I don’t have many pet peeves, but one that really makes my blood boil is the advice to not eat fruit because it has sugar. Sugar, and rightly so, has become a mainstream villain when it comes to nutrition. But what most people don’t distinguish, is the difference between naturally occurring sugar in fruit, and ADDED sugar. For the absolute majority of people, it’s the sugar isolated and added to your food/drink that’s the culprit – ADDED sugar. Not naturally occurring sugar in fruit, called fructose.
Some people with certain medical conditions and metabolic disease, may have to limit servings of certain foods to keep their blood sugar levels in check. But even most of them can still enjoy fruit as advised by Mayo Clinic’s M. Regina Castro, M.D. seen here.
Now if you have a sensitivity to fructose, then yes, it makes sense to avoid it. But again, for the majority of people, this simply isn’t the case. Avoiding fruit, a powerhouse of nutrition, because it contains sugar, is nonsense.
So what’s the difference?
There’s a big difference the way our body responds to naturally occurring sugar in fruit, and added sugar. Fiber, absent in added sugar, is one reason. Harvard Professor and author, Dr. David Ludwig, explains the digestion of fructose in his scholarly article, Examining The Health Effects Of Fructose, seen here.
The benefit of fiber that accompanies fructose in fruit, is that it slows the digestion rate down and reduces the absorption of sugar in our digestive tract. In addition, Dr. Ludwig tells us that the physical form and cellular structure of whole fruit, probably has an even greater effect. This is because it sequesters the sugar in the fruit’s cells which takes the body longer to break down, thereby causing the sugar to enter the bloodstream much more slowly.