These days it is common for people to be confused about the effects of sugar in fruit! There is a lot of science-based evidence that show eating sugar in excessive amounts is harmful. This includes table sugar (sucrose) and high-fructose corn syrup, both of which are about half glucose, half fructose. One reason that excessive added sugar intake is harmful is the negative metabolic effects of fructose when consumed in large amounts. Many people now believe that because added sugars are bad, the same must apply to fruits, which also contain fructose. However, this is a misconception. Fructose is only harmful in large amounts, and it’s difficult to get excessive amounts of fructose from fruit.
Eating whole fruit, it is almost impossible to consume enough fructose to cause harm. Fruits are loaded with fiber, water and have significant chewing resistance. For this reason, most fruits (like apples) take a while to eat and digest, meaning that the fructose hits the liver slowly. Plus, fruit is incredibly filling. Most people will feel satisfied after eating one large apple, which contains 23 grams of sugar, 13 of which are fructose. Compare that to a 16 ounce bottle of Coke, which contains 52 grams of sugar, 30 of which are fructose and no nutritional value. A single apple would make you feel quite full and less inclined to eat more food. Conversely, a bottle of soda has remarkably poor satiety and people don’t compensate for the sugar by eating less food. When fructose hits your liver fast and in large amounts as in the case when you drink soda, it can have adverse health effects over time. However, when it hits your lives slowly and in small amounts, as in the case when you eat an apple, your body is well adapted to easily metabolize the fructose. While eating large amounts of sugar is harmful to most people, the same does not apply to fruit.
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