August 24

Is fruit good or bad for us?

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You may have seen my recent rant against Dr Steven Gundry on social media.

 

He is author of the Fruit Paradox and is claiming far and wide that fruit is bad for us.

 

The book is based on the idea that fructose is the main concern.

 

Firstly, fruit is not just fructose, it is also glucose – both of the monosaccharides that make up sucrose.

 

Fruit also contains fibre, water, vitamins and minerals – making it a perfectly healthy, decent food.

 

Sucrose is the scientific name for table sugar and this has to be broken down again for digestion.

 

Why is fructose a cause for concern?

 

It is sweeter than glucose and the use of ‘high fructose corn syrup’ as a sweetener in processed foods and drinks has risen in line with the obesity epidemic.

 

You can find a report here by George Bray –

http://Brey: http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/86/4/895.full.pdf+html

 

This shows that most fructose in the American (and probably the Western World) diet comes from this high fructose corn syrup in fizzy drinks, sweets and other processed foods, not from fruit.

 

The ‘Continuing Survey of Food Intake by Individuals’ from 1994 to 1996 showed that the average person had a daily added sugars * intake of 79 g (equivalent to 316 cals per day or 15% of energy intake), approximately half of which was fructose.

 

More important, persons who are ranked in the top one-third of fructose consumers ingest 137 g added sugars*  per day and those in the top 10% consume 178 g per day, with half of that amount being fructose.

 

* added sugar – not sugar from fruit.

 

The potential issue is that the body does not need fructose and it is metabolised differently to glucose.

 

Fructose does not trigger the insulin response and is metabolised mainly in the liver.

 

This then can mean that fructose can stimulate lipogenesis – the storage of fat.

 

However, the body can not store fat unless there is a calorie surplus.

 

Although there is evidence that fructose can stimulate this, it is only;

  1. In it’s purest form
  2. In very large quantities
  3. In a calorie surplus

 

Another review you can read here;

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/?term=Rizkalla+SW&cauthor_id=21050460

 

Rizkalla says that no fully relevant data have been presented to account for a direct link between dietary fructose intake and health risk markers such as obesity, triglyceride accumulation and insulin resistance in humans.

 

If you are drinking loads of sweetened, fizzy drinks, eating loads of sweets and in a calorie surplus then you may well have something to worry about.

 

If you are only consuming fructose in fruit then you do not.

 

If you are eating some sweets as part of an overall balanced, varied diet and controlling your calories, you do not.

 

Do not listen to anyone who tells you that fruit is bad.

 


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