You will find fructose in several foods and beverages that we all consume every day. It’s even found in juice, sports drinks, and sodas. It is a simple sugar which occurs naturally in fruits and vegetables, but it is also in the sweeteners used for beverages through the use of high-fructose corn syrups and similar products.
When you consume fructose when eating whole fruits, however, the fiber you receive helps to offset the negative impact that the sugars have on your glucose levels.
A review published in the November 2018 journal BMJ found that fructose which comes from a natural resource is less likely to increase your risks of type 2 diabetes (T2D) when compared to sugary beverages.
The Issue: Nutritional Value
Sugars become potentially harmful, especially when looking at the issue of T2D development, when they provide excessive calories in the diet.
Too many calories can lead to adverse metabolic effects and outcomes. This issue is what leads to an increased risk of type 2 diabetes for the individual.
That is why there is a difference between sugary beverages and fruit products. The drinks do not offer any nutritional value when consumed, yet could contribute 200 calories or more per serving.
These sugar-sweetened beverages will also increase insulin and glucose levels in the body.
Fruits offer a different impact. Even if they are consumed as excessive calories, they don’t impact insulin or glucose levels in the same way.
That means you don’t need to worry if you’re thinking about adding more fruit to your diet.
The Other Benefits of Eating Fruit
If you take fructose from fruits (or other natural sources), then you are not consuming it as a pure sugar. It is consumed as a soluble fiber. That slows the absorption of the sugars, and it could even help to reduce your LDL cholesterol numbers.
Fruits will improve the microbiota in your intestine when consumed regularly too. Those microorganisms aid in the digestive process, helping to stabilize your blood sugar numbers over time.
Although fruit juice does come from a natural source, it does not always contain the same levels of fiber that the whole fruit offers. That means you should consume it in moderation to avoid excessive calories.
What Are the Recommendations?
If you have type 2 diabetes or prediabetes, then your first and best option is to follow the nutritional guide offered by your doctor. Do not make any changes to this treatment plan unless you speak with your medical team first.
Then try to opt for whole fruits instead of drinking fruit juice when you feel hungry. Eat fruit when you feel a craving for something sweet, like cookies or candy, to prevent excessive consumption of empty calories.
Then don’t overconsume when you do have juice or sweets. A small treat can satisfy cravings without encouraging higher calorie consumption.
If you do not eat with moderation, then all foods (including fruit) can become part of the problem with T2D. Choosing whole fruits while eating with appropriate portion sizes can help to lower risks while supporting your good health.