What is fructose? Fructose is a type of monosaccharide, which is another term for simple sugar. This is usually used by the body as a source of energy. Before, fructose is thought to be a good substitute for sucrose (table sugar) since the former does not cause a tremendous increase in blood sugar just like what the latter can do. This is linked to the fructose’s low glycemic index. However, the American Diabetes Association has found out that there are still number of negative side effects that can be caused by consuming too much fructose in the body. So what exactly are the effects of this type of sugar? Below is the list of high fructose foods and as well as the possible effects fructose can do to our body.
Understanding the Sugar Fructose
Fructose can be seen in many different types of foods. Consuming a small amount of this simple sugar from certain types of fruits and vegetables is actually not a bad thing. In fact, experts have proven that a small dose of fructose in the body can help the system in processing glucose properly. However, once fructose is consumed in large amounts, it can overwhelm the body’s capability to process it. Before, the diet of people consists of only small amounts of fructose. Nevertheless, these days, approximately 10% of the modern diet comes from the said sugar.
So what happens if too much fructose is consumed in the body? Fructose is primarily processed in the liver. However, the liver is not capable of processing this sugar in large amounts. Because of this, the body is not able to utilize the sugar as energy instead the liver will convert fructose into fats, which will be then delivered to the bloodstream as triglycerides. As we all know, high triglyceride levels are one of the main causes of many heart and cardiovascular diseases. This is the reason why we must be aware of the different foods that contain high amounts of fructose, in order for us to become aware and limit the amount of sugar in the body.
Foods High in Fructose
• Fresh Foods – Tree fruits are considered to contain high amounts of fructose. Some of the most common examples of these fruits include bananas, grapes, citrus fruits and apples. Fructose is also found in sweetened and unsweetened apple sauce. Any foods that contain any of these fruits are considered to have significant amounts of fructose. Another type of fruit that contains fructose is the pears. Whether it is canned or fresh, sweetened or unsweetened, pears do contain high fructose levels. Just like pears, the agave fruit, which is locally found in Southern U.S., is also considered to contain very high levels of the said sugar. Melons and berries are also popular examples which include watermelons, cantaloupe and other honeydew varieties. Berries such as blueberries, raspberries, huckleberries and blackberries are the ones with high fructose levels. However, fruits are considered healthy and it is better for us to take our required daily dose of sugar from these food items instead of having them from unhealthy sweets and desserts.
• Dried Fruits – there are also dried fruits that contain concentrated doses of fructose. This increases the sugar level of such fruits. Some of the common dried fruits that have high fructose are the dates, pineapples, raisins and figs.
• Sauces and Toppings – aside from fruits, there are also several types of sauces and toppings that contain high levels of fructose sugar. Some of these sauces and syrups include sweet and sour, molasses, barbeque sauce, honey and fruit salsa. Salad dressings such as Italian, Ranch, honey mustard and raspberry vinaigrette are also included in this category. Fruit jellies and jams that are made of the fruits mentioned above also have high levels of fructose. Ice cream toppings such as caramel, strawberry, apple, blueberry and pineapple also contain notable amounts of the said sugar. These facts are according to the USDA.
• Beverages and Drinks – there are actually a lot of beverages that contain high levels of fructose. Most of these drinks are carbonated, caffeinated and decaffeinated. Soft drinks and colas are the number examples of beverages that have high amounts of fructose. Fruits drinks are also considered in this category such as cranberry juice drinks. Other fruit juices that contain high amounts of the mentioned type of sugar are those that come from apples, grapes, mangoes, orange, pomegranate and several varieties of grapefruit.
• Commercially Prepared Foods – processed or commercially prepared foods are also known to have fructose. Some of the examples of these include soups, sweet pickles, boxed breakfast cereals, frozen foods, boxed dinners, instant noodles, canned goods, crackers and even breads. Cakes, brownies, pies, cookies, croissants, doughnuts and energy bars are also some of the pastries and sweets that also contain significantly high doses of fructose.
These are just a number of foods that are considered to contain high levels of the simple sugar, fructose. Because most foods contain this particular sugar, it is important for us to always read the nutrition facts and ingredient labels placed at the back of the food product. This will help us limit our fructose intake and can reduce the risk of us experiencing different types of vascular disease.