Fructose: Is It Good For You?
What exactly is fructose? It is a form of sugar that naturally occurs in some fruits, vegetables and their resulting juices. Honey also contains fructose.
In its natural form, fructose is a natural sweetener that makes the foods that some of us don’t like to eat more palatable. Juicing fruits and vegetables is one way to get your nutrition, especially if you are in a hurry. By using fructose in its crystalline form, it can be added to other food products. Some of the products that contain crystalline fructose include:
* Packaged baked goods
* Carbonated drinks
* Flavored water
* Granola bars
Sucrose is another name for the table sugar that we commonly use. Fructose is almost twice as sweet as sucrose. By adding it to other foods they become shelf-stable, meaning that they do not spoil when waiting to be bought in stores or in your pantry at home.
Unlike sugar, fructose has some health advantages. For one, it is a nutritive sweetener, meaning that provides some benefit to you. Even though it is sweet, it is also low on the glycemic index. This is important for those who need to watch their blood sugar.
In case you didn’t know, the glycemic index is a way of rating carbohydrates based on their effects on blood sugar. Using honey as a sweetener will not spike your blood sugar or have you crashing an hour later. It keeps the blood sugar steady so is safe for diabetics.
On the down side, you may see a cavity or two if you consume too many foods that contain fructose or any other sugar. Consuming honey each day probably won’t put you at the top of the naughty list with the dentist, but drinking plenty of sodas and eating baked goods might.
On another note, fructose has been receiving a bad rap in some reports. It has been confused with high fructose corn syrup. These are two different substances. High fructose corn syrup is more like sucrose. It is a combination of glucose and fructose.
It is considered to be safe to use just like fructose, even though many are associating it with a higher incidence of obesity. Like everything else, eating too much will cause you to gain weight or to have dental issues.
Fructose is actually a naturally-occurring sugar that is found in foods like fruits and vegetables and also honey. It has more benefits than drawbacks but can contribute to obesity or other health issues when eaten in large amounts.