Tag Archives: fructose

What About Fruit?

If you are currently digging the morning fruit smoothie routine that’s been established because you read somewhere that they are delicious AND good for you then prepare to cringe.

In 1 large fruit smoothie with 1 banana, 1 apple, 1 cup of berries, 1 cup of skim milk and 1 fat-free berry yogurt you are consuming roughly 83.8 grams of sugar.
To put that in perspective that’s almost the equivalent of a LARGE Dairy Queen chocolate sundae.

Recently I have been receiving a lot of questions about fruit. If sugar is bad for me and there is sugar in fruit then is fruit bad for me too? If sugar causes fat gain then won’t eating fruit cause me to gain fat as well? How much fruit should I have a day? Should I never eat fruit again? TELL ME WHAT’S UP WITH THE FRUIT!?

Let me try to explain why fruit consumption still seems to be a mystery for some folks. According to Canada’s Food Guide the recommended consumption of fruits and vegetables ranges from 7-10 servings a day. There are no recommendations as to how you should split your servings of fruit and servings of vegetables. So in theory according to Canada’s food guide If you were to drink the smoothie with 83.8 grams of sugar you would be getting a seemingly modest 4 servings of fruit, totally healthy right? … right? Not exactly.

All sugar is linked to fat storage because it is directly responsible for the secretion of insulin, which is the hormone that is responsible for fat storage. Insulin’s job is to transfer energy from the food you eat into your body’s cells to be used as energy. Glucose is the bodies preferred source of energy from sugar and it is mainly stored in the liver and muscles. Your body only has so much storage for glucose before it reaches capacity and begins to store any excess as body fat through a conversion process that happens in the liver.

So essentially all forms of sugar including carbohydrates eventually get converted into glucose to be used as fuel.  Any excess will be stored as body fat.

If you think you eat a lot of fruit, pay attention. Fructose, the simple sugar that is found naturally in fruit and tastes very sweet is metabolized first by the liver to be converted into glucose. When too much fructose is consumed, the liver cannot convert it fast enough and so most of it will be stored as body fat instead.

To sum things up all excess sugar that the body cannot use is stored as body fat. Sugar from fruit can only be metabolized by the liver and the liver can only do so much at a time. There for the majority of fructose is more likely to be stored as body fat.

 So what’s up with fruit? You can enjoy it in moderation without risk of fat gain because your liver can metabolize small amounts. A general rule of thumb for maintaining weight is 1 serving of fruit per day. Do not shun fruit from your life forever. It is important to try and understand how and why certain foods affect your body the way they do. You might want to think of fruit as an occasional treat and start including more colourful veggies into your diet. If you really love the convenience of smoothies but want to avoid the potential sugar bomb then here is a link on how to make green smoothies which won’t be as sweet but will be kinder to your waistline and encourage you to eat more healthy green veggies! Yay!

How to Make a Green Smoothie

Hopefully after reading you feel a bitter more confident about fruit. If you found the information of value I would really appreciate it if you could share the link with friends or family. Thanks for reading!

– Jules

Resources:
Canada’s Food Guide        Glycogen
Calorie Count                    Fructose
Insulin/Glucagon               Fructose and Fat Storage