Are Dole Fruit Cups Healthy?

August 15, 2019   13 Comments

Are Dole Fruit Cups healthy? It should be an easy question but the variety of products makes it far more complicated.

Are Dole Fruit Cups Healthy?

I went shopping for Dole Fruit cups and was shocked at the number of products. A fruit cup seems like a simple thing. Usually, it is fruit that has been peeled, cut up, and put in syrup or fruit juice to preserve it.

Nothing beats a fresh piece of fruit for nutrients, fiber, and the environment (biodegradable packaging!) but fruit cups can be great for situations where fresh fruit is not an option.

Also, if you tend to run out of fresh fruit as the week goes on (and can't get to the store) fruit cups are great to have in your pantry.

But, which Dole Fruit cup is the healthiest? I am going to list these as best to worst choice and the determining factor is added sugar. The liquid that the fruit is stored in is critical to whether or not these are a healthy choice.

But, the first rule is DO NOT BUY FRUIT CUPS WITH LIGHT OR HEAVY SYRUP. That means that they are more sugar than fruit!

1. Dole No Sugar Added

These have 5 grams of sugar per serving because (guess what?) they didn’t add any sugar!! All the sugar is from the Mandarin oranges and they added stevia and monk fruit. There is a slight aftertaste but it isn’t too bad and at 40 calories - these are a great little snack.

2. Dole Coconut Water

These cups have both coconut water and sugar added so now you are looking at 12 grams of sugar per cup. This means that they are 60 calories and 7 grams of sugar is added - about 1.5 teaspoons of sugar. These are tasty and I think good for kids who won’t like the stevia in the no sugar added variety.

3. Dole Mixations

They added pineapple puree, mango puree, and sugar to these for 15 grams of sugar. So, now you are getting into too much sugar category as this is 2 teaspoons of sugar per cut and 80 calories. I would avoid these.

4. Dole Fruit Juice

Unfortunately, the juice that these Mandarin oranges are stored in is not just fruit juice but fruit juice concentrate. What do they concentrate? SUGAR! So, now we are getting into treat category with 18 grams of sugar. That means that 13 grams are added and that is 2.5 teaspoons. Think about putting 2.5 teaspoons of sugar in your mouth. Does that sound like a good idea? I would avoid these.

5. Dole Gel

These are Dole’s answer to packaged Jello fruit cups and come in at a whopping 22 grams of sugar. You would be almost better off drinking a Coke (24 grams for the same number of ounces). AVOID AVOID AVOID!!!

Do you buy Dole Fruit Cups? Which one is your favorite?

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I keep the no sugar added peaches stocked in my pantry. I am a diabetic and these taste pretty good. I like them on my cereal in the morning. I'll buy the oranges(no sugar) drain them and add to my sugar free Jello; doing the same with the peaches. I don't buy any other brand because their sugar substitute makes me sick

Info useful and interesting

I buy them for when I run out of fresh fruit....and I rinse the liquid from the cup; therefore, eating very little of the juice...I use it sometime for over cold cereal, mixed with yogurt, etc...but never have the juice is comes with...way too much sugar...thanks...I love reading your emails...

Thank you for this. I think I have just dismissed canned fruit out of hand. Now knowing that there are differing amounts of sugar and the idea that one could just rinse off the juice open up a whole new world of “pantry supplies.”

Good information. Thanks!

It also depends on what type of eating you are doing. Sugar and high sugar fruits are not in my plan, so I wouldn't eat them. I don't consider them healthy. But for a regular low calorie WOE at 40 calories a serving for some - they work well.

Fruit cups are a rare treat in my daughter's lunch, usually in the dead of winter when we're all sick of apples and clementines ;). I read the trick of poking a hole in the plastic cover and draining out all/most of the juice, so that it's still lunchbox safe (doesn't really leak) and a bit less sugar but still fun to eat.

I use fruit cups occasionally for work, especially in the winter when I'm tired of apples, bananas and clementines. I get the fruit packed in fruit juice (drain the juice). Can't tolerate stevia or monk fruit. If packed in juice and drained, it's considered a zero point fruit on WW.

I am an insulin dependent diabetic. I buy no sugar added products or sugar free. I do drain the syrups off whatever they have on them. I love the peaches on cottage cheese for light evening meal.

I agree with Karen Hummel about draining the liquid. I is good that a company considers those of us that need sugar free items. So many companies have discontinued this type of food.

Dole fruit is made in China... Del Monte too.

Dole mandarins from china are lowest grade fruit. Plastic cups are extremely wasteful and (let's face it) are a huge environmental disaster for the world oceans.

This is the US legacy of abdicating our responsiblities of reducing but instead 'recycling' by shipping so much plastic waste to China :-(

So much of our fruit comes from another country. Fresh fruit might come from Peru, Mexico or some other county. This might also include vegetables (fresh or can). The small fruit cups are premeasured which is good for a Diabetic.

What? No mention of no sugar added Peaches??!! Kids love them and for us older folks, great with oatmeal or our afternoon/late evening snacks. For super yum, add the other perfect low cal fruit, Strawberries! My subs for every unhealthy sweet known to man. My grandkids Know what I'm bringing when I come.

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