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Consumer Reports: The truth about sugar in fruit

Consumer Reports explains the truth behind sugar in fruit and how it affects your health and your weight. (Image credit: Consumer Reports)

Trying to eat healthier this new year by adding fruits and vegetables, but not sure if the sugar in fruit helps or hurts your diet? Consumer Reports explains the truth behind sugar in fruit and how it affects your health and your weight.

The sugars in a piece of fruit and a candy bar are essentially the same. But your body processes the sugars in fruit differently, partly because of the fiber in fruit. It helps slow the release of sugars into your bloodstream. You also get plenty of vitamins and minerals by eating fruit. Studies have shown that it can help with weight control and protect against some cancers and heart disease. In fact, Consumer Reports says most people should eat more whole fruit. When experts talk about limiting your sugar intake, they're talking about added sugars -- those found in cakes, candies and sodas.

But what about the sugars found in fruit juice? The sugars you get from fruit juice are almost as bad as the sugars that are added to food. Although juice has vitamins and minerals, most lack the fiber found in fruit, so the sugars are digested quickly.

And smoothies can be tricky. Some are made with fruit juice, yogurt or sorbet, which could contain added sugars. Consumer Reports suggests checking the label for added sugars on any store-bought fruit smoothies.

At least one new rule that is scheduled to go into effect this year will help you spot added sugars in some of the foods you eat. The Food and Drug Administration is adding a line to nutrition facts labels just for added sugars.

All Consumer Reports material Copyright 2018 Consumer Reports, Inc. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Consumer Reports is a not-for-profit organization which accepts no advertising. It has no commercial relationship with any advertiser or sponsor on this site. For more information visit consumer.org.

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