Is fruit sugar bad for you?
“Eat more fruits and veggies.” We’ve all heard this too many times.
Everyone knows that fruits are healthy. They are health foods by default. They’re directly from plants. They’re whole foods. They’re closest to Mother Nature. Humans have been eating them for millions of years.
In addition, they’re regarded as nature’s fast food. They’re easy to find, convenient to eat and are portable. On the surface, they almost seem perfect.
However, fruit, particularly fruit sugar has received a bad rap over the years. The main reason is that fruit is relatively higher in sugar compared to other whole foods, such as vegetables.
There is plenty of evidence on the harmful effects of added sugar, which include table sugar (sucrose) and high fructose corn syrup, which is half fructose and half glucose. When consumed in large amounts, fructose can have negative metabolic effects in the body.
This invariably leads to the conclusion that because added sugars are bad and fructose are harmful, the same must apply for fruits and the fructose they contain. Wrong!
Fructose is only harmful in large amounts and the sweet truth is that it is almost impossible to take too much fructose via fruit alone. So if your go to snack is a cup of strawberries, by all means go for it. But don’t just take our word for it, keep reading to find out some science-backed benefits of eating fruit and why it can’t harm you.
Fruit is rich in water, fiber and has a high chewing resistance.
If you’re eating whole fruit, it’s almost impossible to overeat on fructose. Note that the same doesn’t apply to packaged juices, even if they claim to be all natural and free from added sugar.
Whole fruits are loaded with water, fiber and offer a substantial chewing resistance. Take an apple for example. It takes a while to eat and digest a whole apple, which means that the fructose from the apple will reach the liver at a slower pace.
Furthermore, eating fruit can be incredibly satiating. Most people feel satisfied after eating one apple or just a few strawberries. This will also ensure that you eat less of other foods. However, a can of soda or a donut can have poor effects on your satiety, thereby increasing your appetite and making you feel hungry shortly after.
Additionally, fructose from soda or candy reaches your liver fast, and it enters in large quantities, resulting in detrimental effects to the body. In the case of fruits, because their fructose hit the liver gradually and in small amounts, your body has enough time to deal with the fructose, without straining your liver.
Fruits are rich in fiber, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.
Fruits are more than just water bags containing fructose.
They carry massive loads of nutrients that are vital for health. Some important nutrients required in our daily diets that can be found in fruit include vitamins, minerals, enzymes, antioxidants, phytonutrients and fiber.
Fiber, particularly soluble fiber has a myriad of health benefits, ranging from increased satiety to lowered cholesterol levels and slow absorption of carbs. Fiber also forms the bulk of most whole foods, including fruit and it makes these foods incredibly filling. This explains why you can never overeat apples. Because of this reason, studies show that soluble fiber can contribute to weight loss.
Fruit is also high in a plethora of vitamins and minerals, especially vitamin A and C, as well as potassium and folate – which many individuals don’t get enough of from their daily diets.
Note that fruit is an enormous food group. There are hundreds of different fruits with varying nutrient compositions. If you feel you should limit your fruit intake, try focusing on fruit with higher levels of fiber, minerals and vitamins as they not only offer greater satiety, but also prevent nutritional deficiencies.
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