Does FRUIT make you fat?
I've heard conflicting opinions from various experts. Some say to avoid fruit at all costs if you're trying to drop weight.
Others say fruit is fine to eat and you should, instead, avoid processed foods containing the sugar that is also found in fruit, called fructose. This includes the chemically-altered sugars like high fructose corn syrup and crystalline fructose along with table sugar called sucrose, which is half fructose.
Confusing isn't it?
I also think a lot of people are confused about the difference between the sugar fructose (found in fruits) and high fructose corn syrup which is a "man-made" sweetener that has been getting a lot of negative press lately (and for good reason).
Anyway, I think the reason fructose often gets a bad rap when it comes to weightloss is because it's metabolized differently than most sugars. You see, most sugars make a stop at your liver which directs the sugar to be stored, burned for energy, or converted to triglycerides which is a type of fat in the blood.
But fructose bypasses the liver and is quickly converted to triglycerides and then stored as body fat much faster than other sugars.
So because fruit contains the sugar fructose you should avoid it, right?
Not really. You see, the studies I found that show people gained more weight consuming fructose compared to other sugars were drinking beverages with a very high percentage of fructose (around 50% to 75%). But what most people don't understand is that fruit is NOT made up of 100% fructose. In fact, many fruits contain only a small amount of fructose.
In fact, here is a chart that shows the fructose content of many popular fruits listed from least amount of fructose per serving to most.
Notice how some fruits have only a few grams (or less) of fructose sugar per serving.
What's more, fruits contain important, disease-preventing antioxidants and fiber, which slows down the rate at which sugar converts to fat in your body.
So if you're consuming 15 to 25 grams of fructose a day from fruita serving or two of fruitsthat's completely fine. In fact, it's even better if you consume this fruit after working out because your body will be more apt to store the other sugars found in fruit as energy in your muscles rather than fat.
So a few servings of fruit is fine, but processed foods and drinks that contain high fructose corn syrup or crystalline fructose (which is like HFCS on steroids) are NOT good choices. These sugars will quickly convert to body fat and increase your appetite. They can be found in most soft drinks and many processed juices.
But what about natural fruit juice? Even freshly squeezed fruit juices contain as much as 8 teaspoons of fructose per 8 ounce glass (because it's concentrated).
So stick to WHOLE fruit and bypass juices and processed drinks to
get that flat belly (and to avoid heart disease and diabetes).