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Malaysian fruits and sugar consumption

Mr. Green and I apologise for the month or so hiatus. Our lifestyles are pretty much nomadic right now which makes regular programming on this blog a bit of a challenge :o).

Mr. Green and I love fruits. Apples and bananas are two fruits we eat on almost a daily basis if we have access to them. Blueberries is another heavy favourite, and seedless green grapes if they look fresh and green :o). When we travel, we also try to sample as many local fruits as we possibly can.

Here's the jackfruit, native to South Asia and Southeast Asia:

The jackfruit is undoubtedly the largest fruit that I've ever come across. The fact that it can get to up to 40kg (~88lbs) is just mind-boggling. The edible bits looks like it's slimy but isn't. It has an almost meaty texture but don't be's sweet. According to this, it is low in saturated fat (as most fruits are), cholesterol, sodium and is a good source of Vitamin C and manganese.

Here's another Southeast Asian fruit for you, the snakefruit or salak:

The snakefruit tastes sour and a little sweet and is a little crunchy to bite into. Definitely one of my favourites.

Someone once warned me that Southeast Asian fruits are high in sugar and carbohydrates. I never took the warning very seriously as natural sugar from fruits (fructose), is different than refined sugar (sucrose). You shouldn't really avoid high sugar fruits, which are still low in calories and very high in nutrition.

According to this, consuming refined sugar or sucrose drives the sugar levels in your blood to high levels extremely fast while fructose is broken down more slowly which gives your body more time to react to the sugar consumed.

So how much sugar can you consume?

Some experts or nutritionists say about 40g per day or 10 teaspoons (4g in one teaspoon). Some prescribe to the 10 percent rule, which means 10% of your daily calories can come from added sugars. If you know what your daily calorie intake is, 10% of that can come from added sugars and there are about 4 calories in 1g of sugar.

So if your daily calorie intake is 1800, your added sugar intake can be 180 calories which corresponds to 45g of sugar or 11 teaspoons.

11 teaspoons sound like a lot, huh? Especially when you picture shoving 11 teaspoons of table sugar into your mouth. But think again, added sugars here means all the refined sugar you consume daily, which means everything from sugar in your coffee or tea, that slice of cheesecake post-lunch, to sugar content in your morning cereal. Morning cereal. I used to love Post's Cranberry Almond Crunch cereal...and a serving of it delivers 15g of sugar already. Three servings of Post a day and you're over your suggested daily intake.

So 40g of sugar is actually pretty easy to exceed unfortunately. And let's not even begin to discuss weight gain from having too much sugar :o). That just leads to a lot more health problems and issues (heart disease, diabetes and high blood pressure to name a few) :o).

Reduce your sugar intake, today!



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    on May 4, 2009 at 2:25 PM  

  2. Ailin in Stockholm said,

    I thought that guy was smiling when you took that picture?

    on May 18, 2009 at 1:16 PM