Fructose , Good or Bad?

My Weight Loss Journey – Chapter 2

With fruits – there is more than that meets the eye. We all have associated fruits with good health and holistic living for such a long time; that now if someone tells us that you should watch your fruit intake, it almost sounds like BS. Even I had the same thought initially. I mean only someone insane would say shit about fruits , such noble item!

Facts first:

–          Table sugar (normal granulated sugar) has 50% Glucose and 50% Fructose.

–          Fruits have 40-50% fructose – depending on the type of fruit

But,

–          Fruits have less sugar by volume as compared to table sugar.

–          You would easily add one teaspoon of sugar in a lemonade, but you would need one full apple to equal the amount of fructose.

–          Also, while table sugar is purely glucose and fructose , fruits have lot of fiber and other essential nutrients

When I started my weight loss journey, I was told to moderate my fruit intake and be selective of the fruits I eat. Fruits like watermelon, melon, papaya, grapes; such fruits are usually overeaten.It would be a bad choice if you skip your normal meal and replace it with large bowl of watermelon or mango. It is important for everyone to eat fruits in moderation. More so for people trying to lose weight.

Fructose is simple carbohydrates, which are digested easily by the body and causes insulin spikes if taken in large quantity. Whereas glucose causes insulin spike immediately. Complex carbohydrates on the other hand digest slowly and body needs to work to digest those carbs. And because complex carbs digest slowly, it keeps you fuller for a longer period. Oatmeal, Sweet Potato, Millet, Ragi and other whole grains are excellent examples of complex carbs. What are insulin spikes and why there is so much more discussion about it than ever before ? More on this and carbohydrates in the next chapter.

This article does not at all imply that eating a cupcake and eating a banana is the same. Not at all! Both will give you instant energy, and the source of energy in both cases is sugar, but banana is fibrous, rich source of potassium, Vit A and D and many other nutrients. And may be the amount of sugar from cupcake and banana is different depending on how much sugar has been added to cupcake and how ripe the banana is.

I completely gave up on fruits for 3-4 weeks when I started weight loss journey. Then included these slowly in my diet, beginning with half an apple. As funny it may sound to a naive, giving up dairy and restricting fruit intake gave me an initial push start and I lost 2 kgs in the first month. While I am a complete believer that one should not watch the weighing scale but should feel a light body which is active and healthy; however, in the beginning even a slight reduction on weighting scale seemed like an achievement.

Also, along with fruits be very cautious of how much dry fruit you eat. Dry fruits are an indulgence and one tends to usually over-indulge. Handful of grapes or handful of raisins ; what has more sugar? C’mon ! you are smarter than this.

So, watch your fruit (and dry fruit) intake. Especially if you are not doing any physical exercise. You would have read in several health articles that one should eat a banana or an apple before workout. Imagine where would all that banana go if you are not working out!

Glossary

  • Fruits with high sugar content – All dry fruits esp dates. Watermelon, Melon, Papaya,Mango,Apple,Pineapple, Lychee,Grapes,Pears
  • Fruits which should be preferred over the above mentioned fruits – All berries. Very nutritious , full of antioxidants ( stuff that keeps your skin looking younger) and low in sugar. Olives, Avocado, Kiwi, lemon, lime.

 

Xo,

Sarneet

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