What is Fructose?
Trying every diet but finding no luck? Take a look at your fructose intake. This can be a bit complex, but here are the basics about fructose, so you can read nutrition labels better and understand what you’re eating.
Fructose is a type of simple sugar or monosaccharide. Simple sugar is the most basic form of carbohydrate there is. There are three main types of simple sugars: glucose (dextrose), fructose (levulose), and galactose. Table sugar is called sucrose, a disaccharide, and it’s a blend of fructose and glucose.
Fructose occurs naturally in fruits, some vegetables, honey, agave nectar, and cane sugar. It’s sweeter than all of the other sugars. We won’t go into what high fructose corn syrup is in this article. It’s best to avoid it and understand that it is not a naturally occurring product, but the result of chemical manipulation of corn starch.
Isn’t Fruit Good for Me?
Yep. Fruit is healthy in moderation, even sweet fruit with a lot of fructose like grapes and watermelons. But you have to understand that a lot of the fructose you get in your diet isn’t by eating fruit. As we said, fructose makes up half of table sugar.
So you might be getting too much fructose in your diet without fully realizing it since it can go by other names, and you might be surprised about what foods contain fructose.
Fructose in Processed Foods
Everyone seems to know by now that soda isn’t good for your health.
Did you know that grape juice often has more sugar than sodas, though? Many fruit juices contain vast amounts of sugar and should be avoided, even though they may contain vitamins. It seems odd at first but think about it further.
Sure, fruit is good for health, but fruit juice is processed food. Our ancestors didn’t have blenders and food processors in the jungles and forests, and they would never have consumed so much juice at once.
Sauces, candy, juices…the list goes on of processed foods containing large amounts of fructose. It’s in so many foods, it’s too much to list. The simplest way to avoid too much fructose is to read labels and avoid processed foods.
It’s not bad to eat whole fruit because your body will naturally be full after eating fruit since it contains fiber. Just remember—fruit juices, canned fruit with added sweetener and jelly, and jams are all fruit products with too much sugar to be the right choice for your health.