Gnawing Questions: Is Sugar From Fruit The Same As Sugar From Candy?
If vegetables are the monarchs of nutritious eating, fruits have always been part of the royal court — not quite as important, but still worthy of respect. But now that nutrition guidelines are cracking down on sugar, some people are questioning fruits' estimable role in a healthy diet. One need only go to Twitter to see the confusion. "Pilates instructor started talkin about how fruit has so much sugar and a banana has the same as a Snickers bar," reads one tweet. Other users come to fruit's rescue: "Fruit sugar and sugar in processed foods is not the same thing," one user explains. Sugar in fruit and added sugar are not the same thing, says Lauri Wright, a nutritionist, public health specialist and spokeswoman for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. "There's so much confusion," Wright says. "I think this comes from the idea we've had for some time now that all carbs are bad, and that's not the case. Carbs are required for energy." There are lots of kinds of sugar. Fruits have fructose, glucose and a combination of the two called "sucrose," or "table sugar." But the sugars in fruit are packed less densely than in a candy bar, according to Elvira Isganaitis, a pediatric endocrinologist at Joslin Diabetes Center and a Harvard Medical School instructor. This difference is important for people with diabetes, a disorder which interferes with regulating sugar in the blood. When people eat something sweet, they usually have a spike in blood sugar levels. Then the spike plateaus and the amount of sugar in the blood eventually drops back to normal. Fruits generally cause a lower spike than sweets, Isganaitis says, making it less dangerous for people with diabetes monitoring their sugar levels. But even for people without diabetes, sugar in fruit is a healthier option than Continue reading >>
Are Dried Fruits Higher In Sugar?
Dried fruits, like raisins and prunes , are convenient because they last for a long time and they're good sources of vitamins, minerals, and fiber. But, if you examine the nutritional information for both fresh fruit and their dried versions, you may see a lot more sugar and calories per serving in dried fruits. So what happens? Does the fruit magically make more sugarduring the dehydratingprocess? Nope. The fruit doesn't develop more sugar when it's dehydrated, but it loses volume, so the issue ishow you measure the fruits before you compare them. Fruits are dried in special dehydrators, or they can be left in the sun to dehydrate naturally, and the fruit is ready when almost all of the water has disappeared. The loss of water means loss of physical size, so when a plump, juicy grape becomes a shriveled, leathery raisin, it's a lot smaller. The same thing happens when plums are dried into prunes or when any fruits or berries are dehydrated. When you compare fresh and dried fruit by volume, then you'llalways find more sugar and calories in the dried fruit. But if you analyze them piece by piece, the sugar and calories will be about the same. So, for example, one cup of raisins has over 80 grams of sugar while a cup of grapes has about 15 grams or less. Translate that into calories, and you'll see the cup of grapes has about 100 calories, and the cup of raisins has over 434 calories. So you can see what happens when you compare fresh fruits and dried fruits by the cup because you can only fit about 30 to 40 grapes in a one-cup measuring cup, compared to more than 250 raisins. But what if you compare them by quantity instead? According to theUnited States Department of Agriculture Agricultural Research ServiceNational Nutrient Database for Standard Reference, 30 grapes h Continue reading >>
What Is The Percentage Of Sugar In Dried Fruits?
What Is the Percentage of Sugar in Dried Fruits? A large jar of dried apricots.Photo Credit: Voyagerix/iStock/Getty Images Dried fruits provide essential nutrients including fiber, potassium, folate and vitamins A and C. They are also good sources of a type of antioxidant called polyphenols. Some people may worry about the high sugar content of dried fruit, however, which may keep them from including these nutritious fruits in their diet. Most dried fruits are more than 50 percent sugar. The exceptions are prunes, which are about 38 percent sugar, and dried figs, which are about 48 percent sugar. Among the dried fruits with the highest sugar content are currants and sweetened dried cherries, with 67 percent, and sweetened dried cranberries, with 65 percent. When comparing the sugar content of dried fruits and fresh fruits by weight, dried fruits are much higher in sugar because they have had much of their water content removed. Fresh apricots contain about 9 percent sugar, while fresh plums and apples have about 10 percent sugar, which is much lower than the 53 percent sugar in dried apricots, 38 percent sugar in dried plums, or prunes, and 57 percent sugar in dried apples. The difference between the amount of sugar in fresh and dried fruit isn't as extreme when you consider the amount of sugar in a typical serving. The recommended serving size for chopped fruit is 1/2 cup. Because dried fruit is a more concentrated source of calories and nutrients, the recommended serving size is half that of fresh fruit. For example, a 1/4-cup serving of dried apricots has 17.4 grams of sugar, and a 1/2-cup serving of fresh apricots has 7.2 grams of sugar. A 1/4-cup serving of prunes has 16.6 grams of sugar, compared to 8.2 grams in 1/2 cup of fresh plums. Watch your portion size to Continue reading >>
Why Is There So Much Sugar In Dried Fruit?
If you enjoy eating dried fruit then you might already realise that it has lots of sugar. It seems to have more sugar than regular fruit. This sugar might be added to certain fruits but it might also be naturally occurring. It's important for you to learn about the different types of dried fruits available so that you can make the right decisions. Dried fruit sometimes has added sugar. This is the case with sour or tart fruits including cranberries. This added sugar is not as good for you as naturally occurring sugars because it is highly refined. This means that this sugar will be rapidly absorbed by your body and cause a sugar high. This isn't particularly good because it will release in a sharp increase in energy for a short period of time. You should avoid any dried fruit which has added sugar because this will make it much less healthy to eat. This added sugar makes certain fruits much more palatable. However the added sugar also adds calories which can make them more fattening. All fruits contain natural sugars, these are either fructose or glucose. These naturally occurring sugars are much better for you than highly refined sugar. These sugars can still cause tooth decay but as long as teeth are cleaned properly are otherwise fairly good for you. The natural sugars in the fruits will be concentrated when the fruit is dried. This is because most of the weight and volume in fruit is normally made up of water. Drying out will reduce the water which will increase the amount of sugar per hundred grams. Raisins are a prime example. A cup full of raisins contains much more sugar than a cup full of grapes. However none of this sugar is added. It's simply because more raisins can fit in the cup because they are smaller. Naturally occurring sugars are fine to eat as you w Continue reading >>
Nuts And Dried Fruits: An Update Of Their Beneficial Effects On Type 2 Diabetes
Go to: 1. Introduction Nuts and traditional dried fruit (i.e., with no added sugar) are key food categories in the Mediterranean diet and other regional diets . Several prospective studies, clinical trials and research in animals have reported beneficial effects after nut consumption . However, the benefits of dried fruits (DF), mainly raisins, have been less explored . Over time, food consumption has varied. More than 30 years ago, the consumption of nuts and DF was discouraged because of their high fat and sugar content, respectively. However, at the beginning of the 1990s, several randomized clinical trials (RCT) and animal experiments demonstrated their potential beneficial effect on cardiovascular diseases (CVD). Nuts and DF contain various macro and micronutrients together with other important bioactive compounds that may synergically contribute to modulate specific metabolic diseases such as hypercholesterolemia, hypertension and type 2 diabetes (T2D) (reviewed in [3,4]). Even so, the specific role of nuts and DF in the development and progression of insulin resistance (IR) and T2D are still controversial. In this review, we focus on the role of nuts and DF in the prevention and treatment of T2D. We summarize published in vivo, in vitro, epidemiological and clinical studies, and we review the potential mechanisms that could explain the beneficial role of nut consumption on glucose and insulin metabolism, both of which are altered in T2D and in other glucose-impaired states. Given that the present article is not a systematic review, we may not have identified some studies and publication bias should be acknowledged. However, all authors independently conducted the literature search. 1.1. Nuts and Dried Fruits: The Concept 1.1.1. Nuts Nuts have been part o Continue reading >>
The Best Fruits To Eat If You’re Cutting Back On Sugar
We’ve been told for decades to eat our fruits and vegetables. Government guidelines recommend five to nine servings a day because these foods are full of nutrients, fiber, and phytochemicals critical for optimal health. But lately, some of that advice has been questioned—particularly the advice on fruit. A lot of our favorites, including grapes and bananas, are high in sugar. It’s natural sugar, and it’s combined with fiber and other nutrients, but still, it’s sugar. And we’re eating more sugar today than ever before. While we’re cutting back on sugary treats and snacks, should we be limiting our intake of certain fruits, too? The Rise of Sugar in America According to a report by the USDA, consumption of sweeteners in America—including table sugar, corn sweeteners, honey, maple syrup, and molasses—increased by 39 percent between 1950-59 and 2000. In the year 2000, each American consumed an average of 32 teaspoonfuls of added sugar a day. The USDA recommends only 10 teaspoons a day for the average person on a 2,000-calorie daily diet. In a 2013 study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), researchers reported increased consumption of sugar had been linked to a decrease in intake of essential nutrients, as well as to weight gain. The results of an analysis of sugar intakes between 2005 and 2010 showed that Americans were getting about 13 percent of their total calories from added sugars. The Dietary Guidelines recommended no more than 5–15 percent of calories from both added sugars and solid fats. The American Heart Association recommends even less. Whereas data show Americans getting about 240–335 calories a day from added sugars, the AHA suggests a limit of 150 calories (9 teaspoons) for men, and no more than 100 calories (6 teasp Continue reading >>
Why Dried Fruit Is Not A Healthy Snack
Dried fruit has the water removed, concentrating the sugars. Half a cup of fresh cranberries contains 2g of sugar; 1/2 cup of dried cranberries contains a whopping 37g, or 9 teaspoons, of sugar. No one eats one or two dried apricots; they eat a handful, equating to fiveor sixpieces of fruit! Lets be clear: I Quit Sugar isnt anti-fruit. We advocate eating whole pieces of fresh fruit (about one to twopieces a day), being mindful of our consumption of our high fructose fruits such as bananas. Indeed, first and foremost we preach a whole foods approach to eating we JERF . So why doesnt dried fruit fit the picture? Dried fruit is typically covered in preservatives, including the most troublesome variety sulphites. These can cause horrible digestive and respiratory problems and many kids dont tolerate them well. Polyunsaturated oils such as vegetable and sunflower oil are also added to most dried fruit to stop it sticking together. These bad oils are unstable and can easily turn rancid . Dried fruit has the water removed, concentrating the sugars. Then, of course, there is the sugar issue. Fresh fruit contains lots of fluid, which fills us up. Dried fruit, on the other hand, is stripped of its water content, concentrating the sugar. To put this in perspective: Half a cup of fresh cranberries contains 2g of sugar and one cup of dried cranberries contains a whopping 37g, or 9 teaspoons. One date is over 60 per cent sugar and 30 per cent of this is fructose. 100g of fresh apricot contain less then 1per centof fructose but 100g of dried apricots contain over 12 per cent. 1/2 cup of fresh cranberries contains 2g of sugar; 1/2 cup of dried cranberries contains 37g sugar. Do you dehydrate your own fruit? Although these dont contain added sugar, oil and preservatives, the sugar issu Continue reading >>
Fruits That Raise Blood Sugar
Your body transforms the food you eat into fuel that helps it run smoothly. Its preferred fuel is glucose, a type of sugar that comes primarily from carbohydrates. Over time, too much sugar in the diet can trigger health problems, so it’s best to limit your sugar to natural sources like fruits, which also provide vitamin C and a wealth of other nutrients. Some fruits can raise blood sugar very quickly, however, and others have a more gradual effect. Processed foods with lots of added sugars – sodas, candy, desserts and baked goods – have the most immediate impact on your blood sugar levels. But even on what seems like a healthy diet, some of your food and beverage choices may negatively affect your blood sugar levels, causing them to peak and crash. When this happens, you might feel a brief burst of energy – a sugar rush – followed by a low point where you become tired and need to refuel. Keeping blood sugar levels on an even keel is key to overall good health, even if you aren’t diabetic or prediabetic. A balanced diet of regular meals that include some protein, carbs and fat helps you stay on track and avoid blood sugar levels that swing between being too high and too low. Dried Fruits Packed with minerals like iron and health-promoting phytonutrients, dried fruits are a smart addition to your diet. Because all the water is removed from them though, these fruits are concentrated bites of natural sugar. Pay attention to portion size when choosing dried fruits. A small box of raisins (1 ounce) looks like a modest serving that's super-convenient to bring with you to work, but it contains 20 grams of sugar. Apricots, currants and pineapple are other commonly dried fruits that may elevate your blood sugar. Another issue with dried fruits is that manufacturers m Continue reading >>
Top 10 Worst Foods For Diabetes
These foods can can cause blood sugar spikes or increase your risk of diabetes complications. Raisins Eating raisins or other dried fruits may be a better option than snacking on cookies, but it’ll still spike your blood sugar. Why? During the dehydration process, fruits’ natural sugars become very concentrated, causing an unhealthy elevation in blood sugar when they are rapidly absorbed by the body. Just one more reason to stick with whole, fresh fruit options like grapefruit, cantaloupe, strawberries, and peaches. Previous Next More Photos Pancakes and Syrup Fruit Juice Continue reading >>
Dried Fruit: Good Or Bad?
Information about dried fruit is very conflicting. Some say it is a nutritious, healthy snack, while others claim it is no better than candy. This is a detailed article about dried fruit and how it can affect your health. Dried fruit is fruit that has had almost all of the water content removed through drying methods. The fruit shrinks during this process, leaving a small, energy-dense dried fruit. Raisins are the most common type, followed by dates, prunes, figs and apricots. Other varieties of dried fruit are also available, sometimes in candied form (sugar coated). These include mangoes, pineapples, cranberries, bananas and apples. Dried fruit can be preserved for much longer than fresh fruit and can be a handy snack, particularly on long trips where refrigeration is not available. Bottom line: Dried fruit has had most of the water content removed. The most common varieties are raisins, dates, prunes, figs and apricots. Dried fruit is highly nutritious. One piece of dried fruit contains about the same amount of nutrients as the fresh fruit, but condensed in a much smaller package. By weight, dried fruit contains up to 3.5 times the fiber, vitamins and minerals of fresh fruit. Therefore, one serving can provide a large percentage of the daily recommended intake of many vitamins and minerals, such as folate (1). However, there are some exceptions. For example, the vitamin C content is significantly reduced when the fruit is dried (2). Dried fruit generally contains a lot of fiber and is a great source of antioxidants, especially polyphenols (3). Polyphenol antioxidants are associated with health benefits such as improved blood flow, better digestive health, decreased oxidative damage and reduced risk of many diseases (4). Dried fruit is rich in fiber, vitamins and mine Continue reading >>
Is Dried Fruit Healthy Or Just A Giant Sugar Bomb? | Time
Call your grandma, because prunesand other shriveled dried fruitsreally are awesome, say four out of five of our experts. But theres one very important fact to remember: drying fruit shrinks everything about it, including how much of the food you should reasonably let yourself eat. If you remove the water from fresh fruits, it will reduce the serving size to about 75 percent, says Kristi King, senior clinical dietitian at Texas Childrens Hospital. That smaller serving size can make dried fruits easy to overeat.You get a measly number of raisins (also known as dried grapes) in a serving: those 1.5-ounce boxes at the bottom of your trick-or-treating bag is one serving. But if youre eating fresh grapes, a serving is a whole cup. The spookiest part of overeating dried fruit is all the sugar, says dietitian Kristin Kirkpatrick of Cleveland Clinics Wellness Institute. That Halloween box of raisins has 25 grams of sugar. You just cant justify the added stress on the body to process such large amounts of sugar at one time, or the inflammation roller coaster that occurs on a high-sugar diet, she says. Our experts agree that you shouldnt eat dried fruits that contain added sugar; always check the ingredient list to make sure. When the native sugar of the fruit is combined with extra added sugar, you are now in the realm of candy, says David Katz, MD, director of the Yale University Prevention Research Center. But the small, concentrated portions of dried fruits are part of the reason theyre so beloved. Dried fruit is convenient, portable and durable, so it is a staple in my travel snack pack, says Katz. Theyre a great and high-quality source of fiber; the box of raisins has 1.6 grams of fiber, which can be a lot easier to eat than the whole cup of grapes youd need to get the sam Continue reading >>
Diabetes Diet: Should I Avoid Sweet Fruits?
I've heard that you shouldn't eat sweet fruits such as strawberries or blueberries if you have diabetes. Is this true? Answers from M. Regina Castro, M.D. It's a common myth that if you have diabetes you shouldn't eat certain foods because they're "too sweet." Some fruits do contain more sugar than others, but that doesn't mean you shouldn't eat them if you have diabetes. The total amount of carbohydrates in a food affects blood sugar levels more than does the source of carbohydrates or whether the source is a starch or sugar. One serving of fruit should contain 15 grams of carbohydrates. The size of the serving depends on the carbohydrate content of the fruit. The advantage of eating a low-carbohydrate fruit is that you can consume a larger portion. But whether you eat a low-carb or high-carb fruit, as long as the serving size contains 15 grams of carbohydrates, the effect on your blood sugar is the same. The following fruit servings contain about 15 grams of carbohydrates: 1/2 medium apple or banana 1 cup blackberries 3/4 cup blueberries 1 cup raspberries 1 1/4 cup whole strawberries 1 cup cubed cantaloupe or honeydew melon Continue reading >>
6 Sneaky Foods That Raise Your Blood Sugar Levels The Most
The food you eat can have a direct impact on your blood sugar levels. Whether you have diabetes or just concerned about maintaining steady blood sugar levels, it is important to pay attention to what you eat. Let's quickly understand the science first. Your body creates blood sugar or blood glucose by digesting the carbohydrates from the food you eat and transforming some of it into sugar that travels through your bloodstream. This blood sugar is used by the body to generate energy and the part that remains unused is stored. Too much blood sugar in your body can be harmful and so can frequent spikes in your blood sugar levels and may even lead to diabetes. Here are six sneaky foods that are known to raise your blood sugar levels. It is often suggested to eat a combination of proteins, fats and fiber to slow down the digestion of carbohydrates and reduce the spike in your blood sugar levels after the meals. 1. Coffee: Your blood sugar may rise after a cup of coffee due to the presence of caffeine. The same goes for black tea or green tea. Although, caffeine affects different people differently, if you are diabetic you must limit your caffeine intake. (Also read: 7 Foods That Can Help Control Your Blood Sugar) Your blood sugar may rise after a cup of coffee due to the presence of caffeine 2. Dry Fruits: Dry fruits like raisins and cranberries contain sugar in more concentrated forms and therefore, are high in carbohydrates. A fruit in any other form than its natural form like juice or dried is known to have twice the amount of sugar. While they're known to be good for you, it is best to limit your daily intake of nuts and dry fruits to a handful or roughly 30 grams. Dry fruits like raisins and cranberries contain sugar in more concentrated forms. Photo Credit: Istock 3 Continue reading >>
Dried Fruit And Sugar: Would You Eat 180 Grapes?
Dried Fruit and Sugar: Would You Eat 180 Grapes? Dried fruit is a healthy-snack staple, especially for kids. Mini-boxes of raisins are easy to throw into a lunchbox, fruit leather is easy and fun, and its easy to feel good about: youre feeding your kid fruit, right? What could possibly be wrong with that? For the grown-up crowd, dried fruit also makes an appearance on top of salads, in bowls of breakfast cereal, in trail mix with nuts and other goodies, and as plain as a snack for some quick energy. Everyone is very happy to buy into the image of raisins and banana chips as health food, mostly because they taste good and theyre convenient. If theyre given a sweet-tasting, finger-friendly snack that they can also feel virtuous about eating, most people arent very inclined to go looking for problems. But before you dig too deep into the bulk bins, theres one potential problem to be aware of. It starts with s and ends with ugar. Fruit naturally contains a relatively small amount of sugar. When you dry it, you take out all the water, which concentrates the sugar in a much smaller package it instantly becomes much, much easier to get a huge amount of sugar without even noticing it, while youre supposedly eating something healthy. Try to imagine eating 180 grapes as a snack. Youd get sick to your stomach and stop before you got halfway through. But you could very easily eat those 180 grapes as raisins. A regular box of raisins is 1.5 ounces, which is approximately 90 raisins . A grown-up could easily eat two boxes (or more) of raisins at a sitting. Thats 180 raisins all the sugar from the 180 grapes they came from as a fairly small snack that probably wont even keep you full for long. Heres the equivalent in raw fruit for a snack of some different dried fruits: 1 cup is not Continue reading >>
Is Dried Fruit Good Or Bad For Me?
The subject who is truly loyal to the Chief Magistrate will neither advise nor submit to arbitrary measures. The question: Is dried fruit healthy or fattening? The answer: Many people think that dried fruit is loaded with calories because it's high in sugar. Neither is true. Per serving, most types of dried fruit have no more sugar or calories than the fresh version. And dried fruit is a good source of fibre, iron, potassium and antioxidants. Because drying fruit removes its water content, the portion size shrinks by about three-quarters. If you dehydrate one cup of fresh apricots, you'll get 1/4 cup of dried apricots. (1/4 cup of dried fruit is considered one food-guide serving of fruit.) As for calories and sugar, they're pretty much equivalent. One cup of fresh apricot halves has 74 calories and 14.5 grams of naturally occurring sugar; 1/4 cup of dried apricots halves has 78 calories and 17 g of sugar. Of course, if you eat more than one serving (1/4 cup) of dried fruit, the calories will add up. And overeating died fruit is easy to do. It tastes great and it's less filling than fresh fruit due to the lack of water content. If you're watching your calorie intake, measure out 1/4 cup of dried fruit before eating. (Don't eat right out of the package!) Some types of dried fruit, like cranberries, are sprayed with sugar before drying, which bumps up the calories. (One cup of fresh cranberries has 4 g of sugar and 46 calories; 1/4 cup of dried sweetened cranberries has 93 calories and 20 g of sugar.) Without added sugar, dried cranberries would taste as tart as fresh cranberries. The nutrient content is similar between fresh and dried fruit. The main difference is that the dried version is often lower in vitamin C. That's because the vitamin deteriorates when exposed to Continue reading >>