Here’s a headline that caught some eyes in most diet communities (I hope): “Cancer cells slurp up fructose”
In case you’re not aware, fructose is one of the main sugars in fruit and raw cane sugar. The percentage of fructose varies from 20% to 90% in some fruits, while being at about 50% in raw cane sugar and 55% in high fructose corn syrup (which is a slightly different molecule since it’s processed and not the same as the fructose in fruits which has many co-factors attached when consumed whole). Agave is one of the worst offender at around 70%-85%, and people think that is a healthy sweetener.
Now that you have one paragraph of knowledge about fructose, see below.
“Pancreatic tumor cells use fructose to divide and proliferate, U.S. researchers said on Monday in a study that challenges the common wisdom that all sugars are the same.
Tumor cells fed both glucose and fructose used the two sugars in two different ways, the team at the University of California Los Angeles found.
They said their finding, published in the journal Cancer Research, may help explain other studies that have linked fructose intake with pancreatic cancer, one of the deadliest cancer types.
“These findings show that cancer cells can readily metabolize fructose to increase proliferation,” Dr. Anthony Heaney of UCLA’s Jonsson Cancer Center and colleagues wrote.
“They have major significance for cancer patients given dietary refined fructose consumption, and indicate that efforts to reduce refined fructose intake or inhibit fructose-mediated actions may disrupt cancer growth.
Tumor cells thrive on sugar but they used the fructose to proliferate. “Importantly, fructose and glucose metabolism are quite different,” Heaney’s team wrote.”
It is definitely amazing to finally see a study pronounce that so clearly. Many cancers thrive on sugar and one of the best ways to beat them is to consume a very low sugar diet, however, this clearly would indicate fructose, so you would have to carefully watch your fruit consumption.
Here’s a table of some of the various fructose percentages in fruits (sorry about the formatting):
Fruit | Serving Size | Grams of Fructose
Limes 1 medium 0
Lemons 1 medium 0.6
Cranberries 1 cup 0.7
Passion fruit 1 medium 0.9
Prune 1 medium 1.2
Apricot 1 medium 1.3
Guava 2 medium 2.2
Date (Deglet Noor style) 1 medium 2.6
Cantaloupe 1/8 of med. melon 2.8
Raspberries 1 cup 3.0
Clementine 1 medium 3.4
Kiwifruit 1 medium 3.4
Blackberries 1 cup 3.5
Star fruit 1 medium 3.6
Cherries, sweet 10 3.8
Strawberries 1 cup 3.8
Cherries, sour 1 cup 4.0
Pineapple 1 slice
(3.5″ x .75″) 4.0
Grapefruit, pink or red 1/2 medium 4.3
Boysenberries 1 cup 4.6
Tangerine/mandarin orange 1 medium 4.8
Nectarine 1 medium 5.4
Peach 1 medium 5.9
Orange (navel) 1 medium 6.1
Papaya 1/2 medium 6.3
Honeydew 1/8 of med. melon 6.7
Banana 1 medium 7.1
Blueberries 1 cup 7.4
Date (Medjool) 1 medium 7.7
Apple (composite) 1 medium 9.5
Persimmon 1 medium 10.6
Watermelon 1/16 med. melon 11.3
Pear 1 medium 11.8
Raisins 1/4 cup 12.3
Grapes, seedless (green or red) 1 cup 12.4
Mango 1/2 medium 16.2
Apricots, dried 1 cup 16.4
Figs, dried 1 cup 23.0
You can see that prunes, berries and dates are great sources of carbs without too much fructose (for those times you need some carbs). They’re also quite high in antioxidants compared to lighter color fruits. More on this topic to come, but happy to see the focus on how bad sugar is for us.