The ‘5 a day’ message is a generalised recommendation to help increase your intake of antioxidants and fibre, but this should be made up of fruit and vegetables. Not all fruit is created equal so eating lots of naturally high sugar fruits like pineapple may not be the best idea when trying to follow a low sugar diet.
Eat a rainbow!
- Colourful, highly pigmented fruit and veg mean lots of powerful anti-inflammatory nutrients, there is nothing wrong with the odd serving of high sugar fruit, they provide a wide range of antioxidants. However if you suffer from inflammatory conditions like psoriasis or arthritis, it’s worth being mindful that too much sugar can also disrupt insulin levels and encourage inflammation so aim to eat mostly lower sugar fruits.
- High sugar fruits are typically grown in hot climates as the heat causes fruit to ripen faster, these include exotic fruits like mango, banana and pineapple.
- For low sugar fruits, opt for homegrown like blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, rhubarb, apples and pears. Berries are particularly beneficial for psoriasis, they’re naturally very low in sugar, a source of the antioxidant ‘anthocyanin’ and bursting with vitamin C, both great for supporting healthy skin. Try our anti-inflammatory smoothie recipe!
Load up on TREAT fruit favourites:
- Berries – so versatile! Buy frozen to ensure you’re always stocked up and pack them in with an anti-inflammatory smoothie!
- Apples – easy to stew and freeze, a great way to naturally sweeten your porridge or yoghurt, or why not experiment with Bircher muesli?
- Pears – top your breakfast with sliced pear or add to salads
- Rhubarb – how about baking a healthy rhubarb crumble?
- Whereas glucose is a natural product of the breakdown of carbohydrates and is actually manufactured by the body itself to produce useable energy, fruit sugar or fructose is quite different. Fructose is found outside the body and is primarily metabolised by the liver, if the liver is overworked for any reason, it becomes more tricky to process and can be stored as fat, which in itself can encourage inflammation.
- This is only a real problem when fructose is used as an ‘added sugar’ or highly concentrated like in fruit juice or store bought smoothies, rather than naturally occurring in whole foods – if you’re eating the whole fruit you’re also getting the benefits of the fibre helping to slow digestion and encourage healthy bowel movements.
- Processed fructose is often added to packaged foods and drink so always check the label – fruit juice, flavoured yoghurts, energy drinks, salad dressings, and of course sweets usually contain a combination of sugars, including fructose.
- Fructose doesn’t register with our brain’s satiety sensors, and won’t make you feel full, so it’s easy to eat a lot more without realising – and by now we have all heard how addictive sugar can be!
- It affects digestion – be aware that sugar, even in its natural form can cause bloating for some people.
Don’t be scared about increasing your fruit consumption, just make sure you choose wisely and opt for the whole fruit, 2 portions of low sugar fruits per day is pear-fect!