Q: CAN I SWAP DRIED FRUIT OR FRUIT JUICE FOR FRESH FRUIT?

Women's Health - Shrink Your Sugar Belly - - DAYS 13-20 -

A: Dried fruit has all the fi­bre, nu­tri­ents and sugar of fresh, but con­cen­trated into a smaller por­tion. For in­stance, a hand­ful of fresh apri­cot halves has 155kJ and seven grams of sugar. A hand­ful of dried apri­cot halves sup­ply 656kJ and 35g of sugar. Rather than snack­ing on it, think of it as an added sugar, like honey or maple syrup, and use it as an in­gre­di­ent in recipes to en­hance the flavour. (Some dried fruit, like cran­ber­ries and tart cher­ries, are sweet­ened with sugar.) As such, the meals in this phase don’t con­tain any dried fruit. Once your eat­ing plan is over, you can rein­tro­duce it in your new, health­ier, sugar-smart recipes. As for fruit juice, step away! If your goal is to shrink your sugar belly, it’s best to sat­isfy your sweet tooth with fruit. Fruit juice has more sugar than fruit and, even though that sugar is still nat­u­ral, it con­trib­utes kilo­joules. For in­stance, a reg­u­lar glass of or­ange juice has 468kJ, 21g of sugar and 0.5g of fi­bre. A medium or­ange has 288kJ, 12g of sugar and three grams of fi­bre. The juice will be con­verted into blood sugar more quickly than the or­ange will. More­over, kilo­joules that you drink sim­ply don’t fill you up. That’s be­cause liq­uids don’t trig­ger your sati­ety mech­a­nism the same way whole foods do, and juice doesn’t have the crit­i­cal fi­bre com­po­nent that whole fruit of­fers.

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