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sugar from fruit

8/17 8:56:51

Hi. Does the sugar that is in fruit naturally increase a person's risk of diabetes? Is there a such thing as eating too much fruit? Thanks

Hi Danielle,

It hasn't been proven that eating sugar leads to diabetes in the way some people suppose; that is, it doesn't stress your pancreas and wear it out.
Eating too much sugar can lead to weight gain, and being overweight is one risk factor for diabetes. It doesn't matter whether the sugar comes from sweets, breads, fruit or milk--the body has to process it all.

I would say, "You can't eat too much fruit" because it's good for you and 'too much' is hard to do... except for the fact that some people really can!  The healthy guidelines suggest people aim for 10-12 fruit and vegetable servings per day and most people can't manage to do that very easily. But it is easy to drink a lot of fruit juice which provides fruit sugar in a much faster and easier delivery system.... not a good thing.

So, how much is too much?  If you are eating so much fruit you're excluding other healthy foods from your diet, if your body doesn't need all those calories and you begin to gain weight, if you are on a potassium restriction or some other medically prescribed diet and the fruit can cause biochemical abnormalities (like interaction with medication, or in cases of kidney failure on dialysis), if you already have diabetes and need to limit fruit intake to 3 or 4 servings per day, if you notice an intolerance to all the fiber (bloating, stomach cramping, diarrhea) these are indications it's time to scale back and see how it goes with 3 or 4 servings a day.

Otherwise, enjoy a different fruit at each meal and snack time and you'll be getting a good variety of nutrients in a relatively small number of calories!
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