Food Health

Carbs and Fruit Sugar Myths

I often hear people expressing their concerns regarding the amounts of sugar found in fruit, as well as being afraid to eat too many carbs. People consider fruit ‘bad’ if you eat too much because of the high amounts of sugar, and people have this negative connotation with eating carbs for some reason because those are the thoughts that society has instilled into us for a long time. So I’m going to break things down for you and explain things, scientifically, so you stop fearing fruit-sugar and carbohydrates.

#1. CARBS

CARBS ARE GOOD FOR THE BODY!!

Firstly, there is a difference between good carbs and bad carbs.

Simple Carbohydrates/BAD CARBS are things like refined fructose and glucose which are found in white flour/starch (white bread, white refined sugar) and are “empty calories”. One thing to stay away from is high fructose corn syrup found in sodas and processed foods.

Complex Carbohydrate/GOOD CARBS are fruits, vegetables, whole grains (oats, rye, quinoa, rice, etc), beans, legumes, pasta, potatoes, certain bread, etc.

“In general, the more refined, or “whiter,” the grain-based food, the lower the fiber.

“Added sugars, also known as caloric sweeteners, are sugars and syrups that are added to foods at the table or during processing or preparation (such as high fructose corn syrup in sweetened beverages and baked products)” – http://www.webmd.com/food-recipes/carbohydrates?page=2

good-carbs-vs-bad-carbs

SECONDLY, we are brainwashed into believing that carbs are bad for us.

Carbs are not bad for you. I’m not sure why we have grown up in a society that frowns on carbs? When did it become such a hip/trendy thing for carbs to be bad. If you recall the Mean Girls quote by Regina George: “Is butter a carb?” you can understand why girls have this fear of consuming carbs.

Michael Pollan discusses the carb phenomena in his book The Omnivores Dilemma. He states how in 2002, a New York Times magazine claimed that “fat doesn’t make you fat – carbs do”. This caused a downwards spiral effect of all carb products such as bread and pasta. All of the grocery stores and supermarkets restocked their shelves and changed product placement in fear of the carbs. Atkins and other fad diets let people believe that they could still eat meat and lose weight, as long as they laid off the bread and pasta.

NONE OF THIS IS TRUE.

“In September 2002, the National Academies Institute of Medicine recommended that people focus on getting more good carbs with fiber into their diet.”

  • To meet the body’s daily nutritional needs while minimizing risk for chronic disease, adults should get 45% to 65% of their calories from carbohydrates, 20% to 35% from fat, and 10% to 35% from protein.
  • There is only one way to get fiber — eat plant foods. Plants such as fruits and vegetables are quality carbohydrates that are loaded with fiber. Studies show an increased risk for heart disease with low-fiber diets. There is also some evidence to suggest that fiber in the diet may also help to prevent colon cancer and promote weight control.

#2. SUGAR IN FRUIT

Sugar from fruit is not equivalent to processed, white refined table sugar. It is not stripped from its whole form and won’t cause your blood pressure to sky rocket and crash later.

It’s release is regulated by the water and fibre, and because of that, it does not have the same effects as white sugar.

FRUIT PLATTER

“The soluble fiber in the berries has a gelling effect in our intestines that slows the release of sugars.” http://www.care2.com/greenliving/if-fructose-is-bad-what-about-fruit.html#ixzz3rNdi38Q1

“Sugar as it occurs in whole foods is not an issue; in fact, it is necessary and should be embraced. It’s a problem only when it is extracted from its natural package and used to excess. Also, the foods highest in added sugars frequently are higher in added fats, sodium, refined flours, and animal products, making them unhealthy for a variety of reasons and not just because of the added sugars.” – Forks over Knives

“Fresh fruit offers so much more than the natural sugar it contains – including water, vitamins, minerals, fiber and phytonutrients (those naturally-occurring plant compounds that have wide ranging beneficial effects on the body).

“Faced with a serving of fruit, how much sugar are we talking about, anyway? An average orange has only about 12 grams of natural sugar (about 3 teaspoons) and a cup of strawberries has only about 7 grams – that’s less than two teaspoons. And either way, you’re also getting 3 grams of fiber, about a full day’s worth of vitamin C, healthy antioxidants and some folic acid and potassium to boot – and it’ll only cost you about 50 or 60 calories. “All sugar”? I think not.

By contrast, a 20-ounce cola will set you back about 225 calories and, needless to say, won’t be supplying any antioxidants, vitamins, minerals or fiber. You’ll just be chugging down some carbonated water, maybe some artificial color and flavor, and somewhere in the neighborhood of 60 grams of added sugar – about 1/3 of a cup.” – http://www.discovergoodnutrition.com/2011/02/the-truth-about-sugars-in-fruit/

 

So in conclusion, carbs are not the enemy, and you will not get fat from the sugar in fruit. Enjoy these foods in abundance.

For more information, check out these books:

The Starch Solution – Dr. John McDougall  (STARCHES+COOKED FOODS = GOOD FOR YOU)

80/10/10 by Dr. Douglas Graham (RAW FRUITS + VEGGIES = GOOD FOR YOU)

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3 Comments

  • Reply
    Cassie
    January 6, 2016 at 12:52 pm

    Yes–yes, absolutely! Carbs and natural sugars are so good for you! I don’t generally use any other sweeteners such as coconut sugar or maple syrup very much because I find that fruits, whole grains and legumes offer the same amount of carbs, but with more nutrients and the necessary fibers/enzymes to properly digest those carbs. However, they are much better than refined sugars and sugar-free sweeteners such as aspartame and sucralose 🙂 I do agree that it’s important to use carbs properly and combine them properly. Too much fruit all at once hurts my stomach so I like to combine them with a little bit of protein or fat–almond/peanut butter is the best–or to move around a bit after eating a fruit or carb-heavy meal.

  • Reply
    lou
    January 20, 2016 at 3:17 am

    Great post! Loving everything you produce here, Katrina- keep up the good work!

    If you have a moment please check out my newly launched site –> http://www.poweredbyplants.ch and be sure to join our Facebook group page for plant-powered updates.

    Knowledge is power, so power up!

    ‪#‎CompassionChangesEverything‬

  • Reply
    Holly
    August 6, 2016 at 7:07 pm

    Fructose and glucose are found in fruit and I understand that it doesn’t spike your blood sugar because the fiber helps slow down digestion, but why is it not bad if you eat lots and lots of fruit in a day? Is there ever a point when eating too much fruit is bad because of the sugar content? Also, fructose and glucose are simple sugars because they are both monomers (or more specifically monosaccharides), and I think it is sucrose that is a refined sugar that is added to breads, cakes, etc.

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