I can’t think of another word that divides people amongst the food & nutrition world as greatly as sugar. Sugar is a nutrient we can all identify with, mostly because we all have those fond food memories going to the shops as kid or playing sports on the weekend and having your oranges and snakes. We’re all familiar with the tastes and sensations of sugar, and this is very powerful.
However, today we’re going to talk specifically about the sugar in fruit because this presents somewhat of a nutritional oxymoron; a food associated with health and vitality yet still containing this controversial nutrient linked to so much confusion. Firstly, the facts, yes fruits contain sugars, but these are naturally occurring, and the fruit itself also contains many other nutrients with a host of health benefits. Phytonutrients, such as those found in blueberries and mango’s have even been shown to help regulate blood sugar levels! The complete opposite of what you generally associate high sugar foods with. Secondly, whole fruits are a great source of dietary fibre; this is why eating a piece of fruit is really quite satiating which can be brilliant for individuals out there with weight loss goals. Finally, the vitamins and minerals in fruits such as folate, vitamin K and C have a massive variety of positive health benefits in our bodies. So, I think we can agree even though there are some sugars in fruit they’re generally pretty amazing, right!
One question I often receive is whether or not people should be juicing all their fruit? This is certainly a convenient and delicious way to increase your fruit intake, but unfortunately, you’re losing most of the fibre content due to the juicing process. This can be mitigated with certain slow-press juicers, but it would be much easier and cheaper to eat whole fruit. I’m still a big fan of the V8 juice range, these guys do 100% fruit juice (what you should be looking for with all pre-packaged juice) with no added sugars in a variety of different flavours, and it tastes fantastic.
When selecting your fruit, fresh is always best and go with what’s in season, canned/tinned/frozen is perfectly fine also, just try to stick to the ones with no added sugars. Dried fruit is another alternative, although be mindful of portion sizes as they are very easy to over-consume.
I would encourage anyone not to be afraid of the moderate amounts of sugar present in fruit and consume them however best suits your dietary habits. To view fruits as just high in sugar is a reductionist approach and fails to highlight the abundance of nutrition present in all fruits.
If you have any more questions surrounding fruits or any other part of your diet, then book in to see Dylan today by calling 9583 5165.