Is it okay to eat over one’s daily recommended sugar intake if the calories are coming from fruit?
In one sense, the source of sugar doesn’t matterAll sugar, regardless of the source — whether it’s from a grossly over-sweetened faux food or from a perfectly healthy apple — is composed of the same two parts: fructose and glucose.
In fruit, the ratio of fructose to glucose varies a lot:
- apples have 65% fructose
- cranberries consist of 20% fructose.
- The white granulated stuff you sprinkle in your food is 50%.
In another sense, it matters a lot
While the sugar molecules are the same across the board, the way your body processes them are definitely NOT the same. Glucose stimulates an insulin response (because your body needs it in order to pull it from your blood stream into your muscles and organs for energy). Fructose doesn’t stimulate insulin, but is broken down in your liver.
In terms of sources of sugar, those from fruit are the best for about a million reasons. First, their effect on your body is moderated by the fiber present in the fruit. In other words, the glycemic index of a piece of fruit is lower because of the natural fiber found there. This means that the glucose is less likely to over-produce insulin — which means you’re less likely to get a carb crash 90 minutes later, leading to more hunger and more eating.
Also, fruit is exceptionally healthy for you because it has critical vitamins and minerals you need every day. It should be your multi-vitamin of choice!!
Back To Your Question
All that said, you can overeat anything in the world, including the sugar found in very healthy fruit. So the first answer to your question is to go for fruit and reduce your consumption of other forms of sugar.
This will be better for you from a nutritional standpoint, and a weight standpoint.
The second part of your question comes down to volume. If you have cut out extraneous forms of sugar (from all processed food products and drinks, for example) and you are STILL over-consuming sugars, then yes you should pull back on that as well.
Thanks again Chelsea! Let me know if you have any questions at all.
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