Does fruit have too much sugar? Registered dietitian is separating nutrition facts from fiction

MILWAUKEE -- There are certain nutrition myths that just persist -- and it's time to set the record straight. Registered dietitian Lisa Grudzielanek with Metcalfe's joins Real Milwaukee with the bad diet advice you should just ignore.


FACT: Sugar is sugar. It doesn`t matter what you call it. Honey, agave, maple syrup, are all code words for sugar. You may benefit from scant amounts of a few extra vitamins or minerals in certain sweeteners, but make no mistake, they`re all added sugars and all contribute to the recommended daily limit on added sugars in the diet. Don`t make the mistake of placing a health halo & 'free pass' on the over consumption of natural sugars, stick with the targets for added sugar from any source.


FACT: Like any sugar, too much fruit sugar isn`t good for you. But compared to refined sugar, fruit is a much better option for regular consumption. Berries, which are lowest of fruit in natural sugar, and apples also have flavonoids and antioxidants that can help in cancer and other chronic disease prevention. You can`t say that about agave syrup. Don`t kid yourself that you can`t eat an apple because it has too much sugar but yet will down a piece of cake or candy in the day. While the body breaks down all sugar the same way—whether you`re getting your fix from cake or an apple—fruit is paired with beneficial vitamins, minerals and nutrients, including fiber which slow the digestion of the sugar. It`s all about context. There is no reason a healthy person should avoid fruit.


FACT: This myth persists for folks trying to lower their cholesterol. Skipping the yolks is a big nutrition miss. Eat the whole egg to achieve all the benefits. Egg yolks are rich in vitamins A and D, fatty acids, and antioxidants lutein and zeaxanthin, important for eye health. The available evidence indicates that eggs, when consumed as part of an overall healthy diet pattern, do not affect risk factors for cardiometabolic disease. Recent recommendations from the American Heart Association, American College of Cardiology and American Diabetes Association do not limit egg or cholesterol intake, a change from earlier guidance from these organizations. Check out the for additional nutrition info on eggs.

#4 MYTH: You won`t have nutritional deficiencies if you're overweight. No need for supplements.

FACT: This is terrible advice because a diet can be rich in calories (energy) while lacking in overall nutrients. Excess fat stores are stored energy, not stored vitamins and minerals. Many overweight individuals have nutrient deficiencies such as vitamin B12, vitamin D and iron.


FACT: Being gluten-free doesn't automatically make a product better for you. Gluten-free products can vary greatly in the amount of sugar, fat, and other nutrients they contain. When manufacturers remove gluten, they often make up for the difference in flavor and texture by adding more sugar, salt and refined starches, like potato and tapioca starch.

#6 MYTH: Sugar is your brain`s primary source of fuel and it needs 120 grams per day to function, otherwise you'll feel groggy and foggy.

FACT: Dr. Mike Roussell explains this best. 'Most bad nutrition advice centers on an incomplete understanding of carbs and their role and function in the body. Sugar isn`t the only way to fuel your brain. Your grey matter runs rather efficiently using compounds called ketones, which are basically the biochemical leftovers from fat breakdown. If you want to fuel your noggin via a higher-carb, low-fat diet, then it will run on glucose. But if you want to reap the metabolic advantages of eating a low-carb, higher-fat diet, then your brain will adjust, use ketones, and perform very well.'