Is pineapple good for you? Nutritionists answer commonly-searched questions

Pineapple: the fruit found in fruit salads and piña coladas, controversially placed on top of pizza and used under the sea to house SpongeBob SquarePants.

Pineapple consumption is on the rise in the United States. It has more than doubled since 2000, and more than eight pounds of fresh pineapple were consumed per capita in 2022, according to the latest available data from Statista.

Does pineapple offer health benefits? Here's what nutrition experts have to say.

Is pineapple good for you?

Pineapple offers several health benefits, including Vitamin C, fiber, B vitamins and minerals including copper, potassium and magnesium, according to the Cleveland Clinic. It's also low in calories and has no cholesterol, sodium or fat.

But overall, diet experts wants to remind people that there's no one-size-fits-all approach to eating healthy.

“​​The healthiest food in any category will depend on you, your budget, your culture, your health goals, and so much more,” registered dietitian Miranda Galati previously told USA TODAY. “It’s amazing to make more nutrient-dense choices when possible, but choosing the more processed or convenient option isn’t always a bad thing either. As a registered dietitian who wants you to build a healthy lifestyle that lasts, I’d recommend ditching the idea that there’s a healthiest version of anything.”

Is pineapple high in sugar?

Not more than several other fruits. One cup of pineapple chunks contains 16.3 grams of sugar, which is lower than several other fruit's sugar contents, including pears, oranges, apples, cherries and mangoes, according to data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food Search database.

And it's important to note that natural sugars, such as the ones found in fresh fruits, are different than those found in other sweet treats like cakes or cookies.

For those with diabetes or other blood sugar issues, eating fresh, frozen or canned pineapple with no added sugar is usually a better option. Dried fruits often include added sugar, according to the American Diabetes Association, and fruit juices on their own can lead to blood sugar spikes.

The main difference between eating a piece of fruit and drinking fruit juice is that the latter usually removes the fruit's fiber, which is what helps slow down the body's blood sugar response, registered dietitian Abbey Sharp tells USA TODAY.

That doesn't make one better or worse, but experts note that pairing a non-fibrous fruit juice with a more balanced meal containing fiber, protein and/or fat can help better regulate the blood sugar and deliver a higher quality of nutrition.

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When not to eat pineapple

Foods such as pineapple that are high in acidity can "exacerbate symptoms for individuals with acid reflux, gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) and tooth sensitivity," Sharp notes.

Consuming high amounts of vitamin C and bromelain, which are enzymes that digest protein, could also potentially cause issues including diarrhea, excessive menstrual bleeding and skin rash, per WebMD.

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And of course, you shouldn't eat pineapple if you're allergic to it. According to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, those with latex allergies may be more likely to be allergic to several kinds of fruit, including bananas, tomatoes and pineapple.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Is pineapple good for you? Sugar content, when not to eat it