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What is Fruit Sugar?

Fruit sugar, known as fructose, is a natural sweetener found in fruits, honey, and root vegetables. Unlike refined sugars, fructose comes packed with vitamins, minerals, and fiber, offering a healthier energy boost. But how does the body process it, and what are its true impacts on our health? Discover the sweet facts and myths by diving deeper into the world of fruit sugar.
Malcolm Tatum
Malcolm Tatum
Malcolm Tatum
Malcolm Tatum

Also known as fructose, fruit sugar is a simple sugar or monosaccharide that is found in many different kinds of ripe fruits. Different from glucose and sucrose, this sugar is extremely sweet and is often used in the preparation of commercial food products. Along with being found in a number of fruits, fructose is also present in honey and a select number or vegetables such as onions, parsnips, and sweet potatoes.

Considered to be the sweetest of all the naturally occurring carbohydrates, fruit sugar is a favorite with food manufacturers for two reasons. First, this natural sweetener is less expensive than refined sugar products, making it more cost effective. At the same time, sugar from fruit is so sweet that smaller amounts are required in order to achieve the same level of sweetness in a given recipe. This factor also makes it possible to producers of commercial foods to manufacture their products with a lower cost per finished unit.

Honey contains fruit sugar.
Honey contains fruit sugar.

While it is true this natural sugar tends to be sweeter than refined sugars, it is important to note that fruit sugar is no less dangerous for people who are diabetic or current diagnosed as being in a pre-diabetic state. Fructose will still cause blood sugar levels to peak. In some people, the rapid increase in levels is even more pronounced than with refined sugars. For this reason, it is important for people attempting to control diabetes with diet to monitor closely the amount of fruit sugar that is ingested during the course of the day. Using an up-to-date glycemic index will make it easier to monitor the amount of fructose absorbed from different fruits and vegetables.

Apples are relatively high in fruit sugar.
Apples are relatively high in fruit sugar.

Parents should be aware that excessive amounts of apple or pear juice could create health issues for their children. Because both types of juice are high in fruit sugar that is classified as free fructose, where less of the sugar is absorbed into the small intestine. Instead, the excess collects in the intestine and pulls water into the tract. The result of this action can lead to the development of diarrhea. While the nutrients found in these two juices is very important for normal growth, it is a good idea to include other sources of these essential nutrients in the daily diet as well.

Certain fruits and fruit juices, such as pears, are high in fruit sugar.
Certain fruits and fruit juices, such as pears, are high in fruit sugar.

Adults who frequently experience loose stool or frequent bouts with diarrhea may also want to monitor their selection of food items each day. The problems may be the result of consuming too much commercially prepared foods containing fruit sugar. Choosing to consume a more varied diet, as well as adding additional fiber to each meal, should correct the problems in a short period of time.

Malcolm Tatum
Malcolm Tatum

After many years in the teleconferencing industry, Michael decided to embrace his passion for trivia, research, and writing by becoming a full-time freelance writer. Since then, he has contributed articles to a variety of print and online publications, including DelightedCooking, and his work has also appeared in poetry collections, devotional anthologies, and several newspapers. Malcolm’s other interests include collecting vinyl records, minor league baseball, and cycling.

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Malcolm Tatum
Malcolm Tatum

After many years in the teleconferencing industry, Michael decided to embrace his passion for trivia, research, and writing by becoming a full-time freelance writer. Since then, he has contributed articles to a variety of print and online publications, including DelightedCooking, and his work has also appeared in poetry collections, devotional anthologies, and several newspapers. Malcolm’s other interests include collecting vinyl records, minor league baseball, and cycling.

Learn more...

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Discussion Comments

anon154304

Fruit sugar also converts into fat and extra calories. Three to five servings per day is enough for weight loss. Have your serving before 4 pm and make sure it's eaten with the skin on.

FernValley

People watching their fruit sugar, whether for blood sugar reasons or just to count calories, should also remember that dried fruit has as much fruit sugar as fresh fruit, and the fact that it’s more compacted only means that it’s easier to eat several servings of dried fruit without realizing it than to eat several servings of fresh fruit.

panda2006

While fruit sugar can affect blood sugar levels, it’s also true that many of the foods these sugars occur in naturally are high in fiber, meaning that eating foods with naturally occurring fruit sugar can still be part of a healthy diet that doesn’t have too much sugar.

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    • Honey contains fruit sugar.
      By: Jaimie Duplass
      Honey contains fruit sugar.
    • Apples are relatively high in fruit sugar.
      By: TristanBM
      Apples are relatively high in fruit sugar.
    • Certain fruits and fruit juices, such as pears, are high in fruit sugar.
      By: Lana Langlois
      Certain fruits and fruit juices, such as pears, are high in fruit sugar.
    • Fruit sugar, or fructose, is found in many different kinds of ripe fruits.
      By: peangdao
      Fruit sugar, or fructose, is found in many different kinds of ripe fruits.
    • The molecular formula of fructose -- or fruit sugar -- is the same as dextrose and glucose.
      By: baibaz
      The molecular formula of fructose -- or fruit sugar -- is the same as dextrose and glucose.