You may be aware that most fruits are high pretty high in sugar. That’s why apples, pears, strawberries, bananas, and watermelon are refreshing and sweet.
So if blood sugar is a concern, it may make sense to avoid them or eat them sparingly.
But avoiding these naturally sweet foods will do more harm than good, even for people with high blood sugar or diabetes.
The sugar in fruit is different from sweets, baked goods, and even fruit juice, honey, and syrups. Even though fructose is in fruit and used as an additive, your body absorbs it differently when it comes from fruit.
The reason is that the sugar in fruit are not “free sugars.” They are a natural part of an overall package, which, most importantly, includes fiber. This important fact means that sugar in whole fruits does not contribute to blood sugar or insulin spikes.
When sugar is added to other products, or there is no fiber present, like in juice, honey, or other fruit-based products, that benefit is lost, and sugar behaves more harmfully when it’s eaten.
Research shows that people who eat plenty of whole fruits have a low likelihood of developing diabetes compared to those who drink a lot of fruit juice. That’s likely due to the lack of fiber in fruit juice and how the sugar reacts in the body when it’s not present.
The takeaway here is that you can rest easy if you’re concerned that fruit will boost blood sugar. It won’t. In fact, it is part of a healthy diet that can contribute to longevity.
Try to eat about three servings of whole fruit per day, in a variety of colors. Limit intake of fruit juices, spreads, and other refined products that can contribute to blood sugar and insulin spikes.