Fruit has sugar! Is fruit bad for you?

 In Nutrition

The sweet truth about fruit!

Sugar is a carbohydrate, of which there are different kinds.

Simple sugars (monosaccharide’s) like glucose, fructose, and galactose and complex forms (disaccharides) such as sucrose, maltose, and lactose.

Naturally occurring sugars include:

Glucose – occurs naturally in plants and fruits, and is a by-product of photosynthesis. In our bodies glucose can be burned as energy or converted into glycogen (essentially: liver and muscle fuel).

Sucrose – found in the stems of sugar cane, the roots of sugar beet, and can be found naturally alongside glucose in certain fruits and plants.

Fructose is simple sugar that occurs naturally in ripe fruits.

When you consume sugar, your body has two options on how to deal with it, burn it for energy or convert to fat and store it in your fat cells.

Many fruits can contain a lot of fructose.

Berries and melons, such as cantaloupe, contain the highest amount of fructose among fruits.

Consumption of fruit however, can still be beneficial.

When you consume fruit, you are not only consuming fructose in its natural state, but also consuming lots of vitamins, minerals and fibre, which is an important part of a balanced diet.

As a result, fruits do not cause drastic changes in blood sugar levels compared to refined/table sugar or high fructose corn syrup.

This makes many of them a low glycaemic index food.

If your main goal is weight loss;

  1. Consume fruit that has a low glycaemic index to reduce blood sugar spikes and insulin secretion.
  2. Minimise fruit consumption and instead load up on vegetables if you need to keep your carbohydrate intake low.
  3. If you had to choose between processed foods, sugar sweetened beverages, sweets or fruit, opt for fruit.

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