Castle Personal Training is a Corstorphine, Edinburgh based company who specialise in weightloss/toning and Pre and Post Natal exercise.
I put something up on facebook a few weeks ago about food labelling in the UK and someone asked me an excellent question.
“What is the thinking about fruit sugars as opposed to sugars sugars (avoided breaking into a song there). Is it basically all the same regardless?“
Now the answer is Yes, but there’s more to it than that.
Fruit sugar, processed sugars, and honey all get broken down to glucose (cytosol) in the human body so, from that perspective, they are all the same. But that doesn’t mean you should avoid them all equally.
The Health and Fitness industry tends to focus too much on weightloss and not enough on health and therefore this “All sugars are evil” is a bit over-simplified. I know it sells books and gym-memberships but it’s also created an irrational fear of certain foods.
If you are looking to lose weight then going low carb and avoiding sugar is the way to go but if you are not and are just wanting to eat a nice healthy balanced diet then not all sugars are created equal.
Processed sugars; refined granulated sugars, corn syrup etc. are the ones that provide no benefit to you other than flavour. This is the kind of sugar you want to avoid as much as possible.
Honey; There’s nothing wrong with good quality honey. I know Manuka honey is vey popular at the moment but any good quality honey will do. Here’s how you test for good quality honey. Ideally you also want to choose raw honey over pasteurised honey. It’s very easy to tell the difference between raw and pasteurised honey; The pasteurised honey is the clear stuff.
Fruit sugars; These are the tricky ones and this is the most confusing for many people. I have a very simple rule with fruit sugars; Eat them, don’t drink them. When you eat fruit you get all the benefits of it and you control your intake better.
When you drink fruit juice you’ll miss out on the fiber and fiber is widely accepted to be very beneficial to your health. Admittedly fresh fruit juice still contains a lot of the vitamins from the fruit but it’s very easy to over-consume sugar when you’re drinking it.
For instance; let’s look at the content of this Orange smoothie, and we’ll look at the VitC content.
1 1/2 Oranges. That’s 140% of your RDA of VitC.
1 1/2 Apples. That’s another 130% of VitC
1/2 Mango. Well done, another 30%’ish
That’s 300% of your RDA of VitC in this little bottle. Did I mention you pee out anything over 100%?
And the little bottle contains 56 grams of sugar. It’s very nicely hidden by saying a serving is only half a bottle but let’s look at that.
This is what over half of this smoothie actually looks like.
Most people would just finish the whole bottle, which is why they sell it in that size. Just FYI, your TOTAL intake of sugar should only be about 30 grams a day.
See how easy it is to over consume when drinking a smoothie or juice? This is another reason why I recommend just eating your fruit.
So yes, there is sugar in honey and fruit and it gets broken down into exactly the same thing once you consume it. But there are several benefits to honey and fruit and that’s what sets them apart from the highly processed sugars so, when your main focus is health rather than getting ripped, there’s no need to stay away from fruit and honey. Just don’t go nuts.