The Truth About Sugar

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Image courtesy of Joanna Kosinska

Is Sugar Found in Fruit Good or Bad for Your Health?

Nutrition can be a fickle beast. With countless fitness bloggers, nutrition gurus and exercise experts out there on the web, it can be difficult to decipher what foods will benefit your body and what foods will do more damage than good. Let us make it simple for you: think back to your younger years; to the years filled with nap times, gold stars and crayons. Now picture yourself spilling out those crayons to create a masterpiece in your art class. What if the box was entirely black and white crayons instead of a wide array of dazzling tones? That wouldn’t create a very pretty picture at all.

The same can be said about nutrition: it cannot be viewed in terms of black and white. A commonly held misconception is that all sugar is bad sugar. There is also a misconception that the sugars found in fruit are just as damaging as those found in sweets or in table salt. This simply is untrue. Let’s explore more about the truth about sugar.

What is Sugar, Really?

Sugar is a carbohydrate that can be either naturally occurring or refined. A wide variety of foods, including fruits, vegetables, nuts and even milk contain naturally occurring sugars. On the other hand, we have refined sugar, or sucrose. “Table sugar” found on the shelves of your local grocery is composed of sugar (sucrose) and high fructose corn syrup, about half glucose and half fructose.

How is the Sugar Found in Fruit Different?

Evidence shows time and time again that people who consume large amounts of fructose experience negative metabolic effects. The good news is, this is impossible to do by consuming fruit. Fruits can have a high sugar content, but they are also filled with fiber, water and chewing resistance. This means that most fruits take longer to eat and digest, letting your body properly absorb the sugars that it is consuming. These factors allow for your body to more easily metabolize fructose when it takes longer to hit your liver, unlike when guzzling a sugar filled soda or another artificially sweet treat. Additionally, your body processes natural sugars found in fruit differently because of the fiber found in the fruit. Fiber in fruit minimizes sugar’s impact on the body’s blood sugar levels.

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Photo courtesy of Myriam Zilles

Health Benefits of Natural Sugar

Contrary to popular belief, the natural sugars found in fruit can actually benefit your body! The natural sugars found in fruits slow the absorption of carbohydrates and increase satiety. The fiber found in these foods can reduce cholesterol. These components can also protect the body against some cancers, heart disease, stroke and more. People who consume their daily recommended natural sugar intake have an easier time maintaining and keeping off weight. The natural sugars found in fruit are a great way to satisfy your sweet tooth without sacrificing your health.

Image courtesy of Phoenix Han

Natural Sugar and the Perfect Pineapple

When looking to improve your diet and health, it is important to bear in mind the difference between processed and whole foods. Any fresh fruit or vegetable is a real, whole food, filled with nutritional benefits. Specifically, pineapples are a great source of fiber (one cup contains 2 grams). The body processes the natural sugars found in this sweet fruit more efficiently. Pineapples are packed with insoluble fibers, which have been found to reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes.

Chestnut Hill Farms Perfect Pineapples are filled with valuable vitamins and minerals, including Vitamin C and manganese. Vitamin C is vital to maintaining your body’s immune system, while manganese works to maintain proper bone health and density. Additionally, pineapples contain lots of bromelain, which strengthens the immune system and reduce inflammation. These are just a handful of the seemingly endless health benefits of consuming pineapples.

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