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Fruit Sugar vs Refined Sugar

I get asked this question quite a lot. Is fruit sugar the same as refined sugar? Isn't sugar just sugar?

You can check out my carbs post for more on what a carb is and how we break down complex carbs into single sugar units, but in this post I want to go a little deeper into sugar, and more specifically, does it cause type 2 diabetes and should diabetics avoid fruit?

The sugar contained in fruit is accompanied by soluble fibre, which slows the absorption of sugar, reducing blood sugar spikes. For extra blood sugar stability, include some nut butter or other high-protein snack with your fruit. And go for eating an apple, rather than apple juice, where the sugary nectar is extracted from the fibrous pulp.

The Fibre in fruit will also help to reduce the absorption of cholesterol into the blood, and also acts as the perfect feast for the beneficial bacteria in our large intestines. Promoting these mutualistic little beasts will positively support your health throughout.

Further, the recent 2020 Epic-InterAct study (JS Zheng et al.) examined the effect of plasma biomarkers from fruit and veg on the incidence of type 2 diabetes. It found that higher blood concentrations of vitamin c and carotenoids from the plant foods, was directly associated with a reduced risk of developing type 2 diabetes. It showed this positive effect even with only a moderate increase of fruit & veg intake.

To summarise

So fruit is not just sugar, it is a vessel full of nutrients beneficial to health. You don't have to limit the intake, but you should focus on whole foods rather than processed versions, as nature intended. If you're particularly sensitive to sugar, opt for less ripe fruits such as green bananas rather than very ripe sweet bananas to help further slow the release into the blood stream, and eat your fruit at the same times as your meals to help buffer it even further.

Whats your favourite fruit? And how much do you eat daily? Hit me below 👇 Annie x


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