Fruits High In Carbohydrates
According to Diabetes UK, the amount of carbs a person eats has the most impact on their blood sugar levels.
If a person is following a low carb diet, they should identify which carbs they are eating that are low in nutrients or unhealthy in other ways and cut those out first. Fresh fruit carries many health benefits, so it may not be first on the list.
This table outlines the carb content in several fruits compared with other high carb foods:
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention state that drinking fruit juice during a meal or on its own quickly raises a persons blood sugar levels.
However, the combination of fiber and simple sugars in fruit slows the absorption of sugar into the blood when a person eats whole fruits.
A 2013 research paper looked at how fruit consumption affects the likelihood that a person will develop type 2 diabetes.
The results showed that people who consumed more whole fruit were less likely to develop the condition. People who drank larger amounts of fruit juice were more likely to develop the condition.
A 2017 study had similar results. The researchers found that fresh fruit consumption reduced a persons risk of developing type 2 diabetes. They also found that people with diabetes who ate fresh fruit regularly had a lower risk of developing cardiovascular conditions or dying.
A person can also include dried fruit in their diet, as long as it was not dried with added sugar.
- packed in its own juices
- no added sugar
Overeating Canned Fruits And Juices
Canned fruits and fruit juices are devoid of fiber, unlike whole fruits. This means low chewing resistance. When eating canned fruits, you realize that you chew faster and eat a lot before feeling full. You end up eating a huge fruit serving, compared to if you were eating whole fruits.
Imagine the amount of fructose you ingest if the fruit was soaked in HFCS.
What Is The Healthiest Grape Juice To Drink
Juices made from Concord or purple grapes may be better for disease risk reduction. Concord and purple grapes naturally have higher antioxidant activities than other varieties of the fruit. Early research shows that red and purple grape juices may promote cardiovascular health in some of the same ways as red wine.
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The Health Benefits Of Fruit
Eat whole fruit, and you get a lot of healthy things:
- Fiber that fills you up, keeps you satisfied, and eases digestion.
- Vitamins like vitamin A, B, C, E, and Kâall critical for good health
- Minerals like potassium, calcium, magnesium, copper, zinc, phosphorus, and moreâoften 10 or more minerals in one piece of fruit!
- Antioxidants like vitamins A, C, and E, plus flavonoids like quercetin, catechin, epicatechin, and anthocyanidinâall nutrients known to fight disease and keep you healthy.
- Healthy fats: Some fruits, like avocados, have healthy monounsaturated fats that can help lower cholesterol levels and even support healthy skin.
- Disease-fighting factors: All fruits have been linked with reducing risk of disease. Blackberries, for example, because of their powerful antioxidants, have been linked to a reduced risk of stroke and cancer. Apples may help reduce risk of diabetes, and blueberries may help you retain your memory as you age. Cantaloupe, because of its high levels of beta-carotene, may help reduce the risk of developing cataracts. And the list goes on and on.
Still, all these fruits have natural sugars, too. Could they cancel out the health benefits?
Sugar In Fruit Vs Added Sugars
Theres a very important difference between sugar in its natural form and industrial sugars, such as table sugar, sucrose and high-fructose corn syrup. They all have very different effects on the body.
In other words, the sugar in fruit is not the same as added sugars.
Compared to added sugars, the amount of sugar in fruit is relatively low.
Fruit also contains soluble and insoluble fiber. Together, these two types of fiber form a gel-like substance in the small intestine, which prevents a significant portion of the fruits sugar from being absorbed early on during the digestive process.
According to Dr. David Lustig, Like stopping a tsunami wave by building an underwater wall, this gel barrier limits the rate of sugar absorption so that the liver is not overwhelmed.
What about blood sugar spikes? Fruit can actually help.
Take berries, for example. One study showed that berries not only help control blood sugar, but also improves control. Why? Researchers believe special phytonutrients may be responsible for slowing sugar uptake into the bloodstream.
Berries can also blunt the insulin spike from other high glycemic foods, such as bread.
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What Fruits Are Highest And Lowest In Sugar
Osinga says that berries such as raspberries, blackberries, and strawberries are lowest in natural sugar, while the highest are dried fruits, bananas, and mangoes. Fruit juice also tends to be high in sugar, and its easy to drink too much of it because it doesnt require the same digestive process as a whole fruit.
So, how much fruit should you eat a day? What is usually recommended is up to three servings of fruit a day, Fleming says, noting that moderation is key.
How To Spot Added Sugars In Processed Foods
Dont be fooled just because you stay away from obviously sweet foods like cake, cookies, doughnuts, and candy. Added sugars hide in a number of foods you may not expect, like processed frozen foods, baby food, dried fruit, cereal, granola, instant oatmeal, salad dressings, ketchup, barbecue sauces, pasta sauces, flavored yogurt, protein bars, and more. Theyre also found in organic foods and plenty of foods youll find at your local health food store.
The good news is that tallying up added sugars on packaged foods just got easier. The Nutrition Facts Label now includes added sugars underneath where it says total sugars.”
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Is Fructose In Fruit Bad For You
There is a hefty amount of confusion about the proper role of fructose in the diet. Setting aside misleading studies from the food industry for a moment, recommendations from the wellness-friendly community alone can seem all over the map. Specifically, I wanted to find out once and for all Is fructose in fruit bad for you?
This post cuts through the sometimes-opposing assertions and answers the question. Right at the top, Im going to tell you it depends on where your fructose is coming from and also your physical condition.
Lets start with an overview of sweeteners so we can see where fructose fits in the grand scheme.
Types Of Sugar In Food
Sugar in food and drinks comes in various forms. Sugar molecules are classified as monosaccharides and disaccharides .
Fruit contains natural sugars, which are a mix of sucrose, fructose and glucose. Many people have heard that sugar is bad, and think that this must also therefore apply to fruits.
But fructose is only harmful in excess amounts, and not when it comes from fruit. It would be incredibly difficult to consume excessive amounts of fructose by eating whole fruits.
Its much easier to consume excess sugar from foods and drinks that contain free sugars.
Free sugars include these same sugars , but in this case they have been removed from their naturally occurring source . This includes sugar that is added to food and drinks by food companies, cooks or consumers.
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Eating Fruit Can Help You Lose Weight
Its often forgotten that fruits are incredibly filling.
Because of their fiber and water contents and the extensive chewing involved in eating them, fruits are very satiating.
The satiety index is a measure of how much different foods contribute to feelings of fullness.
Fruits like apples and oranges are among the highest scoring foods tested, even more filling than beef and eggs .
This means that if you increase your intake of apples or oranges, you will likely feel so full that you will automatically eat less of other foods.
There is also one interesting study that demonstrates how fruits can contribute to weight loss .
In this six-month study, nine men ate a diet consisting only of fruits and nuts .
Not surprisingly, these men lost significant amounts of weight. Those who were overweight lost even more than those who were at a healthy weight.
Overall, given the strong effects that fruits can have on satiety, it seems beneficial to replace other foods, especially junk foods, with fruit to help you lose weight over the long term.
Fruits like apples and oranges are among the most filling foods you can eat. Eating more of them should lead to an automatic reduction in calorie intake and ultimately, weight loss.
Fructose Turns To Fat In The Liver
According to Dr. Joseph Mercola, Unlike glucose, which can be used by virtually every cell in your body, fructose can only be metabolized by your liver, because your liver is the only organ that has the transporter for it.
According to the Harvard Medical School web site, The entry of fructose into the liver kicks off a series of complex chemical transformations. One remarkable change is that the liver uses fructose, a carbohydrate, to create fat. This process is called lipogenesis. Give the liver enough fructose, and tiny fat droplets begin to accumulate in liver cells . This buildup is called nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, because it looks just like what happens in the livers of people who drink too much alcohol.
A 2005 study by by the American Diabetes Association found found that excess fructose consumption resulted in a five fold increase of de novo lipogenesis in only 6 days.
Up to 30% of adults in the United States are affected by nonalcoholic fatty liver disease. Between 70% and 90% of those who are obese or who have diabetes have nonalcoholic fatty liver disease.
Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease is reversible in the early stages, however, eventually the liver can become inflamed. According to the Harvard publication, This can cause the low-grade damage known as nonalcoholic steatohepatitis . If the inflammation becomes severe, it can lead to cirrhosis an accumulation of scar tissue and the subsequent degeneration of liver function.
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How Does The Body Metabolize Sugar
The fruit has fructose and glucose in itjust like processed sugar. Most fruit has 40-55 percent fructose, and table sugar is 50 percent fructose and 50 percent glucose. Why does this matter? According to Nicole Osinga, a registered dietitian and founder of Osinga Nutrition, the body metabolizes fructose differently than glucose.
Fructose is primarily metabolized in the liver. There are pros and cons to this, she says. The pro is that eating fructose doesnt raise blood glucose or insulin levels, both of whichwhen elevated above the normal rangeare thought to contribute to a variety of diseases ranging from heart disease to obesity to several forms of cancer.
The disadvantage, Osinga says, is that when fructose is metabolized in the liver, its typically used to make fats. However, because fructose is almost never eaten by itself and is usually consumed with equal parts glucose, she adds.
Glucose, on the other hand, breaks down in the stomach and needs insulin to get into the bloodstream, so it can be metabolized. The glucose our body doesnt need right then is stored to try to keep our glucose levels as stable as possible all day long, Fleming says.
Should You Avoid Sugars In Fruit And Milk For Weight Loss
Recently, my 13-year old sons friend spent the weekend with us. We have known this boy since he and my son were in 2nd grade together.
His family isn’t shy about sharing their dieting journeys. Their latest weight loss endeavor is pretty drastic. It involves avoiding all sugar including the sugar found in milk and fruit.
I find this worrisome especially for their teenage son. But, this concept of avoiding sugar and all its sources, including healthy ones like milk and fruit, is trending amongst todays dieters. But should it?
Added sugars VS natural sugars
Americans, on average, eat way too much sugar about 17 extra teaspoons beyond the recommended limit. Most of that sugar comes from processed food sources including cookies, candy, sodas, sweetened ready-to-eat cereals, ice cream, and also condiments, bread and sweetened yogurts. But these foods are made sweet due to added sugars.
There are some foods that are sweet because they have natural sugars, like fruit and milk. These naturally sweet foods also have beneficial things like vitamins, minerals and fiber that the body loves and is necessary for good health.
The fiber in these foods also helps slow down their digestibility which helps slow the release of sugars into the bloodstream. They don’t create the spike in insulin levels that happens when we eat foods with lots of added sugars that flood into the bloodstream quickly.
Is sugar all sugar bad?
It quickly adds up!
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And While Fruit Also Contains Simple Sugars It Also Contains A Wide Range Of Other Beneficial Nutrients Like Fiber Vitamins Minerals And Phytonutrients That Most People Already Don’t Get Enough Of
Fruit contains both soluble and insoluble fibers, which slows the release of the sugar into your bloodstream, unlike added sugars, which can spike your blood sugar pretty quickly. The fiber found in fruit also contributes to feelings of fullness and better digestion. And finally, it can help to feed the good bacteria in your gut. I’d say those are all pretty good benefits.
Fruit also contains tons of vitamins and minerals, especially vitamins A and C, potassium, and magnesium. Different fruits contain different vitamins and minerals, but they’re all high in at least a few.
Finally, fruit is one of the best sources of disease-fighting phytonutrients. All of the different colors of fruit represent different phytonutrients, many of which have cancer-fighting antioxidant properties or inflammation-lowering properties. Eating fruit is associated with a lower risk of cancer, heart disease, and memory problems.
And so, yes, while fruit does contain some sugar, it’s benefits far outweigh any effects the sugar found in fruit might have. In fact, research still links fruit consumption to lower risk of diseases like cancer, heart disease, and Alzheimer’s, and it is not associated with weight gain. That’s why the dietary guidelines recommend eating at least 2 servings of fruit daily as part of a healthy eating pattern.
So Are Sugars In Fruits Bad For You
At the beginning of this post, we posed the question is the sugar in fruit bad for you?. Although fructose has a negative impact on your health when consumed in the form of free sugar, when present in fruit its not bad for you at all.
The health risks that are associated with sugar, such as weight gain and tooth decay, are linked to free sugars. The sugars in fruit will not lead to any negative effects on your health at all.
Foods that are sources of free sugar, such as fizzy drinks, biscuits and sweets have little other nutritional value. This means its easy to eat more of them than fresh fruit, which is why doctors often suggest replacing sugary snacks with fruit.
In fact, not only are the sugars in fruits not bad for you, but fruit is loaded with other nutrients that make them very good for your health.
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Excessive Sugar Is Bad But Its Effects Depend On The Context
A lot of evidence has shown that excessive intake of added sugar is harmful .
This includes table sugar and high-fructose corn syrup, both of which are about half glucose, half fructose.
One reason that excessive added sugar intake is harmful is the negative metabolic effects of fructose when consumed in large amounts.
Many people now believe that because added sugars are bad, the same must apply to fruits, which also contain fructose.
However, this is a misconception. Fructose is only harmful in large amounts, and its difficult to get excessive amounts of fructose from fruit.
Evidence suggests that fructose can cause harm when consumed in excess. However, there is not enough fructose in fruit to cause concern.
Which Sugars Are Good For You And Which Ones To Avoid
Sugar often gets a bad rap, but it shouldnt in all cases. Heres how natural, added, and artificial sugars differ in how they affect your health.
Theres plenty of evidence that a high-sugar diet can come with damaging health risks. For example, too much added sugar has been linked to increased risk of high blood pressure, high cholesterol, reduced good cholesterol, inflammation, insulin resistance, obesity, type 2 diabetes, nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, and heart disease. A study published in August 2017 in BMJ Openfound that cutting back on sugar may save you money, as the aforementioned diseases are associated with high medical bills.
None of this suggests all sugar is bad. But the sugars found in a can of cola are not the same as those in a cup of fresh berries.
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The Bottom Line Then Is That Eating Processed Sugar Daily Is Hurting Your Health Period
Okay so now that youre right up to speed on processed sugars, and their dangers, lets take a closer look at what you need to know about the sugars found in fruit, and some powerful facts you should be aware of when buying packaged fruit type products: Hint- yep, the food industry has been up to some pretty sneaky tactics! No surprise right?!