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Written by Ripe London on March 8, 2024

How Much Sugar From Fruit Per Day is Okay?

In the realm of dietary discussions, the discourse around sugar often sparks debate. However, when it comes to sugar intake, the body doesn't distinguish between natural sugars (found in fruits) and added sugars in processed foods. The NHS advises that adults should limit their sugar intake to no more than 30g per day.

Ripe London is delving into the intricacies of the types of sugars out there, the facts about sugar consumption, and exploring the distinctions between natural sugars and added sugars, and uncovering how much natural sugars from fruits per day is considered acceptable.

Let's unravel the nuances of this topic to better understand how to maintain a balanced and healthy diet.

How Much Sugar From Fruit A Day Should I Consume?

For those struggling with issues such as weight gain or diabetes, foods with added sugars are the first things we choose to avoid. The NHS says that there's no difference between natural and added sugars. Whether it's sugary breakfast cereals, fruit juice, or a simple banana, the sugar is the same.

According to NHS guidelines, we should consume the following amount of sugar and no more to avoid an increased risk of health issues:

  • The limit for adults is around 30g of sugar a day.
  • The limit for children aged 7 to 10 is roughly 24g of sugar a day.
  • For children aged 4 to 6, the sugar intake limit is 19g of sugar a day.

Overall, it's thought that many of us eat too many foods containing added sugar and should look to cut down on our intake.

What are Natural Sugars?

Natural sugars, or naturally occurring sugars, are the sugars that are inherently present in whole foods, particularly fruits, vegetables, and dairy products. There is also the natural sugar that comes from cane sugar. The opposite of added sugar (you might know this as white sugar or brown sugar), these naturally occurring sugars are often called glucose, fructose, or sucrose, and are essential parts of these foods' natural composition.

Dietary fructose is naturally found in fruits like apples, oranges, and berries, while lactose is the natural sugar in dairy products such as milk and yoghurt. When consuming whole foods, such as eating fruit or incorporating dairy into your diet, you're consuming sugars found naturally in these foods, along with other essential nutrients like fibre, vitamins, and minerals.

What are Artificial Sweeteners and Sugars?

Artificial sugar is things like high fructose corn syrup, which you have likely seen on food labels on many sugary foods and sugary drinks. While there are claims that eating foods with artificial sweeteners and sugar in them can promote weight loss and it's even been deemed safe for consumption by diabetics by some studies, we'd reserve caution. There's inconclusive evidence to support most of this, so don't go switching solely to artificial sugars just yet, enjoying table sugar, sugar from fruit and naturally occurring sugars along with a balanced diet is still recommended by most!

A bowl of the lowest calories fruit. A selection of kiwis, oranges, mango, strawberries, blueberries and grapes

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Does Natural Sugar Count Toward Your Daily Intake?

In short: yes. Sadly, the body doesn't really distinguish between naturally occurring sugars and added sugars. So, it doesn't matter if you get sugar from sugary beverages or dried fruit; the amount of sugar in a fruit serving compared to the amount of sugar in sweet snacks will have the same impact.

While eating fruit is still recommended for a balanced diet, it should be offset by cutting down on sweet snacks and sweetened beverages (such as no sugar in tea or coffee, or using an artificial sweetener instead). Food manufacturers are obliged to include a nutrition facts label on all products. So always check the amount of sugar in packaged foods.

Is Natural Sugar Better For You Than Added Sugar?

That doesn't mean there's no difference between natural and added sugars.

It's crucial to distinguish between added sugars and those naturally occurring in foods. While added sugars, like those found in processed foods and beverages, should be limited for better health, foods containing natural sugars typically come with essential nutrients. When monitoring sugar intake, it's important to consider all sources, including those in healthier foods.

Reading food labels and nutrition labels helps discern between added and natural sugars, supporting informed choices for a balanced diet. Artificial sweeteners offer an option for less sugar consumption but come with their own considerations.

Is Natural Sugar In Fruit Bad For You?

Like with many things, natural sugars in fruits are not inherently bad for health. The high intake of a high sugar diet is linked to various health issues (including cardiovascular disease and nonalcoholic fatty liver disease). However, the natural sugars in fruits come with essential nutrients like fibre, vitamins, and antioxidants.

Consuming fruits in moderation as part of a balanced diet is beneficial for overall health and can reduce the risk of heart disease and other health conditions. However, excessive consumption of fruits, especially in liquid forms (such as orange juice), can still contribute to an elevated sugar intake, so portion control is key.

How Much Natural Sugar Per Day Can I Have?

Adults should aim to limit their daily added sugar intake, including those found in processed foods and beverages, to maintain healthy blood glucose levels and overall health. The National Health Service suggests adults should only have around 30g of sugar per day, whether natural or added.

However, the natural sugar content found in whole fruits are typically less of a concern for most people. As they come packaged with essential nutrients like fibre and vitamins that help regulate blood sugar levels. Plus, they bring other loads of other amazing health benefits.

For example, a medium-sized apple contains about 19 grams of sugar, while a cup of strawberries contains approximately 7 grams. Strawberries also have a low glycemic index, meaning they are slow at raising your blood glucose levels.

We have plenty more useful nutrition facts on our blog for those looking to get healthier or cut down their sugar intake.

What Are The Health Benefits Of Eliminating Sugar From My Diet?

Firstly, it helps to reduce the overall calorie intake, making it easier to manage or lose weight. Foods high in added sugars often contribute excess calories without providing essential nutrients, leading to weight gain over time.

Too much sugar can obviously lead us to gain weight. But cutting out added sugars can lower the risk of developing health conditions like type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and obesity. All of which are associated with high sugar consumption.

While it's important to be mindful of sugar intake, fruits remain an excellent dietary choice. The natural sugars found in fruits occur alongside essential nutrients like fibre, vitamins, and antioxidants. These nutrients support overall health and can help to regulate blood sugar levels. This prevents spikes and crashes associated with refined sugars. Opting for whole fruits over sugary snacks and desserts can satisfy sweet cravings without the extra sugar.

Fruits are low in calories compared to many processed foods. This makes them a nutritious option for satisfying sweet cravings without consuming too many calories. Incorporating a variety of fruits into your diet can contribute to a balanced nutritional intake and support overall health and well being.

In Conclusion

Distinguishing between natural sugars and added sugars is crucial for understanding their impact on health. While added sugars contribute empty calories and can increase the risk of various health issues, the natural sugars found in whole fruits come packaged with essential nutrients and fibre, offering numerous health benefits.

The bottom line is that NHS guidelines recommend adults limit their intake to no more than 30g of sugar per day. Always check food labels to ensure what you're eating is in line with this.

Eating less sugar can lead to improved overall health. This includes better weight management and reduced risk of chronic diseases such as diabetes and heart disease. Incorporating whole fruits into your diet provides a nutritious way to satisfy sweet cravings while supporting your health goals.

Eat Nat Mixed

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Low Sugar Snacks from Ripe London

At Ripe London, we offer convenient office fruit box deliveries filled with a variety of fresh and seasonal fruits. Making it easier for employees to make healthy choices at work. With just a few clicks, you can stock your workplace with delicious and nutritious fruit options.

Cut down your total sugar intake and boost your snacking game with Ripe London. No more sugary beverages, unhealthy fruit juice, or fast food orders.

Take the first step towards a healthier workplace by ordering your office fruit box today!

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