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In fact many popular fruits today have been selectively bred to increase their sweetness (sweeter foods sell better) and as a result contain more sucrose than the same fruits did just 30 years ago.
Certainly this should at least be questioned in the naturally higher sugar fruits like apples, bananas, pears, oranges and grapes. It is no coincidence, by the way, that these same 5 fruits are the best selling varieties in the country either!
Regardless of the source of the sugar, white table sugar, golden syrup, honey, fruit concentrate or whole fruit, the chemistry of the sugar is very much the same, it is still a blend of glucose and fructose in varying amounts.
Fructose on the other hand seems in large part to have been branded as healthy because it is known as the fruit sugar.
Years ago when glycaemic index was becoming mainstream it was pointed out that fructose had a very low glycaemic index and therefore must be helpful in maintaining lower blood glucose levels. That tag has quickly faded away as research has show that fructose actually makes the insulin resistance that underlies the condition even worse! When the intestine absorbs glucose it is able to draw it directly through the tissues into the blood stream to be shipped around for use in body cells, especially the brain and nervous system.


Fructose is then managed by the liver and often goes through different metabolic processes prior to being released into the blood again. It is this transport via the liver that gives fructose its low glycaemic index because it takes longer to impact on the blood.Whilst glucose has a very effective system for ensuring it enters the cells quickly without too many negative effects, that is it is controlled by insulin, fructose is a more complicated beast.
However, fructose causes the liver still takes the brunt of the damage under the radar potentially leading to a condition called non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. Agave syrup (or 'nectar' as it is often called to make it sound better), even the organic variety, is normally between 70-95% fructose.
Bearing in mind that the health damaging reputation of industrial high fructose corn syrup (the sweetener of choice for the soft drinks industry) has been built on a 55% fructose blend, it doesn't really bode too well for Agave.
All the negative effects listed above will clearly be enhanced with richer doses of fructose being sent to the liver down the portal vein.
Another option often used in health food bars and in supposedly better tinned fruit is 'fruit concentrate' or fruit juice.This is exactly what the name suggests, the juice of a given fruit with the water boiled off so as to concentrate the sugars within.


In fact it is not uncommon to find the most used juice concentrates are from apples, grapes and pears as these have the highest naturally occurring fructose content and taste sweeter as fructose has over 70% more sweetness than typical sucrose.Simple squeezed fruit juice may not be concentrated, but it still allows for an increased intake of sugar compared to eating a whole piece of fruit.
For example a single apple has a glycaemic index or 40 and a glycaemic load of 6, whereas a glass of pure apple juice has a GI of 44 and a GL of 13 - more than double the volume of sugar within a comparative 'portion' of fruit. Therefore on this basis it becomes difficult to see how pure fruit juice can be as beneficial to health as eating whole fruit.
However, science is steadily showing that processing foods to increase the fructose content has and is leading us down the road of dysfunction and disease.
Even modern breeding of sweeter fruits with higher glucose and fructose contents may yet prove to be another means of ingesting larger amounts of health disrupting sugar!



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