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Fruits are Sweet But Quitting Sugar Doesn’t Mean You Have To Stop Eating Them! Here’s Why!

Fruits are Sweet But Quitting Sugar Doesn’t Mean You Have To Stop Eating Them! Here’s Why!

We all know sugar can damage our health in so many ways and this is why many of us choose to slash our daily sugar intake by eating and drinking more healthily.

Entering into a sugar detox program has many benefits but is the advice we’re being given accurate? Cutting out refined sugars is the obvious solution but some people suggest eliminating fruits that contain naturally occurring sugars and carbohydrates that contain both simple and complex sugars is also necessary to lessen our sugar intake. But is this true or by cutting out all types of sugars causing an imbalance in our diet?

We think sugar is the devil. Is it true?

When we hear the word sugar, we think sweet and this association in our mind can cause us to believe that cutting down on fruits is necessary for a low-sugar diet.

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But are naturally-occurring sugars such as fructose really as bad as processed or refined sugars? And are we actually restricting ourselves by eliminating them from our diet in the name of health?

Naturally-occurring sugar and refined sugar are actually the same

All sugar is made up of two components – fructose and glucose – and this applies to anything from chocolate cake to bananas. In other words, the molecular structure of all sugars is the same.

Our bodies process sugars by sending it from the blood stream to the pancreas which then releases insulin – a hormone that acts as your body’s sugar regulator. From there it’s either converted into energy or stored as fat in the muscles, liver or fat cells. Eat too much sugar and your body will start calling for more insulin release and over time can cause insulin resistance. This means it’s unable to efficiently convert sugars into useable energy. Of course, this can commonly lead to diabetes and other health problems.

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Although the sugar content is the same, fruits are still healthier for us

Despite the sugar structure being the same whether it’s a doughnut or a strawberry, the way our body processes fruit sugars is different to refined sugars.

Fruit is nutritionally valuable

First (and most obviously) fruit contains more than just sugars. They are packed full of vitamins, antioxidants and water that are beneficial for a healthy working body. This is comparable to products containing refined sugars that are pretty much nutritionally void, high in saturated fats and offer no extra benefits.

Fruit’s high fibre changes the way our body digests sugar

The second benefit of fruit is its fibre content. This is significant because the presence of fibre allows our bodies to break down the sugars in a more efficient way. Fibre slows down the digestion of glucose which means the body has more time to use the sugar as fuel rather than storing it as fat and not creating the sudden spike in insulin that can crash and cause low-sugar levels. This is beneficial because it won’t form the common cravings we get from sweets and treats.

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Fruit has less sugar by volume

The third reason why fruit can’t be fully equal to a slice of cake, is that fruit contains less sugar by volume in comparison. If you’re comparing 100g of strawberries to 100g of cake then cake will win in the ‘most-sugar’ competition.

Want to replace whole fruit with fruit juices? They are not the same!

This is where people can get confused because they will choose to drink orange juice or other fruit juices because they assume it’s healthy and the same as eating the whole fruit.

The problem with fruit juices is that they’re pretty much a concentrated source of fructose but with all the nutritional stuff taken out. That wonderful fibre that helps digest the sugars more efficiently is found in the skin and pulp of a whole fruit but the majority of it is removed from the juice you drink. This means the sugars get absorbed by the liver at a faster speed so basically acting as refined sugar does – spiking your insulin and mostly storing it as fat in your cells.

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Studies have found that a glass of fruit juice contains the same amount of sugar as a glass of Coca Cola [1] and as a liquid form with no nutrition present, it can cause havoc for your health.

Sugar is a necessary part of our diet!

Yes, while sugar has got a bad reputation over the years this is only due to the rise in refined sugar products and our increasing consumption of them. In fact, a study found that eating fruit on a daily basis actually decreased the risk of diabetes in women [2] as well as heart disease [3].

Sugar is a necessary part of our diet and there’s a reason why it occurs naturally in the foods we eat – it’s essential in providing our cells with energy in order for them to function properly. Therefore, eating naturally-occurring sugars such as fructose (or even lactose found in milk) will provide you with a healthy amount of sugar with the exception of fruit juices. Consuming sugar with fibre in fruit will be digested in the right way and allow your body to work effectively.

Featured photo credit: Unsplash.com via pexels.com

Reference

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Jenny Marchal

Freelance Writer

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Last Updated on December 13, 2018

12 Practical Tips To Stay Fit For Christmas

12 Practical Tips To Stay Fit For Christmas

Christmas is approaching fast, and lots of people not only tend to ruin their usual diets, but they also gain a few extra pounds. Based on studies, the majority of people tend to gain additional weight during the holiday season that starts at the Thanksgiving Day and ends with the New Year celebrations. Excessive eating is claimed to be the main cause for the additional weight gain, but it is also due to lack of physical activity and exercise.

A lot of individuals out there tend to set aside their fitness routines during the holidays since they believe that they do not have enough time to perform their workouts. And because they feel guilty after the holiday season, most of the gyms and fitness centers are packed with fresh members. Always bear in mind that you can still enjoy the holidays and stay fit at the same time. If you want to stay fit during the holiday season, especially during Christmas and the New Year’s Eve, here are some useful tips that might help you:

1. Eat Before Heading Out

First, it is best that you eat something before heading out to visits, trips or family dinners. By doing so, you will no longer be tempted to eat a lot or overindulge yourself since you have already eaten. Skipping on meals is not a good idea either, because you will only be forced to eat more later.

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2. Select The Treats

Make sure to select the treats that you eat in a wise manner. You should choose something that you can only enjoy during the holiday season and not something that is readily available all the time.

3. Avoid Skipping Meals

Don’t skip meals, especially breakfast! Even though it can be tempting to skip on certain meals, believing that it will make up for the treats you consumed in the previous day, don’t do it because it will only lead to counterproductive results.

4. Drink With Moderation

It is best to regulate your drinking since alcohol, coke or other juices will only add more calories to the ones you already eaten!

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5. Be Active

You should still perform your fitness routine whenever possible and if you can’t do that, simply walk more, park your car some distance away from the store or just use the stairs!

6. Get Out Of The House

Make the holidays a family affair and plan outdoor activities where everyone is involved. Even a snowball fight in the backyard will burn a lot of calories and will keep the children entertained.

7. Don’t Skip Your Strength Workouts

Always remember to perform your strength training in order to maintain that muscle mass you worked hard to get. You might be tempted to use lightweights and just do some cardio, but you can burn just as many calories by lifting weights. And with all of those extra stakes you had on the holiday meals, you might even gain some extra muscle. And this is much better than gaining some extra fat.

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8. Set Realistic Goals

You should set realistic exercise objectives. Aim for at least half an hour per day and you will be very happy when you will achieve that. If you plan one hour or more and not achieve it, you will only end up disappointed.

9. Enjoy Yourself

Also make sure to set realistic diet plans! Trying to restrain yourself totally from some foods will only make you eat more. Feel free to enjoy the treats that you really love, but in small portions.

10. Drink A Lot Of Water

This can satiate your appetite as well as keep you hydrated at all times. And it will also prevent a possible hangover if you overdo it with alcohol.

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11. Eat Less And More Often

Distribute your meals evenly throughout the day, and do not eat everything at once.  Instead of having 2 enormous meals, have 5 small ones.  Eat your dinner earlier and have a nice walk before going to bed.

12. Prioritize Your Workouts

Try to do them early in the morning while everyone else is still sleeping. This way you will also avoid remarks like “Oh, come on! It’s Christmas…”

So there you go! Twelve simple tips that will help you avoid gaining weight during the winter holidays, but will also allow you to enjoy yourself and have a great time with your loved ones.

Happy Holidays everyone!

Featured photo credit: rawpixel via unsplash.com

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