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Sugar-minded: Fructose vs Glucose

Reviewed and Approved by:Emily Barr, MS,RD,CNSC

There have been  a lot of articles circulating around lately about how fructose and glucose affect hunger, and honestly I sugar-brainthink it is causing a lot of confusion.  Unfortunately, many of the articles tell only 1 side of the story, leaving us ( the reader) confused about how to apply what we’ve read into our healthy lifestyle.

The focus of the confusion is usually about fructose- the sugar we normally associate with fruit. We’ve always been told that eating fruits and vegetables are good for us, but now the latest studies show that an increase (a.k.a eating more) in fructose can affect our ability to feel satisfied (i.e. feeling less satisfied), therefore causing us to eat more, which could lead to weight gain. On the flip-side  the research shows that glucose can help regulates our appetite and help to make us feel satisfied.

After reading many of the articles our there, it’s no wonder why people are confused and asking…

So wait, fructose is bad. Glucose is good. What does that even mean?” “So is fruit good for me or not?”  “Should I be cutting out fruit if I want to lose or maintain a healthy weight.”

These questions have been raised over, and over again. Which is why we feel it is important to weigh-in on this topic.

The short answer is: Fruit is still fantastic!

You see, just like everything else, it comes down to balance.  And when I say balance, in this case I mean FIBERthe ultimate game changer!  It is true that fruit has naturally occurring fructose, but fruit also has water and fiber that alter the characteristics of straight fructose alone.  When eaten in moderation, fruit is an essential component of living a healthy lifestyle.

Here’s another thing to consider when thinking about restoring nutritional balance- There are no foods that are 100% glucose or fructose. So reducing the occurrence of fructose means reducing your overall intake of sweets.

Fructose is not just in fruit, it also naturally occurring in vegetables, honey, refined sugar ( e.g. table sugar), and high fructose corn syrup.  So cutting out naturally occurring fructose could be harder than you think. So what do you do?

Our tip to you is this… Don’t focus so much on fructose vs. glucose, focus on fiber!  Eating high-fiber foods will make you feel full, so you can resist eating more food than you need. Also, fibrous foods take longer to chew, which gives your brain time to get the signal that you have had enough to eat. So if you want fructose to work in the brain like more satisfying glucose,  just make sure there is fiber.

In fact, what I’ve told you is more than a tip. It’s what we practice. At Skinny Gene Project, through our 1-on-1 counseling, we teach our members how to look for carb –to- fiber ratios. It sounds more complicated than it is. It is simply looking at 2 different numbers on a food label to determine whether a food is a good, great, or bad choice. It’s been proven to be one of the most effective ways that we’ve taught others how to kick the sugar addiction, lose weight, and improve their health.

If you have any questions about fructose, glucose, or would like to speak with a Skinny Gene Nutritionist, please click here and somebody will contact you shortly!

Want to learn more about fructose, glucose and the brain?  Here are two articles that we like:

Fructose May Affect Hunger Cues

Your Brain on Fructose


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