Is Too Much Fruit Bad For You?

A lot of people have asked me, why is it still difficult to lose weight despite eating mostly fruits everyday. If fruits are healthy, then should be okay to consume them as much as we want to, after all, it contains natural sugar anyway right?

Fructose is the natural simple sugar that is present in fruits. A serving of fruit contains 10g of fructose which is equivalent to 40 calories. Take note that a piece of fruit is usually more than 1 serving of fruit. For example, a serving of mango is 1 slice only and not 1 piece. For grapes,1 serving of fruit is 10-12 pieces only and not 1/2 a kilo.

For bananas, 1 serving is 1 small piece of banana. So the big bananas that we typically see in grocery stores are almost 2 servings of fruit a piece.

On the other hand, processed or industrial fructose which is known as  high fructose corn syrup (or HFCS) is another kind of fructose. High Fructose Corn Syrup is usually present in fruit drinks (those that are bottled and in tetra packs), in regular sodas, in cereals and commercial baked goods, and in processed foods and sauces like ketchup.

The current threshold for fructose is 50g. At this amount, the liver will have a hard time processing this sugar and can lead to formation of body fat. The current average intake of fructose for adults is 51g per day which means majority of us are already taxing our liver. But what's more alarming is that adolescents have an average intake of 75g fructose per day.

And on the basis of this threshold, is there a difference in effect if the fructose is consumed in its natural form, which is from fruits and vegetables, vs from processed fructose, which is the HFCS? Yes there is.

Detrimental effects of excessive fructose intake have been seen ONLY in processed commercial fructose and not in fructose from whole fruits and vegetables. HFCS is associated with liver disease, hypertension, some cancers and metabolic syndrome.

In fact, a diet that has moderate natural fructose can help in weight loss. This is because of the consumption of fruits which can also increase the intake of fiber, vitamins and minerals, and other phytochemicals. Even those who have diabetes need not to eliminate fruits from their diet because it has been shown that a serving of fruit after a meal may actually help in blood sugar control.

So kung ako ang tatanungin ninyo, pwede bang kumain ng sobrang dami ng prutas, yung tipong kalahating kilo ng grapes o lanzones sa isang upuan? Yes you can but you have to makes sure that it's the ONLY source of fructose in your diet and its calorie contribution is STILL within your daily calorie allowance. Because if you consume this much of fruits on top of other fructose containing foods, then there is a high probability that you are consuming way above your daily calorie allowance. Remember, any calorie intake in excess is converted to body fat, even if it comes from a natural source. THERE IS NO EXCEPTION. And in order to prevent overwhelming your liver and to manage your weight, you need to consult a licensed dietitian so that a personalized meal plan can be designed for you that takes into account the amount of calories you consume from your desired fruit consumption. Even if this is more than 5 servings per day. While at the same time minimizing the consumption of processed industrialized fructose.

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