There is so much media hype centred around food that people are genuinely confused about which foods are good or bad. Fruit gets a bad press. It isn’t bad for you and it won’t kill you, it also won’t make you unhealthy.
Unfortunately for consumers, the food industry chemists have found clever ways to refine fructose from its natural sources and pack it into very concentrated forms in junk foods like fizzy drinks, sweets, and ice cream. This means lots of calories and minimal nutrition packed into small packages.
The public is getting the very misleading message that all fructose is created equal that fructose will make you add weight when consumed in excessive amounts and that includes naturally occurring fructose found in fruit, but that is not the case.
Fruit contains fructose which is often referred to as fruit sugar. It is packed with lots of nutritional goodness. It has volume and bulk in the form of water. It provides us with vitamins and minerals and phytochemicals (the plant pigment that gives food its colour). It also has health promoting properties.
We must also remember that fruit digestives in the body is different to refined junk food. Because it is in its natural whole food state, the body will take longer to break it down, leaving us feeling fuller for longer, which means we’re less likely to overeat.
A chocolate bar, on the other hand, is mostly refined sugar and is digested much quicker that will leave us feeling less satisfied and more likely to reach for the next candy bar.
We can see at least in theory that if we were to eat navel oranges to excess, we would still have a hard time getting close to the equivalent calorie or refined sugar load as the chocolate bar. For all those who are against sugar, the 4.7 grams of naturally occurring fructose is so small (not to mention digested and released slower) that it is highly improbable it would do you any harm.
However, if you were to eat two chocolate bars per day for a month, you will have eaten the equivalent energy stored in 2 kilograms (4.5 lbs) of body fat. Confectionary loses this match based on a very high calorie density with little nutritional value.