If sugar is so bad for us, why is the sugar in fruit OK?

We hear regularly from health organizations and experts that we should always eat less sugar. But we’re also told we should always eat more fruit.

All types of sugar will give us an equivalent amount of calories, whether or not they are from fruit or beverage . But the health risks of eating sugar are associated with consuming too many “free sugars” within the diet, not from eating sugars that are naturally present in fruits or milk.

Types of sugar in food

Sugar in food and drinks comes in various forms. Sugar molecules are classified as monosaccharides (single sugar molecules like glucose and fructose) and disaccharides (more complex structures like sucrose and lactose).

Fruit contains natural sugars, which are a mixture of sucrose, fructose and glucose. many of us have heard that sugar is bad, and think that this must also therefore apply to fruits

But fructose is merely harmful in excess amounts, and not when it comes from fruit. It might be incredibly difficult to consume excessive amounts of fructose by eating whole fruits.

It’s much easier to consume excess sugar from foods and drinks that contain “free sugars”.

Free sugars include these same sugars (fructose, glucose, sucrose), but during this case they need to be far away from their present source (rather than being eaten as natural parts of fruits, dairy products, and a few vegetables and grains). This includes sugar that’s added to food and drinks by food companies, cooks or consumers.

Health risks come from free sugars, not fruits

Evidence shows that the health risks from sugars, like cavity and unhealthy weight gain, are associated with consuming too many free sugars within the diet, not from eating sugars that are naturally present in fruits or milk.

For this reason it’s recommended that not quite 10% of your daily calories come from free sugars. For the typical adult, this is often about 50g or only slightly quite the quantity of sugar during a can of normal beverage or soda. It’s estimated that Australians get around 60% (65g) of their sugar intake from free sugars.

Foods that are sources of free sugars, like juices, soft drinks, biscuits and lollies, are often high in calories and have little other nutritional value. it’s often easy to consume more of them compared with fresh fruit and that they also could also be replacing other nutritious foods within the diet.

Consider a bottle of fruit crush – you’d need to eat six whole oranges to urge an equivalent amount of sugar you consume within the juice. and since the fruit is in juice form, it counts towards your daily limit of free sugars.

Calories from drinks that contain sugar often become an addition to the calories you’re eating from food, which can cause weight gain over time.

Eating large amounts of edible fruit is additionally not an honest idea if you’re limiting your sugar intake. Through the method of removing water from the fruit, nutrients are concentrated, such dried apricots, for instance , contain about six fold the maximum amount of sugar (40g per 100g) as fresh apricots (6g per 100g).

We need to eat fruit

Unlike many foods that are high in free sugars, fruits are packaged with many nutrients that help provide us with a diet that is permanently healthy.

For starters, fruit is a superb source of fibre. a mean banana will provide 20-25% (6g) of your recommended daily fibre intake. Getting enough fibre within the diet is vital for shielding against bowel cancer. There’s clear room for improvement in our fibre intake – adults in many countries consume only about half the recommended amount every day (25g for Aussie women and 30g for Aussie men).

The fibre in fruit, which is usually absent in many foods and drinks with free sugars, can also help to fill you up, which suggests you eat less overall at a meal. It’s not clear exactly why this happens often , but it might be associated with the quantity of the food (especially compared with liquids) and therefore the chewing involved.

Fruit is additionally an honest source of other nutrients like potassium, which may help lower vital signs , and flavonoids, which can reduce your risk of heart condition .

There is evidence that eating whole fruits (alone and together with vegetables) reduces your chances of dying from cancer, obesity and heart condition .

Despite this, only about 50% of Australians erode at least two pieces of fruit per day.

Most national dietary guidelines encourage eating fruits and vegetables, with a stress on the vegetables. To undertake and eat your recommended two pieces of fruit per day remember that a bit might be a banana, apple or orange, or two smaller fruits like plums or apricots, or a cup of grapes or berries.

When it involves other sources of sugars, attempt to choose foods that have little or no sugar listed within the ingredient list, and drink water rather than sugary beverages once you are thirsty.


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