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Do We Need To Worry More About Sugar In Fruits Or In Processed Foods?

We do need to understand the meaning of “sugar content”. We’ve got this issue with sugar in our diets, seriously. Most people end up eating too much of it without realising that they are overconsuming it.


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Dr Joel Yong

4 months ago | 2 min read
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We do need to understand the meaning of “sugar content”.

We’ve got this issue with sugar in our diets, seriously. Most people end up eating too much of it without realising that they are overconsuming it.

And of course, an overconsumption of sugars such as fructose may bring about issues such as non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), because it is the liver that directly metabolises dietary fructose. However, the links are not that clear and we cannot say that an overconsumption of fructose directly causes NAFLD.

However, when we become more conscious of our health, one of the ideas that we may choose to implement in our lifestyles is to cut the consumption of fructose. Whether they be from fruits or other processed carbohydrate products, the idea is to cut down on the intake of such foods.

Which does make me look into the fructose content of various foods. Especially when people do say that they cut down on fruit intake so that they can reduce their fructose or overall sugar consumption.

For instance, one apple weighs approximately 70–100 grams on average. The Fuji apple variant contains, on average, 3.3 grams of glucose and 7.7 grams of fructose in a 100 gram sample of Fuji apples.

We’d be looking, therefore, at a total sugar content of 11 grams in one apple.

We’d also not be looking to eat more than THREE apples at one go — eating one apple at a time is good enough for me. I’d feel ill if I had to eat three at one shot.

Most people would eat one and think that is enough. They’d consume 11 grams of sugar from that apple.

Now, though, let’s look at the sugar content in other readily available processed foods.

A can of regular Coca-Cola (12 oz) contains 39 grams of sugar, which we can finish in one sitting on a hot summer’s day. The equivalent of 3.5 apples.

One 500 mL tub of Ben and Jerry’s Chocolate Fudge Brownie Ice Cream contains 23 grams of sugar per 100 mL serving, and it’s too darned easy to finish off one entire tub while watching a Netflix movie. That’s 115 grams of sugar right there. The equivalent of 10 apples?

One single Oreos sandwich cookie can contain 3.3 grams of sugar — but they’re so flat out addictive that we can’t really limit ourselves to one or two. Three Oreos sandwich cookies would provide the same sugar content as one apple.

But the true issues with these processed foods stem from how addictive they can actually be.

Because we don’t just have sodas, cookies and ice cream. There are pizzas, croissants and cakes floating about as well on different advertisement pages — all of which are also high in sugar content.

If we were to look at the various on-demand food delivery apps, they’re very likely to advertise some form of processed carbohydrate or another. Ice cream and pastries are some of the more common things that can be found on those apps, for sure.

And they’re the things that people find emotional connections to. That’s one way in which consumer psychology tactics can play on the perceived needs of people to get them to order things that they shouldn’t be eating too much of in the first place.

But the true irony comes at the end of the day when people eschew fruits just so that they can make room in their stomachs for all these junk foods, no?

Especially when it’s holiday season!

We can enjoy the holidays — but we have to be mindful about how much junk we’re actually feeding our bodies with!

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Dr Joel Yong

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Educator | Biochemical Scientist

Deconstructing the interconnectedness between health and business. Join my mailing list at http://thethinkingscientist.substack.com or book a one-on-one consultation session with me at https://app.ddichat.com/experts/thethinkingscientist.


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