Fructose is being touted as the biggest enemy in the battle of the bulge.
As a result, some confusion has developed and people are beginning to avoid the fruit aisle.
Let me first start out by defining fructose. Fructose is a carbohydrate, a monosaccharide, a sugar. Many define it as a fruit sugar, but for the sake of this article and to make my point, I am not calling it so. This is because from what I’ve read in all of my research on the fructose debate, it is not fruit itself being studied or compared, but the formulated or extracted sugar. Processed fructose and fruit-bearing fructose are just not the same things.
With the exception of those who suffer from a fructose metabolic disorder, avoiding fruit is not the answer.
With so much negative publicity lately on fructose, too many people are taking it to the extreme. High fructose corn syrup (HFCS) found in foods like sodas, juices, cookies, cakes and the like is the main culprit here.
In the many debates against fructose and why I am not stating it as a fruit sugar, I have not seen any comparison of the actual whole fruit to the liquid fructose and HFCS in question. Actual fruit has a ton of nutrients – vitamins, natural antioxidants, fiber etc. The fiber you get from fruit lowers the glycemic load on the glycemic index.
Who can dispute the many health benefits of eating whole fruits like berries? This is like comparing apples to oranges (pun intended). Whole nutrient-dense foods are proven to be digested differently and have different digestion rates and gastric emptying than liquids. The fructose that comes from the whole fruit would have a different affect on your body entirely, a healthy effect.
So the real issue with fructose is with processed foods. If you are eating more refined, unwholesome foods than you are fruit, then you need to re-examine your diet. Eating fruit replenishes and gives your body some very vital nutrients.
The obesity epidemic was not caused by eating fruit. Just like anything else, fruit should not be eaten in excess or on its own. Nor should it be eaten first in a meal or snack, but fruit should most certainly not be avoided if optimal health and vitality is your goal.