FRUCTOSE IN FOOD
What are the high fructose foods you ask? Well for your convenience, I have compiled a list of the total fructose in fruit and sweeteners in foods from an Australian database.
To make this clear, I am NOT advising anyone to avoid fruit. I am simply providing you with the information to make educated decisions on your food choices. Should you have insulin or blood sugar problems, fructose reactions, then by all means limit your fructose consumption (and remember, fructose also comes from sucrose…table sugar and processed food!).
FRUITS LOW IN FRUCTOSE:
If you are numbers challenged (like I am), the table above means the fruits that are lowest in fructose are:
FRUITS HIGH IN FRUCTOSE:
On the other hand, the high fructose fruits:
- And…dried fruits (apricots, dates)
WHAT SWEETENER SHOULD I USE?
- Agave Syrup – I have heard agave syrup described “like HFCS on steroids”. It is 90% fructose
- Sucrose (Table Sugar) – 50% fructose (but partnered with glucose)
- HFCS – Artificial-Fructose-City…avoid at all costs
- Artificial Sweeteners – sucralose, aspartame, saccharin. The jury is out on these guys but they apparently can increase insulin production and contribute to hunger. So until I have long term, irrefutable evidence saying they are a-ok without any negative impact, I will pass thanks
- Coconut Sugar – from a coconut palm tree (not to be mistaken with a palm tree that palm oil comes from), has high nutritional benefit BUT still contains high sucrose and therefore fructose so should be used sparingly
THESE ARE OK:
Remember, context and dosage needs to be considered for all sweeteners as they can still raise your insulin levels.
- Rice Malt Syrup – no fructose and no AGE reaction, but still contains glucose (although this is a processed product that is not considered paleo – if you care!)
- Stevia – if you can fathom the taste, is a natural sweetener with no fructose
- Dextrose Powder – glucose powder. Whilst free from fructose, insulin still spikes resulting in cravings and hunger
- Liquid Glucose – better than other sweeteners laden with fructose, but still elevates blood sugar and has potential AGE reactions
- Pure Maple Syrup – refined sap from maple trees, is low in free fructose but high in sucrose. However, it does offer iron, calcium and manganese
- Raw Honey – still contains fructose, but I think small amounts of raw honey are acceptable for its antioxidant and antibacterial properties and due to studies showing that honey when compared to fructose, increases vitamin E and DOES NOT raise triglycerides. But only consume RAW, not the processed crap
Interestingly, there are theories that a tablespoon of raw honey can aid in better sleep.This is thought due to honey being half glucose and half fructose; glucose enters the blood quickly, supplying the brain in the first half of the night, with fructose turning into glucose (provided you haven’t gorged on sugar throughout your day) slowly, meaning your body has a steady supply of energy the entire night. Read more here.
Want more information on the fructose debate?
THE FINAL WORD…
Dose and context are important in the fructose and sugar debate. Excess fructose, just like excess sugar, just like excess carbs, are bad for you. Point blank.
Do I eat fruit? Yes I do. I LOVE fruit, especially peaches and berries. But again, I don’t overindulge.
Should you avoid fruit? That is entirely up to you and your state of health. If you feel you eat too much fruit, then moderate it. If you feel you can’t eat fruit due to FODMAPS or you have a sugar addiction, then cut it out for a month and see how you feel.
What it really comes down to is controlling your insulin. Moderate foods that make your insulin spike and avoid PUFAs, such as vegetable and seed oils (sunflower, safflower, soybean and canola) that interfere with glucose uptake in cells (more on that soon!)
Whether you want to buy in to the fructose debate and get hit like a piñata by the science or not, it really is quite simple…
Only eat Real Food
Keep all forms of sugar to a minimum
Don’t over indulge