Here is Why Natural Sugars are Perfectly Fine to Eat in Fruit

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This is a sponsored post by Noble Citrus

As we know, added sugar is one of the main contributors to obesity and heart disease. On average, Americans eat 22 tablespoons of sugar a day. All sugar is considered a simple carbohydrate, and the body breaks it down into glucose for energy.However, the body perceives natural sugars differently. Naturally occurring sugars found in fruit as fructose are perfectly fine to consume in moderation, and here is why.

Metabolism and Sugar

Your body metabolizes (breaks down) sugar differently between natural sugars and refined sugars. Naturally occurring sugars found in fruit break down more slowly, avoiding the crash you feel with refined sugars. Most fruit contains fiber, and it helps you feel more full while assisting in blood sugar regulation. Refined sugar raises your insulin response, causing you to feel more sluggish. Overall the consumption of natural sugars with the essential nutrients found in fruits helps to keep you healthy.

Why Fruits Are Good For You

When adding fruits to your diet, there is more to them than the sugar they contain. Fruits have essential vitamins and minerals that are vital to our health. Fruits like oranges contain high amounts of vitamin C, potassium, and antioxidants. In addition, most fruits have high amounts of water that are essential for your daily hydration needs. The amount of sugar in each piece of fruit is minimal compared to products with added sugar.

Credit: Harvard University

Finally, fruits help with weight loss. The fiber and water contents take a significant amount of time to chew, causing you to feel fuller. Citrus fruits are one of the most filling fruits you can eat, helping you feel so full that you eat less. This ultimately will assist with weight loss.

Here is what the Science Says

If you are still not convinced why natural sugars found in fruits are perfectly okay, let’s look at the scientific evidence behind it.

One study evaluated the daily consumptions of fruits and the risk of heart disease. It associated daily fruit intake with an 11% decrease in heart disease risk.

Another study surveyed over 9,000 Americans with high daily fruit intake and found a 46% reduced risk of diabetes in women. This is an exciting conclusion because sugar intake is the primary concern amongst people with diabetes and those at risk for diabetes.

Finally, randomized controlled studies associated increased fruit intake with lowered blood pressure and increased glycemic control for diabetes.

What does this mean? There should be a minimal concern for the naturally occurring sugars found in fruit because the health benefits outweigh sugar intake concerns.

Fruits with Higher Amounts of Sugar

A question that you still might have is, what about fruits with high amounts of natural sugar? The answer is clear. Compared to foods with added sugar, the detriment is minimal unless you are overindulging. Fruits are lower on the glycemic index because of the amount of fiber they have. This means the sugar content is overall lower for people who are concerned with sugar intake.

One caveat to consider is that broken-down fruits in juices or dried fruits are more concentrated and may contain added sugar. If you are concerned about sugar intake, it’s best to consume the recommended portion or the whole fruit. Overall, too much of anything is not good, so as long as you consume the recommended portions there is nothing to worry about.

Natural Sugars
Credit: Tangerines contain about 8g of natural sugar

Take Noble Citrus for example, who is known for their high-Brix produce that appears in stores in the late fall: 

When you see the fruit that rates high on the Brix scale, which is the standard measure of sweetness in the food industry, you don’t need to label them as “unhealthy.”

The sweetness comes from the natural sugars it contains (a.k.a the highest brix on the market). The juiciness comes from the full flavor and large amounts of water. This is a perfect example of fruit that leaves you satisfied and full. With all the above-described benefits of eating more fruits, you should not worry too much about sugar. For more information on how to purchase these sweet and healthy fruits click here to learn more.

Florida Agriculture

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