugar content.

Tips

Read nutrition labels on canned and frozen peaches. Seek out unsweetened versions that contain only natural sugar. The ingredient label will provide more clues about how much, if any, sugar has been added to your peaches. Opt for fresh peaches when possible to ensure you are only consuming the natural sugar that is considered part of a healthy diet. If you enjoy the taste of a sweetened peach, try sprinkling your fresh peach with cinnamon or drizzling it with honey to get the flavor you crave without the negative side effects of added sugar.

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