If Fructose is Bad, What About Fruit?

If Fructose is Bad, What About Fruit?
4.4 (88.08%) 52 votes

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?

Discuss
Republish

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. I have lots more fructose videos on the way.

Before, I would have these long series on single topics, like a dozen videos in a row on vitamin D or something. The advantage of that is you aren’t left hanging; the downside is that for those uninterested in the topic there can be no new videos of interest for weeks. So I’ve tried breaking topics up. So every few weeks there’s a new turmeric or diabetes video instead of grouping them altogether. Let me know what you think…

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.

160 responses to “If Fructose is Bad, What About Fruit?

Commenting Etiquette

The intention of the comment section under each video and blog post is to allow all members to share their stories, questions, and feedback with others in a welcoming, engaging, and respectful environment. Off-topic comments are permitted, in hopes more experienced users may be able to point them to more relevant videos that may answer their questions. Vigorous debate of science is welcome so long as participants can disagree respectfully. Advertising products or services is not permitted.

To make NutritionFacts.org a place where people feel comfortable posting without feeling attacked, we have no tolerance for ad hominem attacks or comments that are racist, misogynist, homophobic, vulgar, or otherwise inappropriate. Please help us to foster a community of mutual respect. Enforcement of these rules is done to the best of our ability on a case-by-case basis.

    1. Not many people eat that many. I started doing smoothies about 8-9 bananas plus strawberries, fills me for hours and is light on the stomach.




      2
      1. 8 Bananas is not light on the stomach. Wat? 8 Bananas is almost 1000 calories. Plus strawberries you’re looking at a smoothie that’s like pure sugar. Fruit is obvi better than processed sugar, but you’re overdoing it m8.




        3
        1. Can you explain your background and how you know he is overdoing it?

          The average American or Brit wouldn’t think twice to eating that much weight in wheat and milk… Cereal with milk, cheese sandwich, pizza, pasta, pie… It seems odd that when people choose to consume large quantities or mono meals of natural foods, it sets off alarm bells and everyone starts giving advice.




          21
          1. It is still just Sugar! Keep in mind, the English Scientists, as well as many others, are now working at their new advices, to not consume, what is causing the problem in our health, namely Sugar! Mostly people get wrong Carbs from Processed Foods, but even a lot of Fruit consumption, causes the exact same effect… 5 – 9 Tsp of Sugar, is what the body is able to handle quit well, but an average person eats more than 35 tsp! Keep in mind, Fructose breaks down through the Liver, just like Alcohol! Also, Carbs in their simple form, are the cause of every known Folk-Disease today, which is Conditions, NOT Diseases, as they are completely preventable, and most of the time reversible! To mention a few: Artheritis, Asthma, Cancer (Cancer is a Yeast, feeding it with Sugar is a bad idea), Candida (Another Yeast), PCOS, Impotency, ALS, ADHD, Schlerosis, i could go on for a long time… When you consume more Carbs, than your body can produce Insulin, your body breaks, and sends you into Inflammation, and that simply means, your body can’t heal… All it takes, is avoiding Processed Foods, and simple Carbs, and your body can reverse back to its original state of health! Some good stuff to learn: Paleo, Keto, LCHF, GAPS, SCD, and good readings could be: “The Paleo Solution”, “John Yudkin – The Pure, The White, The Deadly”, and so on… I have devoted the past 17 years of my life, to make a change, and what i knew from the start, and what i still see today, is that people doesn’t need Medicine, people does not need a Gym, people of course need to be active, but that could be a lot of things, like cleaning at home, can burn more Calories than a trip to the Gym… Hippocrates said it 300+ years B.C:

            “Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.” So start eating like the human body is designed to, that keeps all the bad stuff away! :)




            7
          2. I agree completely. A high fructose diet consisting of fruits with fiber and low fat is healthy as proven by tons of endurance athletes with perfect blood levels who eat the 80-10-10 diet.




            6
            1. Logically, i don’t think a “high fructose diet” if that even so exists, is such a good thing for human health, if that were the case, why not buy and consume loads and countless supplies of High fructose corn syrup? It’s been proven that an excess amount of Fructose within the human body stops and prevents the flow of insulin in the body. Insulin is needed to bring and maintain a balance of blood sugar in the human body, with too much resistance (Fructose consumption), you are bound to open a gateway to leading to many other health problems.
              Obesity, Diabetes, and more, these are just the main two that come first to mind. Also logically speaking, i don’t see how one could create a “high fructose corn syrup” without synthetically altering and depleting the glucose (which i remind you is natural in most plants correct me if i’m wrong). Someone has made a faulty and terrible creation with bad intentions if you ask me. Do you see any other country suffering from the same problems? Only America seems to be suffering, i wonder why that is? The people in charge? The so called faulty and terrible Inspections and regulations done on our food? quite frankly i’m sick of it. i’m sick of the greedy turning their backs on our humane family just to only put a simple dollar in their pocket. it’s people like those as to why no matter how hard you work, you have nothing to show for it. No house because you couldn’t make enough to buy one even if you spent 10 years working for it. (I once heard in a western movie once “If you work to make a living, why do you kill yourself working?”) Logically the people working are underpaid and the lazy asses seem to get richer. I don’t know about anyone else, but i’m tired of having a damn monkey on my back only just to go home empty handed.
              (Stay away from fructose)




              1
              1. Well to add on to more of this article, because I see wrong information in these comments. If you want to learn more about nutrition look at the video title ‘Sugar: The Bitter Truth’ by Dr. Lustig on youtube. Martin, Andrew, Ole Will with all of those banana’s in those smoothies. That video gives you enough information to go out in research. And you will rethink what you have said in these comments.




                0
              2. Did you not listen to Dr. Greger’s explanation that raw fruit is completely different from High Fructose Corn Syrup ??? Two completely different things. I feel like most the people commenting on this never read the transcript or listened to the video.




                10
              3. http://www.health.harvard.edu/heart-health/abundance-of-fructose-not-good-for-the-liver-heart

                From the article:Experts still have a long way to go to connect the dots between fructose and nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, obesity, diabetes, and heart disease. Higher intakes of fructose are associated with these conditions, but clinical trials have yet to show that it causes them.

                Still, it’s worth cutting back on fructose. But don’t do it by giving up fruit. Fruit is good for you and is a minor source of fructose for most people. The big sources are refined sugar and high-fructose corn syrup.

                The American Heart Association recommends limiting the amount of sugar you get from sugar-sweetened drinks, pastries, desserts, breakfast cereals, and more, mainly to avoid gaining weight. The same strategy could also protect your liver and your arteries.




                1
        2. probably takes him at least 40mins to finish his smoothie. It’s not too much. My smoothie is usually 1 banana, a kiwi, a little rocket or kale and celery and it takes me at least one hr to finish.




          0
      1. I am very offended HemoDynamic! because I celebrate “50 banana day” once a month and do not look close to this. OK, just kidding. this is funny!




        0
      1. He covers B12 in other videos. It’s in lakes & rivers. Though you can’t drink from them now, the point is B12 is not exclusively in animal foods and it’s not part of ‘the natural order’ to eat them.
        The data shows of three groups
        1 Omnivores who don’t supplement B12
        2 Vegans who don’t supplement B12
        and 3 Everyone that supplements B12
        The last group has the highest levels.
        I have the best video on the topic of going vegan. It’s a light year from the other advice and recipe drivel out there.
        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tOW5eljyjms




        1
        1. Thank you for your video. One point that I have to make. Animals do not produce B12, only bacteria do. This must be made clear. We all get our B12 from bacteria. Whether in a pill form or a ferment that contains B12 in it.
          Your video can help millions of people. Certainly everyone can benefit from it.




          2
          1. cyndishisara, can you explain for me and the other readers how bacteria and fermented foods produce B12? I happy to have drank a ton of raw dairy kefir and now water kefir. I have been trying to find evidence that these grains produce B12.




            0
        2. Why does he keep going on about ‘produce’ what the hell even is that? I googled it and nope, no special American meaning, just the usual meaning(s) to make or grow.




          0
          1. “Produce” the verb means “to make”. “Produce” the noun refers to fruits a vegetables. I believe that meaning is universal English, used in all English speaking countries




            1
            1. And also, with b12 they’re saying the bacteria present if your gut from the food you eat will produce b12 as a byproduct of their regular activity




              0
        3. b12 is not a problem for vegans it is the key. when they discovered b12 supplementation this was when the factory farms started in the1920s. there is no reason to believe that water should remain polluted. there is green and blue algae aswell which is a good food source whereas spring water is unhealthy. where are the animals that drink spring water? Thats right they don’t they drink water exposed to sunlight. b12 supplementation might be a stop gap measure but what they are really saying is come with us danny to play forever and ever and ever. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cL1Xb1_TQO4




          0
    2. Certain fruit phytochemicals reduce the uptake of sugar through the intestinal walls – more fruit means more of the phytochemicals that reduce sugar uptake… bottom line – you can’t really eat too much fruit. I’ve heard for decades that too much sweet fruit makes you fat… I’m eating so much more fruit now specifically for weight loss and it works like a charm, more fruit, more weight loss…

      50 bananas isn’t good though… because you are missing out on so many other nutrients you need… so the problem with 50 bananas isn’t the sugar but the lack of a balanced diet.




      4
      1. Agreed. The whole X bananas is just a marketing thing and is very limiting… there’s way more nutrient dense fruit out there, like berries or pomegranates.




        0
        1. If you are eating for nutrients, berries or pomegranates might be more nutrient dense. But bananas are eaten too for calories (carbs) and it would be hard and expensive to get the same amount of carbs eating berries rather than bananas.




          0
        2. Here’s the thing. Bananas are cheap so we use them as a caloric base. Eating 2000 calories of berries is not affordable. We then mix them with high nutrient foods such as berries and GREENS (which everyone needs more of, in truth) and snack on more expensive fruit such as mango and berries. In my group we advocate rotating greens, having a large salad and also supplementing D3, K2, B12 and Zinc to avoid common deficiencies. Iodene too and nuts and seeds for trace minerals like Selenium. Not marketing as I don’t make any money. Doing this with 10-20 bananas a day has allowed me to heal my autoimmune disorders, depression, poor energy and even precancerous cells. So worth it. A cooked vegan diet and even cooked starches have me back to feeling sluggish, which is how I felt for 32 years before finding bananas. I think Celiac or some gut destroying disease is probably at the bottom of it, but as for now I am symptom free with good blood work so it’s worth all the bananas in the world to feel better. Durian Rider had Crohns which is why he went raw. It’s possible he healed enough to go back to cooked food, but when I try it I don’t feel as good.




          2
          1. Fruit is amazing. I did very close to Freelee & DR’s way of eating for a while about a year ago– I did feel great, better than most of my life before that. But I did feel the need for more nutrient-dense foods too. Now I’m pregnant and will be trying to get back to HCLFV with more emphasis on Dr. Greger’s daily dozen.




            1
      1. Dr. Greger,
        This one video has some of the most valuable and interesting information that I have ever seen. There has been much confusion on this topic and this helps to clear it up. Your work and this site are fantastic!
        I wonder how dried fruit compares to fresh fruit. Does it have the same benefits?




        0
        1. Dear AA, I am sure Dr. Greger would say no with some exceptions. Much of the vitamin C is lost in the drying process as are some of the other phytonutrients. Drying is not as bad as juicing, according to him, and the more fruit the better, so apple cider is better than apple juice and unfiltered grape juice (Trader Joes) is better than regular grape juice. He specifically recommends green raisins, dried apple slices, and dried pomegrantes for phytonutrients, and some fruit he recommends are only available dried like goji berries or maybe rosehips. Dried fruit, if it is more accessible as a way to get fruit on the go is a knightly luxury but it is not as healthy. To the FDA, a serving of juice is no longer a serving of fruit. This might hurt fruit consumption but the ease of dried fruit might make it a good source of nutrients if you’re on the go. This site recommends dried superfruit as a source of nutrition. http://www.superfoodsrx.com/superfoods/dried-superfruits/dried-superfruits-overview.html Amazon has a dried fruit mix of cranberries, blueberries, goji berries, raisins, and cherries, and a tropical fruit mix. He said ginger is one of the best spices and dried ginger is now wildly available. However, dried fruit like cherries usually shows up lower and I guess the method he would recommend is buying freeze dried fruit.




          0
      2. Thank you, thank you Dr. Greger! I have been wondering about this topic for a couple of years since I saw Dr. Esselstyn in a lecture, in person, say that we should only eat 3 servings of fruit a day a day because more than than that would probably cause non-alcoholic liver failure. Whew, what a relief! Now there’s more food choices in my diet.




        0
        1. I wonder what science Dr. Esselstyn is basing this on? This is a very bold statement of his, if he actually did say it. If I get the chance I will ask him in person, as I just don’t see him throwing around statements like that unless he has seen science to back it up. I hope he is mistaken on the 3 fruits per day max.




          0
    3. That’s a total exaggeration. They promote 25-30, if you are a woman or man, and they do that to detox you from bad food. I’ve done it and it’s fabulous. I eat all fruit all day, then a big salad late afternoon, then a cooked vegan carb at night and every day I look more lean.




      0
    4. If you train like Durian rider, it’s fine. However, I wouldn’t recommend 50 bananas only because you get a limited nutrient profile. I’d suggest 10 bananas, some kiwi, some mango, some berries, a big salad etc… You get a host of other phytonutrients, you get more amino acids, vitamins, minerals etc…




      0
    5. It is very important to know your body. Eliminate processed foods, purchase the best quality food you can afford, and
      if you feel awful after eating something stop eating it!!! Some bodies can process gluten some bodies cannot. Some bodies can process lactose some bodies cannot. For a body that has trouble processing protein Atkins and other high protein diets are horrific. For a body that has trouble processing carbohydrates, simple and complex, Pritikin and other carb friendly diets wreak similar havoc. I flourish on a vegan diet, my mother tried and was sick all the time. My mother can no more flourish on a 50 bananas a day or other type of carb heavy diet than I can flourish on the Atkin’s or similar high protein diet. There is no one particular eating style that will work perfectly for everyone.




      1
    6. While the fad diet scene has been flooded with dietary approached focusing on one specific food, the key to longevity and successfully adopting lifestyle changes seems to lie in incorporating a variety of whole foods in the diet. A variety of foods is necessary for many reasons, but the video below outlines a great starting place in terms of diversifying our dietary antioxidant profile!

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yVjTKBw7_To




      0
      1. You know food really change name from language to language.

        E.g. “Buckwheat” = “Grano saraceno”.

        I love it, but for now i’m not using it.

        Need time to make my own cookbook.

        :-)




        0
        1. I can speak for what I know, French.

          The funniest : vegetables mean “légumes” wich is not the same as legumes wich mean “légumineuses” or “légume sec” literraly dry vegetable wich mean dry “légume”, that make lot of people confused :)

          What did you eat for lunch ?
          Lots of légumes with a dry légume soup !
          Your soup was dry, what a concept ! What kind of legumes ?
          It was courgette.
          What the hell is a courgette ?
          It’s bikini.. euh zucchini sorry !
          Ah.. but it’s not a legume ?
          Yes it’s a légume !
          NO ! It’s a vege-table !
          I didn’t knew they used leather or fur to make table now..
          Duh.. *knock is head on the wall*




          2
          1. LOL !

            In Italian –> vegetables = verdure; legumes = legumi/leguminose (so no problem); grains = cereali.

            The problem are spices, or single types of food.

            E.g. cinnamon = cannella ; ginger = zenzero; cloves = chiodi di garofano; wheat = grano; oats = avena…

            and so on ad endlessy.

            XD




            0
    1. Merio: I remember being so surprised at how easy and *good* vegan pancakes are! There’s really no reason to use eggs.

      Thanks for sharing the Oh She Glows recipe. I thought you (or others) would be interested in knowing about cookbook on vegan waffles. If you don’t have a waffle machine, you just make them into pancakes, which is what I do. So far, I really like the recipes I have tried from this book, which includes some nice savory/lunch/dinner ideas:
      http://www.amazon.com/Global-Vegan-Waffle-Cookbook-gluten-free/dp/0981776434/ref=sr_1_1_twi_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1418243755&sr=8-1&keywords=vegan+waffle+book




      0
      1. You’re totally right.

        And i want to say that i really love the OhSheGlows site, her photos are amazing and i really like her style.

        Thanks for the link, i think it will be useful in future.




        0
  1. Are there any appreciable differences or benefits from sticking to whole fruit versus blended? Are there ANY downsides to blended? (Also, is the “fat dumping” response mentioned here related to possibly higher triglyceride levels from sugars?)




    0
    1. Curious about that myself…the blended part (Dr. Greger eats a breakfast smoothie, if I recall) and the part about fat dumping. That sounds like triglycerides to me. Very interesting if fruit doesn’t cause that fat dump, as I have seen elsewhere that it does (not necessary a reputable source, can’t remember).

      I fix my wife a spinach/banana/blueberry/flax smoothie every morning, and she says it holds her to lunch with no problem. If she stops and eats a McMuffin or something similar, she’s hungry halfway through the morning and often sick on her stomach from the McCrap. (We’re both limiting that sort of thing now, thankfully).




      0
      1. Sounds like my default go-to smoothie…

        Although lately I’m getting pretty crazy with mine:
        Berries, banana, spinach, kale, swiss chard, watercress, juice of lemon, ginger root, amla, cinnamon, pinch of cloves, rice/pea protein, flaxseed, ice.

        It’s strong (lemon and ginger), but oh man does it get you going!




        0
        1. That sounds good. We’re trying to get back to basics in a lot of ways in my house, so that’s too busy. For instance, my lunch usually consists of cold boiled potatoes (white, yellow, sweet, purple, whatever) and whatever non-starchy veg is handy. Sometimes it’s taters and another smoothie. Since I needed to make some major changes in my lifestyle, simpler was better. Exercise is some push-ups + lots of walking. I also use a standing desk now (aka, a bunch of boxes). My employer is actually purchasing me a desk for that (raises/lowers for sitting and standing), although no treadmill yet! :^)

          I find that removing complications has allowed me to improve my health dramatically over the last several months. Since the solution is as simple as move more and eat plants, I’ve avoided complexity and have found success.

          However, since I enjoy sipping on lemon water all day, adding the lemon and/or ginger to the current mix sounds tasty!




          0
      2. Sounds like my default go-to smoothie…

        Although lately I’m getting pretty crazy with mine:
        Berries, banana, spinach, kale, swiss chard, watercress, juice of lemon, ginger root, amla, cinnamon, pinch of cloves, rice/pea protein, flaxseed, ice.

        It’s strong (lemon and ginger), but oh man does it get you going!




        0
  2. what an amazing info. I was thinking sugar is sugar and hence has to be kept an eye on. While we certainly have to watch out against 50 banana days there clearly there is a big difference between natural and artifical sugars. Just keep adding natural fruits where possible and avoid artifical ones and you will never go wrong!!!




    0
  3. Dr. Robert Lustig, the author behind the “Fructose: it’s “alcohol without the buzz” article, stated in a recent article to “Eat all the fruit you want.”

    Even Lustig knows that it’s not the fructose in fruit that’s the problem.




    0
    1. A lot of people like to quote out of context.

      All of it just strengthens the evidence for the benefits of whole foods and not for a single culprit in the refined foods department; be it fat/oil, protein or sugar.




      0
        1. The book “Whole” is positively one of the most excellent and healthfully-enlightening books I’ve ever read… actually, I listened to it as an audiobook because I don’t enjoy sitting in one place reading books. The audio version lets me do other stuff … like walking, rebounding, treadmill/elliptical at the gym, chores in the house/yard and (hee-hee) tuning out TV while listening to something REALLY good. If you have a subscription to “Audible.com” you can download it and listen to it. Not meaning to promote that website, except to tell you the audio version’s there and it’s great!




          0
  4. Sorry, Doc, but I have to question here whether it’s the fructose driving the insulin spike and hypoglycemic response, since pure industrial fructose is the lowest substance on the Glycemic Index. Sucrose is half glucose, and HFCS is nearly half glucose. White bread is high GI starch.

    Very cool about weight loss with the fruit versus no fructose at all.

    Also of interest is the biochemistry of fructose:

    http://carbsanity.blogspot.com/2013/06/why-fructose-is-not-like-alcohol.html?m=1




    0
    1. There is two very distinct relations between insulin and fructose:

      1- Fructose doesn’t need the insulin to enter cells, in opposition to glucose
      2- High fructose intake causes insulin to be released by the pancreas and will also lead to insulin resistance in the long term. See the video Sugar: The Bitter Truth by Dr. Lustig




      0
      1. I have seen Lustig’s talk. Millions have. I am not advocating we throw caution to the wind and consume a Bug Gulp for Breakfast.

        His talk and subsequent TV and media interviews have been peppered with inaccuracies and confounders. He’s not only been called out on these errors by plant-based proponents but by more moderate voices and even by his alLIED LCHF comrades.

        (1) Aside from sugary beverages, how is most fructose consumed? With an even bigger dose of highly refined white flour and added oils, many of which are man made transfats. Highly refined grain products make insulin soar even more than the sugar.

        (2) Most fructose does not get into body cells with or without insulin. IN FACT, fructose is by itself has very little effect on insulin levels. Fructose is in the bottom basement of the Glycemic Index. Most fructose is processed by the liver where it is converted to glucose and lactate plus some VLDL.

        (3) The obesity epidemic continued to worsen even as sugar consumption decreased.

        (4) You can easily end up insulin resistant without eating a single molecule of sugar. That’s what has happened to many who follow a severe carb restricted diet.




        0
  5. What about dried fruit? What are the health benefits compared to fresh fruit and has the sugar in them become too concentrated that it will be unhealthy?




    0
  6. Instead of trying to combine a bunch of different foods together at one meal, how about making it easier on your digestion system by having only one or two foods at a meal and then a different, and complimentary food, at the next meal. Seems that animals mostly do that?




    0
  7. This is great news. I am still wondering about cancer and fruit. I hear about how sugar feeds cancer. I would love to see studies that address how fruit affects cancer. Are there any?




    0
  8. Wondering about smoothies. I tried to do green smoothies every day for a while but stopped because I felt an unhealthy blood sugar spike. Do you think the pureeing of fruits, making the fructose more available, can contribute to this, even if the fiber is still present, because it makes the fructose more easily digestible than a whole fruit? Or maybe it’s that pureeing makes it so that I was eating larger serving sizes of fruit in one sitting than if I were just munching on the whole thing?




    0
    1. Hi Lauren. Smoothies are so good! I am glad that you are trying to incorporate this healthy green drink in your daily regime. The symptoms you described could be insulin resistance. It is possible that your diet consists of excess saturated fat, which blocks glucose from entering the cells. See Dr Greger’s video http://nutritionfacts.org/video/what-causes-insulin-resistance/

      As far as fructose goes, I would say that you are on the right track. Fiber does in deed slow the absorption rate, but if you gulp it down all at once, you lose that benefit. When you eat fruit, you chew one bite at a time which is the natural rate in which we were supposed to absorb its nutrition, chewing it, mixing it with our saliva, stimulating stomach juices, etc. When you gulp down your smoothie, you will put all of its content (2 bananas and 2 oranges?) into your system, all at once.

      What you can do is try to chew smoothie in your mouth, allow your saliva to do some job and take your time to enjoy it. Considering your glucose spike, I would use lower glycemic fruits and look into a whole-food, plant-based diet to reverse insulin resistance and in the future, enjoy your fruit or green fruit smoothie without a problem. I hope this can help you!




      0
      1. I think you may be particularly spot on about the fat. I’ve been logging my calories via MyFitnessPal for 130 days now, and my calories are consistently from about 45% fat. Way too much, even if most is plant based! Trying to bring it down but for whatever reason, fat is my downfall. In dressing, sautees, roasting…the more vegetables I try to eat, the more my fat intake goes up. So it’s a balance I need to work on. And then maybe after I’ve tackled that I’ll be able to stomach a smoothie.




        0
    2. This topic is discussed in one of the green-smoothie videos on NF.org. Most likely, you are simply experiencing a blood-sugar spike due to the natural fiber being disrupted during blending. I experience this as well, unfortunately, but find smoothies to be a convenient method of consuming fruit.




      0
  9. I have a question because I suffer from hypoglycemia
    several hours after consuming fruit or other rich sources of sugar,
    unbuffered by a more complex meal. I know the liver responds by
    converting the excess fructose to glycogen or triglycerides for storage.
    But is this flood of triglycerides, whether it be from the fructose or
    the body’s reaction to “starvation” mentioned in Dr. Greger’s video,
    harmful? Can it lead to or exacerbate Coronary Artery Disease? I know
    Dr,. Ornish and Dr Esselstyn both touch on this but I would also like to
    hear Dr. Greger’s take based on what the research says.




    0
    1. What has Ornish said on this (hypoglycemia)?

      I’ve seen quick digesting melons crash some people I know, really
      bringing down their blood sugar within 10 minutes. Either too much insulin produced in reaction
      to the melons digesting too quickly/easily, or something else occurring?

      But I am curious about Ornishe’s take re: heart disease in relation
      to hypoglycemia.




      0
      1. I have not seen anything from Dr. Ornish or Esselstyn directly making these connections -but there is plenty of information already in the medical literature discussing the different biochemical pathways of fructose metabolism, hypoglycemia and fatty liver disease for example -so I am sure they are aware of this. I would definitely like to hear what Dr. Greger has to say based on the research but I would also like to point out that what makes this that much more complicated is that while the biochemistry is the same, each individual’s body reacts in its own unique way to their environment ( look into epigenetics). So while one individual may be able to basically live on fruit -it may be detrimental to another.




        0
  10. Nutritionfacts.org has addressed treatments to diabetes. Cinnamon, although toxic at high doses has great benefit with regards to lowering blood sugar. One teaspoon a day. Some amla powder would also be very effective. Flax seed meal is shown to mute blood sugar spikes, as are some berries. Hibiscus tea helps to regulate blood sugar. Whole grains are always helpful. Some people feel that obesity is a cause of diabetes. Some medications, like Zyprexa and Haldol and most of the psychiatric medications that one third of Americans take at some point (one fourth or so take chronically) can increase blood sugar and increase weight. There are specific foods that can help people with diabetes, and diets that can prevent diabetes. Diabetes that include whole grain, beans, and brocalli can help prevent diabetes, perhaps prevention is the best path to handling that disease.




    0
  11. I wonder if the blood sugar spike blunting effect is just limited to berries.. For example, with the white bread observation, if you were to take that same white bread and add dark green leafy vegetables and make a “greens sandwich” would you still observe the blunting effect? They established it’s not just the fiber in whole plant food but that there is also something more.. Is it a phytonutrient limited to the berry family or something more widely spread throughout the plant kingdom I wonder?




    0
      1. Hi Harriet,
        If you glance at the articles referenced one uses apples. When you consider the findings together we can comfortably say our bodies responds differently from the fructose in whole fruit vs the fructose in sugar water. This becomes important when you hear some people saying fruit servings should be limited. I am really looking forward to the next video! What surprised me was the juice findings.




        0
          1. From a 2010 review: ” Apple juice contains polyphenols such as chlorogenic acid and phloridzin, with higher levels in cloudy juice compared to clear juice. When nine healthy subjects consumed a 25 g glucose load in 400 mL of commercial apple juices, the mean plasma glucose concentrations were significantly lower at 15 and 30 min after ingestion of clear apple juice, and significantly lower at 15 min but significantly higher at 45 and 60 min after ingestion of cloudy apple juice compared to control drink [45]. The effects of apple juices on plasma glucose, insulin, GIP and GLP-1 concentrations were consistent with delayed absorption of glucose.” http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2871121/

            I’ve asked the author for an update on the studies re fruits and fruit juices. Anybody have access to other full articles discussing effects of fruits and juices on glucose absorption? Anybody recall that orange juice study citation?

            Does delayed glucose absorption still trigger insulin production? Daryll, are you there and could you help?




            0
  12. re: “Before, I would have these long series on single topics, … Let me know what you think…”

    Personally, I prefer to have the videos all together. That way, I (or someone else I want to refer to the topic) can start at the first video in a series and keep hitting “Next Video” to watch the entire series. Given the way the NutritionFacts search engine currently works (including no dates on the return search results), the current practice of spreading out videos makes it extremely hard to go back and watch the videos of a series in order — or even to find the first video in the series.

    An alternative to keeping the series together in terms of publishing order: would be to keep the current practice of spacing videos out – but add a new “series” feature to the website. So, on any particular video in a series, users could click to go to the next or previous video *in the series*. Each video page in a series would also need an easy link to get to the beginning of the series, and a clear indication when the end of the series is reached. Also, the search feature would need to be altered to be able to filter to series. (Actually, it would be kind of nice to have something of a series feature even if you do publish the videos in order.)

    I like the alternative idea as the best of both worlds, but the alternative idea could mean a lot of work to the website. The easiest thing to do would be to publish a series in order…




    0
    1. publish a series in order… It doesn’t make sense not to. Why aren’t they?

      no dates on the return search results… Wish all videos and blogs had dates of publishing easily available.




      0
    2. I prefer presenting things in chunks too, although I could be wrong about some of my beliefs:

      1. It’s easier for the viewer to think deeper about the topic if the videos are close in proximity.
      2. It’s no big deal being bored with the site’s videos for a week or two. Loyal people will not leave because of this.
      3. I’m concerned that video series won’t be as well crafted if Gregor and co. produce videos in the series piecemeal. It suggests that they’ll be thinking less about the research cited in the prior videos, and there will be more pressure to publish news on ‘big’ topics immediately rather than letting it marinate and talk to other findings.
      4. I think it helps to cover controversial subjects in a largish, contiguous series. This allows skeptical guests to have an extended conversation over several days and several facets of an argument. I fear that if you waited before publishing the next video in the series, these relatively non-committal viewers will have lost interest and moved onto something else.

      That said, part of the way blog posts work currently is to summarize and index a lot of previous work that touches on a single topic. This is almost all the way to a see-all-the-videos-in-a-series feature. Therefore I suppose there is some reason to think that at least the thoughtful viewers will still be able to find all parts of a long argument in one place. There also may be a few bits of news which are so contemporaneous that the site could capture more viewers simply by making a video comment while the topic is still hot and people are actively trading links.




      0
    3. I think introducing the topics in “chunks” is the best way to implant a concept into the brain. If someone is bored with a certain topic, then perhaps she can spend her time that week perusing older videos of interest until a new topic comes up. There is so much amazing information on this site that I think it would be difficult to get bored.




      0
      1. tedster: re: “…the best way to implant a concept into the brain… perhaps she can spend her time that week perusing older videos of
        interest until a new topic comes up. There is so much amazing
        information…” I agree with all of your points!

        I’m pretty sure that Dr. Greger reads the comments, even if he doesn’t have time to answer them. So, hopefully he will see that all of the “votes” so far are for “chunking.” :-)




        0
  13. Any info on dried fruits ? – raisins , dried ( unsweetened cranberries), figs, those wonderful Greek (unsulphored) apricots from TJ’s . I assume the only difference the lower concentration of water, but substantially no change in the chemistry of fiber+fructose.




    0
  14. Dear Dr. Greger, thank you so much for your information which I share with my patients at the Lydian Center for Transformational Healthcare in Cambridge, Mass.
    While you’re talking about insulin and blood sugar spikes, can you help me with my patients who have an insulin pump and simply eat whatever they want (white sugar, white flour) then dial in the carb count to their pump to get the appropriate amount of insulin? I’m sure this can’t be good, aside from missing nutrients from the empty calories. What effect are all those insulin spikes having on the body? Their endocrinologists certainly aren’t warning them about it!




    0
  15. Thanks for the quick info about sugar + berries, but that seemed quite obvious… good thing it is now proven by some researches !

    I found the fructose part a lot more interesting as its effects seems worse than glucose, and I was wondering if the “berry effect” applied to fructose too? Also, I thought the fatty acid peak after the fructose intake was actually the fructose that was transformed into fat by the liver, as its metabolic pathway is more similar to ethanol than glucose. Now, Berry + industrial fructose mixture: what do you think the result would be ? :)

    Here’s an educational video that compares ethanol and fructose long term exposure effect, along with detailed liver function for fructose metabolism (by Dr Lustig PhD):
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dBnniua6-oM&feature=youtu.be&t=51m50s




    0
  16. What does he mean by this:

    “In response our body dumps fat into our blood stream as if we’re starving”.

    Where does that fat come from?




    0
  17. Great video. What happens to the fat that is eventually dumped into the blood as a result of eating table sugar? Why is that increase in blood fats a problem? Thank you.




    0
  18. The takeaway message is how it is best to eat whole berries; in fact, include them in every way we can — the natural fiber and phytonutrients are used slow and well by the body — and avoids ‘freak out’ responses by the body, which stress out our insulin and fat tissue mechanisms.




    0
    1. HI Emmanuel. The concept that sugar feeds cancer cells is misleading. Processed and refined foods can be health depleting foods for cancer patients, whereas health supporting foods are food rich in fiber and antioxidant. Fruits fall into this category, often the dark berries are best and also low in fruit sugar as is. I cannot comment on Brian Clement. He was in the news recently poorly representing diet and health. I understand news stories can be misleading, so that devastating story besides I have seen one of his talks and I am not convinced of his dietary approaches until more research is known.

      Thanks,
      Joseph




      0
  19. Hi Dr. Greger. What do you think of the Eu’s ban on american apples because they contain dpa? Should I avoid eating conventionally grown american apples as well? I just bought a bunch of them and I don’t know if I should throw them away or eat them.




    0
    1. Hmmm. Not sure? Have you seen his latest video on organics? I hate wasting food, period. I cannot say what to do. I recommend what Dr. Greger mentions. Basically eat organic whenever possible. Consuming conventional produce has more benefits than risks.




      0
      1. it’s very cleansing. If apples cn clean your teet they can clean your insides! Tey r also full of nutrition and eaten raw usually!




        0
  20. If your trying to lose weight, fruit is bad no matter which way you look at it, even if it is a complex carb.

    Think about it.. it’s already been proven that diseases like gout did not manifest from diets high in meat but rather high in sugar, so how exactly did gout get labelled as the Kings disease if meat was ruled out?

    What’s the one food that ancient royalty seemed to snack on all the time? Come on it’s easy, it’s been documented that they always had big plates or platters of this around because of it’s sweetness…. fruit. Your common peasants never had gout, neither did soldiers, gladiators, or workers. It was always those lazy whip crackers with the giant platters of fruit beside them.




    0
  21. Sugar in fruits dont act the samevway as added sugar. Wen u add sugar u cause an imbalance and the body is a big wuantum chemical equation trying to balance




    0
  22. Hi, my school is telling me that; to much fructose will be converted by the liver into cholesterol? Never heard of this and I was quite dazzled. can someone please refer to some scientific proof so i can discuss this with them.




    0
    1. Thanks for your question! No need to avoid any type of fruit when trying to lose weight. Dr. G actually recommends 3 servings of fruit per day as part of his Daily Dozen. All fruits are intact carbohydrates that contain a variety of wonderful vitamins/minerals/antioxidants and lots of fiber. So, go ahead and enjoy those bananas and mangos too! Hope this helps!




      0
        1. One serving = 1/2 cup fresh or frozen berries, 1 medium-sized fruit, or 1 cup of cut-up fruit. A medium banana would be about 1 serving – a large banana might be about 1.5 servings.




          0
  23. What about eating fruit if you have cancer? Cancer cells love sugar, so does that mean people with cancer should avoid fruit? Or, is it OK to eat whole fruit but not juice? That is what I am doing (mostly berries), but I would like to know whether that’s a good idea.




    0
    1. TeriThomas: I can think of several videos on this site showing fruit fighting cancer. I agree that eating the whole fruit makes more sense. And if you actually have cancer, you might want to focus on those fruits which are proven to fight cancer best. Here are some videos you might want to check out:
      http://nutritionfacts.org/video/which-fruit-fights-cancer-better/
      http://nutritionfacts.org/video/strawberries-versus-esophageal-cancer/
      http://nutritionfacts.org/video/cranberries-versus-cancer/
      There’s probably more videos on the same topic as well. I just did a very quick search.




      0
  24. I don’t know where the hatred of Fructose came from if not the sugar industry. First of all, table sugar (which is sucrose) is a combination of glucose and fructose. Glucose spikes blood sugar to a higher level than fructose, (because it is blood ready and requires no breakdown, being the simple source of energy for all our functions bodily, yet needed in a steady limited blood sugar level, such as is produced by digesting more complex carbs). Glucose requires no digestion and goes straight to the blood.
    From Wikipedia : “There are speculations that excessive fructose consumption is a cause of insulin resistance, obesity,[9] elevated LDL cholesterol and triglycerides, leading to metabolic syndrome,[10][11][12] type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease.[13] However, the European Food Safety Authority stated that fructose is preferred over sucrose and glucose in sugar-sweetened foods and beverages because of its lower effect on post-prandial blood glucose levels.[14] Further, the UK’s Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition in 2015 disputed the claims of fructose causing metabolic disorders, stating that “there is insufficient evidence to demonstrate that fructose intake… leads to adverse health outcomes independent of any effects related to its presence as a component of total and free sugars.”
    In the health food industry crystalline fructose is sold as a healthier alternative to sugar. If you drink 100% pure grape juice it is often sweetened with fructose (legally) to match a standard level of expected sweetness, fructose being THE naturally occurring sugar in grape juice.




    0
  25. Dr Micheal, Could you kindly let me know if there are any conditions where fruit should be limited like with elevated triglicerides or cholesterol or is fruit ok for everyone? I am a health educator in Chile and literally everyone has jumped on the band wagon that fruit is the cause of non alcoholic liver and everything else. I believe fruit should be a large part of our diet and the more we eat the better but there might be some exceptions?




    0
    1. Bridget: Fructose is natural too… You might want to research agave. Last I read, depending on the brand you get, agave can have a large percentage of fructose.




      0
  26. Hello Michael,

    I really appreciate all the research interpretation NutritionFacts disseminates. You have changed the way I live and think about a meaningful lifestyle.

    My questions are: is it correct to say high consumption of fruits (such as berries, cranberries, cherries, grapes, dates and apples) in the tune of 300-500 grams per day is perfectly appropriate from a health perspective?

    Dr Hyman suggests we obtain the majority of our carbohydrates from cruciferous vegetables, and suggests we consume even starchy vegetables and black/red/brown rice in moderation, and avoid gluten entirely. What are your thoughts on this? I eat organic whole rolled oats daily, sweet potato daily, and organic rye/whole grain/spelt bread daily – according to Hyman this is bad.

    Cheers! :)




    0
    1. Lee Hendry: Being an American, I’m not as familiar with the grams units. I can say that Dr. Greger recommends one serving of berries a day and 3 servings of other fruit. A serving of berries is about 1/2 cup fresh berries. Other fruits is about 1 medium sized fresh fruit or 1 cup cut-up fruit. You can learn more about Dr. Greger’s daily recommendations by reading up on the Daily Dozen, which is part 2 of Dr. Greger’s book, How Not To Die.

      Also, here is a NutritionFacts video on maximum fruit that is probably safe to eat each day: http://nutritionfacts.org/video/how-much-fruit-is-too-much/ Fruit is mentioned in terms of grams in that video, so it might really interest you.

      As for Dr. Hyman: He is not a credible source of information in my opinion. When all is said and done, Hyman is citing studies, but he is misleading people in various ways when he does it. VegCoach found the following 4 minute video about one of Mark Hyman’s claims that demonstrates my point. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RovJRlTbsgw&feature=youtu.be
      .
      Also, the following post from Tom Goff looks into some of the other of Hyman’s claims. http://nutritionfacts.org/2016/03/22/the-effects-of-dietary-cholesterol-on-blood-cholesterol/#comment-2584872026

      Does this help?




      0
      1. Thank you for your considered response! I’ll be sure to look at those links later today. The Dr Hyman info is interesting.

        Again, thank you :)




        0
  27. A lot of honey producers or sellers add syrup to the honey to make it larger in volume. Many tell you it is pure honey when it is not.




    0
  28. I have been consuming fruit smoothies for the past several years and considered ceasing doing so after learning of Dr. Esselstyn’s view of smoothies, which virtually attributes the various damages of industrial fructose to smoothies due to the natural fiber being disrupted. Luckily, in this video and others, Dr. Greger replied to each and every claim made by Dr. Esselstyn and proved them erroneous, except for one: the latter attributed damage to the endothelium to smoothies. I would presume this is yet another damage caused by industrial fructose mistakenly attributed to blended fruit fructose, but I would like to hear some substantiated opinions. Thank you.




    0

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This
[i]
[i]