Over recent years we have all heard about how bad sugar is. In fact some people label sugar poison and recommend avoiding it all together. Others have singled out fructose (a type of sugar) as the main cause of obesity, liver disease and Type 2 Diabetes. All this noise about sugar has caused many avoid sugar completely.
This has lead to mixed messages and widespread confusion about the role of fruit in our diets. On the one hand sugar is poison, and on the other we are told that fruit is healthy even though one of its main ingredients is fructose.
So is fruit safe to eat and how much is too much?
Fruit is an essential part of healthy diet. It always has been and hopefully always will be. Fruit is one of our main sources of antioxidants and offer up a plethora or vitamins and minerals. Scientists are also only scratching the surface as to the wonderful benefits of phytochemicals recently discovered in huge volumes in fruit.
So what about the sugar in fruit? Yes fruit contains fructose, but no study has linked the fructose in fruit to negative health outcomes. It may be because of all its fiber, or the many millions of other micro-nutrients that form a complex matrix surrounding the sugar, whatever the reason there is no question fruit is good for us.
But that doesn’t mean we can gorge ourselves on fruit. No matter how healthy a particular food is moderation still needs to be applied. Fresh fruit is the best way to eat fruit, and including 3-4 serves of fruit everyday is healthy for most people. I would recommend exercising more caution when it comes to fruit juices and smoothies. Yes they contain lots of goodness in the form of vitamins and minerals, but whenever fruit is broken down or has its fiber removed, it’s structure changes and so does its impact on blood sugar levels. Having said that including a glass of fruit juice every now and then isn’t a concern, and it can be especially helpful either before or after exercise.
Don’t listen to all the hype about sugar in fruit. It’s completely healthy to include fresh fruit everyday, however some caution needs to be applied like any other food. Be particularly careful with fruit juice and fruit smoothies, as these will tend to push blood sugar levels up quicker that fresh fruit.