Sugar in fruit and vegetables

Are natural sugars good for me?

While vegetables and fruits contain sugar, that sugar isn’t anything to worry about

Whilst going full swing into summer fruit season, I thought it would be fitting to discuss the sugar content of our favourite fruits. Don’t be put off, general consensus is that you can still eat what’s in this weeks box! 

Most of us know that we need to cut down on sugar - doing so can lower your blood pressure, decrease your risk of heart attack and make you less likely to develop dementia. But do you know adults should have no more than 30g of free sugars a day, (roughly equivalent to 7 sugar cubes). 

While vegetables and fruits contain sugar, that sugar isn’t anything to worry about — veggies’ micronutrients and fibre more than make up for their (relatively low) sugar content. It is worth noting that the body metabolises fruit sugar differently than processed or added sugars. 

But doesn’t fruit have tonnes of sugar? Fruit contains two types of sugar: fructose and glucose. The proportions of each vary, but most fruits are about half glucose and half fructose. Glucose raises blood sugar, so the body must use insulin to metabolise it. Fructose does not raise blood sugar. Instead, the liver breaks it down. The benefits of eating fruit far outweigh any purported or hypothetical risks. These include:

Increased fibre intake: Consuming fibre can help a person feel fuller for longer, reduce food cravings, nourish healthful gut bacteria, and support healthful weight loss. Consuming fibre may also help a person maintain more consistent blood glucose, which is especially important for people with diabetes.

Lower sugar consumption: People who replace sweet snacks with fruit may eat less sugar and fewer calories.

Better overall health: Fruit consumption is linked to a wide range of health benefits. Fruit and vegetable consumption, according to one 2017 analysis, reduces the overall risk of death. Consuming fruits and vegetables also lowers the risk of a range of health conditions, including heart disease and cancer.

Lower risk of obesity: However it is suggested that you always choose 3/5 vegetables and 2/5 fruits as a ratio to keep a healthy diet.  But what are the lowest sugar content fruits and veggies? 

The lowest sugar fruits are: 

  • Lemons (and limes)
  • Raspberries.
  • Strawberries.
  • Blackberries.
  • Kiwis.
  • Grapefruit.
  • Avocado.
  • Watermelon.

Whilst the lowest sugar vegetables are: 

  • Mushrooms
  • Watercress
  • Red leaf lettuce (good job Perry Court team for buying loads of red lettuces this year!) 
  • Kale
  • Beetroot greens - lucky you
  • Celery - try juicing it or adding to casseroles
  • Broccoli
  • Cucumber
  • Chard
  • Cauliflower
  • Radishes
  • Asparagus

Luckily a lot of these items are in your boxes already! So that ice lolly won’t be a problem this summer. 

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