Are the Benefits of Fruit Too Sweet to Be True?

We’ve all heard that too much sugar is bad for us. We’ve also probably heard that fruits are generally a healthy choice. But fruit can contain a serious amount of sugar (four apples are roughly equivalent to 24 ounces of soda), so how do we make sense of this seemingly conflicting information? According to the New York Times Well Blog, the answer is that, when we eat fruit, we get more than just sugar. Specifically, we get fiber. Unlike refined and processed foods, such as many cereals, white bread, and soda, fruit fiber helps sugar enter the bloodstream more slowly. This, in turn, puts less stress on the pancreas. Taxing the pancreas as a result of spiking blood sugar levels can lead to the development of insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes. And it’s not just the amount of fiber in fruit that counts, but the type of fiber and how it is delivered. The sugar in whole fruit is bound up with the fiber in such a way to help further prevent its rapid absorption into the body. Even fruit juice that contains some fiber may have less benefit because the fiber is broken down. The upshot is that while whole fruit does contain sugar, it’s still a healthy choice, and definitely preferable to processed foods.

Source: New York Times Well Blog

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