10

votes

If sugar is bad... Why is fruit ok, even in moderation?

Answered on September 12, 2014
Created May 20, 2010 at 2:06 AM

Natures Candy Cane

alt text Edit:Check out this writeup from Hyperlipid, thoughts? He has a series of these that make alot of sense...

http://high-fat-nutrition.blogspot.com/search/label/Fruit%20and%20vegetables%20%281%29%20re%20post Looking for clear explanation as to why Fructose in fruit, despite all the studies showing that its horrible for us, is still ok, in its whole natural form?

Bb3d1772b28c02da2426e40dfcb533f5

(5381)

on October 21, 2012
at 04:02 AM

Generally this might be true. Wild apples are less sweet. Wild berries are about the same. Id say some fruit is the same, and some is sweeter, not that they are all sweeter.

Bb3d1772b28c02da2426e40dfcb533f5

(5381)

on October 21, 2012
at 04:00 AM

Quantity (refined sugars), and context (exercise or not). I dont think a tiny amount of sugar is any a comparable carbs amount of fruit. They both break down into fructose and glucose. The fruit however, has nutrients as well. And given honey has health benefits, nutrients, and is sweeter per calorie, I dont see any reason for using sucrose (table sugar).

754ea47f49d14b0d8fd43dec0b5eb932

(55)

on June 13, 2012
at 03:34 AM

*arguing ever replaces… sorry, iPhone keyboard.

754ea47f49d14b0d8fd43dec0b5eb932

(55)

on June 13, 2012
at 03:27 AM

*responds to fruit…

754ea47f49d14b0d8fd43dec0b5eb932

(55)

on June 13, 2012
at 03:26 AM

I think Chris hit the nail on the head. It's best to just experiment and find out how YOUR INDIVIDUAL BODY leftovers to fruit. I have found that no amount of arguing evelefty laces self-experimentation.

B1859f696e88d25460a6b8a333412ea3

(837)

on June 13, 2012
at 12:02 AM

I have a cat that would rip open bags of marshmallows, when we used to buy them. That cat now begs for coconut oil, and if you rub it on your skin, you have to get away from it, because it will not stop trying to lick it off you! Crazy Carnivore Cat! He loves raw steak.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on March 02, 2012
at 09:16 PM

I think Denise Minger pretty much disproved this nonsense.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on March 02, 2012
at 09:15 PM

Lot of assumptions here....

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on March 02, 2012
at 09:10 PM

That's ridiculous. We would not have developed a transporter protein to move a toxin INTO our system. We would have flushed it out, undigested. Come on.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on March 02, 2012
at 09:08 PM

Being alive causes inflammation. I'd rather not kill myself for health.

F1e5ff10797e0e35cda081a4221cb614

(346)

on October 31, 2010
at 02:57 PM

Having said that, I tend to agree that consumption of fructose should be proportional to the amount of glycogen-depleting exercise performed on a regular basis.

F1e5ff10797e0e35cda081a4221cb614

(346)

on October 31, 2010
at 02:54 PM

Actually, not only after hard exercise, because muscle glycogen replenishment occurs over several days. Only liver glycogen is replenished quickly, within a few hours of consumption of fructose + glucose. This is one of the reasons why professional athletes consume so many carbs, not only after exercise, and still do not gain body fat.

1f70da0b737e9c6e7679a248f4228a01

on October 15, 2010
at 10:54 AM

vmary, I can end up with stomach pain, bloating, various changes in bowel movements, as well as the less-quantifiable cravings for more food.

0bc6cbb653cdc5e82400f6da920f11eb

(19235)

on September 22, 2010
at 09:14 PM

Our primate ancestors spent some 40 million years in the forests of the tropics eating fruit, among other things. More recently (2-3 million years) we have branched out into increasing meat eating.

4b97e3bb2ee4a9588783f5d56d687da1

(22923)

on September 22, 2010
at 10:11 AM

@Jay : it is assumed...

4b97e3bb2ee4a9588783f5d56d687da1

(22923)

on September 22, 2010
at 10:08 AM

Quercetin and tannins I've been reading some maybe we got it wrong lately...

4b97e3bb2ee4a9588783f5d56d687da1

(22923)

on September 21, 2010
at 04:16 PM

As for the second study, I'm not refuting the results, simply want to point out that we routinely shoot down non paleo research based on questionnaires and assumptions and that study is both.

4b97e3bb2ee4a9588783f5d56d687da1

(22923)

on September 21, 2010
at 04:10 PM

Transporter protein for fructose could be the same reason we have other detox capabilities, poor argument. It's up there with carbs are essential because we burn them first...

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on September 18, 2010
at 01:05 AM

GGP, what kind of effects?

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on September 18, 2010
at 01:00 AM

i get a mild headached when i eat a lot of grapes.

62ed65f3596aa2f62fa1d58a0c09f8c3

(20807)

on September 17, 2010
at 06:22 PM

I suspect that those who exercise more would do better with more fruit. Most of our ancestors would have exercised a lot. THose of us who are more sedentary will not be burning much glycogen and might do better with less fruit. There is probably some genetic adaptation as well. People might be served to considered where their ancestors came from and what exists naturally in those locations.

13b40c07d0aab810f48eec3d04877010

(410)

on August 17, 2010
at 08:19 PM

my kids get diarrhea when they eat too much fruit... not sure if that counts as "toxicity", but I'm thinking it's not a good thing!

4b97e3bb2ee4a9588783f5d56d687da1

(22923)

on August 17, 2010
at 11:08 AM

Consumed Starches = glucose without fructose

0bc6cbb653cdc5e82400f6da920f11eb

(19235)

on August 17, 2010
at 10:43 AM

Sugar is essential to life :)

100fd85230060e754fc13394eee6d6f1

(18696)

on August 16, 2010
at 11:31 PM

Just for the record. I'm against the eating of fruit, but I don't eat almond flour muffins or coconut milk shakes either. I eat meat, and that's it. GGP is, once again, spot on. The stuff we call fruit just isn't a natural food, and I for one can't eat it without repercussions.

4b97e3bb2ee4a9588783f5d56d687da1

(22923)

on August 16, 2010
at 08:21 PM

How do we know those others are in our best interests(just playing devils advocate, don't bit my head off)

1a8020e101199de55c1b3b726f342321

(1973)

on July 28, 2010
at 12:04 PM

Earl, high mango and other fructose rich fruit consumption in Thailand is linked by some to higher diabetes rates.

4b97e3bb2ee4a9588783f5d56d687da1

(22923)

on June 25, 2010
at 12:31 AM

That's the same link I just posted

A89f9751a97c3082802dc0bcbe4e9208

(13978)

on June 24, 2010
at 11:41 PM

Yay for sciency bits!

89e238284ccb95b439edcff9e123671e

(10299)

on May 25, 2010
at 04:01 PM

Earl, can you make this a question? It would be interesting (to me at least) to sea the responses. If you search on http://high-fat-nutrition.blogspot.com (on the right hand side, in the index) you will find some thoughts on fruits

1f70da0b737e9c6e7679a248f4228a01

on May 24, 2010
at 04:19 AM

The concern relates back to the metabolic millieu - fruit wasn't available in such permanent abundance, so the resultant blood sugar spike from fruit consumption would have been infrequent and seasonal, not the everyday norm. Sure, some people take it too far and will say that fruit is bad for everyone - others, like myself, know that the SAD has left us metabolically damaged and insulin resistant, which means that fructose may well be a poison, even when limited to periodic exposure. Experimenting on myself, I know that even berries trigger all sorts of unwanted effects. Individuation is key.

1f70da0b737e9c6e7679a248f4228a01

on May 24, 2010
at 04:15 AM

You have to cause inflammation before you need to fuss about reducing it.

9e2180e7bfd688eb52d4f0c536172024

(2004)

on May 22, 2010
at 01:54 PM

This has been my experience, too. Fresh cherries with coconut milk!

0bc6cbb653cdc5e82400f6da920f11eb

(19235)

on May 21, 2010
at 04:05 PM

Bit hard to answer in a comment. Some effects are likely through polyphenols. These include flavanoids such as quercetin and proanthocyanidins. Tannins like gallic acid. There are many others. Also fruit fibre like pectin.

1f70da0b737e9c6e7679a248f4228a01

on May 21, 2010
at 03:35 AM

(And if anyone reading this doesn't know that, check out the movie Fat Head by Tom Naughton, or his blog of the same name, for an accessible explanation)

1f70da0b737e9c6e7679a248f4228a01

on May 21, 2010
at 03:35 AM

If your body is sensitive enough to insulin that the slow release of glucose into the bloodstream is manageable, then all power to you. But conjecture is pointless unless you've done postprandial blood glucose testing and know how your body copes with carbs. Until then, you can't simply say that fruit is acceptable. If it causes high blood glucose levels, your system has to work hard to bring those levels down, which may require excesses of insulin, which we know causes cell starvation and beta cell damage, followed up by other long-term problems if left unmanaged.

1f70da0b737e9c6e7679a248f4228a01

on May 21, 2010
at 03:35 AM

I don't think anyone would take my comment to mean that a normal blood glucose level is going to be bad - I'm talking about an unnaturally high blood glucose level, caused by carbs. For some people, some fruit can do this, and for almost everyone, starchy, refined carbs have this effect. Some lucky folk can down a pound of pasta and their insulin sensitivity keeps their blood glucose in the normal range.

15d23403fb836f2b506f4f3ad2c03356

(1219)

on May 20, 2010
at 09:08 PM

Humans evolved in the east african highlands where the seasons don't play the same role they do in the northern hemisphere.

1340fe0b7e7b01683ea33042092e05d6

(1693)

on May 20, 2010
at 04:33 PM

Matthew, In what ways and pathways does fruit reduce inflammation?

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on May 20, 2010
at 04:16 PM

Yeah, people seem to forget that they are straw**berries** and should be the size of other berries...

9d43f6873107e17ca4d1a5055aa7a2ad

on May 20, 2010
at 03:23 PM

Wild strawberries= sweet as candy. HOWEVER they are teeny tiny and it's hard to get a lot.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on May 20, 2010
at 03:02 PM

Thank you for this. I've seen a lot of vilifying of fruit recently on this site. I don't understand it. The paleo diet is supposed to be about eating "real food", yet people will come around and say that fruit is bad while snacking on their almond-flour muffins and coconut milk milkshake.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on May 20, 2010
at 02:59 PM

As the above comment said - there is a HUGE difference between a tablespoon of processed sugar and a tablespoon of an apple. You can't take the nutrients out of their contexts. Fruit is not sugar; fruit **contains** sugar, but it is not **just** sugar

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on May 20, 2010
at 02:57 PM

Seasonality does, however, play a role here. It causes weight gain, yes, but in the fall, when fruit was falling from tress and thus plentiful, the weight gain would be an advantage for the winter.

08ce57b1bbb3bda8e384234389c36d94

on May 20, 2010
at 01:48 PM

Good answer. I challenge anyone to show me a case where daily fruit consumption has lead to "toxicity" (whatever that means) or any ill effects whatsoever.

0bc6cbb653cdc5e82400f6da920f11eb

(19235)

on May 20, 2010
at 01:27 PM

Fruit reduces inflammation.

D5cde8031564f905260ce9aa7a1f5e2c

(1160)

on May 20, 2010
at 06:05 AM

It's mistake to suggest all wild fruits are bitter and sour. There's plenty of evidence that some wild fruits are just as sweet as cultivated fruits, and sometimes even sweeter. How else would they convince animals to eat them? Of course, wild fruits are generally smaller and less readily available than modern produce, so the effect - lower sugar consumption - was probably about the same. Don Matesz had a good post on this: http://donmatesz.blogspot.com/2010/03/paleo-basics-how-much-sugar-in-wild.html

B4313b18cc03036a6147543d7b0872d6

(566)

on May 20, 2010
at 04:08 AM

I think it's Lights Out (by Wiley) that suggests seasonal fruit intake prepared humans for the rigors of winter by adding on the needed fat. Probably one reason to eat much less.

Bdcb2101fd3f1853cfd645094d8ad086

on May 20, 2010
at 02:46 AM

What I meant to say was... it's misleading to call high blood glucose damaging because it might be misinterpreted to mean that glucose in the blood is damaging. There's nothing wrong with having glucose in the blood; it's the inability of the body to remove glucose from the blood which is damaging. A normally functioning endocrine system can handle small amounts of ingested carbs (25-50g) with ease.

Bdcb2101fd3f1853cfd645094d8ad086

on May 20, 2010
at 02:44 AM

Glycemic index, i.e. speed at which sugar hits the blood, is kinda irrelevant IMHO, if your overall dietary intake of carbs is low. The classic glycemic index was devised to compare rates of blood sugar spikes for different delivery systems of 50g of carbs. 50g... a lot of primal eaters get only 1-3x that amount PER DAY. And I think it is misleading to say that high blood glucose is damaging; hyperglycemia can result from insulin resistance (type II diabetes) or from lack of insulin production (type I). That's deadly, but normally, glucose in the blood is absolutely necessary for life.

431274eafd914ee34d9c57262c1f617a

on May 20, 2010
at 02:34 AM

You're right....acceptable doesn't mean good!!!

431274eafd914ee34d9c57262c1f617a

on May 20, 2010
at 02:33 AM

But again, this is VERY individual. For those of us with high sensitivity, fruit can cause spikes just as much as refined carbs.

1f70da0b737e9c6e7679a248f4228a01

on May 20, 2010
at 02:30 AM

A high blood glucose level is damaging, no matter how long it took to reach those levels.

9d43f6873107e17ca4d1a5055aa7a2ad

on May 20, 2010
at 02:21 AM

Fruit isn't just sugar. It's also fiber, antioxidants, and other phytochemicals.

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18 Answers

best answer

14
1f70da0b737e9c6e7679a248f4228a01

on May 20, 2010
at 02:28 AM

Acceptable doesn't mean good. There's a lot to be said for certain components of fruit and the possibility they carry of compensating for other deleterious lifestyle choices (anti-oxidants, anyone?). For those of us avoiding the negative sides of contemporary living (though it's all-but impossible to live perfectly cleanly these days) there may be some small benefit from eating fruit.

Personally, I don't eat any fruit because it raises my blood sugar, and I try to minimise all inflammation in my body, especially while I try to burn excess fat.

Fruit is, at least, meant to be eaten and therefore not full of the 'don't kill me' chemicals of veggies, but given our digestive system and the impact sugars have had on most of us throughout our lives, fructose may well still be a poison in its unrefined state.

Like all things, I think it's best to find out how your body responds before you rely on theories and grok-logic to make your nutrition decisions for you.

1340fe0b7e7b01683ea33042092e05d6

(1693)

on May 20, 2010
at 04:33 PM

Matthew, In what ways and pathways does fruit reduce inflammation?

1f70da0b737e9c6e7679a248f4228a01

on May 24, 2010
at 04:15 AM

You have to cause inflammation before you need to fuss about reducing it.

431274eafd914ee34d9c57262c1f617a

on May 20, 2010
at 02:34 AM

You're right....acceptable doesn't mean good!!!

0bc6cbb653cdc5e82400f6da920f11eb

(19235)

on May 20, 2010
at 01:27 PM

Fruit reduces inflammation.

0bc6cbb653cdc5e82400f6da920f11eb

(19235)

on May 21, 2010
at 04:05 PM

Bit hard to answer in a comment. Some effects are likely through polyphenols. These include flavanoids such as quercetin and proanthocyanidins. Tannins like gallic acid. There are many others. Also fruit fibre like pectin.

4b97e3bb2ee4a9588783f5d56d687da1

(22923)

on September 22, 2010
at 10:08 AM

Quercetin and tannins I've been reading some maybe we got it wrong lately...

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on March 02, 2012
at 09:08 PM

Being alive causes inflammation. I'd rather not kill myself for health.

best answer

9
8287c6ddae0d78eae0a09fdd5999617c

(2581)

on August 17, 2010
at 06:16 AM

Hunter-gatherers didn't just eat meat. It is likely that fruit made up a very large portion of calories. It's easy for people living in cities as many of us do to forget that food exists outside in the wild, whether in animal or plant form.

Most vegetables do not have much in the way of calories. The botanical definition of fruit also includes nuts. Fruit and nuts both have a fair amount of calories.

That was the concern. Getting more calories with more nutrition. They didn't have a culture of processed food, nor did they have a diet book culture. Humans in the wild devote their lives to food. Food is primal, and few things are more primal than fruit.

I read about wolves ravaging watermelon farms. Yep, they were eating the watermelons. Some people think humans are carnivores, but not even carnivores like the wolf can resist sweet fructose temptation.

Recently there has been reports of a study done where tumors were fed glucose and then fructose and from this they concluded that tumors "thrive" on fructose. Well, the vast majority of fruits are far from having 100% fructose like in those studies. Did they also feed these cancer cells protein or fat? They had a hypothesis (fructose makes tumors fat) and sought to replicate that. And maybe they didn't care whether it made sense or was logical or not. It fed into the current talk of fructose.

The fructose scare is doing nothing to make America healthy. All it will make people do is avoid HFCS, which is laughably small way to make a change unless one consumes sugary drinks regularly. Diet drinks have made a huge success in the market already. I think you have to consider the food that's being eaten, in what quantities, and the person's activity level. And because they think fructose is bad they are going to avoid healthy fruit.

Remember the low-fat craze, then there was a low-carb craze. And between all this we got lots of mini crazes based on avoiding this or that ingredient. HFCS (and all fructose by association) becomes a scapegoat for America's gluttony and sloth.

I would like everyone to consider the Kitava who consume lots of carbs including fruit and consider whether they are unhealthy, they're not. And obesity is rare. Most other hunter-gatherers also consume fruit. Only when humans ventured into cold climates (or perhaps also very hot desert climates) did we have to adopt very low carb diets simply because there wasn't much fruit to be found. Would it be close to the diet of much of our evolution? No. Would it get us through the harsh winter? Yes. Humans find ways to survive.

I just don't see how early apes would go from eating lots of fruit as they most likely did (our evolutionary heritage is arboreal, just look at all the other primates) to getting to a point where consuming it would be bad for our health. It seems contrary to evolution for such a nutritious and energy dense food source to become bad for the human species.

Recently I read a post on a low-carb blog extolling gluconeogenesis as proof that humans actually don't need any carbs. Our livers produce glucose anyway. Why would our bodies produce something we don't need in the first place for use in our body's systems? If sugar is so scary, why is glucose, abundant in our blood, a form of sugar?

0bc6cbb653cdc5e82400f6da920f11eb

(19235)

on August 17, 2010
at 10:43 AM

Sugar is essential to life :)

4b97e3bb2ee4a9588783f5d56d687da1

(22923)

on August 17, 2010
at 11:08 AM

Consumed Starches = glucose without fructose

62ed65f3596aa2f62fa1d58a0c09f8c3

(20807)

on September 17, 2010
at 06:22 PM

I suspect that those who exercise more would do better with more fruit. Most of our ancestors would have exercised a lot. THose of us who are more sedentary will not be burning much glycogen and might do better with less fruit. There is probably some genetic adaptation as well. People might be served to considered where their ancestors came from and what exists naturally in those locations.

B1859f696e88d25460a6b8a333412ea3

(837)

on June 13, 2012
at 12:02 AM

I have a cat that would rip open bags of marshmallows, when we used to buy them. That cat now begs for coconut oil, and if you rub it on your skin, you have to get away from it, because it will not stop trying to lick it off you! Crazy Carnivore Cat! He loves raw steak.

best answer

24
0bc6cbb653cdc5e82400f6da920f11eb

(19235)

on May 20, 2010
at 01:21 PM

There have been studies showing that consuming large amounts of fructose or sugar are bad for you. I don't recall seeing any studies showing that eating a peice of fruit has any harmful effects at all. Most studies show a neutral or positive correlation between fruit consumption and improved health outcomes.

If you eat too much protein you will poison yourself. Does this mean you should remove all protein from your diet? Most things are not poisonous at any quantity. The dose makes the poison. Even water can kill you if you drink enough of it.

There is no evidence of harm from the amounts of fructose in whole fruit but there are many benefits from other components of the fruit including vitamins, soluable fiber and phytochemicals. This probably does not apply to fruit juices that mostly just sugar so avoid drinking your fruit. If you have metabolic problems and cannot handle any fruit in your diet or need to restrict fruit to lose weight those are individual issuse, not the fault of the fruit. Of course not all fruits are equal but this applies to all foods. Fruit is not magic, simply the fructose content is to low to be problem, but it tastes good and at moderate consumption it has benefits.

A couple of sciency bits I found online:

http://endo.endojournals.org/cgi/content/full/139/3/827 You have a transporter protein in your gut thats only job is enable you to absorb fructose. Why would you have this if you were not meant to eat any fructose?

http://www.nutritionandmetabolism.com/content/7/1/42 Fruit intake is independently asscociated with lower levels of inflammation, which most people would consider a good thing.

08ce57b1bbb3bda8e384234389c36d94

on May 20, 2010
at 01:48 PM

Good answer. I challenge anyone to show me a case where daily fruit consumption has lead to "toxicity" (whatever that means) or any ill effects whatsoever.

89e238284ccb95b439edcff9e123671e

(10299)

on May 25, 2010
at 04:01 PM

Earl, can you make this a question? It would be interesting (to me at least) to sea the responses. If you search on http://high-fat-nutrition.blogspot.com (on the right hand side, in the index) you will find some thoughts on fruits

A89f9751a97c3082802dc0bcbe4e9208

(13978)

on June 24, 2010
at 11:41 PM

Yay for sciency bits!

1a8020e101199de55c1b3b726f342321

(1973)

on July 28, 2010
at 12:04 PM

Earl, high mango and other fructose rich fruit consumption in Thailand is linked by some to higher diabetes rates.

13b40c07d0aab810f48eec3d04877010

(410)

on August 17, 2010
at 08:19 PM

my kids get diarrhea when they eat too much fruit... not sure if that counts as "toxicity", but I'm thinking it's not a good thing!

4b97e3bb2ee4a9588783f5d56d687da1

(22923)

on September 21, 2010
at 04:10 PM

Transporter protein for fructose could be the same reason we have other detox capabilities, poor argument. It's up there with carbs are essential because we burn them first...

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on September 18, 2010
at 01:00 AM

i get a mild headached when i eat a lot of grapes.

4b97e3bb2ee4a9588783f5d56d687da1

(22923)

on September 21, 2010
at 04:16 PM

As for the second study, I'm not refuting the results, simply want to point out that we routinely shoot down non paleo research based on questionnaires and assumptions and that study is both.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on March 02, 2012
at 09:10 PM

That's ridiculous. We would not have developed a transporter protein to move a toxin INTO our system. We would have flushed it out, undigested. Come on.

12
5db563a5c94e73644be798fd16101cb8

on May 23, 2010
at 02:11 PM

There's a simple way to check if fruits are good for you or not. Buy a blood glucose monitor at your local drug store with some test strips. Take your fasting blood sugar in the morning. Then, have a meal with some fruit. Test your blood sugar one and two hours after. If it's above 120 two hours after the meal, fruit is causing dangerous elevations in blood glucose and you'll need to moderate it. If it's below 120 the amount of fruit you're eating is probably fine.

Obviously how you feel eating it should also determine the choices you make.

754ea47f49d14b0d8fd43dec0b5eb932

(55)

on June 13, 2012
at 03:34 AM

*arguing ever replaces… sorry, iPhone keyboard.

754ea47f49d14b0d8fd43dec0b5eb932

(55)

on June 13, 2012
at 03:27 AM

*responds to fruit…

754ea47f49d14b0d8fd43dec0b5eb932

(55)

on June 13, 2012
at 03:26 AM

I think Chris hit the nail on the head. It's best to just experiment and find out how YOUR INDIVIDUAL BODY leftovers to fruit. I have found that no amount of arguing evelefty laces self-experimentation.

10
4310630972b25b6ed4fbd0fe7a7201d0

on May 20, 2010
at 02:49 AM

Don't forget that the fruit (and vegetables) of today barely resemble their wild cousins that our paleo ancestors evolved eating. They have, for the most part, been bred to be larger, sweeter and juicier than nature intended.

On top of that, they are all available in greater quantities and for longer periods of time than we would typically expect to find in nature.

Combine those two points and you've got nature's candy bar on a tree (shrub or bush) staring you in the face.

9d43f6873107e17ca4d1a5055aa7a2ad

on May 20, 2010
at 03:23 PM

Wild strawberries= sweet as candy. HOWEVER they are teeny tiny and it's hard to get a lot.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on May 20, 2010
at 04:16 PM

Yeah, people seem to forget that they are straw**berries** and should be the size of other berries...

B4313b18cc03036a6147543d7b0872d6

(566)

on May 20, 2010
at 04:08 AM

I think it's Lights Out (by Wiley) that suggests seasonal fruit intake prepared humans for the rigors of winter by adding on the needed fat. Probably one reason to eat much less.

D5cde8031564f905260ce9aa7a1f5e2c

(1160)

on May 20, 2010
at 06:05 AM

It's mistake to suggest all wild fruits are bitter and sour. There's plenty of evidence that some wild fruits are just as sweet as cultivated fruits, and sometimes even sweeter. How else would they convince animals to eat them? Of course, wild fruits are generally smaller and less readily available than modern produce, so the effect - lower sugar consumption - was probably about the same. Don Matesz had a good post on this: http://donmatesz.blogspot.com/2010/03/paleo-basics-how-much-sugar-in-wild.html

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on March 02, 2012
at 09:16 PM

I think Denise Minger pretty much disproved this nonsense.

Bb3d1772b28c02da2426e40dfcb533f5

(5381)

on October 21, 2012
at 04:02 AM

Generally this might be true. Wild apples are less sweet. Wild berries are about the same. Id say some fruit is the same, and some is sweeter, not that they are all sweeter.

7
89e238284ccb95b439edcff9e123671e

(10299)

on May 25, 2010
at 04:55 PM

Something that is not discussed very often is that a kind of food can be good and bad at the same time. It can be good for your (Darwinian) fitness: more reproduction of genes. But it can be bad for long term health.

I think fruit could be considered to be like this. Fruit could cause beneficial nutrients (energy, phytochemicals, ...) that put our organism in a 'go-and-reproduce-now-is-the-time' modus.

This could (partially) explain why most of us like fruits: ancestors who liked fruits reproduced more offspring, even at a cost. Darwinian medicine talks about these trade-offs quite a lot.

(edit: just adding something to the discussion here, not saying all of the before mentioned answers are wrong, quite the contrary. My two cents on fructose: the poison is in the dose)

7
Bdcb2101fd3f1853cfd645094d8ad086

on May 20, 2010
at 02:38 AM

Just because something is toxic doesn't mean our metabolic system can't deal with it. Humans have been ingesting fructose, in relatively small quantities, since before they were humans; this is basically proven by comparative anatomy (grinding teeth are for veggies, etc). Sugar and fructose critic Robert Lustig has quipped that the sweet taste of fructose is like a lure that gets us to eat fiber and other useful micronutrients. Very much something that Michael Pollan might say (e.g. botany of desire).

Fructose toxicity is more of a long term, chronic concern than a short term concern; unlike alcohol, a single overdose of fructose will not kill you immediately. Long term chronic overexposure can kill you, but periodic exposure to limited quantities, so long as the total carbohydrate load of the diet is low, will not really hurt you. Our ancestors had periodic, seasonal fluctuations in the amount of fructose they ingested. If your fructose ingestion follows the same pattern, you should be fine.

Nevertheless, modern science would suggest that carbohydrate sources that are higher in starch or glucose are less toxic and should be preferred if you for some reason need to load carbohydrates. In that sense, at least, a white potato might be better than a sweet potato!

1f70da0b737e9c6e7679a248f4228a01

on May 24, 2010
at 04:19 AM

The concern relates back to the metabolic millieu - fruit wasn't available in such permanent abundance, so the resultant blood sugar spike from fruit consumption would have been infrequent and seasonal, not the everyday norm. Sure, some people take it too far and will say that fruit is bad for everyone - others, like myself, know that the SAD has left us metabolically damaged and insulin resistant, which means that fructose may well be a poison, even when limited to periodic exposure. Experimenting on myself, I know that even berries trigger all sorts of unwanted effects. Individuation is key.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on May 20, 2010
at 03:02 PM

Thank you for this. I've seen a lot of vilifying of fruit recently on this site. I don't understand it. The paleo diet is supposed to be about eating "real food", yet people will come around and say that fruit is bad while snacking on their almond-flour muffins and coconut milk milkshake.

100fd85230060e754fc13394eee6d6f1

(18696)

on August 16, 2010
at 11:31 PM

Just for the record. I'm against the eating of fruit, but I don't eat almond flour muffins or coconut milk shakes either. I eat meat, and that's it. GGP is, once again, spot on. The stuff we call fruit just isn't a natural food, and I for one can't eat it without repercussions.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on September 18, 2010
at 01:05 AM

GGP, what kind of effects?

1f70da0b737e9c6e7679a248f4228a01

on October 15, 2010
at 10:54 AM

vmary, I can end up with stomach pain, bloating, various changes in bowel movements, as well as the less-quantifiable cravings for more food.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on March 02, 2012
at 09:15 PM

Lot of assumptions here....

5
A727956fa3f943057c4edb08ad9e864e

on May 20, 2010
at 01:16 PM

I used to avoid fruit, then I added it back in to see what would happen, never more than one serving a day mind you and nearly always accompanied by a fat, such as a chopped kiwi with natural yoghurt on top. I lost weight faster, go figure, I think it satisfied a need in me and actually helped keep me on track. Mind you I never go above the one serving a day otherwise I mess too much with my blood sugar.

9e2180e7bfd688eb52d4f0c536172024

(2004)

on May 22, 2010
at 01:54 PM

This has been my experience, too. Fresh cherries with coconut milk!

5
Eb6bfe929604b87fa24cdab687e606c7

on May 20, 2010
at 02:28 AM

according to Cordain's original Paleo Diet book, fruit has a different effect on blood sugar than refined sugars do. takes longer to process or something, doesn't cause a spike, but rather, a more gradual release into the blood sugar.

1f70da0b737e9c6e7679a248f4228a01

on May 20, 2010
at 02:30 AM

A high blood glucose level is damaging, no matter how long it took to reach those levels.

1f70da0b737e9c6e7679a248f4228a01

on May 21, 2010
at 03:35 AM

(And if anyone reading this doesn't know that, check out the movie Fat Head by Tom Naughton, or his blog of the same name, for an accessible explanation)

1f70da0b737e9c6e7679a248f4228a01

on May 21, 2010
at 03:35 AM

I don't think anyone would take my comment to mean that a normal blood glucose level is going to be bad - I'm talking about an unnaturally high blood glucose level, caused by carbs. For some people, some fruit can do this, and for almost everyone, starchy, refined carbs have this effect. Some lucky folk can down a pound of pasta and their insulin sensitivity keeps their blood glucose in the normal range.

Bdcb2101fd3f1853cfd645094d8ad086

on May 20, 2010
at 02:44 AM

Glycemic index, i.e. speed at which sugar hits the blood, is kinda irrelevant IMHO, if your overall dietary intake of carbs is low. The classic glycemic index was devised to compare rates of blood sugar spikes for different delivery systems of 50g of carbs. 50g... a lot of primal eaters get only 1-3x that amount PER DAY. And I think it is misleading to say that high blood glucose is damaging; hyperglycemia can result from insulin resistance (type II diabetes) or from lack of insulin production (type I). That's deadly, but normally, glucose in the blood is absolutely necessary for life.

Bdcb2101fd3f1853cfd645094d8ad086

on May 20, 2010
at 02:46 AM

What I meant to say was... it's misleading to call high blood glucose damaging because it might be misinterpreted to mean that glucose in the blood is damaging. There's nothing wrong with having glucose in the blood; it's the inability of the body to remove glucose from the blood which is damaging. A normally functioning endocrine system can handle small amounts of ingested carbs (25-50g) with ease.

1f70da0b737e9c6e7679a248f4228a01

on May 21, 2010
at 03:35 AM

If your body is sensitive enough to insulin that the slow release of glucose into the bloodstream is manageable, then all power to you. But conjecture is pointless unless you've done postprandial blood glucose testing and know how your body copes with carbs. Until then, you can't simply say that fruit is acceptable. If it causes high blood glucose levels, your system has to work hard to bring those levels down, which may require excesses of insulin, which we know causes cell starvation and beta cell damage, followed up by other long-term problems if left unmanaged.

431274eafd914ee34d9c57262c1f617a

on May 20, 2010
at 02:33 AM

But again, this is VERY individual. For those of us with high sensitivity, fruit can cause spikes just as much as refined carbs.

3
Ce0b5fd94b1034e96cf710b6f138c29d

on September 21, 2010
at 11:03 PM

In the area where I hunt, there are a number of wild apple trees. It's mostly old farmsteads that have been abandoned long enough to reforest, and the apple trees, or their wild descendants, have hung on. The deer love them.

Their fruit is small, plum-sized at most, and tart; tarter even than Granny Smith apples. Modern apples are much larger and much sweeter. And when you consider that these wild apples are at most a couple of generations removed from strains that are at most a couple of centuries old?

Grok probably ate a lot of fruit. The fruit we get in the supermarkets is so engineered that one piece contains vastly more sugar than several of its paleolithic ancestors.

3
4a1512c822f4698855f126e16236668a

(116)

on May 20, 2010
at 01:07 PM

Good in small doses, bad in large doses.

15d23403fb836f2b506f4f3ad2c03356

(1219)

on May 20, 2010
at 09:08 PM

Humans evolved in the east african highlands where the seasons don't play the same role they do in the northern hemisphere.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on May 20, 2010
at 02:57 PM

Seasonality does, however, play a role here. It causes weight gain, yes, but in the fall, when fruit was falling from tress and thus plentiful, the weight gain would be an advantage for the winter.

4b97e3bb2ee4a9588783f5d56d687da1

(22923)

on September 22, 2010
at 10:11 AM

@Jay : it is assumed...

2
5d47ad4f5d7008a1b59c4a97a091a8cb

on September 17, 2010
at 05:49 PM

Ned Kock is correct when he tells us that fructose consumption is relatively benign (and even positive) when the liver is in a state of glycogen depletion. But let's remember, that's only after hard exercise and fasting. The rest of the time there is nothing positive that comes about from consuming fructose. However, when do most of us consume fructose? Generally, it is not when the glycogen stores are empty.

A careful look at the literature will convince the unbiased that fructose is a very problematic foodstuff. And it doesn't matter how you get that fructose. A poison is a poison--even if taken in small amounts and even if it is bound up with 'fiber' and 'micro-nutrients'.

F1e5ff10797e0e35cda081a4221cb614

(346)

on October 31, 2010
at 02:54 PM

Actually, not only after hard exercise, because muscle glycogen replenishment occurs over several days. Only liver glycogen is replenished quickly, within a few hours of consumption of fructose + glucose. This is one of the reasons why professional athletes consume so many carbs, not only after exercise, and still do not gain body fat.

F1e5ff10797e0e35cda081a4221cb614

(346)

on October 31, 2010
at 02:57 PM

Having said that, I tend to agree that consumption of fructose should be proportional to the amount of glycogen-depleting exercise performed on a regular basis.

2
F1e5ff10797e0e35cda081a4221cb614

on June 24, 2010
at 10:43 PM

This is a summary answer based on the following post:

http://healthcorrelator.blogspot.com/2010/06/fructose-in-fruits-is-good-for-you.html

Fruits are among the very few natural plant foods that have been evolved to be eaten by animals, to facilitate the dispersion of the plants??? seeds. Thus, from an evolutionary standpoint, the idea that fruits can be unhealthy is somewhat counterintuitive. Given that fruits are made to be eaten, and that dead animals do not eat, it is reasonable to expect that fruits must be good for something in animals, at least in one important health-related process. If yes, what is it?

Well, it turns out that fructose is a better fuel for glycogen replenishment than glucose, in the liver and possibly in muscle, at least according to a study by Parniak and Kalant reviewed in the post above. The study also suggests that glycogen synthesis based on fructose takes precedence over triglyceride formation. Glycogen synthesis occurs when glycogen reserves are depleted. The liver of an adult human stores about 100 g of glycogen, and muscles store about 500 g. An intense 30-minute weight training session may use up about 63 g of glycogen, not much but enough to cause some of the responses associated with glycogen depletion, such as an acute increase in adrenaline and growth hormone secretion.

If one???s liver glycogen tank is close to empty, eating a couple of apples will have little to no effect on body fat formation. This will be so even though two apples have close to 30 g of carbohydrates, more than 20 g of which being from sugars. The liver will grab everything for itself, to replenish its 100 g glycogen tank.

In the Parniak and Kalant study, when glucose and fructose were administered simultaneously, glycogen synthesis based on glucose was increased by more than 200 percent. Glycogen synthesis based on fructose was increased by about 50 percent. In fruits, fructose and glucose come together.

What leads to glycogen depletion in humans? Exercise does, both aerobic and anaerobic. So does intermittent fasting.

What happens when we consume excessive fructose from sodas, juices, and table sugar? The extra fructose, not used for glycogen replenishment, is converted into fat by the liver. That fat is packaged in the form of triglycerides, which are then quickly secreted by the liver as small VLDL particles. The VLDL particles deliver their content to muscle and body fat tissue, contributing to body fat accumulation. After delivering their cargo, small VLDL particles eventually become small-dense LDL particles; the ones that can potentially cause atherosclerosis.

4b97e3bb2ee4a9588783f5d56d687da1

(22923)

on June 25, 2010
at 12:31 AM

That's the same link I just posted

2
954dbd7efe0e7653e8efd377d7776d38

(457)

on May 22, 2010
at 05:23 AM

I love berries, but I tend to lose self control and eat a bunch. I am considering keeping them out of the house and eating them once a week, on grocery day. It would be like our ancestors randomly, stumbling across a huge batch and gorging, then not finding any for the rest of the week. I currently do that with extreme dark chocolate and its very satisfying.

2
431274eafd914ee34d9c57262c1f617a

on May 20, 2010
at 02:24 AM

Personally I eat very little fruit. Mostly berries, although on rare occasions a bite or two of another fruit. I've never been a huge fan of fruits, so it's fairly easy for me to go without.

Fruits are, for the most part, all sugar....for macro-nutrients. But there are all kinds of vitamins and minerals in fruits, so most people find them at least acceptable. Most fruits also actually contain fairly small amounts of fructose as far as their total sugar content.

0
62ed65f3596aa2f62fa1d58a0c09f8c3

(20807)

on September 22, 2010
at 12:01 AM

Sandra, if you eat a bunch of fruit all at once when you are not accustomed to it, it can cause the trots. Also, if you eat a bunch of fat, all at once when you are not accustomed to it, this also can cause constipation or the trots. In both cases, the dose makes the poison. If you eat a load of something you are not adapted for, you may suffer a bit at first. This does not necesarily mean the food is toxic. I bet you our ancestors in climes where fruit existed, would sometimes gorge on fruit as well. Maybe they had stronger gut health than we do.

Also, there are sweet fruits like the date and the sapote, that exist in nature. Fruits were probably more accessable in tropical climes when access to fruit is not entirely seasonal and where humans probably evolved in the first place. Our ancestors very likely knew how to dry fruit and store it for months. Dried fruit is very shelf stable. Our ancestors probably also obtained honey from time to time.

WHile it is true that ancient paleos probably did not have the same kind of access to sugars as we do now, it is very likely that they had some access and very likely utilized it as much as they could. Fruit are relatively easy to safely catch and store. Sugars also help replenish glycogen and our bodies have a specific metabolic pathway to process fructose. If fructose is so bad for us in any quantity, why did our bodies create this pathway to utilize it? If sugar is so bad for us, why do we have a taste bud specifically designed for us to enjoy it and cause us to seek more? I think clearly, the problem is not sugar itself, but over consumption of sugar, that causes problems. Such levels of sugar that we now have did not exist during the majority of our evolution. But some levels of sugar did exist and our bodies are designed to both enjoy it and utilize it efficiently, so I think there is a good case for moderate sugar intake as being healthy and natural, especially for those whose metabolic pathways are not already damaged by decades of unhealthy eating.

0bc6cbb653cdc5e82400f6da920f11eb

(19235)

on September 22, 2010
at 09:14 PM

Our primate ancestors spent some 40 million years in the forests of the tropics eating fruit, among other things. More recently (2-3 million years) we have branched out into increasing meat eating.

-1
Bb19a0919963007deb414e46cb956b68

on June 12, 2012
at 09:11 PM

I was always taught that fructose is a better sugar source than glucose and polysaccharides of glucose because of the time it took for fructose to be converted into glucose. I see elements of this in diabetic products ( they sell pure fructose in the diabetic section). I personally feel great eating fruits and veggies. And I know there are a bunch of other substances in fruit that will benefit me. This war over fructose, which started with the infamous High Fructose Corn Syrup, is about rediculous.

I'll hear people talking all about HFCS and how its in everything, and is the reason for this and that. They sound so dumb, like its a conspiracy or something.

I eat fruits, nuts, vegetables, and low fat protein. There is no HFCS in any of that. If you're stupid and just learned to read the label on everything and suddenly find everything you eat has HFCS, you haven't been eating a well balanced diet.

Dr. Barry Sears really laid out what people should be eating, he says to stay around the perimeter of the grocery store,and mostly avoid the aisles.

High sugar is bad for you. High fat is bad for you. High protein is bad for you. Some recommend %60-%70 percent of calories come from carbs. I stick with Dr. Barry Sears', %40.

So, based on that I would have to say fructose isn't bad for you when eating part of a balanced diet. Case closed. New fad, step right up.

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