Wednesday, December 03, 2014

Ask Will: Is it okay to eat over one’s daily recommended sugar intake if the calories are coming from fruit?


Is it okay to eat over one’s daily recommended sugar intake if the calories are coming from fruit?

Thank you!

Hi Chelsea!

In one sense, the source of sugar doesn't matter
All sugar, regardless of the source -- whether it's from a grossly over-sweetened faux food or from a perfectly healthy apple -- is composed of the same two parts: fructose and glucose. 

In fruit, the ratio of fructose to glucose varies a lot: 

  • apples have 65% fructose 
  • cranberries consist of 20% fructose.
  • The white granulated stuff you sprinkle in your food is 50%. 

In another sense, it matters a lot 
While the sugar molecules are the same across the board, the way your body processes them are definitely NOT the same. Glucose stimulates an insulin response (because your body needs it in order to pull it from your blood stream into your muscles and organs for energy). Fructose doesn't stimulate insulin, but is broken down in your liver.

In terms of sources of sugar, those from fruit are the best for about a million reasons. First, their effect on your body is moderated by the fiber present in the fruit. In other words, the glycemic index of a piece of fruit is lower because of the natural fiber found there. This means that the glucose is less likely to over-produce insulin -- which means you're less likely to get a carb crash 90 minutes later, leading to more hunger and more eating. 

Also, fruit is exceptionally healthy for you because it has critical vitamins and minerals you need every day. It should be your multi-vitamin of choice!! 

Back To Your Question
All that said, you can overeat anything in the world, including the sugar found in very healthy fruit. So the first answer to your question is to go for fruit and reduce your consumption of other forms of sugar.  

This will be better for you from a nutritional standpoint, and a weight standpoint. 

The second part of your question comes down to volume. If you have cut out extraneous forms of sugar (from all processed food products and drinks, for example) and you are STILL over-consuming sugars, then yes you should pull back on that as well.

Thanks again Chelsea! Let me know if you have any questions at all.

For more information: Click here to visit Will Clower's website.

Spoiler Alert. Holiday Drink Calorie Counts

Knowledge is power. 

But it can also be a bummer if your secret favorite on-the-sly guilty pleasure is some form of eggnog brulee latte whipped caramel cream explosion thingy.

So I wanted to give you just a little understanding of what is in your holiday cheer. When we are given plain information, I think people can make much better decisions. With that in mind, check out the following graphics to see just what surprise awaits you in your little holiday indulgence!

From The Fast Food Lane
This pic comes from a standard fast food version of eggnog. It's very clear that this is not something that you should choose because it's amazing. 

A whopping 730 calories in one serving. That's almost one-half of all the calories you need in an entire day, piled on just because you made an impulse purchase in the drive-thru. This one is a total no-brainer. There are many more wonderful ways to get your calories that this.

From Your Grocery Store
Clearly, "fast food everything" should always be suspect. But what about the stuff that's in a standard grocery store? 

This picture shows the ingredients found in one particular brand of eggnog in one particular grocery store. There's nothing notable about this ... except the rogue's gallery of additive sugars. 

High fructose corn syrup, sugar, corn syrup, AND brown sugar (because sweeteners 1, 2, and 3 just weren't enough!). That's why just one cup gives you 360 calories. If that weren't enough to prevent you from giving this to your children, check out the colors, preservative, and stabilizers. That should do it.
From The Coffee Shop
Finally, these are the calorie counts and nutritional information for all Starbucks holiday products. 

If you want to maintain your weight over the holidays this year, giving up these massive sources of calories would be a good place to start.  

For more information: Click here to visit Will Clower's website.

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