There is much debate about carbohydrates in our diets, including fructose. But what actually happens when people eat a lot of fructose in the form of fruit?
In one experiment, people were asked to eat twenty – yes 20 – servings of fruit each day, for 3 to 6 months. Despite the extraordinarily high fructose content (equivalent to 8 cans of soda), investigators reported no adverse effects (and possible benefits) for body weight, blood pressure, and insulin and lipid levels. This 4 minute video gives more information and would a fifteenth of an hour spent – well – fruitfully.
The 2017 Global Burden of Disease Study, the largest of its type, reported that low fruit intake is responsible for an estimated 2 million deaths a year, along with 65 million disability adjusted life years (DALYs).
The bottom line seems to be that intact fruit, with its protective fibre, antioxidants and phytochemicals, is beneficial. On the other hand, processed foods with added fructose stay in the naughty corner. Once again it is reminder to choose unprocessed over industrialised food, and to take simplications such as “carbohydrates are bad” with a grain of salt. It might be short and snappy, but unfortunately it totally ignores the many different types of carbohydrates as well as the varied foods (and their levels of processing) in which they come.