From a chemical perspective, both fruit sugar and table sugar (the stuff in cookies, cakes, candy, ice cream and the white stuff you pour into your coffee) are made of the same building blocks. These chemical building blocks are called fructose and glucose. An apple and a chocolate chip cookie both contain fructose and glucose.
Fructose and glucose are digested differently. Fructose doesn’t require insulin to be digested; it’s digested in the liver. Glucose, on the other hand, will cause your body to release insulin to break it down.
It’s interesting to note that there isn’t a huge difference in the proportion of fructose and glucose in a piece of fruit or a piece of candy. The table sugar in a candy bar is 50% fructose and 50% glucose. The ratio for most fruits isn’t that different. Most fruits have between 40-55% fructose and 45-60% glucose.
So you might be thinking that, if they are made from the same chemical building blocks in approximately the same proportions, it must be that fruit sugar is just as bad as table sugar, or that table sugar is no worse than fruit sugar. And if that’s true, does that mean you should give up on eating fruit?
Well, it turns out that it isn’t true. Because when we keep looking, we see multiple health benefits of eating fruit that we don’t enjoy when eating a chocolate bar. In addition to the sugar in them, fruits supply us with vitamins, antioxidants, fiber and a certain amount of water. Cake, candy and other dessert foods are often lacking any nutritional value whatsoever. And even though the sugar in each is chemically similar, there tends to be many fewer grams of sugar in 100 grams apple chunks than in, say, in 100 grams of apple pie.
I mentioned that fruit has fiber. In addition to helping your body eliminate waste, fiber eaten with glucose will also reduce the amount of insulin your body needs to digest the glucose. And that’s a good thing. It’s also true that fruit will fill you up a lot faster than processed foods made with added table sugar.
What about dried fruit? Some dried fruits, especially pineapple and bananas, are commonly processed with added table sugar. But dried fruits without added sugar are almost as good, in terms of fiber and vitamins, as whole, fresh fruit. Just be mindful of the quantity, since fruit shrinks when it’s dried.
For those who are weight conscious, here’s one more bit of good news about enjoying more of Mother Nature’s candy. There’s scientific research to support the idea that people who eat more fruit are less likely to be overweight than people who eat less fruit. So before, during and after your Spatz3 adjustable gastric balloon procedure, take a walk on over to the fruit bowl and enjoy.
Rebeca Espinoza writes about health, fitness and weight loss for Spatz Medical, makers of the Spatz3 Adjustable Gastric Balloon. You can find her on Google+ or at firstname.lastname@example.org. Like the Spatz3 Adjustable Gastric Balloon page on Facebook or follow us on Pinterest for healthy eating tips, inspiring quotes, videos and photos and more.