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