Does fruit have too much sugar?
When people ask me if they should avoid fruit, I give them a simple, science-based answer: No!
Whole fruit is actually one of the most healthful things you can eat. Fruit does contain fructose, a type of sugar. But when you eat a piece of fruit, the fructose comes packaged with fiber, vitamins, antioxidants, potassium, flavonoids, & other phytonutrients.
These nutrients work together to reduce inflammation, prevent DNA damage, improve vascular & immune function, and optimize gut bacteria–in turn, slashing your risk of disease & premature death. Fructose eaten in the form of whole fruit has very different effects than eating isolated fructose and other sugars.
Let’s look at 3 important studies, all of which controlled for multiple health & lifestyle variables.
In the first, a 2015 systematic review involving 563,277 people, the fruit was linked to weight loss as well as a decrease in waist circumference, an important predictor of cardiovascular risk.
RESEARCH ARTICLE (Schwingshackl et al, Plos One 2015)
The second study followed 482,591 people in China for an avg. 7 yrs and found that the more fruit people ate, the LOWER their risk of getting diabetes. Among those who already had diabetes, higher intake of fruit was associated with a 17% lower risk of premature death from any cause, as well as a decreased risk of vascular complications.
RESEARCH ARTICLE (Du et al, Plos Med 2017)
The third, a meta-analysis of 95 studies involving hundreds of thousands of people worldwide, showed that for every 2.5 servings of fruit/day, there were significant decreases in risk of cardiovascular, disease (-13%), stroke (-18%), cancer (-4%), and premature death (-15%).Apples, pears, citrus, & berries showed particular benefits.
(Aune et al, Int J Epidemiol 2017)
Bottom line: Fruit lowers your risk of diabetes, weight gain, heart disease, stroke, & premature death, so ENJOY YOUR 🍎🍐🍊🍓!