How much sugar in a 1 4 cup of blueberries?

Blueberries are a nutritious fruit that contain many vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. They are low in calories and high in fiber. One serving of blueberries, or 1⁄4 cup, contains about 4 grams of sugar. This sugar content is relatively low compared to other fruits. Understanding the sugar content in blueberries can help guide dietary choices.

Sugar Content in Blueberries

The amount of total sugar in one 1⁄4 cup or 38 grams serving of raw blueberries is:

Total sugars: 4 grams

This contains 3.5 grams of natural occurring sugars and about 0.5 grams of added sugars.

The natural sugars found in blueberries consist mainly of fructose and glucose. These are simple sugars that occur naturally in the blueberry fruit.

Added sugars may come from:

– Syrups or sweeteners added during processing
– Preservatives that contain sugars
– Coatings like icing, chocolate, or candy shells

So in a plain 1⁄4 cup serving of raw, unprocessed blueberries, the 4 grams of total sugar is almost entirely natural fructose and glucose coming from the blueberry itself.

Daily Recommended Sugar Intake

To understand if 4 grams of sugar is a little or a lot, it helps to compare it to the recommendations for daily sugar intake:

– The American Heart Association recommends no more than 6 teaspoons or 24 grams of added sugar per day for women. For men it is 9 teaspoons or 36 grams per day.

– The World Health Organization recommends keeping added sugar to less than 10% of total daily calories. This works out to about 12 teaspoons or 50 grams of added sugar per day for a 2000 calorie diet.

So the 4 grams (about 1 teaspoon) of natural sugar in a serving of blueberries represents just a fraction of these daily recommendations. It is a relatively small amount compared to the added sugar limits.

Sugar in Other Fruits

Blueberries contain less sugar than most other common fruits:

Fruit Serving Size Total Sugar in Grams
Blueberries 1⁄4 cup 4 grams
Strawberries 1⁄4 cup 3 grams
Apple 1 small (4 oz) 11 grams
Banana 1 medium (4 oz) 12 grams
Orange 1 small (3 oz) 9 grams
Grapes 1⁄4 cup 8 grams

As this comparison shows, a serving of blueberries contains less sugar than an equivalent serving of most other fruits. The only common fruit lower in sugar is strawberries.

So blueberries are a great choice if you are looking for a fruit that is relatively low in natural sugar content.

Sugar Recommendations

Current dietary recommendations encourage getting sugar primarily from natural sources like fruits and milk, rather than processed foods high in added sugars.

The USDA Dietary Guidelines recommend filling half your plate with fruits and vegetables. Fruits, along with dairy foods, are placed into a category called “Foods to Increase” in your diet.

Despite having natural sugar, whole fruits like blueberries provide many important nutrients, including:

– Fiber
– Vitamin C
– Manganese
– Antioxidants

These nutrients far outweigh the relatively small sugar content of fruit.

The fiber and water in whole fruits also helps slow the absorption of the natural sugars. This prevents a quick spike in blood sugar levels compared to drinking fruit juice or soda.

So while blueberries do contain 4 grams of fructose and glucose sugars per serving, this natural sugar is not a major concern given the many health benefits of blueberries. Moderating portion sizes to 1⁄4-1⁄2 cup is reasonable for keeping natural fruit sugar intake within the recommendations.

Choosing Low Sugar Fruits

If you need to monitor sugar for health reasons, blueberries are a good choice of fruit because they are lower in sugar than most other common fruits.

Some other fruits that contain less than 5 grams of sugar per typical serving include:

Fruit Serving Size Grams of Sugar
Blackberries 1⁄2 cup 2.4 grams
Raspberries 1⁄2 cup 2.0 grams
Strawberries 1⁄4 cup 3.0 grams
Plums 1 small (4 oz) 4 grams
Peach 1 medium (4 oz) 4 grams
Nectarine 1 medium (4 oz) 5 grams

In addition to blueberries, incorporating these lower sugar fruits can help keep total daily fruit sugar within recommendations.

High Sugar Fruits to Moderate

Some fruits contain significantly more sugar. Portion sizes of these higher sugar fruits should be moderated to limit daily sugar intake from fruit:

Fruit Serving Size Grams of Sugar
Grapes 1⁄2 cup 15 grams
Mango 1⁄2 cup diced 14 grams
Pineapple 1⁄2 cup chunks 11 grams
Banana 1 medium 12 grams
Cherries 1⁄2 cup 8 grams

While these fruits are perfectly healthy in moderation, limiting portion sizes to 1⁄4-1⁄2 cup will help keep sugar content reasonable.

Dried Fruit Sugar Content

Dried fruits contain more concentrated sugar because the water has been removed. A 1⁄4 cup serving of dried blueberries contains:

– Calories: 114
– Total sugar: 21 grams

So although dried blueberries contain the same nutrients, their sugar content is significantly higher. It’s best to treat dried fruit as an occasional treat and favor fresh or frozen fruit most of the time.

Sugar in Blueberry Products

Beyond fresh blueberries, various blueberry products are available, such as:

– Frozen blueberries
– Canned blueberries in syrup
– Dried blueberries
– Blueberry juice
– Blueberry jam or jelly

Frozen blueberries have minimal processing and contain similar nutrition as fresh blueberries. But products like jelly or juice concentrate the natural sugars found in blueberries.

Here is a comparison of the sugar in different blueberry items:

Blueberry Item Serving Grams of Sugar
Fresh blueberries 1⁄4 cup 4 grams
Frozen blueberries 1⁄4 cup 4 grams
Canned blueberries in syrup 1⁄4 cup 13 grams
Dried blueberries 1⁄4 cup 21 grams
Blueberry jam 1 Tablespoon 8 grams
Blueberry juice cocktail 1⁄2 cup 15 grams

Choosing frozen, fresh, or even canned blueberries packed in water will provide the benefits of blueberries without excess added sugars.

Blueberry Benefits Despite Sugar

The small amounts of natural sugar in blueberries do not outweigh their many nutritional benefits. Here are some of the top health reasons to consume blueberries:

Rich in Antioxidants

Blueberries contain anthocyanins, a type of flavonoid antioxidant with many health benefits. Blueberries provide:

– 4,669 antioxidants per 100 grams

This antioxidant content is linked to reduced inflammation, lower risk of heart disease and diabetes, and anti-aging effects.

May Boost Brain Health

The flavonoids in blueberries help improve vascular function, which optimizes blood flow to the brain. Human studies show blueberries may improve memory and slow cognitive decline associated with aging.

May Aid Blood Sugar Control

Despite containing carbs and sugar, some studies have found blueberries can help improve insulin sensitivity and lower blood sugar levels after meals. The fiber, antioxidants, and polyphenols appear to outweigh the effects of the natural sugars.

May Support Heart Health

Blueberry anthocyanins help reduce oxidative stress and inflammation linked to heart disease. Regular blueberry intake is associated with lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels.

May Promote Digestive Health

The fiber in blueberries supports regularity and healthy digestion. Blueberries may also protect against ulcerative colitis, an inflammatory bowel disease.

Best Time to Eat Blueberries

Blueberries can be enjoyed year round, either fresh, frozen, or dried:

Spring – April through June is peak season for fresh blueberries in most regions. Antioxidant levels are highest in fresh ripe, seasonal blueberries.

Summer – Berries sold in summer are usually shipped from southern growing regions. Opt for local berries at farmer’s markets.

Fall – Wild blueberries come into season late summer in places like Maine. They are smaller than cultivated blueberries but pack a nutritional punch.

Winter – In colder months, frozen blueberries are an excellent source of nutrients and a tasty addition to smoothies, oatmeal, or yogurt.

You can find deals on fresh blueberries year round, but peak flavor and nutrition will come from seasonal, local blueberries.

Tips for Enjoying Blueberries

Here are some healthy ways to enjoy blueberries:

– Add fresh or frozen to yogurt, cottage cheese, oatmeal, or cold cereal
– Blend into smoothies
– Mix into pancake or muffin batter
– Toss into green salads or fruit salads
– Snack on plain as a healthy treat
– Puree into sauces for meat or fish
– Mix into trail mix or granola
– Use as a pizza topping
– Add to homemade ice cream or milkshakes
– Bake into pies, tarts, or galettes
– Use in jam, chutney, or compote recipes

Blueberry Sugar FAQs

Here are answers to some frequently asked questions about the sugar in blueberries:

Are blueberries high in sugar?

No, blueberries contain just 4 grams of sugar per 1⁄4 cup serving. This is lower than most fruits. The sugar in blueberries is half as much as an equivalent serving of grapes or mangos.

Is the sugar in blueberries natural or added?

Over 90% of the sugar in fresh blueberries occurs naturally. There is very little added sugar unless the blueberries have been processed into other products like jams or juice.

Is the sugar in dried blueberries still natural?

Yes, but removing the water concentrates the nutrients and sugars. The processing method also impacts sugar levels in dried fruit.

Do the sugars in fruit impact blood sugar?

Yes, but whole fruits like blueberries have a less dramatic impact on blood sugar than fruit juices. The fiber and polyphenols help slow absorption of the natural sugars.

Should you limit fruit intake on a low sugar diet?

You don’t necessarily need to avoid fruit on a low sugar diet. Focus on portions of lower sugar fruits like blueberries and avoid drinking fruit juice.


Blueberries contain just 4 grams of natural sugar per serving, primarily in the form of fructose and glucose. This sugar content is low compared to most other fruits, making blueberries a great choice for a healthy diet. The fiber, antioxidants, and nutrients in blueberries outweigh concerns about their sugar content. Focus on getting blueberries from fresh, frozen, or lightly processed sources rather than sugary juices or jams. Incorporating blueberries provides nutrition benefits as part of an overall healthy lifestyle that limits added sugars from processed foods.

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