Fructose has a bad reputation. It’s blamed for a host of health problems ranging from obesity to diabetes and cancer. So is fructose a dangerous poison as some doctors have claimed? Apparently, fructose has a sweet side after all. Let’s take a look at the benefits of fructose.
Fructose: What Is It Really?
Fructose is sugar. It is a very simple sugar that occurs naturally in foods and what gives fruits a sweet taste, hence the name. Fructose is quite a bit sweeter than your average white table sugar (a combination of fructose and sucrose) but fructose contributes far fewer calories.
Crystalline fructose is what you get from processed corn or sugar cane. It is mistakenly confused with high-fructose corn syrup, which has earned its bad reputation. Fructose is 100% pure, when not mixed with any other sweetener; whereas high-fructose corn syrup is comprised of equal parts fructose and glucose. Glucose is another one of those bad kids on the block that spikes blood sugar levels—but it’s not fructose.
Top 10 Benefits of Fructose
1. Fructose is sweeter than sugar so you need far less of it to achieve the same sweetness, which means you are ingesting fewer calories, but still enjoying your food just as much.
2. Fructose is low on the glycemic Index, meaning it won’t spike your blood sugar levels leading to a whole host of health problems, namely diabetes.
3. Fructose is a great sweetener for cooking. You can use less of it to replace sugar and your food will still have the same sweetness and texture but with fewer calories.
4. Crystalline fructose makes glazes and dairy products creamier and more palate-pleasing than sugar.
5. Fructose prevents honey from crystalizing keeping it flowing from the container.
Related: What Are The Best Sugar Substitutes?
6. Sprinkling fruit with crystalline fructose and letting it sit in the refrigerator overnight before you freeze it prevents ice crystals from forming in the fruit.
7. Since fructose has a much lower place on the GI, it won’t spike a rise in blood sugar levels like glucose or sucrose (white table sugar) without additional calories, making it a great sweetener for diabetics and anyone watching their weight.
8. Fructose has been shown in research studies to help significantly improve blood sugar control, almost to the equivalent of an oral anti-diabetic drug, again, making it an excellent choice for anyone with diabetes or at an increased risk for developing it.
9. Fructose can help with maintaining a health weight. Since it tastes sweeter than sugar but with less calories, swapping fructose for sugar in baked goods can help anyone trying to lose a few pounds or keep them off enjoy great tasting food with a pleasant texture and taste without driving up the number on the scale.
10. When fructose is combined with other sweeteners like sucrose, saccharin or aspartame their perceived sweetness is greater than any of those sweeteners alone—and becomes a health danger like its counterparts.
Of course, excessive consumption of any sweetener, fructose included, can cause weight gain and other health issues, but when it comes to sweetening your food and watching your weight, there are certainly benefits of fructose, and it deserves your serious consideration.