Episode 96. The Truth About Fruit

Mar 5, 2018 | 0 comments

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Show Notes

So, what’s up with all that sugar in fruit? The Coach provides some facts to counter the hype and nonsense that fruit can make you fat.


“If it comes from a plant, eat it; if it was made in a plant, don’t”

  • A few popular diets out there urge people to stop eating fruits because their natural sugars (fructose) are thought to contribute to weight gain. Research says otherwise: Fructose “additive” is the issue, fruit is not.
  • Only fructose from added sugars appears to be associated with declining liver function, high blood pressure, and weight gain. Scott cites papers by Petta S, et al. and Madero M, et al.
  • How could the fructose in sugar be bad, but the same fructose in fruit be harmless? Think about the difference between a sugar cube and a sugar beet. (Beets are the primary source of sugar in the United States)
  • In nature, fructose comes prepackaged with the fiber, antioxidants, and phytonutrients, that appear to nullify adverse fructose effects. Eating fructose the way nature intended carries benefits rather than risks.
  • Even eating a cup of blended berries with sugar added creates no additional spike in blood sugar (reference to study by Törrönen R, et al. cited). This may be because of the physiologic effects and nutrient composition of the fiber in fruit.
  • Low-dose fructose may actually benefit blood sugar control. Eating a piece of fruit with each meal could be expected to lower -rather than raise- the blood sugar response.
  • Research has shown/concluded that “the intake of fruit should not be restricted in patients with type 2 diabetes.”
  • The research group who invented the glycemic index found that feeding subjects a fruit, -vegetable-, and nut-based diet had no adverse effects on weight, blood pressure, or triglycerides, and lowered LDL (“bad”) cholesterol by 38 points.
  • Research shows that health and protection from disease have to do with eating less saturated fat, less trans-fat, less cholesterol, and where applicable, less nitrites and less sodium.
  • Other benefits of eating fruit include improving the hunger-satiety feedback loop.
  • Fitness cover model Andy Sinclair joins the show to share how fruit is a big component of his food intake.



Petta S, Marchesini G, Caracausi L, et al. “Industrial, not fruit fructose intake is associated with the severity of liver fibrosis in genotype 1 chronic hepatitis C patients.” J Hepatol. 2013;59 (6): 1169– 76.

Madero M, Arriaga JC, Jalal D, et al. “The effect of two energy-restricted diets, a low-fructose diet versus a moderate natural fructose diet, on weight loss and metabolic syndrome parameters: a randomized controlled trial.Metab Clin Exp. 2011;60 (11): 1551– 9.

Törrönen R, Kolehmainen M, Sarkkinen E, Mykkänen H, Niskanen L. “Postprandial glucose, insulin, and free fatty acid responses to sucrose consumed with blackcurrants and lingonberries in healthy women.” Am J Clin Nutr. 2012;96  3): 527– 33.

Törrönen R, Kolehmainen M, Sarkkinen E, Poutanen K, Mykkänen H, Niskanen L. “Berries reduce postprandial insulin responses to wheat and rye breads in healthy women.” J Nutr. 2013;143 (4): 430– 6.\

Manzano S, Williamson G. “Polyphenols and phenolic acids from strawberry and apple decrease glucose uptake and transport by human intestinal Caco-2 cells.” Mol Nutr Food Res. 2010;54 12): 1773– 80.

Sievenpiper JL, Chiavaroli L, de Souza RJ, et al. “‘”Catalytic” doses of fructose may benefit glycemic control without harming cardiometabolic risk factors: a small meta-analysis of randomized controlled feeding trials.” Br J Nutr. 2012;108( 3): 418– 23.

Christensen AS, Viggers L, Hasselström K, Gregersen S. “Effect of fruit restriction on glycemic control in patients with type 2 diabetes— a randomized trial.” Nutr J. 2013;12: 29.

Meyer BJ, van der Merwe M, du Plessis DG, de Bruin EJ, Meyer AC. “Some physiological effects of a mainly fruit diet in man.” S Afr Med J. 1971;45 (8): 191– 5.

Meyer BJ, de Bruin EJ, du Plessis DG, van der Merwe M, Meyer AC. “Some biochemical effects of a mainly fruit diet in man.” S Afr Med J. 1971;45 (10): 253– 61.

Jenkins DJ, Kendall CW, Popovich DG, et al. “Effect of a very-high-fiber vegetable, fruit, and nut diet on serum lipids and colonic function.” Metab Clin Exp. 2001;50 (4): 494– 503.

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