I’ve been taking a look at the different levels of nutrients in my diet and was interested in the amount of sugar that’s found in fruit, and whether it leads to fat gain.
I looked at some scientific papers and here’s what I found.
As a general rule, sugar from fruit can not make you fat.
It is possible if a person were to eat an extreme amount of fruit.
However, studies showed that 20 servings a day for a period of 6 months had no measurable difference in fat levels (source).
In this article, I will explain whether fruit affects your blood sugar levels, how bad sugar in fruit is for you, what type of sugar is found in fruit, and whether sugar in fruit is as bad as refined sugar.
Can Fruit Affect Blood Sugar Levels?
Certain folks are diabetic and need to monitor their blood sugar levels.
However, does fruit affect your blood sugar levels?
The sugar in fruit will affect your blood sugar levels.
Certain fruits have more sugar than others.
Therefore, depending on what fruit you eat you may have a large or small increase in blood sugar when you eat fruit.
Here’s a table that shows how much sugar is found in common fruit:
|Fruit||Sugar content per half cup (3.4 oz, 100g)|
As you can see there is quite a bit of difference in the sugar content of fruit.
Bananas and apples are a staple in most people’s diet and as you can see they contain roughly 10g of sugar per half cup.
The amount of sugar does not appear to have any effect as it was shown in experiments that consuming large quantities of fruits over a prolonged period of time has little to no effect on an individual’s overall health.
How Bad Is Fruit Sugar for You?
Sugar has a bit of a bad rap as being bad for you in large quantities but does the same apply to the sugar that occurs naturally in fruit?
Generally, the sugar in fruit is neutral.
It has neither a positive nor a negative effect on your health.
Excess consumption of refined sugar, though, has been linked to increased risk of type 2 diabetes.
Overall, it’s recommended to consume around 25g to 30g of sugar per day of refined sugar.
This gives you room to eat quite a few sugary foods throughout the day if you have a sweet tooth.
But, it does mean that you can’t combine certain foods, for example you can’t eat a whole donut, as well as drink a soda on the same day.
Here’s a table that shows how much sugar is in common snack foods:
|Food or drink||Sugar content per (100g or 100 mL)|
There is a wide range of sugar found in different foods.
From the table you can see that fruit is not too far in sweetness away from a cookie.
And is about as sweet as a soda. However, a donut has an incredible amount of sugar.
But, it’s important to remember that the sugar found in fruit is different to refined sugar.
And it does not count towards the recommended daily sugar intake of around 30g per day.
What Type of Sugar Is in Fruit?
So, what exactly is the sugar that’s found in fruit. I think it was called fructose…
The sugar found in fruit is of three different types: fructose, glucose, and sucrose.
Sucrose forms when one molecule of fructose bonds with another molecule of glucose.
Refined table sugar is composed entirely of sucrose.
The main difference between the sugar found in fruit and refined sugar is that refined sugar has been heavily processed and heated.
During this process a lot of nutrients are broken down.
Therefore, refined sugar is not as nutritious as sugar found in fruit.
High amounts of refined sugar in your diet should be avoided as it can lead to a range of health issues.
However, eating very sweet fruits has no ill effect on your health at all.
Is Fruit Sugar As Bad as Refined Sugar?
Refined sugar is known to give you a sugar crash, and to cause an upset stomach.
But, is the sugar found in fruit as bad as refined sugar? Based on the advice of medical experts, here’s what I found…
Overall fruit sugar is not as bad as refined sugar.
Sugar found naturally in fruit has no positive or negative effect on your health.
However, consuming more than the recommended daily amount of refined sugar can be detrimental to your health over the long term.
Refined sugar is made by boiling down the juice of sugarcane or sugar beets.
Sugar beets are large round vegetables that look similar to beetroot.
Here’s a quick video that shows how refined sugar is made, as well as how white granulated sugar differs from the different kinds of brown sugars.
The process to make sugar from sugar beets is virtually the same as the process to make cane sugar except that sugar beets are used instead of sugar cane.
Can I Eat Fruit on a No Sugar Diet?
There are various diets such as the paleo diet to recommend to limit the amount of sugar you eat.
So, I wanted to know whether the sugar in fruit counts if I’m on a no sugar diet?
The sugar in fruit does not count towards a no sugar diet.
Refined sugar is known to be bad for your health if you consistently eat over your recommended daily intake.
However, the sugar found in fruit is different and does not affect your health in any way.
For that reason, generally the sugar in fruit isn’t something that you need to eat less of or eat more of to maintain good health.
Fruit is known to be good for your digestive system.
And it’s recommended by dieticians to eat approximately 4 servings of fruit a day.
But, it has been shown that you can eat as much fruit as you like and still be in optimum health.
Can You Gain Weight From Eating Fruit?
Fruit tastes really delicious, and I can eat quite a lot of it before I feel full.
But, I’m trying to maintain my current body weight so I was curious whether eating fruit can make you put on weight.
Fruit does not cause you to gain weight.
It has been shown in a study that a person could eat a large amount of fruit (20 servings per day) for periods of 6 months or more and show no significant change in body composition.
Therefore, eating fruit won’t make you gain or lose weight.
However, if you typically eat a lot of other food, then replacing what you eat with fruit will be good for weight loss.
For example, if you typically eat a donut, cookies, and chocolate slices for morning tea.
If you instead, have some sliced banana, and apple you will be consuming less calories overall.
As a donut has around 5 times the amount of calories as a piece of fruit
Is the sugar in fruit bad for weight loss?
Most people can put on some extra weight in the winter, or if they’re having a busy week and don’t get time to go to the gym.
So, it’s a good idea to optimize your diet so that you have less work to do in the gym, but is the sugar in fruit bad for weight loss?
Sugar in fruit is not bad for weight loss.
It can also be beneficial to eat fruit for weight loss because you can replace high calorie foods.
If you eat fruit instead of high calories foods such as donuts you will consume less calories overall.
The interesting thing about eating fruit is that you can eat as much of it as you want and still never gain any weight.
In my experience when I eat a lot of fruit I have a lot of energy and my mind feels very clear.
But, I tend to feel like eating something more calorie dense later in the day to ‘fill me up’.
Fruit smoothies are also an excellent way to consume fruit.
And the combination of flavors creates something that is FAR more delicious that individual fruit on their own.
Typical beginner friendly ones are apple juice and banana.
Or, rockmelon, apple juice and banana.
It’s also a great way to consume extra protein if you need it, because you can add protein powder to a fruit smoothie if you are trying to put on muscle mass.
After a fruit smoothie though you feel pretty full, and you can choose to have one in place of a meal.
I’m Chris Watson & the Founder of EatForLonger.com. I’m a food and wellbeing enthusiast researching and sharing foodstuffs and simple food-based concepts, such as fasting and clean eating.
I hope it inspires you to make tiny changes to what you eat and when you eat while optimizing your healthspan and all-around well-being.
Read more About Me here.