Worried that eating fruit will boost your blood sugar? No need. New research shows the sugar in whole fruits does not cause the same kind of spikes in insulin that table sugar, sodas, and sweet desserts can produce.
Unlike honey, cane sugar, high-fructose corn syrup, and other forms of sugar that are added to many processed foods, the natural sugar in fruit is consumed with fiber, which helps your body absorb the sugar more slowly, The New York Times
When you consume a food or beverage that contains carbohydrates, your digestive system breaks the carbs down into a type of sugar called glucose, which enters the bloodstream. When glucose levels rise, the pancreas produces insulin, a signal to your cells to absorb the glucose so it can be used immediately as energy or stored in the liver and muscles.
Repeatedly eating foods that cause surges in blood sugar makes the pancreas work harder. Over time, that can lead to Type 2 diabetes.
Refined grain products like white bread, crackers, and cookies, are low in fiber, deliver large amounts of carbs per serving, and are digested very quickly, raising blood sugar and insulin levels. So do liquid carbs, such as in sugary sodas.
But Dr. David Ludwig, director of the New Balance Foundation Obesity Prevention Center at Boston Children’s Hospital, explains that sugars in whole fruit are effectively sequestered within the fiber scaffolding of the cells, and it takes time for the digestive tract to break down those cells.
Consequently, four apples contain as much sugar as 24 ounces of soda, but the slow rate of absorption minimizes the blood sugar surge.
“If we take a nutrient-centric approach, just looking at sugar grams on the label, none of this is evident,” Dr. Ludwig said. “So it really requires a whole foods view.”
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