Sugar gets such a bad rap in the popular press that some people hesitate to eat foods that contain natural sugars, especially fruit.
There’s plenty of research exposing the detrimental health effects of eating too much added sugar, but less so with natural sugars.
Overall, fruit intake is associated with a lower risk of cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, and type 2 diabetes.
Another confusing point is that some fruits like watermelon and grapes have a high glycemic index, a tool that measures how quickly a food increases blood sugar.
But more accurate than the glycemic index is the glycemic load, which factors the amount of carbohydrate per serving of a food and to what degree it will raise a person’s blood glucose level after eating it.
Because watermelon and grapes are fairly low in carbohydrate, their glycemic load is low. In general, most whole fresh or frozen fruits have a relatively low glycemic load.
Furthermore, whole fruits have a built-in stoplight. They are more naturally satisfying, whereas highly processed foods with added sweeteners tend to be easy-to-digest and are therefore easy to overeat!
Imagine how quickly one can gulp down a standard 12-ounce can of cola that contains 40 grams of processed sugar.
Now think about how long it takes to chew through an apple that contains about 13 grams of natural sugar in addition to various fibers, vitamins, antioxidants, and water.
The apple takes longer to eat and is more satiating, so you are less likely to reach for another.