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Is Sugar From Fruit Bad for Gut Health?

Video Transcript:

Hi, everyone. Welcome back. As we've discussed in many of our previous blogs, gut health plays a vital role in our overall health.

One factor that can greatly impact our gut health is our diet, and in particular, the sugars that we consume.

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In today's blog, we are going to discuss the difference between the natural sugars found in fruit and added sugars, the role that fruit sugar can play in gut health, and how to make the best choices for you when it comes to consuming fruit.

I'm Katie Bailey. I'm a gut health dietitian at Oswald Digestive Clinic, where we help individuals improve and resolve their bothersome gut issues like gas, bloating, diarrhea, constipation, abdominal pain, and more.

If you or someone you know is experiencing these symptoms and would like to work with our clinic, you can schedule an appointment with us. Or download our free guide Five Ways to Improve Your Gut Health below, if you'd like to get started right away.

Okay, let's jump into today's topic.

Is Sugar From Fruit Bad for Your Gut Health?

High sugar intake has been linked to many different health issues like obesity, diabetes, heart disease, as well as poor gut health, but not all sugar is created equal.

Natural sugars are those that occur naturally in food, so things like lactose that is found in dairy products, or fructose found in many fruits.

Added sugars, on the other hand, are sugars that are added to food during preparation or processing, and those would be things like high fructose corn syrup. Although both natural and added sugars contribute to your overall sugar intake, they could have different effects on the body.

Added sugars are generally found in highly processed refined food choices, while natural sugars from fruit are accompanied by things like fiber and vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients that are beneficial for gut health and overall health as well.

However, keep in mind that overconsumption of any sugar, even fruit sugar, can lead to health issues.

Effects of Fruit Sugar Diet on Gut Microbiome

Now, let's talk a little bit about the role of fruit sugar in gut health. Specifically, one specific benefit of consuming fruit sugar is the presence of dietary fiber. This fiber can help feed the beneficial bacteria in your gut promoting a healthy gut microbiome.

Fruits are also rich in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that support gut health by helping to decrease inflammation. Now, some fruits are particularly high in fructose sugar, which can cause digestive discomfort for those who are struggling with IBS or other gut-related issues.

Research has shown that a very high sugar diet, whether that sugar's coming from refined added sugar or even fruit sugar, can affect the type of bacteria in your gut, which then can alter gut permeability and increase inflammation.

So the key to maintaining gut health when it comes to fruit sugar consumption is moderation and variety.

So when might you want to limit fruit sugar?

Limiting your fruit consumption may be necessary. For those who struggle with IBS, Crohn's Disease, colitis, or other gut-related issues, fructose in sugar can make these symptoms worse for these individuals.

This is because individuals who already have gut dysbiosis, which is the imbalance of good and bad bacteria in the gut, or who experience gut issues already have a difficult time breaking down the sugar fructose, which then leads to issues such as gas, bloating, abdominal pain, and diarrhea.

If you are someone who's following a low FODMAP diet, you may need to be cautious with your fruit intake because high fructose fruits are considered to be high FODMAP foods.

If you're not familiar with FODMAPs, FODMAPs are types of carbohydrates that some individuals have a hard time digesting, which can then lead to symptoms of gas and bloating, diarrhea, and abdominal pain.

Choosing Gut-Friendly Fruits for Your Diet

When choosing fruits that are beneficial for gut health, it's essential to focus on fruits that are low in fructose, but high in fiber, vitamins, and minerals.

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Some of the best fruits for gut health include berries which are very high in fiber, but low in fructose apples, which are a great source of soluble fiber, which help to feed the beneficial bacteria in the gut.

However, some individuals may need to limit apples because apples are considered a high FODMAP food.

Bananas are a low-fructose option, and they have a lot of prebiotic fiber as well.

And lastly, kiwi and papaya are both low in fructose, but they also contain enzymes that help our body break down protein, which helps support our gut health.

Now, there are some fruits that may not be the best for gut health, especially for those already struggling with GI issues. Like I mentioned before, fruits that are high in fructose may not be well tolerated, so that's going to be things like mangoes, watermelon, and pears.

Dried fruits, because of that concentrated source of sugar may also be hard for some to digest, and that's going to include things like raisins, figs, and dates.

Remember that moderation and variety are key. You want to aim for about two to three servings of fruit per day.

A serving looks like a small piece of fruit, like an apple or half a cup of chopped fruit.

By consuming a variety of fruits, focusing on ones that are low in fructose and high in fiber nutrients can help support a healthy gut.

It's important to remember that individual needs vary, and those struggling with GI issues may need some additional support in determining which approach may be best to meet their needs. If you have concerns about fruit consumption or your gut health.

I highly recommend that you work with a dietitian or a nutritionist who can help you make an individualized plan for you.

To wrap up our topic for today, natural sugars found in fruits when consumed in moderation can be part of a healthy diet that supports gut health.

Remember to focus on fruits that are low in fructose, but high in fiber, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.

If you're interested in working with our clinic, you can click the link below to schedule an appointment.

sugar and gut health, fruit sugar vs refined sugar, processed sugar vs fruit sugar, is fruit good or bad for you, sugar in fruits

If you'd like to explore any of this information further or obtain an individualized nutrition plan, you can schedule an initial appointment at our clinic. We also take insurance and some of our clients get full coverage, which is great.

sugar and gut health, fruit sugar vs refined sugar, processed sugar vs fruit sugar, is fruit good or bad for you, sugar in fruits

Or you can just start by downloading our FREE GUIDE: 5 WAYS TO IMPROVE GUT HEALTH

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