Most people know what a sugar packet looks like and feels like. Most sugar packets contain roughly four grams of sugar, so they are excellent objects to use to help visualize
just how much sugar is in foods that people are exposed to on a daily basis. Managing sugar intake holds the key to good senior diets.
Excess sugar is hazardous to a person’s health in various ways. It is known to deplete minerals in bones, stimulate aging and create wrinkles, contributes to obesity, harms dental health, triggers adrenal fatigue, and much more.
Experts say we’re basically shoveling sugar into our mouths by the spoonful, but what does that mean when it comes to eating sweet, antioxidant-rich fruits?
You know it’s in your soda, your protein bars, and your cereals. Heck, it’s even lurking in your marinara sauces and salad dressings! We’re talking about added sugar, of course. And this little ingredient is making a big impact on your waistline. The pervasiveness of added sweeteners in our diets is linked to an increased risk of obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and stroke.
But in the epic rush to avoid sugar, many health-conscious consumers and low-carb dieters are starting to cut back on eating fruit.
Let’s start with this: Naturally occurring sugar is definitely preferable to the added kind. Still, you should have a general idea of how much you’re taking in each time you chow down on a smoothie or a fruit salad.
In general, fresh fruits are healthy, nutritious foods that are good sources of vitamins, minerals, phytochemicals, and fiber. Further, they are instrumental in maintaining a net alkaline-yielding diet. Olives, dates, figs, and grapes were some of the first fruits to be domesticated, and pits from these fruits initially appear in the archeological record about 6,000 years ago in the Near East.
However, the common fruits we eat today bear little resemblance to their wild ancestors. Domesticated fruits are almost always larger, sweeter, and contain less fiber than their wild counterparts. Compare a Golden Delicious apple to a crab apple and you begin to get the picture.
Our recommendation to eat fresh fruits as your appetite dictates still holds for most people. However, if you are very much overweight or are insulin resistant, it is important that you initially limit high sugar fruits (grapes, bananas, mangos, sweet cherries, apples, pineapples, pears and kiwi fruit) from your diet until your weight starts to normalize and your health improves. Try to include more vegetables in lieu of the high-sugar fruit.
However, the old adage is still true: too much of anything isn’t a good thing. While there are many benefits of eating fruit, we still want to be mindful of how much fruit we’re eating because it does contain sugar. It’s not “added sugar,” but the sugar in fruit can still have the same blood-sugar-spiking effect if eaten in excess.
We usually recommend getting in 2-3 servings daily, and keeping it to a serving at a time—and yes, that goes for smoothies as well. Smoothies can be large whacks of carbs and sugar, especially if there’s no protein or healthy fat that acts similarly to fiber to slow digestion and prevent blood sugar from spiking.