Flashback Friday: If Fructose Is Bad, What About Fruit?

Flashback Friday: If Fructose Is Bad, What About Fruit?
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Does the fructose naturally found in fruit and fruit juice have the same adverse effects as excess “industrial fructose” (table sugar and high fructose corn syrup) and if not, why not?

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If the fructose in sugar and high fructose corn syrup has been considered alcohol without the buzz in terms of the potential to inflict liver damage, what about the source of natural fructose, fruit?

Only industrial, not fruit fructose intake was associated with declining liver function. Same thing with high blood pressure. Fructose from added sugars was associated with hypertension; fructose from natural fruits is not. If you compare the effects of a diet restricting fructose from both added sugars and fruit to one just restricting fructose from added sugars, the diet that kept the fruit did better. People lost more weight with the extra fruit present than if all fructose was restricted.

These deleterious effects of fructose were limited to industrial fructose, meaning table sugar and high fructose corn syrup, with no evidence for a negative effect of the fructose in whole fruit. This apparent inconsistency might be explained by the positive effects of other nutrients (e.g., fiber) and antioxidants in fresh fruit.

If you have people drink a glass of water with three tablespoons of table sugar in it, which is like a can of soda, this is the big spike in blood sugar you get within the first hour. Our body freaks out and releases so much insulin we actually overshoot, and by the second hour we’re relatively hypoglycemic, dropping our blood sugar below where they were when we started out fasting. In response, our body dumps fat into our blood stream as if we’re starving, because our blood sugars just dropped so suddenly.

What if you eat blended berries in addition to the sugar? They have sugars of their own in them, in fact an additional tablespoon of sugar worth, so the blood sugar spike should be worse, right? No, not only no additional blood sugar spike, here’s the critical part, no hypoglycemic dip afterwards. Blood sugar just went up and down without that overshoot, and without the surge of fat into the blood.

This difference may be attributed to the semisolid consistency of the berry meals, which may have decreased the rate of stomach emptying compared with just guzzling sugar water. In addition, the soluble fiber in the berries has a gelling effect in our intestines that slows the release of sugars. To test to see if it was the fiber, they repeated the experiment with berry juice that had all the sugar but none of the fiber. As you can see, a clear difference was observed early on in the blood sugar insulin responses. At the 15 minute mark, the blood sugar spike was significantly reduced by the berry meals but not by the juices, but the rest of the beneficial responses were almost the same between the juice and the whole fruit, suggesting that fiber may just be part of it. It turns out there are fruit phytonutrients that inhibit the transportation of sugars through the intestinal wall into our blood stream. Phytonutrients in foods like apples and strawberries can block some of the uptake of sugars by the cells lining our intestines.

Adding berries can actually blunt the insulin spike from high glycemic foods. Here’s what white bread does to our insulin levels within 2 hours after eating it. Eat that same white bread with some berries, though and you’re able to blunt the spike. So even though you’ve effectively added more sugars, in the form of berries, there’s less of an insulin spike, which has a variety of potential short and long-term benefits. So if you’re going to make pancakes, make sure they’re blueberry pancakes.

To see any graphs, charts, graphics, images, and quotes to which Dr. Greger may be referring, watch the above video. This is just an approximation of the audio contributed by Katie Schloer.

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

Images thanks to Nukamari and Jaclyn Auletta via Flickr.

If the fructose in sugar and high fructose corn syrup has been considered alcohol without the buzz in terms of the potential to inflict liver damage, what about the source of natural fructose, fruit?

Only industrial, not fruit fructose intake was associated with declining liver function. Same thing with high blood pressure. Fructose from added sugars was associated with hypertension; fructose from natural fruits is not. If you compare the effects of a diet restricting fructose from both added sugars and fruit to one just restricting fructose from added sugars, the diet that kept the fruit did better. People lost more weight with the extra fruit present than if all fructose was restricted.

These deleterious effects of fructose were limited to industrial fructose, meaning table sugar and high fructose corn syrup, with no evidence for a negative effect of the fructose in whole fruit. This apparent inconsistency might be explained by the positive effects of other nutrients (e.g., fiber) and antioxidants in fresh fruit.

If you have people drink a glass of water with three tablespoons of table sugar in it, which is like a can of soda, this is the big spike in blood sugar you get within the first hour. Our body freaks out and releases so much insulin we actually overshoot, and by the second hour we’re relatively hypoglycemic, dropping our blood sugar below where they were when we started out fasting. In response, our body dumps fat into our blood stream as if we’re starving, because our blood sugars just dropped so suddenly.

What if you eat blended berries in addition to the sugar? They have sugars of their own in them, in fact an additional tablespoon of sugar worth, so the blood sugar spike should be worse, right? No, not only no additional blood sugar spike, here’s the critical part, no hypoglycemic dip afterwards. Blood sugar just went up and down without that overshoot, and without the surge of fat into the blood.

This difference may be attributed to the semisolid consistency of the berry meals, which may have decreased the rate of stomach emptying compared with just guzzling sugar water. In addition, the soluble fiber in the berries has a gelling effect in our intestines that slows the release of sugars. To test to see if it was the fiber, they repeated the experiment with berry juice that had all the sugar but none of the fiber. As you can see, a clear difference was observed early on in the blood sugar insulin responses. At the 15 minute mark, the blood sugar spike was significantly reduced by the berry meals but not by the juices, but the rest of the beneficial responses were almost the same between the juice and the whole fruit, suggesting that fiber may just be part of it. It turns out there are fruit phytonutrients that inhibit the transportation of sugars through the intestinal wall into our blood stream. Phytonutrients in foods like apples and strawberries can block some of the uptake of sugars by the cells lining our intestines.

Adding berries can actually blunt the insulin spike from high glycemic foods. Here’s what white bread does to our insulin levels within 2 hours after eating it. Eat that same white bread with some berries, though and you’re able to blunt the spike. So even though you’ve effectively added more sugars, in the form of berries, there’s less of an insulin spike, which has a variety of potential short and long-term benefits. So if you’re going to make pancakes, make sure they’re blueberry pancakes.

To see any graphs, charts, graphics, images, and quotes to which Dr. Greger may be referring, watch the above video. This is just an approximation of the audio contributed by Katie Schloer.

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

Images thanks to Nukamari and Jaclyn Auletta via Flickr.

Doctor's Note

Alcohol without the buzz? That was in reference to my video How Much Added Sugar Is Too Much?—make sure to check it out for background.

Surprised about the juice results? Me too! More on juice:

A few videos I have on industrial sugars:

How else can we blunt the glycemic spike?

If you haven’t yet, you can subscribe to my videos for free by clicking here.

74 responses to “Flashback Friday: If Fructose Is Bad, What About Fruit?

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  1. I appreciate the reminder to eat fruit.

    It is something I would stop eating altogether this time of year.

    I honestly walk in the store and look at the fruit and think, “Nope, I don’t want any of it and not buying it is saving me about $75 per week.” Then, I look at the apples and think about the apple video and look at the blueberries and think about the blueberry videos and the internal battle begins and by the time I walk out of the store, sometimes your video wins and sometimes my pocketbook wins.

    1. I eat fruit every day and especially in the mornings and also especially for late snacks –when low caloric density is most important. Fruit gives me all that sweetness I used to get from sugar and a WHOLE LOT more in phytonutrients and in dynamic combinations that we don’t even understand yet. Starches and legumes and grains give me the nutritional satiety to not desire snacks between meals or be hungry. Also use fruits to make desserts. Year around. I’ve learned so very much more about apples and dates and mangos and grapes and veggies because they are what I eat these days and their subtleties and nuances and differences can be great. Additional fruit content is how I reduce/avoid adding honey or maple syrup (both being free sugars) to all these recipes where such is called for. Also, berries are berry important! But we’re all different and tastes change at different rates.

      1. I agree Wade. I eat 5 pieces of fruit including berries, per day, average, as dessert or along with a meal. I spend approximately $70 or less per MONTH on fruit so for me it’s a nutritional bargain!

    2. Not buying fruit saves you $75 per week? Kroger has apples Two For a Buck. Bananas are currently 45 cents per pound. Three pounds of mandarin oranges are four dollars fifty cents.

  2. Sounds good except that the fruits he mentioned were all “berries”, which are considered either Low to Moderate on the fructose scale. High fructose fruits include apples, pears, raisins, grapes, and mango. When I make a smoothie I usually look to include fruit that ends in “berry”.

    1. Chuck,

      Yes.

      Those of us who don’t really like berries all that much and who would not eat the pancakes or oatmeal if berries were in them would like to hear what happens with something like banana maybe. Banana bread maybe.

    2. One of the studies he cites showed that apples had a similar benefit. Although to be fair that study only looked at berry and apple ‘extracts’.rather than whole foods.

    3. Apples, pears, raisins, grapes, and mangos each have various fibers that berries do not. And fiber is what our gut bacteria need to keep our intestines in good working order.

      The issue therefore goes deeper than simply fructose.

  3. Methinks Dr Greger was just looking for an excuse to plug blueberry pancakes. Never has been a bad idea as far as I’m concerned. In fact, I can make pretty healthy blueberry pancakes. Just haven’t figured out how to do a healthy syrup.

    1. Are pancakes really a good idea in the first place?

      Many WFPB advocates point out that they aren’t whole foods and that flours are unhealthy.compared to intact whole grains eg
      ‘The intact cell wall of the kernel has been destroyed and now the digestive enzymes (amylase) easily digest the inner nutrients. In addition, the flour has a much larger surface area to volume ratio than did the whole grain, making digestion and absorption much more rapid. For you this physical change may translate into easier weight gain, and higher blood levels of glucose, triglycerides, and cholesterol. The amount of insulin released by the pancreas into the blood is also increased as grains are processed from whole grains to cracked grains to coarse flour to fine flour.23 More insulin can mean more weight gain, and maybe, more risk of diabetes and heart disease. However, compared to animal-foods, free-oils, and plant-parts processed beyond recognition, whole wheat bread is definitely health food.’
      https://www.drmcdougall.com/misc/2008nl/jan/grains.htm

      I’m being hypocritical here because I personally eat wholemeal bread but I would be interested in people’s views on this issue.

      1. Fumbles, I agree with your viewpoint on the pancakes. I would include pasta, flatbreads, crackers, muffins or other bread products…they are not whole foods. I eat bread most days with my soup, but it’s the first thing to go if I start packing on weight and I don’t consider it as part of the Daily Dozen. I need to get organized like Ruth and Dr J have done in cooking whole grains to use in recipes instead of eating bread so often.

        1. Barb – Famous WFPB Registered Dietician Jeff Novick (McDougall, et al) says that whole wheat (or whole grain) pasta IS a whole food and is not considered processed. He states this because the entire grain is included along with water after it is cooked.

      2. Glad you posted that Thom. The pancakes I grew up with were indeed very tasty junk. But you pointed to exactly the way to ameliorate that. First I would use yeast rather than bp or soda. This will consume a potentially significant portion of the immediately digestible carbohydrates. I would also use some whole grains and some ground flax which would, potentially at least provide some added nuttiness as well as increasing the resistance to digestion. And of course whole grain flour does help. Your point is still well taken because most of the endosperm of any ground grain will be immediately digestible assuming adequate amylase..

        On the other hand, I also like my fluffy whole grain bread. So, keeping in mind the point that white flour wheat pasta has a lower glycemic index than 100% whole wheat bread, I’m looking to make a tasty heavy bread. Neal Bernhard says that rye bread has a lower glycemic index than whole wheat. However, he did not explain this well. Most commercial rye bread has no more than 10-30% rye flour and then they will ad caraway seed and some sort of rye flavor along with a bit of caramel coloring so that it looks more rye.

        When I owned a bakery, I made a very heavy sour rye bread that Americans thought it was a baking mistake. Eastern Europeans would come in and swear it was the only decent bread they had had in this country. So it is a matter of culturally determined taste in that regard. It was never tested for glycemic index but I’m betting it is that heavy rye to which Bernhard refers. So you may have moved that project up on my schedule for home baking. I think I can use a great deal more than rye in such a bread. Not doing this until next summer though.

        1. Did you make that German type flat bread like Mestemacher fitness bread? That is good bread.

          I had a friend who wanted to start a bakery a long time ago but at that time he couldn’t raise the dough.

          1. I had a friend who wanted to start a bakery a long time ago but at that time he couldn’t raise the dough.
            —————————————————————————————————————————————-
            Personally, I like yeast free bread (WASA rye crispbreads) and people like me would have been a customer so he should have gone ahead and started his yeast free bakery, IMO. ‘-)

                1. Lonie:

                  JerkyYerky is good, he’s really good! :-)

                  If he ever published a book, I’ll bet it would outsell John’s SHIT book.

                  Yup..I’ll even bet a dime.

                  1. JerkyYerky is good, he’s really good! :-)
                    ————————————————————–
                    And very dry… if he (it?) were a martini, you’d be afraid to shake it OR stir it… ’cause it would be nitroglycerin. ‘-)

                    1. The topic is about fruity.
                      Now in all honesty, I want you to go to the store and get a pomegranate which is now is season.
                      Take a knife and cut it very carefully in sections so it will not splatter, and write yourself a ticket to Hollywood.
                      This is an incredible fruit for you to eat. There is nothing like it.

          2. Actually it did have some similarity. I did use a bacteria culture for levining which added a really nice sour twang that would really bring out the rye taste. I think the Mestemacher bread was much more what Dr Bernhard had in mind.

      3. Mr Fumblefingers,

        My personal experience agrees with your quotation above. I have finally perfected a sourdough whole einkorn (I grind the grains just before starting the batter) waffle recipe, no oil or sugar, with flaxseed and soy milk (unfiltered), and eat them with berries and some maple syrup. I even eat some of my waffles with almond butter and fruit — really tasty. And yet, 2-3 hours later, I feel very hungry. As if I’ve become hypoglycemic. So I eat an apple and some nuts.

        I do eat more of these waffles at one sitting than I do of my sourdough whole grain bread (I eat 1-2 slices a day, at 1 or 2 meals). And my husband doesn’t have this experience. But I am now investigating savory whole grain alternatives to Sunday brunch…boo hoo hoo. Maybe I should eat the waffles the way I do the bread, in small servings, as a side dish. They freeze well.

    2. For a healthier syrup/jam just blend or chop some berries . You can add a squirt of coconut milk or fresh cream depending on your type of diet and taste.
      For the pancake itself try using at lest 50% almond flour for a healthier and tastier pancake. Enjoy.

  4. Very interesting video. I would like to know about the other fruits as well. I eat all fruits. An I just had pancakes but with strawberries .

  5. I would like to know about the other fruits as well.
    —————————————————————–
    I would like to see more streaming time devoted to dried plums (prunes.)

    I eat about 3 of them with a heaping teaspoon of almond butter or peanut butter… would very much like to know the consequence of that combo.

    1. Lonie, if it hasn’t killed you, keep it up, says moi. :-) Personally, I’d stick to only one prune only because all dried fruit, except for a few snippets, are too sweet for me. But the combo does sound like a yummy one.

      As I posted earlier, a hefty spoonful of nothing-added peanut butter (Teddie?) slapped* on a slice of toasted Ezekiel or sourdough bread ….with a bit of Polaner All Fruit on top makes a great after-dinner dessert.

      *But be sure you SLAP it on. :-D

      1. Lonie, if it hasn’t killed you, keep it up, says moi. :-) Personally, I’d stick to only one prune only because all dried fruit, except for a few snippets, are too sweet for me. But the combo does sound like a yummy one.
        —————————————————————————————————————-
        Heh, yeah I’ve been eating this for a few years now and am still kickin’… it is actually my candy substitute.

        But the reason I eat three prunes is because I read once that eating three prunes per day would protect my bones. Probably something put out by the Prune Association but that doesn’t necessarily make it untrue.

        And you are right… it does taste good. ‘-)

          1. ‘So, the dried plum marketing board wants everyone to know that dried plums are “the most effective fruit in both preventing and reversing bone loss.” But only two fruits have ever been tested—plums and apples.’
            —————————————————————————————————-
            Thanks for the confirmation Tom.

            So until they are dethroned as co-champions with apples, I’ll just keep on rollin’ with the dried plum marketing board’s recommendation. ‘-)

              1. No plums or prunes where I live though
                ——————————————————–
                I had no idea. Just assumed that fruit was available everywhere.

                Oh well, I’m sure there is something available in the region (still in the Philippines?) that offers similar protection. I just find the prunes are an easy and inexpensive way to address bone health, if accurate.

                In re: the Philippines, I seem to remember a cyclone hitting there not too long ago and was wondering how you fared?

                1. Thanks Lonie

                  I am in Cebu and most of the cyclones land in the Northern Philippines (Luzon) while the earthquakes seem to happen to the South (Mindanao).

                  Yes, there are lots of fruits grown here, even grapes, but some like apples and most oranges have to be imported while others like plums and berries are difficult to impossible to find. Same with tree nuts although peanuts are plentiful. In the wealthier parts of the first world, a wide variety of fruits and vegetables is always available but that’s not true everywhere.

  6. Whether or not fructose from fruit is bad may depend if you have pre diabetes or diabetes. I was diagnosed as pre diabetic in`1998 and diabetic in 2016 at age 73,. A doctor I had a conversation with at an airport USO Lounge wrote down this site and the book, How Not To Die. In 90 days my A1C went from 7,2 to 6,0. Stayed in that range until last summer when I got busted up in an accident and spent 7 months laying around and physical therapy. This year (2019) after a lot of inactivity and gong off the rails diet wise I was back up to an A1c of 7.0. Nothing seemed to get the A1c down. On April 12, I swore off all added or refined sugar and most fruits, but not berries. On July 26 my A1c was 5.4 and in Nov was 5.3.

    I use a glucose meter and some fruits send my blood sugar extremely high but berries don’t. The only downside to getting off sugar was that I quit being hungry and dropped 15 pounds of weight. Had to buy suspenders to hold my pants up. I consume about two pounds of blueberries and one pound of blackberries a week. Grapes raise my blood sugar 60+, points.

  7. I think it is time for Dr Greger to re-examine the research on fruits and fructose and update his advice.2012 is a long time ago. I am not a scientist but I have read material from several experts and personal stories about the dangers of fructose even if consumed with the whole fruit! Berries are fine because they have a low glycemic load . But long term consumption of other high glycemic loaded fruits like bananas, grapes, water melon, mangoes, while not triggering the same immediate release of insulin as table sugar, it has been shown to interfere with insulin function and significantly raising fasting insulin levels and eventually contribute to insulin resistance! There is such a thing as too much fruit!

    1. Where is the evidence for this statement though?

      Stories and the opinions of internet ‘experts’ aren’t worth much to my mind. We can find plenty of stories and opinions from other internet ‘experts’ that high fruit diets are healthy, for example. What does the evidence show?

      1. Good link. Thanks Barb

        ‘Seventeen people were made to eat 20 servings a day of fruit. Despite the extraordinarily high fructose content of this diet, presumably about 200 g/d—eight cans of soda worth, the investigators reported no adverse effects (and possible benefit actually) for body weight, blood pressure, and insulin and lipid levels after three to six months. More recently, Jenkins and colleagues put people on about a 20 servings of fruit a day diet for a few weeks and found no adverse effects on weight or blood pressure or triglycerides, and an astounding 38 point drop in LDL cholesterol.

        There was one side effect, though. Given the 44 servings of vegetables they had on top of all that fruit, they recorded the largest bowel movements apparently ever documented in a dietary intervention.’

      2. Barb

        Not sure if this below is the kind of thing you find useful but it might be worth checking out. I think you have to register to gain access but registration is free. It is intended for physicians but they don’t actively exclude interested laypeople. Interesting to see that they advise a plant based diet as the foundation for treatment.

        https://www.medscape.org/viewarticle/922880_2

        1. Thanks Fumbles! I am checking it out now. Glad I did too. Second (?) slide in has a pie chart showing the impact of hdl, triglycerides, and ldl. In my case, my hdl is high, my triglycerides low, and ldl high for high risk type. I’ll carry on and see what I can learn. Thanks again.

    2. Not at all sure what I am believing on this front Al. You are likely correct and we need an update, review of any more recent findings. I am also not sure that the insulin resistance factor is effectively controlled for. If glucose spike is measured in ppl who are already resistant and/or consuming moderate fat at least, then the results are not clean enough for me. Until I lose more weight, I will not be able to measure and assess my own resistance. I know I am resistant at this wt, however, I may be able to manage fresh whole fruit more effectively after losing more. We are often unaware of the state of test subjects, overweight, obese, trim, meat eating.

      1. Lisa,

        You’re absolutely correct that indeed each of us is very different regarding our insulin resistance.

        As an interesting study of the diversity see: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3661854/…. and yes the state of our clinical subjects tends to be rather wide when you consider most studies and often times lacks the granularity of the individual chemistries.

        My clinical experience mirrors that of others and your correct that typically your change in weight will be a large factor in your tolerance and responses.

        Dr. Alan Kadish moderator for Dr. Greger http://www.Centerofhealth.com

  8. This video is a “keeper”– one of the clearest expositions of the sugar-crash syndrome described by Swanson in her popular “Sugar Blues” book of the 1980s. In the series of experiments Dr. Greger describes, the beneficial elements of fruit are dissected for comparison. As an added bonus, we get another reminder sugar-blues hypoglycemia prompts the body to dump its stored fat into the bloodstream..

  9. We should all eat fruit . Fructose in fruit is a natural substance and is not harmful to to humans. Fructose in syrups and manufacturers sugars and juices are highly processed and toxic to humans

    1. Joe, maybe you’re correct, but the fructose in fruit and that of industrial sources are chemically the same. The message from the video is that there are other nutrients and properties in fruits that are protective or mitigative against the body’s negative responses to the consumption of fructose from any source.

  10. I eat about five servings of fruit daily, often more, and my blood and metabolic panels are the best they’ve ever been, and enjoy a consistent body fat percentage of less than ten. I quietly laugh at but also feel bad for those who proclaim they don’t touch fruits because of fructose yet have no issue with their regular intake of refined sugar, pastries, and processed foods. It’s quite a dichotomy in thought and behavior patterns.

    1. JNN,

      Consider yourself blessed.

      Dr. Lisle estimates that only 1 to 2% of the people who sincerely try to go Whole Food Plant-Based will succeed. The people you are talking about might also not think it is a good idea to eat refined sugars or pastries, but may have food addiction issues. That is separate from their understanding about whether fruits or fruit juices will also make their blood sugar spike. Most people probably grew up more with orange juice and apple juice and apple cider and grape juice than eating fruit in the first place so in certain cases fruit in some of its forms certainly can cause blood sugar spikes.

      1. Deb

        Not sure if this is relevant to you personally ………………..

        ‘Older women who eat lots of sweets and processed grains may be more likely to suffer from insomnia than counterparts who consume few of these foods, a U.S. study suggests.

        Researchers examined data from food diaries for more than 50,000 women in their mid-60s who had already gone through menopause, a transition that is also associated with an increased risk of sleep problems and insomnia. They focused on the associations between dietary glycemic index and prevalent or incident insomnia.

        Women in the highest quintile for dietary glycemic index scores were 11% more likely than women in the lowest quintile to report insomnia at the start of the study period.

        They were also 16% more likely to develop new insomnia during the three-year follow-up period.’
        https://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/922930?src=wnl_edit_tpal&uac=129079FG&impID=2215523&faf=1

      2. Deb, so agree and even more. We are all so inundated with conflicting information. It is very challenging even for the most motivated and knowledgeable to understand and sort the accurate and factual from the noise. In addition to the possibility of addiction in some, access, knowledge, and skills can factor in. There can be such a tendency to judge and oversimplify for others.

  11. Hello to everyone! Does anybody know a nice nutrition focused internal medicine related speciality program in Europe (or even just a nice doctor/professor)? My first choices would be Sweden, Germany, GB but most places with a good ideology would work. Thank you for listening, have a nice day! PS may your daily dozen get completely checked!

  12. Also, can somebody explain me about the monthly youtube lives? I know questions are answered in order of appearence but when am I supposed to post my question: on the day it airs or on the day it is announced? Thank you again!

    1. Organic has nothing to do with it Toby. It’s processed sugar. https://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/sweets/5602/2
      It’s probably less calories to go eat a donut than to eat pancakes or waffles with maple syrup.
      Not that I am not sympathetic.. I dream of waffles with the little squares filled with butter and maple syrup, but it’s not happening. Not in this lifetime.

      1 tbsp maple syrup thrown into a salad dressing recipe probably isn’t a concern unless you are battling blood sugar issues.

      1. I know there is a stigma associated with the term processed, but real maple syrup is literally boiled down sap. Nothing else. Are there no nutrients in maple syrup that can act how berries do when consumed (e.g., phytonutrients). I’m less concerned about calories and more interested in blood sugar impacts.

        1. Toby, I posted the link for you for nutrition facts regarding maple syrup. Check it out. Dr Greger has an amazing array of videos on the topic of sweeteners you can find using the search bar… especially check out dates. Dates are a sweet whole food that do not have the same impact on blood sugar as sugar. There are recipes for date syrup as well.

            1. Here is a page that might help address your question a bit better. webmd has listed different types of phyto nutrients and the best sources where they can be found.
              Fruits and veg have colour , phytonutrients), high water content (less calorie density), and lots of fiber. Maple syrup has about 40 % fructose and sits close to honey on the glycemic index. No fiber, water evaporated, a little potassium. As a sweetener in salad dressing for example, the flavour can be nice, and you are benefitting from all the spinach, arugala, red peppers, pumpkin seeds, shredded carrot, and whatever else you have in the salad. If you add apple cider vinegar to that dressing, it dulls blood sugar spike from maple syrup. Dr Greger has a video on that topic too. Hope this helps to answer your question.

              https://www.webmd.com/diet/guide/phytonutrients-faq

              https://nutritionfacts.org/video/best-berries/

        2. Toby,

          There are some nutrients in the maple syrup however….the glycemic index (54) is less than favorable and it should be considered similar to other simple sugars. Typically, dependent on the grade of maple syrup it’s ~ 2/3 sucrose…… so basically, it’s chemically just plain sugar.

          For a good overview of the mineral content and other aspects of this product can be found at: https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/maple-syrup#grades

          Dr. Alan Kadish moderator for Dr. Greger http://www.Centerofhealth.com

          1. Thanks Dr. Kadish. Very informative website. So here’s the deal: I drink coffee, eat yogurt with granola, and make pancakes on the weekend. In terms of sweeteners, the evidence provided suggests maple syrup consists of more good than the other junk sweeteners out there. Yes, the sugar content is high, but I’m not going to add insoluble date sugar to my coffee, nor will I pour molasses on my yogurt or pancakes. Moderation is the key to everything. If I reduce my sugar intake elsewhere and continue to eat a predominantly wholefood diet, the addition of maple syrup for specific foodstuff won’t be a killer. Furthermore, a few tablespoons of tree blood will add a bit more calcium (7%), potassium (6%), iron (7%), zinc (28%) and manganese (165%) to my daily intake, and provide at least 24 antioxidants on top of that. Not a bad sin food if I do say so myself. Thanks for the input everyone.

            1. Toby Granville,

              I’ve actually “poured” molasses on my waffles (actually, drizzled some), as an alternative to maple syrup, for variety. (And sometimes for economic reasons.) Quite delicious. Other options include jelly or nut butter. I like almond butter with cut strawberries. I’m sure there are lots of other possibilities. We are not limited to maple syrup, though I personally like it a lot.

  13. Good news! I was just reading how not to diet and a reference was made on page 242 about Dr. Greger’s morning probiotic routine (he’s BROL bowl, brol which ironically translates into “something of inferiour quality / crap / junk” in Dutch). Anyway that’s where I read that he’s working on another cookbook!

    I’ve been rotating recipes from the first book as staple dishes for what looks like years now. To me that’s great news because my other cookbook from Dr. Fuhrman, the man makes nothing but purees of vegetables, all his recipes look like baby food. (But a great docter nonetheless).

    In the naked food magazine’s cookbook (why on earth did they choose this name for a magazine on food and nutrition?) I only found one recipe for rotation.

    And that British vegan guy, Gaz Oakly, he’s a real chef with great ideas but most of the recipes are not wfpb approved.

    So I for one welcome the new cookbook! I have perfected some of the recipes from the first how not to die cookbook. I’ll make sure to include them with the proper reference when my book comes out.

  14. are the benefits of fruit specifically the sugar content also present for extremely high content sugar fruits like dates and figs?

    1. Benefits, shmenifits! When it comes to eating dried fruits, I don’t much care. There are SO many other foods to get benefits from. Gets pretty mind-boggling. “Scientific evidence” tells us we gotta eat exactly 1 and 3/4 cup of something or other to get a “benefit.” Maybe we’d get the same benefit if we ate only 1 and 1/2 cup? Or much less?

      I do have glass jars of prunes, figs, dates and raisins in my refrig. Each morning I cut a few tiny pieces from one or the other — for instance, a date — but only a few.pieces I put the small pieces in with the whole grains cereal as it cooks (along with almonds or walnuts). Later, as I’ve said previously, I add banana and blueberries and 1/4 teas. of either pure, raw honey or blackstrap molasses. For me, any more sweetening than that would be gag-producing.

      1. YR, Yes, I think one can get carried away with obsessing on one particular food and/or amount of that food for “benefits” When I hear that, I always recall how Dr T Colin Campbell explains that the synergistic effect of multiple foods together can easily out-weigh the benefits of any one single food. And not much is known about multi-food synergism because it’s so mind-bogglingly complex :-)

        1. YR,

          Yes, but for a lot of people, they may tend to not eat fruit or not eat greens and I just spent a month not eating cruciferous or greens or fruit and it did start affecting my brain.

          My 90-year old relatives don’t eat any greens or berries or turmeric at all. It will be interesting to see if getting them to eat even just those will improve their dementia.

          Today, I found a new gadget.

          The Hot Logic portable, expandable oven.

          It is a convection burner in what looks like a soft-sided cooler that you can cook in your car or at work. No buttons. Just a plug.

          They made pasta from dry pasta and sauce and talked about cooking oatmeal in it.

          I am thinking it might be a game-changer for getting me to eat dinner earlier.

          No buttons. No knobs. Nothing to figure out.

          If I had seen it earlier, it would have been a good gift for my relative who has a job with a lot of travel.

    2. If what you are asking is if the high content of sugar in dried fruits worth including in your diet, the answer is a definite “YES.” Both figs and especially dates are loaded with nutrients. Yes, they do have lots of calories due to the natural sugar, but if you are watching your weight you can do what another commenter suggested and eat them moderately (not handfuls!) letting little bits of date, for example, sweeten desserts or using date sugar to sweeten desserts rather than processed sweeteners. Certainly you can have a healthy whole food diet without dried fruits, but enjoying them as a treat and in not great abundance adds a wonderful sweetness to your meals and snacks while providing good nutrients. Hope that addresses your concern.

  15. I also bought a Built New York Welded Cooler from HSN to use for grocery shopping.

    It was $70 but it can keep ice frozen for 3 days.

    Some of us end up driving to multiple grocery stores and get mentally stressed out during Summer.

    I am trying to find solutions to problems and that is one.

    I don’t know if my brain is working properly or if I am just being seduced by shopping channels, which I have never watched before, but after I got my excellent throw at Eddie Bauer, what I found is that well-made, well-functioning things please me very much.

    I know that I probably have thrown out more than $70 worth of food from not having a proper cooler in my car, so it seems like a good concept to me.

    Yes, I am justifying my endless stream of solutions.

  16. “I honestly walk in the store and look at the fruit and think, “Nope, I don’t want any of it and not buying it is saving me about $75 per week.”
    – – – – –
    And yet………! :-0

    “It was $70 but it can keep ice frozen for 3 days.”

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