How sugar in fruit affects your health, weight

LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- Experts are explaining 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.

"Studies have shown that it can help with weight control, as well as help protect against some cancers and heart disease," said Trisha Calvo, health and food editor of Consumer Reports.

In fact, Consumer Reports says most people should eat more whole fruit.

"When experts talk about limiting your sugar intake, they mean added sugars -- those that are added to foods like cake, candies and sodas," Calvo added.

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 fruit juice has vitamins and minerals, it lacks fiber and that means sugars are digested faster," Calvo said.

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.

One new rule that is scheduled to go into effect this year to help you spot added sugars is that the Food and Drug Administration is adding a line to nutrition facts labels just for added sugars.
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