There have been many debates going on about the effects of fructose in gaining weight. Many people say that fructose makes people fat while others argue that they don’t. On this article, we will discuss basic information about fructose including what it is, where do we get it, as well as its effects — some of which are about “gaining weight”.
What is Fructose?
Fructose is a monosaccharide, which is a class of sugar that is the sweetest form of naturally occurring caloric sweetener. Pure fructose is much sweeter than any other types of sugar.
Where Are Sources of Fructose?
The most common sources of fructose include table sugar, honey, tree fruits, melons, berries, agave nectar, and high fructose corn syrup or HFCS. This HFCS is a sweetener that is used extensively for making jams, jellies, canned fruits, dairy products, baked goods, canned sodas, and other processed foods.
Is Fructose Good or Bad?
Many studies show that fructose may have negative and positive benefits. In general, researchers say that processed forms of fructose may have bad effects on health. In particular, there are reports saying that when there is excess fructose in the body, it causes a response which provokes the body to deposit extra fat in the liver. Other research suggests that too much fructose alters the process of how the body breaks down carbohydrates and fats, resulting in an increased fat development.
Will Fruit Fructose Make You Fat?
The answer to this question depends on many factors. Although fruits may have the ability to make people fat due to their sugar molecule called fructose, they also contain fiber, antioxidants, water, vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients that can be beneficial to the body. In fact, the fiber in fruits helps the body slow down the absorption of fructose. Aside from that, fiber makes a person full, so it will help in dieting and decreasing the amount of food intake.
Should Fruits Be Eaten?
Of course! As mentioned, fruits contain many nutrients, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that may reduce the risk of having a stroke, heart diseases, certain types of cancers, and other health conditions.
Fruit Intake Guideline: What You Should Consider When Eating Fruits
Here are some guidelines for eating fruits while taking in less fructose to avoid getting fat:
1. Choose Whole Fruits Rather Than Fruit Juices
Limit fruit juice intake. All fruit juices have three to four times the amount of whole fruit in one glass. Also, commercial fruit juices have added sugars with almost no vitamins left due to the juicing process. Aside from that, some fruit juices have preservatives, which may not be good for the health.
2. Eat Recommended Amount of Fruit Intake
The American Heart Association suggests that a person can eat to as much as four servings of fruit a day. So, what counts as one serving? One serving is equivalent to one medium-sized whole fruit, ½ cup of frozen or canned fruit, ¼ cup of dried fruit, or ¼ cup of fruit juice.
3. Consume High Nutrient, High Fiber Fruits
Eating fruits high in nutrients and dietary fiber can help improve overall health. It also lowers the risk of certain heart conditions as well as diabetes. To know which fruits are high in nutrients or fiber, keep in mind that the more unprocessed or natural a fruit is, the higher it has fiber. High nutrient dense fruits include mostly berries such as blackberries and raspberries.
4. Know Which Fruits Have Low-Sugar Content
Learn about various types of fruits. There are low-sugar fruits, low to medium-sugar, fairly-high sugar, and very high-sugar fruits. Once you know which fruit have a high sugar content, avoid or limit your intake. These fruits include pineapple, grapes, bananas, and dried fruits. On the other hand, fruits that have low-sugar content include blackberries, rhubarb, cranberries, raspberries, and small amounts of lemon or lime.
About the Author:
Mike Zhang is the founder of the MZF Group. He was a 2 time National Muay Thai Champion and a strength and conditioning coach to several professional athletes. He has over 14 years of experience as a Muay Thai Coach. He graduated from the University of Toronto on the deans list with a Masters Degree in science.