I get a lot of questions about whether parents should be concerned about the sugar in fruit.
The short answer? No.
Parents are concerned because of the increased awareness of the negative consequences of sugar consumption. However, some people have taken this too far and fearmongered people into avoiding fruit.
While a high sugar intake has been linked to an increased risk of many diseases, fruit has actually linked to lower rates of disease.
“But isn’t fruit high in sugar?”
So What’s The Difference Between Table Sugar And The Sugar In Fruit?
Fruit contains much more than just sugar. For starters, it contains fibre which slows down the absorption of sugar into the bloodstream. It also feeds the good bugs in your gut and modulates the gut microbiome in a positive way.
Fruit is also full of antioxidants that protect you from disease. Plus loads of micronutrients that are important for your health.
For example, in a study conducted on over half a million adults between the ages of 30-79 in China, those who ate fruit regularly (more than 4x/week) had a 27% lower risk of dying from any cause, a 34% lower risk of dying from cardiovascular disease, a 17% lower risk of dying from cancer, and 42% lower risk of dying from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.
What Are The Benefits Of Fruit Consumption For Kids?
Fruit has been linked to higher cognitive performance in kids. This study discovered higher cognitive performance in infants whose mothers consumed fruit during pregnancy; the higher the number of servings of fruit, the higher their cognitive scores.
High sugar intake has been linked to decreased cognitive performance in kids while a high fruit intake has been found to have the opposite effect. Fruit makes your kids smarter, while sugar makes it difficult for your kids to concentrate and perform well in school..
Despite the fact that high sugar intake is linked to obesity in children, and fruit is high in sugar, fruit actually has anti-obesity effects. This is likely due to the fibre in fruit which increases satiety and prevents overeating (which is why fruit juice which has been stripped of fibre does not have the same benefits).
Fruit also has a protective effect against asthma in both adults and children.
I could go on and on about the benefits of fruit.
The bottom line?
Don’t be afraid to let your kids eat plenty of fruit.