June 9, 2014 at 1:00 am

Fruit sugar is better for you

Dear Dr. Roach: Medical advice is to reduce sugar consumption. Does this apply to 100 percent fruit juices, fresh fruit, sweetened cereal products or other fruit-sweetened products?

Dear R.B.: I think it makes sense to limit sugar intake, as most North Americans take in remarkably large quantities of sugar. This week, while giving a lecture at the medical school, I noticed that the carbonated sodas served contained 45 grams of added sugar per can. That’s more than the American Heart Association recommends in a day (no more than 25 grams of added sugar per day for women, 40 gra­ms a day for men)! Be careful of products that claim to be swe­etened by fruit juice or fruit su­gar; it is st­ill added sugar.

I do make an exception for fruits, as the body processes sugars from fruit differently.

Although reducing sugar is critical for diabetics and is very important for anyone trying to lose weight, even for people with no sugar or weight problems, the evidence is accumulating that eating too much added sugar increases future risk for heart disease and diabetes.

Email questions to ToYourGoodHealth@med.cornell.edu.