Fruits and Sugar

So I stumbled upon the nutrition facts for an average granny smith apple… 25 grams of sugar! Thats like a package of sweet tarts! I always hear diet advice about avoiding sugars, but c’mon, it’s a piece of fruit. Are natural sugars somehow different/not as bad as , say, added sugars? I mean, sugar is sugar, right? 4 calories a gram. Does your body process it differently?

Nope, your body treats it like sugar. That’s why fruit juice is really not significantly better than soda with sugar, as a beverage.

Some advantages accrue from eating the whole fruit, which provides fiber and fills one up and is hence a better alternative than drinking an equal amount of fruit juice.

[Honest Question] Isn’t there some difference between the way sucrose and fructose affect the metabolism? In particular I remember reading that sucrose in particular caused more glycogen to be released by the pancreas (?) than it would for an equal amount of fructose or other non-refined sugar. If this is not the case, please, please correct me. [/HQ]

The fructose in fruit is no different than the fructose cleaved from sucrose—it’s the same molecule, and gram for gram it forms ten times the amount of glycated end-products as does glucose. I limit my consumption of fructose to no more than eight grams/day, and for this reason rarely eat fruit.

There is nothing inherently wrong with sugar that warrants this comment:

“…25 grams of sugar!”

We need to clear that hurdle first. The problem with sugar is not that it’s sugar, it’s that it is everywhere is large doses accompanied by no nutritional value and in low density (non-filling foods).

So, an apple is still your friend.