Many diets, such as the Paleo diet, advise against consuming large amounts of sugar. There’s a good reason for this: too much sugar can cause any number of health problems, from diabetes to heart disease.
However, unlike many other unhealthy foods, sugar is found in natural foods that can be good for you, like fruits and vegetables. This can sometimes cause confusion – is sugar good for you, or bad? If you’re supposed to avoid sugar, why are people always saying to eat lots of fruit?
The problem with sugar comes with the way we consume it in our contemporary diets. Sugar-rich foods like candies, sodas, and sweeteners are relatively new inventions. Our diets did not always include nutrient-depleted sources of sugars.
The Truth About Fructose
What we really need to be cautious about when it comes to sugar is fructose. Glucose, another form of sugar which is often found alongside of fructose in substances like table sugar, is used by our cells for energy, while fructose, when consumed in large enough amounts, can damage your liver(1) and contribute to the development of prediabetes and type 2 diabetes(2).
The exact amount of fructose that is damaging to our bodies varies from person to person depending on a number of factors. In the 1800s and early 1900s, the average American took in about 15 grams of fructose (about half an ounce), mostly from eating fruits and vegetables. In 1977, that number climbed to 81 grams per day!
Because table sugar still contains 50% fructose, even if you did avoid fructose-heavy foods and beverages, but continue to overeat sugar, you are still in danger of high loads of fructose.
The best strategy is to simply eliminate all sources of sugar that isn’t from fruits or vegetables.
How Much Fructose In Fruits?
Many people find that as they eliminate other toxic agents – such as simple carbohydrates and low-quality vegetable oils – from their diets, their bodies become slightly more tolerant of sugar. This isn’t an excuse to indulge in large amounts of sweets, but it does mean that if you eat right, you don’t need to stress as much about the precise amounts of fruits that you’re eating and the fructose that might be contained in them.
Reasons To Cut Down On Fructose
We’ve talked about some of the health impacts that fructose can have on the body, but here are even more reasons to cut down on this sugar:
- Fructose causes kidney stones and gout. In excess amounts, fructose increases uric acid production, which can contribute to the development of these conditions(4).
- Fructose throws off the balance of bacteria in your gut. Too much fructose can create an imbalance in your gut flora, and promote bacterial overgrowth in your gut(5).
- Chronic excess fructose can put you at risk for heart disease by raising your blood lipid markers(6).
- Fructose causes leptin resistance. Leptin is a hormone which regulates and controls appetite, helping people maintain a normal weight. Individuals with leptin resistance have a difficult time maintaining a healthy weight(7).
- Excess fructose can affect the way your brain functions, including impairing your memory(8).
- Eat Ginger Every Day For 1 Month and THIS Will Happen to Your Body!
If you’re familiar with traditional medicine, than you probably know the value of ginger as a medicinal plant. Eating ginger …
- 5 Overripe Banana Recipes That Are So Good You Might Let Them Go Bad On PURPOSE
Did you know that eating just three bananas a day can reduce your risk of stroke by as much as …
- The Best Fish to Eat and the Most Dangerous. Avoid These 5 Types Of Fish!
Fish can be an excellent addition to a healthy diet, since many types are rich in omega-3 fatty acids and …
- Top 10 Sugary Breakfast Cereals to Avoid
If you think a bowl of cereal in the morning is the best way to start off your day, think …
- 10 High-Protein Vegetables You Need to Start Eating Today
Protein is the building blocks of muscles as well as bone, skin, hair, and nearly every other part of your …
- 3 Restaurant Foods That Are Killing You
For many people, the time to start controlling their dietary habits is always tomorrow. Since we all lead busy lives, …
- These Raw Vegan Coconut-Lemon Meltaways Will NOT Disappoint You
Everyone loves the tart citrus flavor of lemons, especially in desert form. These raw vegan lemon balls have a smooth, …
- What These Researchers Found About Soft Drinks Will Blow Your Mind.
Soda is quite possibly the most vilified food/beverage on the market, and for good reason. The beverage offers zero nutritional …
- Peppermint Oil Might Be the Answer to Some of Your Health Concerns
The essential oil of peppermint is used for a variety of things, and the scent is quite popular for everything …
- 5 Healthy Swiss Chard Recipes to Boost Your Intake of Vitamin K
Swiss chard is vastly underrated in the vegetable kingdom. With 16% more iron than kale, it is also an excellent …
- How to Use Agave as a Natural Sweetener
Need a little sweetness in your dish, but don’t want to use white sugar or an artificial sweetener? Agave is …
- Replace Your Morning Coffee With This Healthy Drink!
How do you start your morning? According to Ayurvedic tradition, starting your day with a glass of warm water flavored …
- You’ve Heard of Individual People Suing McDonald’s Before. Now, a Whole Country is Doing It.
McDonald’s has been the defendant in its share of lawsuits, the most infamous of all brought by a woman who …
- Cabbage: Natural Medicine For Cancer, Diabetes And More
When you think of cabbage, you likely think of wonderful summer picnics with grandma’s special coleslaw recipe or a nice …
- Organic Food – Who Can We Trust?
(originally written by Jonathan Landsman) Organic food is big business. According to the Organic Trade Association, U.S. sales of organic food …