We know that sugar is bad for our waistlines and our overall health, but why is sugar in fruit okay? Why is that we can pick at a punnet of strawberries (which contains natural sugar) but are told to refrain from picking at packet of red frogs? What’s the go?
Well, we are here to clear up some confusion and or questions you may have about sugar, fruit and the other ‘F’ word – fructose that is!
Let’s Talk About Fruit And Fructose
Fructose sugar is the simple monosac-charide that is predominantly found in fruit. It has the same kilojoule content per gram of sugar as any other sugar, 16kJ per gram.
Fruit is an integral component of a balanced diet, assuming there are no intolerances.
Consuming the recommended serves of fruit per day (around two medium pieces) has been demonstrated extensively to support and prevent the occurrence of non-communicable diseases such as type 2 diabetes, heart disease, strokes and obesity.
The benefits of fruit include its high water content, high fibre, high levels of vitamins and minerals, and high antioxidant and phytochemical content – plus it’s low in fat.
Eating fruit is better than drinking it as a juice, as this delivers you the fibre of the whole fruit.
The fibre content assists in slowing the release of sugar or fructose into our bodies, which helps prolong energy levels, reduce sugar highs and lows, and sustain fullness. Fibre also plays its own important role in gastroin- testinal and heart health.
How To Read Labels Of Foods With Sugar And Fruit
It can be difficult to interpret the nutritional information panel and ingredients declaration on packaged foods to understand what the sugar content is, where it comes from, how much is from fruit and how much is ‘added’.
It is the added sugar that is of concern in packaged foods, not the sugar from fruit.
Most foods containing fruit which have less than 15g of sugar per 100g are generally okay. Just ensure that fruit comes before the added sugar in the ingredient list, hopefully contributing a greater proportion of the overall sugar content.
How To Determine The Sugar Content Of A Food With Fruit
- How many grams of sugar per 100g are there? Look at the 100g column of the nutritional information panel (NIP).
- If there is more than 5g of sugar per 100g, check the ingredients of the food.
- Is there fruit (or dairy) in there? What is the percentage of fruit? For example, if the NIP says 10g of sugar per 100g and there is 6% apple, 6g of that sugar is coming from the apple, leaving only 4g from other sources, which makes the product okay.
- If there is no fruit (or dairy) in there, look at where the sugar may be coming from. Some alternative names for sugar are: sucrose, glucose, glucose syrup, organic cane sugar and dextrose.
- If there is no fruit in there and one of the sugar substance appears in the first three ingredients, give the product a miss.
Why Is There So Much Fructose Fear?
There is a lot of fear about fructose as a sweetener and this is mainly due to high fructose corn syrup (HFCS), used extensively in the American food supply system. Most Australian brands do not use HFCS.
The concerns about high fructose corn syrup are due to:
- The industrial process by which it is made
- Its overuse in the American supply chain
- The question whether it is more damaging to our health than other sweeteners, and whether or not it is genetically modified.
There are studies which point to fructose, or more specifically high fructose corn syrup, contributing heavily to the obesity epidemic, type 2 diabetes, insulin resistance and fatty liver disease. The issue with these studies is they are either performed on rodents rather than humans, or they are performed consuming a hypercaloric diet.
Research into the consumption of fructose in moderate amounts is limited, and in fact many of the symptoms resulting from a hypercaloric diet of fructose or high fructose corn syrup can also be observed in studies on diets that are high in fat or high in glucose. It is the additional calories and energy which cause the symptoms, rather than the fructose per se.
Ultimately, the important thing to know is when you consume fructose in fruit, the effect is different, as it is part of a whole food, not extrapolated as an ingredient.
Did You Know The Healthy Mummy Smoothies are now 100 per cent Fructose Free?
If you are wanting to avoid fructose, The Healthy Mummy Smoothies are now 100 per cent fructose free and 96 per cent sugar free. You can read all about them here.
Join The 28 Day Weight Loss Challenge – This Month Is The Sugar Detox Round!
Reducing your added sugar intake is one of the FASTEST ways to lose tummy fat, reduce calories,increase energy, improve your skin and lose excess kilos.
But today, there are added sugars EVERYWHERE and we can be addicted to the white stuff.
BUT never fear – we run SUGAR DETOX Challenges that run for 28 Days and the next SUGAR DETOX starts NOW so if sugar is your issue and you need to detox.
And you can also get your FREE Sugar Detox guide and recipes here.
Be INSPIRED by mums who have reached their goals
Mum of three children young children, Rae, has overcome negative self belief in the face of some very big obstacles. After losing 25kgs* and maintaining her goal weight with The Healthy Mummy 28 Day Weight Loss challenges she says:
“I am no longer the girl who suffered debilitating anxiety and regular panic attacks. The one full of excuses not to go out and enjoy life. I am now this amazing butterfly who loves her life and lives it with no worries (well far fewer, I am still a woman after all!)”.
Jo Hart not only rocks her new bikini, she has lost 38kg* with The Healthy Mummy 28 Day Weight Loss Challenges.
She says: “I am proud of the change I have made for not only me but for my family too”.