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Whole fruit, naturally, has a ton of health benefits: It contains antioxidants and polyphenols, which help the body ward off inflammation and the fiber content keeps sugars from being absorbed too quickly into your bloodstream. However, fruits do contain fructose
, which is still sugar
—and different kinds pack different amounts of the sweet stuff.
When we eat too much of it, “fructose is warmly welcomed into our fat cells,” says Carolyn Brown, RD, a nutritionist at Foodtrainers in New York City. That means that even healthy athletes can benefit from keeping an eye on the types of fruits they pick and how much they consume.
THE BOTTOM LINE
The benefits of fruit hugely outweigh any downsides—and natural sugars found in fruit are always a better option than added sugars found in foods like cereals and other packaged goods. But for fit bodies who want to cut down on sugar, Asian pears, strawberries, raspberries, watermelon, and papaya are some of the best choices, Brown says.