Because nuts are an energy dense food with a high fat content, there is a widespread perception that eating nuts…
Do nuts contain sugar?
Yes, nuts naturally contain sugar. Whilst not really thought of as an inherently sugary food, nuts naturally contain a small amount of sugar (around 2-6g/100g) in the form sucrose.
Nuts contain natural sugars and depending on the nut variety, contain between 2.1 and 5.9g sugars per 100g. Pistachios contain the most sugar (5.9g/100g) and Brazil nuts the least (2.1g/100g). The type of sugar found naturally in nuts is sucrose – the same type that is in sugar cane and crystallised as white, brown or raw sugar.
Despite their natural sugar content, nuts help to reduce the glycaemic index of a meal, and the glycaemic load of the diet [1, 2]. The protein, healthy fats and fibre content of nuts helps to slow their digestion.
- Kendall, C.W., et al., The glycemic effect of nut-enriched meals in healthy and diabetic subjects. Nutr Metab Cardiovasc Dis, 2011. 21 Suppl 1: p. S34-9.
- Viguiliouk, E., et al., Effect of tree nuts on glycemic control in diabetes: a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled dietary trials. PLoS One, 2014. 9(7): p. e103376.